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Chrysalis Academy

High School Planning Angst - time, credits, depth, Oh My!

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I would love to have insight from all you BTDT-ers, as well as current planners, on the Rhetoric&Composition/Lit/History thing. If you don't mind taking a look at this thread, where I typed it all out in post #24-25:

 

http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/578905-the-english-creditgreat-booksintegrating-history-lit/?do=findComment&comment=6747140

 

respond here or there, I will be reading them both! And thank you.

Every since we stopped using Sonlight which was integrated by design we have found both dc's seen to work more efficiently if many classes are done intensely but one at a time. We have always done school year around. Several hours in a day for a few weeks may be spent completing requirements for one class but when they are done they are able to move on to the next subject. They prefer to work on one or two subjcts as opposed to juggling 5 or 6. Math has always been ongoing and daily because it is a cumulative subject....plus my dc's passion. Foreign Languages are also visited most days on Duolingo at a minimum.

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I have done things slightly differently for each kid but in general I follow the same patterns; and I have not looked at the WTM in years and years!  It only served as a resource to me because my kids have LDs and to me it was just an IDEAL to glean from rather than marching orders.  But people's mileage varies.  Some kids are super scholarly and thrive on structure and I am sure WTM is a perfect fit for them!  But not so much for my kids.  So I am of the less is more variety of classical ed.

 

So how we got the English/rhetoric/lit stuff in:

 

First of all Rhetoric is composition.  Rhetoric is the art of communicating effectively.  So every time your kid has to write something across the curriculum in order to communicate to you or another teacher - that counts!  Every time you correct a draft and they correct their own draft, they are learning grammar, mechanics, literary devices, etc.

 

An entertaining grammar book does wonders for writing!  Have your student read Woe is I and Eats, Shoots and Leaves. Grammar is done!  My kids love How Not To Write by William Safire.  

 

Copy work - my kids often copy quotes from Farnworth's Classical Rhetoric as copy work for 15 minutes 3 or 4 mornings a week.  That's Rhetoric/composition/literature!  

 

Literature - less is more - it is better to spend 2 months working through Dante's Inferno than to shoot through the whole three books!  To me high school doesn't have to be college or grad school too!  I saw/see myself just building a foundation.  

 

Count everything! - for example, this past fall I noticed that a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream was scheduled at a theater a couple hours away.  So we read a synopsis of the play on pink monkey or some such site, we spent a couple weeks copying out famous sayings and speeches from the play at fifteen minutes a pop.  And then we went to see it.  It was fantastic!  Done!  We got our Shakespeare in!  Did we do a long in depth study and butcher the play to death with analysis?  No!  But my kids can quote the play and they really know it.  They enjoyed it thoroughly!  Shakespeare is their friend.

 

Use the time in the car - listen to audio.  If you have regular driving times use it to listen to something slowly over the course of months.  It is kind of a modern Charlotte Mason.  You listen in little tidbits and then discuss.  It's informal but it is learning!

 

Since my kids are slow readers, we often read short works:  speeches, poems, excerpts, novellas, short stories, essays.  These are all real literature and teach wonderful things!  

 

I read scripture out loud to my kids every day.  I count this too.  Ever read the Psalms or Isaiah?  That's pure literary bliss!  Even if you don't believe.

 

If you are really panicked about this, I would advise backing away from the planning and immersing yourself in something beautiful for a while.  Reread some lovely piece of literature that really spoke to you.  Classical education is about the heart as well as the mind.  It is about excellence but it is also about discovering and savoring the truths manifest in human heart.  You don't want ambition to-get-everything-in to obscure its profundity.  You want time to process and have lively conservations.  

 

Now I did things the way I do because of who my kids are and who I am.  Your job is to assess your own situation and then proceed as best you can.  

 

You really can do this.  You just have to be flexible and adapt it to your own life and kids.  Hope this helps and doesn't sound too preachy....

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Take a step back and look at the 9th grader you are going to have. Does she NEED a separate writing course? Is she interested in studying rhetoric? Is it something that must be covered fully in 9th grade or is it a topic that can be explored throughout her 4 years of high school? Might she get more out a formal rhetoric course as she matures?  

 

It does seem like overkill to try to make rhetoric a separate course. 9th grade does NOT need to be instantly harder and deeper and More Important.  It is instead a natural progression from 8th, and no matter what is outlined in the WTM, no matter your ambitious plans, you simply will not - can not - cover everything that seems so vitally important to you this week.

 

I combined literature and history and writing. It's been a while since I did so, longer still since I so lovingly crafted those courses, but here is a general outline of how I planned.  I chose an historical period, made a long list of literature to cover, from great works to pretty darn good works to popular current works, and a list of resources to have on hand. I then pared down that literature list to about 10 major works including novels, plays and poems.  I chose specific lectures to use from TC courses (some were every lecture in a course, others were individual lectures to go with specific authors or works.) I bookmarked dozens of resources and worksheets and activities which I could draw upon if needed. I also assigned popular works of non-fiction that fit our historical timeframe or science subject.  I also assigned some critical reviews of books partly to discuss the POV of the reviewer and partly to subtly introduce that kind of literary analysis.

 

The course was organized around each major literary work. The history coursework was inspired by, though it didn't often resemble, the historical context paper described in the WTM. Lectures were watched. Reading of the work and of other material happened and we discussed stuff. Somehow a couple of essays per month would also get written, the best of which arose from our discussions. There were also smaller research topics -- a single page on historical figures, for instance. My kids also wrote papers on science, by the way. I'd say overall they averaged 3-4 essays per month.  

 

Woven around all this was grammar review and vocabulary study, and some reading about rhetoric. I mostly used one of SWB's recommended writing resources as a reference book, but I'd assign some reading from it, as I recall.

 

I didn't schedule the work time other than to give a list of what was to be done each week.  Mornings were always devoted to formal schoolwork -- math, logic, grammar/vocabulary review, lecture watching.  I'd try to carve out discussion time throughout the week, usually early afternoons.  Reading and writing time was up to the student. 

 

We never covered everything I had planned. But we had some great discussions and have fond memories of many things we read and studied.  Other works items of study they've long since forgotten. There is only so much you can do, and I figure my success is measured no by their high school transcript but by the interesting and capable young adults they are now.  

 

I also suggest taking a break from planning, though as a fellow obsessive/compulsive homeschool mom, I know how impossible that can be!  (I'm retired and am still here!!) Take some time this holiday season to just be mom -- it will help give you some perspective!!

 

 

 

 

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  Also, i agree that you have way, way too much for English/literature.  Take turns instead of doing it simultaneously. You are in high school so you can think in terms of semesters.  Do Rhetoric one semester and lit another.  My kids just finished one semester of speech and communication.  Next semester they are on to music theory for one of them and religious studies for the other.  To add to that full credit for English this year we are in a teen book club where we read classic lit and discuss and analyze it.  But that reading is done before bed and the club meeting only happens twice a month.

 

By what measure is it too much? How many Great Books do your children read and process each semester? Are the Great Books a priority for you? 

 

I think before we can say something is way, way too much, we need to make sure we aren't confusing our own goals with the goals of the person trying to sort things out. Maybe the English/Literature is just fine. Maybe it's something else that needs to give. 

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I overplan every year and then reality hits.  I actually did a more realistic job of doing so for 9th grade with 5 core courses and a sports elective, but I still exceeded what my boys could comfortably accomplish.  Theatre is a course, as well, depending on how much time is spent on it.  Don't forget those extra curriculars.  

 

Yes, I think you are overdoing the English credits.  And yes, you will be disappointed with not being able to fit in everything you wish.  When I planned for 9th grade the then looked at it on a practical level, I had grossly overplanned history to include geography, lectures, and extra literature.  It was unmanageable when I broke it down.  So I changed it.  Then I ended up bumping the entire history study to the summer.

 

Go deep rather than wide, maybe?

