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Hi, I've been a lurker here for a long time and thought I would ask for your advice. I am not sure what I should do for my soon to be 9th grader and am in a conundrum. I like too many things but know there is only so many hours a day one should do school as well not overspend on curriculum, lol.  I am thinking of a couple paths we could go but unsure. I would love to have your opinions. Thank you.

 

Option 1:

1. Use MFW AHL for History, literature, and Bible subbing Fagles Homer for the Memoria Press Illiad and Odyssey sets with Samuel Butler translation (I already own and want to use, lol). Also, adding Unveiling the Kings of Israel by David Down.

2. Memoria Press Classical Composition V (Common Topic)

3. Apologia Biology with MFW lesson guide

4. Traditional Logic I and II

5. 3rd Form Latin (Memoria Press)

6. Add in some extra literature, including 2 Shakespeare Plays

7. Continuing Analytical Grammar

8. Spanish

10. Videotext Algebra

11. Ambleside Online some suggestions for free reads, Citizenship, Government/Economics, Worldview, Artist study, Composer Study, and Biblical study,

12. Astronomy Study with the book Signs and Seasons

 

Option 2:

Not do MFW

1. Memoria press Ancient Greeks study 1 semester and Homer 2nd semester

2. Memoria Press Geography III with the extra suggestions to make a full year course

3. Master Books Biblical Archaeology curriculum pack

4. Memoria Press Classical Composition V (Common Topic)

5.Continuing Analytical Grammar

6. Memoria Press Third Form Latin

7. Memoria Press 9th Grade Literature set (Beowulf, Canterbury Tales, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Henry V, Poetry, Prose, and Drama book, and Mill's Middles Ages)

8. Memoria Press Story of Christianity or Acts and Josephus

9. Apologia Biology

10. Videotext Algebra

11. Ambleside Online some suggestions for free reads, Citizenship, Government/Economics, Worldview, Artist study, Composer Study, and Biblical study,

12. Astronomy Study with the book Signs and Seasons (Once a week as a Nature study)

13. Traditional Logic 1 and 2

14. Spanish

15. 1 research paper due at end of year.

 

Option 3

Same as option 2 with the following exceptions:

  1. Instead of doing the Biblical Archaeology finish American History by using SOTW 4 and James Stobaugh’s Studies in World History Vol. 3 with various literature to read.

  2. Instead of MP’s 9th grade literature set, use Stobaugh’s Literature Analysis.

 

Option 4

Same as option 2 with the following exceptions:

1. Add Diana Waring's History Revealed Ancient Civilizations and not do the MP literature.

 

Please let me know what you think, thanks so much.

 

Edited by Popehj
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Hi, I've been a lurker here for a long time and thought I would ask for your advice. I am not sure what I should do for my soon to be 9th grader and am in a conundrum. I like too many things but know there is only so many hours a day one should do school as well not overspend on curriculum, lol. I am thinking of a couple paths we could go but unsure. I would love to have your opinions. Thank you.

 

Option 1:

1. Use MFW AHL for History, literature, and Bible subbing Fagles Homer for the Memoria Press Illiad and Odyssey sets with Samuel Butler translation (I already own and want to use, lol). Also, adding Unveiling the Kings of Israel by David Down.

2. Memoria Press Classical Composition V (Common Topic)

3. Apologia Biology with MFW lesson guide

4. Traditional Logic I and II

5. 3rd Form Latin (Memoria Press)

6. Add in some extra literature, including 2 Shakespeare Plays

7. Continuing Analytical Grammar

8. Spanish

10. Videotext Algebra

11. Ambleside Online some suggestions for free reads, Citizenship, Government/Economics, Worldview, Artist study, Composer Study, and Biblical study,

12. Astronomy Study with the book Signs and Seasons

 

Option 2:

1. Memoria press Ancient Greeks study 1 semester and Homer 2nd semester

2. Memoria Press Geography III with the extra suggestions to make a full year course

3. Master Books Biblical Archaeology curriculum pack

4. Memoria Press Classical Composition V (Common Topic)

5.Continuing Analytical Grammar

6. Memoria Press Third Form Latin

7. Memoria Press 9th Grade Literature set (Beowulf, Canterbury Tales, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Henry V, Poetry, Prose, and Drama book, and Mill's Middles Ages)

8. Memoria Press Story of Christianity or Acts and Josephus

9. Apologia Biology

10. Videotext Algebra

11. Ambleside Online some suggestions for free reads, Citizenship, Government/Economics, Worldview, Artist study, Composer Study, and Biblical study,

12. Astronomy Study with the book Signs and Seasons

13. Traditional Logic 1 and 2

14. Spanish

15. 1 research paper due at end of year.

 

Option 3

Same as option 2 with the following exceptions:

  • Instead of doing the Biblical Archaeology finish American History by using SOTW 4 and James Stobaugh’s Studies in World History Vol. 3 with various literature to read.

  • Instead of MP’s 9th grade literature set, use Stobaugh’s Literature Analysis.

Option 4

Same as option 2 with the following exceptions:

1. Add Diana Waring's History Revealed Ancient Civilizations and not do the MP literature.

Please let me know what you think, thanks so much.

Welcome! I am not yet a high school parent so I am not going to offer much advice, but I wanted to list out everything you are doing by subject/credit, because it sounds like a lot!

 

Option 1:

 

1. World History - Ancients

 

2. Science - Biology

 

3. Science - Astronomy

 

4. English - Ancient Lit, Composition, Grammar, plus some Shakespeare

 

5. Theology

 

6. Logic

 

7. Latin

 

8. Spanish

 

9. Algebra

 

So, 9 subjects... and with option 2 you add in

 

10. Archaeology and

 

11. Geography

 

It sounds like a lot to me. Have you looked at expected hours per week for each of these choices to estimate what kind of workload this would be? I would start there, and then prioritize based on that estimate. :)

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I have a 9th grader this year, and this is what we do and it is MORE than enough. