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Help me brainstorm high school language arts

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I have the least amount of ideas for this subject area so am looking for ideas.

 

What are your 4-year plans and what led you to choose the subjects and timing?  Are there any resources you would especially recommend? 

 

Some background:  Dd will be entering 9th grade having completed WWE during grammar stage and WWS and Analytical Grammar during logic stage.  She is a strong writer and she loves to read.  She has specifically mentioned an interest in American Literature and I think an advanced writing class in later high school will be necessary.  Other than that, we are pretty open to anything.

 

In addition to traditional paths, I would also be interested in hearing from anyone that somehow combined history and LA in two-credit units in one or more years of high school.  We are not planning to outsource either of those subjects so have a bit more leeway in how we could handle them.

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I haven't used it yet, but Pandia Press has a new American History course which counts as one credit of American History and one-half American Literature.  I am considering it for next year.

 

 

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I have the least amount of ideas for this subject area so am looking for ideas.

 

What are your 4-year plans and what led you to choose the subjects and timing?  Are there any resources you would especially recommend? 

 

Some background:  Dd will be entering 9th grade having completed WWE during grammar stage and WWS and Analytical Grammar during logic stage.  She is a strong writer and she loves to read.  She has specifically mentioned an interest in American Literature and I think an advanced writing class in later high school will be necessary.  Other than that, we are pretty open to anything.

 

In addition to traditional paths, I would also be interested in hearing from anyone that somehow combined history and LA in two-credit units in one or more years of high school.  We are not planning to outsource either of those subjects so have a bit more leeway in how we could handle them.

 

At the high school level, it is usually referred to as "English," not "language arts." It is assumed that each year of high school English will include equal parts literature and composition, for one credit (or 10, if you're in California, or two if you're in Indiana, lol).

 

Some people plan their literature to coincide with their history, in which it would be one credit for history and one for English. If your daughter plans to go to college, it might be easier to keep things simple on the transcript, rather than having a combined history/English credit for the same number of credits that would be awarded for one history and one English course. IOW, you could do your combined course but list them separately on the transcript.

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High school literature courses are some of my favorite homeschooling memories. We develop courses that are definitely built around interests. I have had my kids take a lit course built around the idea of illusion/perspective and the movie Inception. They read The Allegory of the Cave, Flatland, Through the Looking Glass, Fahrenheit 451, etc. Last yr my dd's literature course was focused on fairy tales. We combined that with her French and Russian language studies. (She even completed a Russian fairytale translation project.). She also had a lit course focused on CS Lewis's works.

 

For history, she has completed a Russian history course, a course on communism in the 20th century, and this yr she is studying French history in French.

 

Your courses are wide open to whatever you want to make them.

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Your courses are wide open to whatever you want to make them.

 

That is our problem!  Too many options.  I oscillate between trying to be sure we are covering all of the "basics" that colleges will be looking for or following the long list of rabbit trails we would both love to explore.

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At the high school level, it is usually referred to as "English," not "language arts." It is assumed that each year of high school English will include equal parts literature and composition, for one credit (or 10, if you're in California, or two if you're in Indiana, lol).

 

 

 

This is where I was hoping to gain some insight by seeing what others do or have done.  

 

Is it really assumed that each year (or credit) would be equal parts literature and composition?  I took a year of advanced comp in high school which was very skewed to the writing side.  And I also took a year of two literature courses which skewed the other way.  Do you mean over the course of the entire four years or each individual course?

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This is where I was hoping to gain some insight by seeing what others do or have done.  

 

Is it really assumed that each year (or credit) would be equal parts literature and composition?  I took a year of advanced comp in high school which was very skewed to the writing side.  And I also took a year of two literature courses which skewed the other way.  Do you mean over the course of the entire four years or each individual course?

 

Generally, yes. Perhaps not exactly equal :-) but both literature and composition, grammar thrown in for good measure, each year. There are always exceptions, of course, but generally, yes.

 

I would expect an "advanced comp course" would be skewed to the writing side, because that's what the title of the course is. Ditto with "literature courses."

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That is our problem! Too many options. I oscillate between trying to be sure we are covering all of the "basics" that colleges will be looking for or following the long list of rabbit trails we would both love to explore.

I doubt you will find most colleges listing specific literature course requirements. For history, American history, world history, and govt are usually the only required courses listed if any are specified at all.

 

Fwiw, my kids have had very untraditional lit and history courses (with the exception of those noted above) and it has never been an issue for admissions. The caveat is that I intertwine classics into our themes.

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DS/12th (enjoys writing but needs explicit instruction)

9th grade: ancient literature similar to outline in TWTM, used several Great Course lecture sets, homegrown composition on the side (mostly writing across the curriculum)

10th: medieval literature similar to outline in TWTM, used several Great Course lecture sets, practiced essays in various subjects and took a lower level fiction writing course

11th first semester: American literature using one main Great Course lecture set instead of several, Writing With a Thesis guiding our composition (OYAN as an elective writing credit)

11th second semester and 12th: charter school

 

We started with what looks like a typical history cycle, but were really just doing his favorite history/lit periods in order of preference. Most colleges want to see an American history credit but don't care about correlated English. We went that way because he thrived with it.

 

DD11th (natural writer that writes for fun all the time)

9th: American literature as above, lower level fiction writing course and some essays in other subjects

10th: British literature in an off the beaten path homegrown sort of way, Writing With a Thesis, bit of writing in this, bit of writing in that (OYAN as an elective writing credit)

11th: A Day's Read lecture course for literature, bits of this and that for writing, probably using Writing Creative Nonfiction next semester

12th: leaning toward How Great Science Fiction Works as the spine for both lit and comp, but we're very liable to change our minds before we actually get there

 

This one really couldn't stand the idea of doing a year of ancients at the high school level, so we went with American. She adored it. British lit was because she really enjoys it and it wasn't tied to history (she did geography that year). A Day's Read was a more sporadic decision, but she's really, really enjoying that course. It's based on short stories and novellas.

 

They were both "done" with grammar by this point and we only brought it up as needed in writing. We didn't do separate vocabulary work; literature and language provided more than enough fodder. Literature and composition were the primary focuses, and using great book based literature correlated to history double dipped in the English and history credits. What I mean is in practicality it looked like one full credit of literature, .5 of composition and .5 of history, but it went on the transcripts as 1 English and 1 history.

 

My 3rd DC starts high school next year. I don't have a four year projection for him beyond knowing he'll study literature and composition every year. He'll get a lot of input on the matter and help me make final decisions every year. Kids are still growing and changing so fast at this age that there's no way to know right where he'll be four years or even one year from now. We're leaning toward Literary Lessons from The Lord of the Rings for 9th at this point, again, subject to changing our minds.

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