 

Food for thought from someone mid-9th grade.  I don't have all the answers.  I have not seen a homeschooled kid to college.  I am not doing a rigorous course of study.  My kids are doing a solid but average line up of classes.  They are balanced people working within their strengths and limitations.  They are not overwhelmed.  They have free time to finish out the last stretch of their childhoods.  If they go to the CC and then slide into a state college, that will be great.  They are happy people with free time.

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I would love to have insight from all you BTDT-ers, as well as current planners, on the Rhetoric&Composition/Lit/History thing. If you don't mind taking a look at this thread, where I typed it all out in post #24-25.

Rhetoric&Composition/Lit can be done as a subject if your child is already strong in grammar and coherent in writing.

 

For the Great Books readings, could you do just the reading through part this year? My oldest has read through most of the list for leisure except for Shakespeare. My hubby does some of the discussions during car rides. By the time we are doing the actual analysis, kids are already familiar with the literary work.

 

Since my bookworm is not in love with literature as a subject, hubby and I agree that as long as he could hit above 600 for sat literature, we'll let him off the hook for formal literature. He leans STEM/Finance though and his languages and music are good so we gave up on the well-rounded profile. All his sports are recreational.

 

From UC

"SAT Subject Test

Literature: Score of 560 satisfies first three years."

 

ETA:

Hubby and I have our passions. When feeling out applications for our kids for selective programs, what is often asked is "what is your child's passion and how do you and/or your child pursue it".

For my youngest, I am keeping an eye out for the Monterey Aquarium internship because that would make his day. This kid wants to go to Antarctica to research penguins.

My oldest has many passions so I have a list of KIVs in my OneNote.

 

ETA:

You can count LOTE(language other than English) taken in middle school for a-g requirements. So your Spanish 1 this year would count.

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I don't know, guys, every way I slice it the 9th grade year looks totally overwhelming.  Just purely in terms of the schedule.

 

Things that are important to us:  

  • Sleep.  So, not starting too early
  • Getting outside/fieldwork. So, scheduling science as long blocks that makes time for fieldwork & labs, and having part of PE involve hiking, horseback riding, etc.
  • Horseback riding - so at least two afternoons with an early stopping time for that
  • no "homework" other than reading - fit the work into a reasonable daily schedule. Don't schedule too many hours in a week.  What is really reasonable??
  • no weekend schoolwork other than reading - we need down time
  • Theater. Participating in main stage productions with evening rehearsals and weekend performances. That doesn't leave a lot of extra down time in the day
  • CC class in the spring - I don't see how this is doable at all
  • Creative Writing time.  I don't see that fitting into the current schedule at all. She is going to be really burnt by the end of the day.  I don't know what to do about this.

 

Here is the schedule I have tentatively come up with:

 

9-10  Math, 5 hours/week

10-11 Spanish, 4 hours/week

11-12:Rhetoric studies, 2 hours, compositions, 3-4 hours

Lunch

Afternoons:

Monday - 1 hour history, 2-3 hours science

Tuesday - 1 hour lit, 2-3 hours sceince

Wednesday - 2 hours history, 1 hour IHF/PE

Thursday -  2 hours lit, 2 hours PE

Friday - 2 hours history or lit - finish readings, work on compositions; 2 hours IHF/PE

 

That gives:

Math 5 hours

Spanish 4 hours

English 5 hours

History 4 hours

Literature 4 hours

Science 5 hours

IHF/PE 4 hours

 

That is 7 subjects. For a 38 week school year, 5x38=190, 4x38=152.  So they all seem like full credits.  It feels like too much to me, but I don't know what to cut/drop.

 

How does this look?  It isn't including evening Theater rehearsals, but it is including horseback riding (some, not all of the time) in PE.

 

If CC here is community college, then you have some time to decide if that will work.  You will have a good part of the fall before you have to register, even if you do need to go through the placement process earlier in the fall semester.  Adding in a CC class in 9th grade might be a bit too much to bit off.  Our experience with 9th grade was that it was unexpectedly bumpy, with my increased expectations and sense of frustration that it had to be "done right" because it was being recorded.  On the other hands, my kids were 13 and were going through a lot of early teen development that included less than ideal responsiveness to a strong school schedule.

 

We found that outside classes always got the most attention, simply because of the outside deadline effect.  So pick your outside entanglements carefully, whether that is a CC class or a coop or anything else.

 

DS1 was a heavy swimmer in high school.  That meant that he had practices either really early in the morning or in the afternoon.  He wasn't usually fit for anything after a hard swim practice, other than maybe reading.  We did work through a lot of Great Courses lectures during the drive to practice.  In the car was also when we had many of our discussions about history or literature, especially when stuck in traffic or driving longer distances to a meet.

 

It sounds like theater may have a similar time commitment.  There is a tremendous benefit to extracurriculars like sports and theater, but they can also be time sumps. There were times when I had to tell my kid that something else was not an option, because he'd already pre-committed his free time to swimming.  There were also weekend meets when he was huddled in the corner between heats, reading an assigned book or going through Latin flashcards.  

 

I would also say that we were not able to achieve the academic goals I had without spending some time on weekends and evenings.  Often this was just reading, or it was a movie or outing related to what we were learning.  At other times it was hours spent on Latin translations or math or science.  There also had to be work on weekends and evenings as a natural consequence of not working during the week.  I think that they learned some great skills from this.  My kids have at times worked ahead a week in outside subjects, to accommodate family trips or conferences they wanted to participate in.

 

You might also consider when during the day your kid is reading and writing.  As my teens got older, they seemed to be more productive in the evenings than early in the day (with the exception of right after sports).  You may need to adjust where the center of gravity of your day is as they get older.  I also tried to assign some summer reading that would give them a head start on history or literature.  We tend to start school in late August and go into June.  We used to do school all year long, but I found that we had to pause, because there were so many inflexible activities during the summer.

 

ETA:  Two last thoughts.  Even with teens, starting at 9 didn't work well for us.  It just didn't give enough time for school before lunch, and I started to feel that we didn't have time for any pauses in the morning if we were going to get everything done.  I asked for an 8am start at the latest, but was happier with 7:30.  If they got behind, then the mornings had to start earlier.

 

Lunch making and eating often consumed a lot of time.  My kids are very self sufficient in the kitchen, but I found that if I made lunch and presented it to them with a specific lunch time, it kept the lunch time from stretching out too much.

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Every since we stopped using Sonlight which was integrated by design we have found both dc's seen to work more efficiently if many classes are done intensely but one at a time. We have always done school year around. Several hours in a day for a few weeks may be spent completing requirements for one class but when they are done they are able to move on to the next subject. They prefer to work on one or two subjcts as opposed to juggling 5 or 6. Math has always been ongoing and daily because it is a cumulative subject....plus my dc's passion. Foreign Languages are also visited most days on Duolingo at a minimum.

What are you using now?

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This UC planner (6 page pdf) is useful for those of us in California. My kids would have a lopsided profile but I still want to cover the minimum requirements.

UC only counts 10th and 11th grade subjects for GPA so you do get a breather for 9th.

 

http://www.ucop.edu/diversity-engagement/_files/Map-online.pdf

 

ETA:

GPA calculation for UC for California residents

"In calculating the GPA for admission consideration, UC uses all UC-approved “a-g†courses a student took between the summer before 10th grade through the summer following 11th grade. Additionally, UC will grant up to eight semesters (with no more than four semesters coming from 10th grade) of honors weight for grades of C or better in AP, IB, UC-approved Honors Level, and transferable college courses. "

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Unless you've got other things going on, summers and weekends are a great buffer to get things done. We need to cut back on English/comp during the year. It's been too much to have T do a lit class with some writing and a separate composition class during the school year. We'll make it through until May but this has to change for next year. I've decided to switch to a summer composition course and just literature during the school year. WTMA is thinking about offering shortened Expository Writing classes (maybe Rhetoric too?) over the summers and that would be a perfect solution for us. As a back-up plan, I thought we might use Homeschool Connections prerecorded classes over the summer. If you feel comfortable pulling together your own class, you could tailor a class that focuses on writing about your dd's interests and keep it as fun as possible. She'll keep her skills fresh during the school year by writing the assignments that go with her literature studies.

