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Help and advice gladly recieved and considered!

Guest Lindia

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I started homeschooling my 15 year old granddaughter this year. I home schooled her father grades 9-12 and her uncle, grades k-12 so I am not new to homeschooling, just rusty.


My former daughter-in-law began to have severe mental problems several years into the marriage (very severe -schizophrenia, which was apparently in her family background although she didn't know it) At any rate, she refused to take meds and left my son and took kids. She neglected and abused them in rather ghastly ways before he finally got them back. He has full custody. But much harm had been done. Add to this that my son has Asperger's - he is very high functioning and was doing well before all this. But having one of the daughter's (the oldest) so damaged, it was hard for him to relate to her emotional needs and so she is with us. They visit back and forth as much as possible, and he pays her expenses while she is with us, but for the foreseeable future, she is ours. So, that is background. I don't know how important that is for my next questions, but since I expect I will be posting here with more than one question, I thought I'd explain.


She is in 10th grade, having spent her years in public school. Miraculously, in spite of all she went through, she has done well academically until last year. Then her grades dropped badly as she began to struggle more with the past and with the social pressures at school, falling into a deep depression. So here is where she is working in school-wise:


Literature & Comp (I'm doing my own, using a mix of books, poems, and short stories.


World History: I am using Spielvogel and I am supplementing it with Sophie's World and a study of philosophy, making it into an honors course.


Trig/Pre-calc - we are using Lial, because she was using it in school and was happy with it.


Spanish 3.5 Avancemos. We will finish by the end of the semester; I am not sure what is next. I don't think there is another Avancemos so I will have to find something else. My husband and I are fluent in Spanish plus we've arranged for her to chat twice a week in Spanish with the same age daughter of a friend in Honduras.


Japanese 1: She begged me for this one. I don't know Japanese; she knows more than I do but I told her we could try. I kind of regret it (3 writing systems, two with 40+ letters each and one with 50,000). But she's been said "yes" to so seldom in her life, I had a hard time saying no.


Music (she has always been in school choir; now she is in private voice lessons, sings at church, etc.)


Earth And Space Science: We are just using the text they used at her school for that course. She took biology last year and was scheduled for chemistry but I wanted her to have a little bit easier year (and didn't want to have to buy the materials yet) so we are doing that next year.


We also do some serious life and social skill learning activities since she is way behind, as well as go to a Christian counselor twice a week.


So I know this doesn't sound very classical. But really, I love the classical model. I am just trying to feel my way and see what I can institute as I go along. We have worked on Latin and Greek Roots as part of English. I am emphasizing writing skills and argumentation skills.


Right now, we are combining history, Literature, writing, and philosophy in a different kind of way. DDG very possibly has a diagnosis of attachment disorder - it's what orphans get who have had no attention all their lives. When they don't attach to the primary giver, they find it hard to develop a personality and attach well later, even when they want to. They don't have as well defined of a center as other people. In her case, this means her feelings and her reasoning aren't very connected. So as we read about Greece, Rome, etc and about Plato's Republic, the Bible, etc., I am having her decide how she would design the perfect society. Does she want it based on justice, like Plato? Duty and order, like Rome? Self-serving like dictatorships? Justice, tempered by mercy and love like Christ's - looking at things such as governors, government, military, workers, families and religions and how they work together in her "Republic." I am hoping the process of making these connections will help her make other connections.


But I am obviously not doing Latin (I doubt if I will at this late date). I would like to do formal logic next year, which is late, I know, but I have to deal with things the way they've been given.


Any suggestions for me on how to help her, about the subjects I've mentioned or about chemistry for next year? I am not a science person, but she is. We must do chem next year and physics the next. I hear such mixed reports about Apologia and I must admit, I tried to use the biology when it first came out for my youngest son and I found it to be horrible.


I never thought I'd hear myself saying this, but is Alpha Omega chemistry any good?'


My other problem is this...I hope you won't give me the proverbial foot of fellowship -- I am an evangelical christian (Evangelical Covenant) but I also believe in theistic evolution. I don't mind a 6 day creationist book unless it implies that I can't be a bible believing Christian unless I am a 6 day creationist. So how strong is this in Wiles' books(or any others)? I just don't want her confused more.



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Nice to have you onboard. I think you'll find you academic approach is not uncommon here. It's a big board and there are lots who have tweaked for their situation or views on what are the most important aspects of learning.


There are also many Christian homeschoolers who are using science materials that are not literal 6 day. One approach is to use intro level college texts on a lighter schedule. The writing is usually clear without being unapproachable. Others use books like Conceptual Physics.


There is a button for searching within a forum. You can also find lots of good threads by searching the tags added to threads.



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How about A Beka for Chemistry? My oldest three have taken a homeschool class. I think it is perfectly compatible with theistic evolution (which is our stand as well) or if it isn't it isn't dwelt upon in the text very much at all. I think A Beka has a very solid text. Since you aren't confident in science you could get the dvd and watch alongside your gtranddaughter.


If that doesn't work, I think the teaching co. has a high school chemistry lecture series. I have heard of people using that and then supplementing with a chemistry set and on line labs.


And God bless you for taking care of your granddaughter like this. What a gift you are to her, poor child who has suffered so much!

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