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I don't know, guys, every way I slice it the 9th grade year looks totally overwhelming.  Just purely in terms of the schedule.

 

Things that are important to us:  

  • Sleep.  So, not starting too early
  • Getting outside/fieldwork. So, scheduling science as long blocks that makes time for fieldwork & labs, and having part of PE involve hiking, horseback riding, etc.
  • Horseback riding - so at least two afternoons with an early stopping time for that
  • no "homework" other than reading - fit the work into a reasonable daily schedule. Don't schedule too many hours in a week.  What is really reasonable??
  • no weekend schoolwork other than reading - we need down time
  • Theater. Participating in main stage productions with evening rehearsals and weekend performances. That doesn't leave a lot of extra down time in the day
  • CC class in the spring - I don't see how this is doable at all
  • Creative Writing time.  I don't see that fitting into the current schedule at all. She is going to be really burnt by the end of the day.  I don't know what to do about this.

 

Here is the schedule I have tentatively come up with:

 

9-10  Math, 5 hours/week

10-11 Spanish, 4 hours/week

11-12:Rhetoric studies, 2 hours, compositions, 3-4 hours

Lunch

Afternoons:

Monday - 1 hour history, 2-3 hours science

Tuesday - 1 hour lit, 2-3 hours sceince

Wednesday - 2 hours history, 1 hour IHF/PE

Thursday -  2 hours lit, 2 hours PE

Friday - 2 hours history or lit - finish readings, work on compositions; 2 hours IHF/PE

 

That gives:

Math 5 hours

Spanish 4 hours

English 5 hours

History 4 hours

Literature 4 hours

Science 5 hours

IHF/PE 4 hours

 

That is 7 subjects. For a 38 week school year, 5x38=190, 4x38=152.  So they all seem like full credits.  It feels like too much to me, but I don't know what to cut/drop.

 

How does this look?  It isn't including evening Theater rehearsals, but it is including horseback riding (some, not all of the time) in PE.

 

It was the scheduling and planning hours very precisely like your list that drove us nuts. There was so much more peace when we decided not to cover a little of everything every day. Could that work for you?

 

We follow a college-style schedule of 4-5 subjects a semester.

At least 2 are passion subjects every semester, alternating between math, coding, music and something else creative or reading based like lit or film. He loves to read and analyze but no, he is sadly not going to be doing a Great Books study or rhetoric for that matter. I will be trying to fit him into a box if I insisted on that. I'd rather he continue to love to be a lifelong learner in Great Books and history (and he chooses to read and talk about all of that willingly now, vs the time when I expected it of him, funny how it works out that way!). I'm not saying abandon what's important to you but do consider if you might be expecting it too early. For mine, even 12th grade is going to be too early for SWB level rhetoric and writing but it's going to be too late for him to learn differential equations or the fundamentals of abstract algebra, does that make sense? I have to work with the child I have.

 

There is one PE every semester, he cannot negotiate that. There is one music every semester because he wants it and it is so good for him. Music is our therapy.

 

When it comes to daily schedule, he works on 3 courses max a day. Then he does music practice or PE or he might spend more time on reading/ writing assignments after that.

 

I have let go of so many expectations. It was either that or a miserable, tired teen and a strained mom-son relationship. I do worry that we don't seem to be aiming for extremely high standards anymore (initially, his dream schools were all tippy tops) but I think those standards were unrealistic for the child I have. Ironically though, after relaxing expectations, I feel as if the time he has left in the day is beneficial for his transcript too. I am packaging 3 courses pursued from just interest alone and over a period of about 3 years each as 1 credit courses. He deserves these credits for the amount of hard work and passion he invests in them.

 

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One more idea...every time someone volunteers to share their DC's transcript, I try to take advantage of that and I also ask some leading questions. It gives me a good glimpse into what they might have planned and what was actually realistic and then set all that against what their and their DC's goals were, what were passion areas, what they did during their free time, plus where they eventually went to college.

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We use some outside classes, but when possible I try to use curric that doesn't require a teacher, because I find there is often a fair amount of busywork in these organized group educational efforts. Many parents do find it easier to sign up for classes for the various high school subjects, but there's a corresponding loss of flexibility, in my opinion. At some point, I start to wonder if it wouldn't be simpler to put the kid in a building-based program.

 

Don't get me wrong, my current senior maintains a schedule that is packed full, but it's not because she is spending hours a day on any given subject, generally. I don't find value in that.

 

That said, lab sciences and foreign language may be more effectively done with an instructor in a group setting, and certainly there are plenty of kids who did better with more direction.

 

And for what it's worth, my daughter has been admitted to Princeton, and achieved high test scores across the board, in addition to having time for the extracurricular activities that she enjoys and help develop her character.

 

Editing to add this: I just saw the post with a tentative schedule. I have tried schedules through the years, but honestly find that it works better to just work consistently on whatever needs to get done at any given time. Some subjects ended up getting done as intensives :-) We had a lot of theater and dance going for a while, and subjects that could be done in the car or green room were very useful.

 

 

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Yeah, but I don't see how you can study Great Books - read a reasonable number of works, discuss, and write about them, and study Rhetoric & composition, all in 5 hours a week.  I also don't see how to cover the literature works we want to - and not a crazy ambitious list, either - and also study history (combo of Great courses and reading/writing assignments) in just 5 hours a week.  I don't see how to cover a reasonable amount of material without giving a full 5 hours to writing & rhetoric, 5 hours to lit reading, and 5 hours to history.  This is kind of what started all the angst for me, I was trying to figure out how the English/History/Great Books credit works.  And without cutting a significant amount of what we'd like to cover, I don't see how to do it any other way.

 

I would love to be enlightened!

 

You may need to think in terms of "terms" or "classes." 

 

A student may or may not be able to squeeze in everything that SWB suggests, or may not be able to do it all in one year or one semester. Remember how many times SWB herself has said that the publisher had her put in more than she did? 

 

I think you may need to break things down more. It might mean you do fewer Great Books each year, or it may mean that you move "lit" reading to evening, so that you aren't trying to get it done before the scheduled electives each day. Maybe you do great books and writing in the fall, and history/writing in the spring. I think you need to decide what's non-negotiable, and then work out a workable routine from there.

 

We used Sonlight lists for our lit. choices, so we focused more on "classics" than on "Great Books." While I think students can read and get something out of Great Books in high school, I wasn't sure the trade-off in time was worth it--and I think a lot of students are more ready for them in college. That doesn't mean that's what you should do--but I say that to make more sense of the idea that we did a 1 hour class for lit and composition, that was typically made up of 30 minutes reading, 30 minutes writing. Occasionally some additional reading or writing time was needed, and I also continued to read aloud throughout high school, to squeeze in some more books. I do think it's hard to squeeze Great Books AND composition into one, 1-hour per day time frame. I think you would have to focus on a book, read and discuss, and maybe do some writing in between that and the next book, in order to make it work for that one English credit. 

 

So...I don't think you're crazy when you ask how to get all of that done in a one-hour time frame, but that you may need to adjust something somewhere if your dd is also going to do horseback riding twice a week and be involved in plays (huge time commitment) etc... It might mean doing fewer books if you only want one English credit.

 

When I say think in terms of classes, I thought of that when you mentioned creative writing--you may need to let that be a class for a semester if you want her to have time for that. Maybe you don't delve into Great Books that semester. Or maybe something else gives. 

 

I just don't think it's going to work to do EVERYTHING on your list every semester or every year. Likely you'll need to pick and choose based on how many hours of school you want her to have on top of all the extra curriculars and time to just "be." Those are not easy choices! But you can have a wonderful, rich, fulfilling high school, even with picking and choosing.

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Thanks for the replies, guys, I am reading and pondering all of them.  I did post on the other thread that I have cut English/History/Rhetoric down to a 2 credits, which makes it all feel more doable.

 

I get that the slightly anal planning looks weird to folks who have BTDT. I should clarify that we don't actually work that way - X minutes per topic each day or X hours per subject per week- but it is important for me to lay it out like that, and then count hours/credits, just to make sure that the amount of work I'm planning is reasonable, and that we cover all the credits we need to in the year.  Otherwise I tend to plan to do way too much!  Looking at how the innocuous sounding "watch Lecture X and read p. xx-xxx" actually pans out in terms of time it takes really helps me keep it real!  The way we actually work this year is that I create a weekly list, separating out independent-subjects and together-subjects, and letting her know when I'll be available to work together each day.  She manages her own time to get things done by the end of the week, and she has found the rhythms that work for her - Math and Spanish first thing in the morning, for example.  What will change next year is that there will just be more - more reading, more writing, more lectures - and her days/week will be fuller.  She'll still have flexibility about when she does what over the course of the week. This method has worked well for us so far, so I don't want to change it up just for the sake of changing it.

 

I think that once we start CC classes - by 10th grade, if not before - we might move to a semester system at home, too. I like that idea, Quark, and how it lets you focus on 3-4 things at a time rather than trying to do everything every week.

 

I've also just got to realize and make the expectation clear that high school will mean more work, more hours spent, potentially including "homework" and weekend work. She just has to look around at her friend's crazy schedules to realize that even with a step up, she's still pretty fortunate in the amount of free time she has, and the lack of busywork and wasted time in her life.

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What are you using now?

This isn't going to help the op at all but this is what we are currently doing.

 

Dd recently completed work on what will be transcripted as advanced chemistry using some Coursera classes and textbooks. She could have done the SAT subject but didn't need it. She took a CLEP to prove mastery mainly because the CLEP has a low pass rate (50 is a pass) so her 70 something out of 80 was an achievement. We like to have outside validation for some coursework each year and CLEP is cheaper for us overall.

 

DS did his Micro and Macroeconomics using Coursera free classes this fall. He did CLEP exams also rather than wait for the AP exams in the spring.

 

I wanted each dc to have an outside writing class before going to University. I thought about an AP prep class finishing with an AP exam but because of our time difference combined with the preference to work on fewer things at a time no one was excited or even interested. Expense was also a factor.

 

Dh figured out that Straighterline offered good old freshman comp and wanted dd to try it. You pay for the course plus a monthly fee and start the class. Dd really enjoyed the 101 and is now doing 102. The Professor has been really helpful. This has really positive experience with my child who I knew was a good writer but outside validation is good. ;) She is also taking their Business Statistics class for fun and her math element....loves it. Cheap because the monthly fee is already paid. She is working on Latin for one hour a day because she is hoping to take the AP this spring.

 

My ds has always given me headaches with his essays. The last few years have been difficult but I knew he could (all the basics and brilliant moments ;) ) but just didn't want to for me at the level I wanted. I signed him up for the 101 a few weeks ago after watching dd's experience. He has done great. Seems to enjoy getting the comments back and is enjoying the class as much as a computer geek is capable of. Planning to start him on the next one as soon as the research paper is done. He is also doing an online Calculus class for the AP through Coursera. Self paced.

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From UC

"SAT Subject Test

Literature: Score of 560 satisfies first three years."

.

I just want to make sure I understand this....essentially you are saying that a 560 on the literature subject exam is considered equal to 3 years of literature done at high school level by UC.

 

I have never seen the subject exams used this way before and find it fascinating and really helpful.

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I just want to make sure I understand this....essentially you are saying that a 560 on the literature subject exam is considered equal to 3 years of literature done at high school level by UC.

 

I have never seen the subject exams used this way before and find it fascinating and really helpful.

 

Not Arcadia, but yes, that's the general idea and 560 is the very minimum. Campuses like Berkeley and UCLA hold students to much higher expectations.

 

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I just want to make sure I understand this....essentially you are saying that a 560 on the literature subject exam is considered equal to 3 years of literature done at high school level by UC.

 

I have never seen the subject exams used this way before and find it fascinating and really helpful.

Look under (B) of link. ACT writing or SAT writing can be used too

http://admission.universityofcalifornia.edu/freshman/requirements/a-g-requirements/index.html#english

 

ETA:

We are going to use SAT subject test for (E) language other than English (LOTE) too. My oldest is good at languages but impatient with classes. He is looking at STEM majors so we aren't aiming for great humanities scores.

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I think it is important to identify what you wish to gain from high school at the outset.  The requirements needed to achieve those goals will lead you toward what needs to be accomplished in high school.  Keep in mind that the leap from 8th to 9th grade is huge for all students-homeschooled and traditionally schooled.  The leap from high school to university will also be huge.  

 

High school is harder if you are choosing a college preparatory path.  The more selective the colleges and the more you wish to be successful in receiving scholarships the harder it will be.  

 

To be honest, I don't think you can complete college preparatory high school in 5-6 hours a day and earn 6-7 credits a year, unless perhaps you had summer school and completed some credits then.  I have never counted hours when assigning credits but rather have chosen to design courses that I think are worthy of a credit and then completed them.  However, high school subjects are, by nature, more time consuming than their predecessors.  The assignments are harder and more challenging.  There are new habits and work ethics that need to be developed.  Furthermore, you are dealing with teenagers.  In my experience the physical and emotional growth experienced during the high school years changes things.  One of the things it changes is that work isn't always completed as quickly or efficiently on a regular basis. This is the mystery factor that I had never accounted for when planning high school. Also, I hadn't thought through the fact that all outside (online, DE, etc.) courses would impose their own requirements and that the amount of time to complete those would be out of my hands.  However, there are some subjects that are best left to subject matter experts and so we have chose that route. (In addition my oldest has chosen to have nearly all outside courses senior year as part of her academic and emotional preparation for college.  That has left me helping her with time management rather than having control over time spent.)

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I probably don't have anything of value to add to this thread, but I'm going to share a little of our experience anyway. There have been many good points already made, but I'm going to emphasize just a few.

First, design you child's high school experience around two things, their goals, and a realistic assessment of their abilities. If they aren't interested in a highly selective school or have a career goal in mind that will not be helped by a highly selective school, there is no need to push 140 hours/week of school on them. Most who do 8 credits 5+ of which are APs each year, have kids who WANT to do that. They love the challenge. They thrive on the schedule. Some do it because the parents believe in it, but these students rarely make it unless they have taken on that belief for themselves. For the rest of us, a good solid 6-7 credits/semester with or without AP and DE will be just fine. My kids both did some DE, my oldest took two APs his senior year and dropped one (he was getting an A, but was totally burning out). You control your homeschool. You will not destroy your child's future by making school fit them. You will prepare them for a future that also fits them.

 

Next, college admission isn't really that hard. ACT/SAT scores are ridiculously important for most schools and scholarships. The only place admissions is a huge crazy game is the highly selective colleges. I live in the midwest. There is only one highly selective college in my state and at $40,000/year and an urban setting, neither of my kids were vaguely interested.

 

My oldest is attending a small, slightly selective, private LAC with a great scholarship (based on a great ACT). He has multiple LDs and worked very hard in high school, but couldn't handle the kind of rigorous schedule that some kids do. He's double majoring in Writing and Philosophy and doing just fine.

 

My youngest will attend a small/medium sized State U, that takes almost everyone, but has an excellent reputation for the program she desires with a 100% job placement rate. They'll take all her DE credits and she got a scholarship even with mediocre ACT scores. She is a competitive gymnast and has a job. She cares nothing about school except as a means to an end. The path we chose for her was heavy in classes that will help her in her future career (science) and light in classes she cares nothing about (history & English). The only demanding online class we tried for her was Bluetent English 2 and it was an epic fail. She gets all A's in her DE classes though and is graduating a year early with 24 college credits.

 

My big advice is look less at what others are doing. Choose your own path. Don't be afraid to follow it. It will be ok. Pick the education and future that fits your child and your family, not someone else's child or someone else's family. Stand bravely in that path and don't be lured off by the plans of others.

 

 

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We found that outside classes always got the most attention, simply because of the outside deadline effect.  So pick your outside entanglements carefully, whether that is a CC class or a coop or anything else.

 

 

:001_wub:

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My big advice is look less at what others are doing. Choose your own path. Don't be afraid to follow it. It will be ok. Pick the education and future that fits your child and your family, not someone else's child or someone else's family. Stand bravely in that path and don't be lured off by the plans of others.

 

:001_wub:

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FWIW, in high school I found it was often helpful to create a pretty specific schedule for classes.  In part because then my kids knew what they needed to do.  In part because it set a limit on what I was piling on.  There is always another book, another interesting historical tidbit, another science exploration or another computer problem to work through.  I need to be able to say, this is sufficient.

 

I have also taken to creating a color coded weekly schedule with sports and outside commitments blocked out, then academics added in.  This also helps me to not pile on endlessly.

 

:001_wub:  This sounds like how I plan too - partly because I, too, need to limit what I pile on - I am definitely guilty of the "just one more" syndrome! In fact, it was adding just one more Great Course to history that pushed me over the edge initially.  But, Shannon really wanted to add that course, so I just had to realize that it means we won't get as far chronologically.  What I can't do is keep adding things in and expect to cover the same amount of ground.

 

It's also the case that Shannon wants a checklist/schedule.  Whenever I've tried to be more loosey-goosey with scheduling, she gets stressed out.  She trusts me to make sure that her lists reflect what she needs to cover to stay on track. Having a weekly list is reassuring for her, although she enjoys the freedom to set her own schedule within the week.  So I'm happy to provide that support. At some point she might need less, but I keep reminding myself that 9th grade is not 12th grade, 13 is not 17.  I have Nan's oft-repeated words of wisdom to thank for that pearl!

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:grouphug:

Outsourced class need not be academics. My oldest first outsource class was violin at 3 because we butt heads when I teach him music :lol: We outsource because of kids want B&M classrooms and classmates. Your child may not need nor want any outsource classes.

 

 

 

This is an excellent point to keep in mind, and makes me feel better as I realize we may not formally outsource any academics in 9th.  But part of the reason I like that Shannon does horseback riding and theater is the opportunity to work for and with other adult coaches/directors.  And theater is all about working to a deadline, showing up and doing your part even if you are tired and don't feel like it, working to the expectations of others and working as part of a group.  It really adds so much to her overall learning experience that I'm absolutely delighted that it is a passion. If she didn't want to do theater, I'd be scrambling a lot harder to get her into some group activities, public speaking/debate, etc.  Plus I'd be angsting about memory work, which I don't at all given how many lines, songs, and choreography she memorizes each year!  Including Shakespeare.  ;)

 

So yes, she absolutely has outsourced stuff, just not classes. Thank you for helping me remember that this "counts" too.  I can still tailor her high school experience and she can gain some of the benefits of outsourcing in other ways.  (at least for 9th - DE is definitely still in the future).

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In my experience, high school does not have to look much different than the younger homeschooling years. There are more boxes to check off, for sure, but you have complete control over how you go about checking off those boxes.

 

My oldest had a highly selective school on his radar. At the beginning of his high school years, I had him read a book that gave advice on what a student needed to do in order to gain acceptance to a lottery school. My son decided that he wasn't going to jump through all of those hoops recommended in that book and was just going to continue with what he had been doing - which was very interest driven.

 

He still took some classes that he didn't want to take - mainly foreign language. He took Latin I and II in middle school and said he was done after Latin III at the end of 9th grade. I wanted him to continue at least one more year because I was worried about how it would look on his application. He wanted more time to focus on the areas that were important to him which is what he did.

 

He spent one day each week conducting research and ended up being published in some highly regarded journals. He had time in his schedule to continue with his volunteering another afternoon a week that he had been doing since elementary school. With the exception of his online AoPS classes, he had his evenings completely to himself, just like he had since we started homeschooling.

 

I dropped a lot of online classes at the beginning of his high school years because I felt that they were way too time consuming. Instead, he used MIT OCW and home brewed classes where he was able to set his own schedule.

 

Thanks for sharing - this path seems better for us for 9th grade, too.

 

He also didn't have a slew of APs. He only had 6 APs under his belt at the time of application, and all but one of them was in an area of interest. (I did insist that he take AP Language, a class he wouldn't have taken otherwise.)

 

I have friends who have kids in traditional school who have upwards at 13 or more APs and are functioning on 4 hours of sleep during their high school years. There are many who seem to think that sleep deprivation and lack of down-time is the trade-off for a rigorous education. I don't think that is healthy and I didn't want my kids' high school years to look like that.

 

 

 

Hear, hear!  I don't think that's healthy either, and neither I or Shannon want high school to look like that.

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Take a step back and look at the 9th grader you are going to have. Does she NEED a separate writing course? Is she interested in studying rhetoric? Is it something that must be covered fully in 9th grade or is it a topic that can be explored throughout her 4 years of high school? Might she get more out a formal rhetoric course as she matures?  

 

It does seem like overkill to try to make rhetoric a separate course. 9th grade does NOT need to be instantly harder and deeper and More Important.  It is instead a natural progression from 8th, and no matter what is outlined in the WTM, no matter your ambitious plans, you simply will not - can not - cover everything that seems so vitally important to you this week.

 

I combined literature and history and writing. It's been a while since I did so, longer still since I so lovingly crafted those courses, but here is a general outline of how I planned.  I chose an historical period, made a long list of literature to cover, from great works to pretty darn good works to popular current works, and a list of resources to have on hand. I then pared down that literature list to about 10 major works including novels, plays and poems.  I chose specific lectures to use from TC courses (some were every lecture in a course, others were individual lectures to go with specific authors or works.) I bookmarked dozens of resources and worksheets and activities which I could draw upon if needed. I also assigned popular works of non-fiction that fit our historical timeframe or science subject.  I also assigned some critical reviews of books partly to discuss the POV of the reviewer and partly to subtly introduce that kind of literary analysis.

 

The course was organized around each major literary work. The history coursework was inspired by, though it didn't often resemble, the historical context paper described in the WTM. Lectures were watched. Reading of the work and of other material happened and we discussed stuff. Somehow a couple of essays per month would also get written, the best of which arose from our discussions. There were also smaller research topics -- a single page on historical figures, for instance. My kids also wrote papers on science, by the way. I'd say overall they averaged 3-4 essays per month.  

 

Woven around all this was grammar review and vocabulary study, and some reading about rhetoric. I mostly used one of SWB's recommended writing resources as a reference book, but I'd assign some reading from it, as I recall.

 

I didn't schedule the work time other than to give a list of what was to be done each week.  Mornings were always devoted to formal schoolwork -- math, logic, grammar/vocabulary review, lecture watching.  I'd try to carve out discussion time throughout the week, usually early afternoons.  Reading and writing time was up to the student. 

 

We never covered everything I had planned. But we had some great discussions and have fond memories of many things we read and studied.  Other works items of study they've long since forgotten. There is only so much you can do, and I figure my success is measured no by their high school transcript but by the interesting and capable young adults they are now.  

 

I also suggest taking a break from planning, though as a fellow obsessive/compulsive homeschool mom, I know how impossible that can be!  (I'm retired and am still here!!) Take some time this holiday season to just be mom -- it will help give you some perspective!!

 

Thank you so much for the detailed explanation of how your lit & history course worked.  That is very helpful.  I had my ideas of what I thought should be included, but then feedback from this board were that it was too much, so I checked the descriptions in TWTM and got a little panicky that it was too little.   I love SWB, but hearing her voice in my head saying "3 or more hours of rhetoric self-study and write two compositions a week" on top of what all they are supposed to do for Great books study makes me want to stick a fork in my eye.  All of that definitely won't be happening in 9th grade.  Maybe we'll work up to it.  But remember, self, 9th grade is not 12th grade, a 13 year old is not a 17 year old . . . .  :tongue_smilie:

 

Maybe I need an audio snippet of Jenn and Nan to play in my headphones to counteract the angst?  :)

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If CC here is community college, then you have some time to decide if that will work.  You will have a good part of the fall before you have to register, even if you do need to go through the placement process earlier in the fall semester.  Adding in a CC class in 9th grade might be a bit too much to bit off.  Our experience with 9th grade was that it was unexpectedly bumpy, with my increased expectations and sense of frustration that it had to be "done right" because it was being recorded.  On the other hands, my kids were 13 and were going through a lot of early teen development that included less than ideal responsiveness to a strong school schedule.

 

We found that outside classes always got the most attention, simply because of the outside deadline effect.  So pick your outside entanglements carefully, whether that is a CC class or a coop or anything else.

 

DS1 was a heavy swimmer in high school.  That meant that he had practices either really early in the morning or in the afternoon.  He wasn't usually fit for anything after a hard swim practice, other than maybe reading.  We did work through a lot of Great Courses lectures during the drive to practice.  In the car was also when we had many of our discussions about history or literature, especially when stuck in traffic or driving longer distances to a meet.

 

It sounds like theater may have a similar time commitment.  There is a tremendous benefit to extracurriculars like sports and theater, but they can also be time sumps. There were times when I had to tell my kid that something else was not an option, because he'd already pre-committed his free time to swimming.  There were also weekend meets when he was huddled in the corner between heats, reading an assigned book or going through Latin flashcards.  

 

I would also say that we were not able to achieve the academic goals I had without spending some time on weekends and evenings.  Often this was just reading, or it was a movie or outing related to what we were learning.  At other times it was hours spent on Latin translations or math or science.  There also had to be work on weekends and evenings as a natural consequence of not working during the week.  I think that they learned some great skills from this.  My kids have at times worked ahead a week in outside subjects, to accommodate family trips or conferences they wanted to participate in.

 

You might also consider when during the day your kid is reading and writing.  As my teens got older, they seemed to be more productive in the evenings than early in the day (with the exception of right after sports).  You may need to adjust where the center of gravity of your day is as they get older.  I also tried to assign some summer reading that would give them a head start on history or literature.  We tend to start school in late August and go into June.  We used to do school all year long, but I found that we had to pause, because there were so many inflexible activities during the summer.

 

ETA:  Two last thoughts.  Even with teens, starting at 9 didn't work well for us.  It just didn't give enough time for school before lunch, and I started to feel that we didn't have time for any pauses in the morning if we were going to get everything done.  I asked for an 8am start at the latest, but was happier with 7:30.  If they got behind, then the mornings had to start earlier.

 

Lunch making and eating often consumed a lot of time.  My kids are very self sufficient in the kitchen, but I found that if I made lunch and presented it to them with a specific lunch time, it kept the lunch time from stretching out too much.

 

Everything in this post was extremely helpful, thank you Sebastian.

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You may need to think in terms of "terms" or "classes." 

 

A student may or may not be able to squeeze in everything that SWB suggests, or may not be able to do it all in one year or one semester. Remember how many times SWB herself has said that the publisher had her put in more than she did? 

 

Yes! Trying to remind myself that.

 

I think you may need to break things down more. It might mean you do fewer Great Books each year, or it may mean that you move "lit" reading to evening, so that you aren't trying to get it done before the scheduled electives each day. Maybe you do great books and writing in the fall, and history/writing in the spring. I think you need to decide what's non-negotiable, and then work out a workable routine from there.

 

We used Sonlight lists for our lit. choices, so we focused more on "classics" than on "Great Books." While I think students can read and get something out of Great Books in high school, I wasn't sure the trade-off in time was worth it--and I think a lot of students are more ready for them in college. I actually really agree with this.  It's just that for Ancients, it seems that Great Books=Classics for the most part. We're definitely not trying to do it all, just picking a few interesting and representative works from the very meaty list in WTM. That doesn't mean that's what you should do--but I say that to make more sense of the idea that we did a 1 hour class for lit and composition, that was typically made up of 30 minutes reading, 30 minutes writing. Occasionally some additional reading or writing time was needed, and I also continued to read aloud throughout high school, to squeeze in some more books. I do think it's hard to squeeze Great Books AND composition into one, 1-hour per day time frame. I think you would have to focus on a book, read and discuss, and maybe do some writing in between that and the next book, in order to make it work for that one English credit.   

 

So...I don't think you're crazy when you ask how to get all of that done in a one-hour time frame, but that you may need to adjust something somewhere if your dd is also going to do horseback riding twice a week and be involved in plays (huge time commitment) etc... It might mean doing fewer books if you only want one English credit. Probably in our case it means cutting from history - dd is more of a lit lover (and a writer) and would rather weight the class toward lit.  Most of her writing will probably be about books, plays and movies rather than history, if the past is an indicator. I'm fine with that.

 

When I say think in terms of classes, I thought of that when you mentioned creative writing--you may need to let that be a class for a semester if you want her to have time for that. Maybe you don't delve into Great Books that semester. Or maybe something else gives.  Yes!  We find that if we don't schedule some time for creative writing, it can get lost.  Maybe now that we are down to 6 credits, with one being spread out over the summer before and after (IHF), and one being on the light side in terms of time (Spanish), I can offer dd the option of a half-credit Creative Writing, spread out over the year. That is one of the things I was trying to accomplish, to formalize some time for that out of respect for the fact that it is one of The Three Passions.

 

I just don't think it's going to work to do EVERYTHING on your list every semester or every year. Likely you'll need to pick and choose based on how many hours of school you want her to have on top of all the extra curriculars and time to just "be." Those are not easy choices! But you can have a wonderful, rich, fulfilling high school, even with picking and choosing.

 

Thanks, Merry!

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Step away from those threads.  Find a high school path that makes sense to you and your students. We used many of the programs that are called "light" on these boards for DD in high school.  No single course took 10+ hours per week on a regular basis.

 

DD now has 42 college credit hours under her belt (including dual enrollment as a high school student and her first full-time semester as a college student).  She has a 4.0 grade point average, including courses like calculus I, engineering science (i.e., physics for engineering majors), computer science I, and English composition.

 

High school does not have to be intense and time consuming to set a student up for success.

 

 

I'm a little confused. Did earning 30ish hours of college credit in high school not involve intensity and consumption of time? Have college courses really changed that much? I remember college being very intense and time consuming... Maybe that's changed...

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I'm a little confused. Did earning 30ish hours of college credit in high school not involve intensity and consumption of time? Have college courses really changed that much? I remember college being very intense and time consuming... Maybe that's changed...

 

If you spread those 30 hours across 4-6 semesters, its just a couple classes at a time. Dd took 2 classes per semester including summer school, and will take 3 her final semester. Both of my kids have found most college classes taken at CC, local state U, and ds's LAC have been less work than APs and many of the classes we did at home. They have found a few classes that are higher intensity, but not the majority. Ds was very pleasantly surprised at how much lighter his workload was taking his first semester of full time college classes than it had been at home doing AP and classes created by me.

 

I don't know if this has changed. There weren't that many classes that I took in college that I spent 10+ hours/week on. I always tried to make sure I didn't have more than one of those per semester.

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Interesting. I guess that might be part of the draw of DE...less work than some high schools...

 

Some of my dd's high school classes require 10+ hours a week of non busywork. Obviously 7 classes at 10 hours a week would be too much. That's when knowing the student is especially important. Which classes need to be intense and which ones can be much less so. I do see the value in the intense classes she has and am grateful for them.

 

I may be coming from a very different perspective, though. When I arrived at university we were told to block off 40 hours a week ASAP for studies. Maybe that's why some of the reports of how little time people are spending on DE classes is rather surprising to me.

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I have come to this conclusion.

 

I have one rather academic, pretty industrious but somewhat clueless boy.  I was so stressed about trying to meet CA UC requirements (don't even get me started, it is literally the WORST state school admission policy for homeschoolers in the entire country.  very very very frustrating and difficult.)....

 

And then I realized...that doesn't have to be our goal.  We have always taken things, one year at a time, and done what was heallthy and reasonable for our kids.  Each year we desire to stretch each of them in independence, challenge them a little but not too much and make sure they are well rounded people.  

 

My son actually loves learning for the sake of learning. I do not want to kill that at age 14 ....

 

So, we will take the path to the private colleges, and trust God to help us pay for it.  And, in the process, it's likely he will be admitted to the CalState or UC schools anyway because many many less academic kids from our PSP were, even though they did not fulfill all the "guaranteed admission" requirements.  We will aim to do what is right by our kids, and not bow down to the (Godless), state institutions, sucking the life out of them by age 13. 

 

I will follow the Lord, take the road less traveled and keep doing what is best (which of course does include challenging him, taking AP classes, having a tutor and working hard)  BUT I WILL NOT bow down to the world's ways of doing things . not now. not ever.  

 

My son wants a challenge, and we will give that to him, in a way that is healthy and right.  One year at a time.  

 

Same for my dd.  I will push her just enough so she is independent, well rounded, and well educated.  I will make sure I fill out the PSP paperwork and drive her around.  I will disciple her, and talk with her and make sure she has all her credits that high schoolers usually need.  But I will NOT sacrifice her mental health or mine in chasing down something in a big hurry.

 

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Interesting. I guess that might be part of the draw of DE...less work than some high schools...

 

Some of my dd's high school classes require 10+ hours a week of non busywork. Obviously 7 classes at 10 hours a week would be too much. That's when knowing the student is especially important. Which classes need to be intense and which ones can be much less so. I do see the value in the intense classes she has and am grateful for them.

 

I may be coming from a very different perspective, though. When I arrived at university we were told to block off 40 hours a week ASAP for studies. Maybe that's why some of the reports of how little time people are spending on DE classes is rather surprising to me.

 

I mentioned kiddo working for about 45hr/week. He takes 4 courses a semester and most of the 4 would be approx. 10 hours each, sometimes more, sometimes less. His physics lab course easily required 20 hours the first few weeks for him to get used to the reading, problem solving and lab report writing requirements. A literature course this semester looked light to me at first but he was actually spending a lot of time reading and re-reading, annotating and researching biographies and supplementary work by the same author and I think it took him about 10 hours a week too (it was a writing-light course though).

 

Four courses at 45hrs/week is a good load for him. Any more and the stress level starts to show very quickly.

 

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I mentioned kiddo working for about 45hr/week. He takes 4 courses a semester and most of the 4 would be approx. 10 hours each, sometimes more, sometimes less. His physics lab course easily required 20 hours the first few weeks for him to get used to the reading, problem solving and lab report writing requirements. A literature course this semester looked light to me at first but he was actually spending a lot of time reading and re-reading, annotating and researching biographies and supplementary work by the same author and I think it took him about 10 hours a week too (it was a writing-light course though).

 

Four courses at 45hrs/week is a good load for him. Any more and the stress level starts to show very quickly.

 

Thanks! These times are closer to what I would expect.

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Thanks! These times are closer to what I would expect.

 

Sometimes, it's so lopsided...a 1 credit hour course can be as heavy as a 5 credit hour course! Once, a 4 credit course was the lightest course at just 5 hours of work a week (could be because it was online and very intro/ basic). I wish the courses could be more predictable. :laugh:

 

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For those of us in California, besides the A-G requirements route, there is the also the exam route

 

"If you don't meet UC's minimum requirements, you may be considered for admission to UC if you earn high scores on the ACT with Writing or SAT Reasoning Test and two SAT Subject Tests."

 

http://admission.universityofcalifornia.edu/freshman/requirements/examination/index.html

 

Also on their homeschool applicants page

"Specifically, we’d like to know about your home-school environment and experience:

 

Why did your family choose home schooling?

How is your day structured?

What extracurricular activities are you passionate about?

We’re interested not only in your strengths as a scholar, but also your leadership qualities, passions and contributions to your family and community."

http://admission.universityofcalifornia.edu/freshman/homeschool/index.html

 

We intend to go the exam route since we aren't going to satisfy the geometry requirement and our kids are too asynchronous to stress over ticking the checkboxes for a-g.

 

ETA:

Also if you don't think stanford ohs is too expensive, you might want to consider UConline.

They accept 8th grade and up.

http://www.uconline.edu/audiences/high-school-students/

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:001_wub:  This sounds like how I plan too - partly because I, too, need to limit what I pile on - I am definitely guilty of the "just one more" syndrome! In fact, it was adding just one more Great Course to history that pushed me over the edge initially.  But, Shannon really wanted to add that course, so I just had to realize that it means we won't get as far chronologically.  What I can't do is keep adding things in and expect to cover the same amount of ground.

 

It's also the case that Shannon wants a checklist/schedule.  Whenever I've tried to be more loosey-goosey with scheduling, she gets stressed out.  She trusts me to make sure that her lists reflect what she needs to cover to stay on track. Having a weekly list is reassuring for her, although she enjoys the freedom to set her own schedule within the week.  So I'm happy to provide that support. At some point she might need less, but I keep reminding myself that 9th grade is not 12th grade, 13 is not 17.  I have Nan's oft-repeated words of wisdom to thank for that pearl!

The only way I knew when I had crossed over into ridiculous amounts of work in history/extra lit/geography/extra lectures was by sitting down and attempting to schedule it out for the year.  It did not take long to realize that it was unworkable, not just for the kids I have but for just about any person ever. :lol:

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Thanks for the thread, Rose. I have the angst issues, as well. All the responses were very helpful. Here's our schedule for 9th next year:

 

Eng 1- Lit and Comp

Algebra 1

Biology w/lab

Modern History

German 2

Band

 

That's 6 credits. I have toyed with the idea of a 7th credit, but I just don't know that we could do it, right. She participates in cross-country and archery, and she plans to volunteer at the animal shelter. With these extra-curriculars, I think we'll stick with the basics.

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That's 6 credits. I have toyed with the idea of a 7th credit, but I just don't know that we could do it, right. She participates in cross-country and archery, and she plans to volunteer at the animal shelter.

PE credits or count as extra curriculars (California ask for 2 years of PE credit for public school)

Also log the community service hours (I know public school kids at nearby districts need to log 30~40hrs in 4 years)

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Yes, I am planning to include the community service and sports in her portfolio but not on her transcript. PE is only a .5 credit in GA and is paired with health. Sports do not satisfy it. I'm pretty sure there is a team sport credit, but I'm not sure I want to do that. It seems like a filler, kwim?

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I may be coming from a very different perspective, though. When I arrived at university we were told to block off 40 hours a week ASAP for studies. Maybe that's why some of the reports of how little time people are spending on DE classes is rather surprising to me.

 

At my son's CC, they recommend spending 2-3 hours per week per credit--so 12 credits would be 24-36 hours. I'd say on weeks where he was just reading the material, it was sometimes less than that, but on weeks he was researching, working on a paper or studying for a test, it was more than that, so I think it pretty much evened out.

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I'm a little confused. Did earning 30ish hours of college credit in high school not involve intensity and consumption of time? Have college courses really changed that much? I remember college being very intense and time consuming... Maybe that's changed...

 

As mentioned by a PP, the 30 college credit hours earned in high school was spread out over 5 semesters.  Some of the classes were more time consuming than others but none were what I classify as "very intense" and when she was taking 9 credit hours, we didn't add on any other coursework at home, so it was not too time consuming.

 

When I went to university, I remember hearing the guideline to plan for 2 hours of studying for every hour of class. This never proved true for me. I did know a few students, especially in graduate school, who seemed to spend several hours on a single set of assigned problems but it seemed to me that they would hit a wall and then just continue to beat their head against it.  Not productive.

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When I went to university, I remember hearing the guideline to plan for 2 hours of studying for every hour of class. This never proved true for me. I did know a few students, especially in graduate school, who seemed to spend several hours on a single set of assigned problems but it seemed to me that they would hit a wall and then just continue to beat their head against it.  Not productive.

 

In engineering, we would certainly spend hours prepping for many classes - reading/studying the text, doing problem sets, extra reading or group discussions when we didn't get the concept, projects, etc. My roommate (Comp Sci major) would take English courses to lighten her load. If she wanted a break from de-bugging, she'd read the currently assigned book or write a 5-8 page paper. That was her relaxation.  :lol:  The only classes I didn't spend a boatload of time on were my art history, drama, or other electives. They only required sporadic bursts of time when things were due or we had to write a paper on something. Otherwise, it was just keeping up with the reading - which didn't take long. So, I think it depends on the specific class, what your skills are (reading-quickly-with-understanding-and-retention, writing good papers quickly, math), and your ease with the subject.

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Ok, I'm in the middle of planning for 9th grade next year, and I have to say that I feel like wailing in dismay.  I was reading the thread on the WTM BIology class, that students are spending 15-20 (at least 10+) hours a week on this one class.  This is after a thread where I was informed it was perfectly normal for a student to carry 7 credits.

 

This just does not compute for me, or for the kind of life experience my dd is hoping to have for the next 4 years.

 

What gives?  If a student does 6 or 7 credits, and spends 10+ hours a week on each, then they are spending 60-70 hours per week on schoolwork.  Really???

 

I'm thinking that 5-6 hours on 6-7 credits - so a range of 30-42 hours - sounds much more reasonable. Clearly, you can cover much less material this way, particularly if you want to go into reasonable depth.  

 

My dd also has significant extracurricular activities that she really enjoys, and she spends many hours per week on each. Giving those up so she can spend 15 hours a week on biology is just not even on the table.  Nor should it be, for her, IMO.  

 

OK: slightly frantic philosophical rant coming up, you been warned:  This isn't directed at anybody in particular, but is more of an existential wail.  What is the deal with high school?? Are we thinking that this is the last time in their lives kids will learn anything? Do we really expect children between the ages of 14-18 to master multiple fields of knowledge?  Most college classes begin at an Introductory level. Not everybody is interested in every topic to the same degree. Isn't it more reasonable to spend high school gaining exposure to a broad array of subjects - exposure, introduction to the main issues and topics of interest and an understanding of how practitioners in that field do their work - rather than expecting them to master the intricate details and esoteric facts of each field?  And focus on giving them the tools to learn - how to read deeply and for understanding, how to express themselves clearly in writing and be able to write in different forms and formats for different purposes, how to organize their thoughts and articulate them clearly, how to form an argument that is valid and recognize an argument that is bogus?  And, equally importantly, to figure out who they are, how they tick, what their place in the world is, and what lights their fire and makes them *want* to digger deeper and learn more? :rant:

 

If you've made it this far, thanks for listening. I'm just feeling so frustrated and discouraged by this whole process.  I want to make sure my dd has a good education and is prepared for college. But I also want her to enjoy her life, and have time to pursue the things that matter to her. I don't want to put her on a treadmill. I'm not sure where the middle ground lies.

 

I don't have advice, as I'm planning 8th grade for next year, but with high school approaching and always in the back of my mind these days, I will say that you are not alone in these concerns!!  I could have written it myself. I am struggling with my philosophy of education, as it seems you are, and I hope I have a better handle on it before I start homeschooling high school in a couple years!

 

I have thought to myself that one of the things that characterizes America and maybe even western culture (?) in the history of the entire world is our absolute OBSESSION with education. And this is a pretty new thing for America. Not terribly long ago most people were illiterate and the goal was just to feed your family and live your life. Then even only a couple generations ago it was normal for kids to drop out of school (without shame, am I correct?) after they had learned all the basics, maybe around 8th grade, to help on the farm or get a job to help the family out, then get married at 18 or 19 and raise your kids. That was OK. Only one generation ago, most of our parents graduated high school and then only a minority went on to college. Usually these were the kids who were more academically bent and had a fairly specific career in mind. The rest got married, got jobs, and raised their kids, and that was OK. Now our generation almost every kid went to college (even if they had no idea why), and half of them got out not having any idea how to get a job, but eventually would get married, get a job (possibly having nothing to do with their college education), and raise their kids... while paying college loans for decades, of course. Even moreso OUR children are pressed to go to college. Most of the time it's not asked "whether" they are going to college, but "where" and for what! And high school is not so much preparing them for life (forget home ec, shop, and whatever that course was that used to teach farming. I can't remember the name of it, lol), but preparing them for college.

 

We need high school to prepare for college, middle school to prepare for high school, grade school to prepare for middle school, kindergarten to prepare for grade school, pre-K to prepare for K, and preschool to prepare for pre-K! And if you're lucky, you can use a daycare to prepare for preschool! Why? And then we need baby einstein videos to teach the babies, and the toys that teach the alphabet, and nursing bras with patterns on them to stimulate nursing baby's brains! LOL 

 

It's as if we LIVE to be educated instead of getting an education to live. I think an education is very important, and more kids would benefit from college now than ever, but not EVERYONE needs to go to college. It's not right for every kid. I would go so far as to say that rigorous high school education is probably not what is best for *most* kids. I actually almost put my kids in the local Catholic elementary-middle school for next year (met with the principal and admissions lady and everything) and I started realizing how little time I would be able to spend with my kids NOT doing school work. They would get home from school around 3pm and then I was told they would have 2-3 hours of homework every night. Every night!  Potentially 9 hours of school work (or more for a kid who works slowly, I presume) daily? Who would have the time or energy to, ya know... LIVE at that point? To go outside and play? To play basketball? And if they DO participate in clubs or sports, they can easily end up having no free time ALL day! No time for quiet... for reflection... for talking to parents! Geez, and we wonder why kids develop bad or nonexistent relationships with their parents in adolescence. Where is the time? How can you have quality time if there IS no time? This is not healthy for kids, nor healthy for families. And that is why I'm going to continue with homeschooling and try to give my kids a reasonable education, but also let them live their lives and find out who they are, and what things they love, and give them time to think, to play, to be together with their family and friends. That is LIFE. I start getting sucked into the education obsession sometimes but then I think... how much more important is it for my kids to be good people than it is for them to worry about impressing colleges or friends with their high school "resume"? How much more important is it for my kids to learn to be a loving spouse and parent (if that is an aspiration) than it is for them to master calculus? How much more important to learn how to cook and manage finances than it is to master Chemistry? Seriously. This day and age you sound like a back-woods nut to say these things, but seriously. *Not* that these things are always mutually exclusive. - You can be a great doctor and a great husband and father, but I feel that there is so much more *emphasis* on and pressure to prepare our children academically than there is to prepare our children for life, or letting your teenagers enjoy their last years at home with their parents and siblings without the pressure of resumes, and squeezing in extracurriculars to impress admissions, etc. That said, if you can see that your children gravitate toward a certain field, say the medical field, then by all  means equip them with biology and the like so they are prepared. 

 

So I say follow your heart and try to step back and look at what is important to your family. Give your children an education that makes sense for what their aspirations are and for your goals for the kind of people you want them to become, and reject the pressure to do anything different!

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I think it is more an obsession with the illusion of an education.  Do we really have the results to show for all this insanity? 

 

Sometimes I think less is more. 

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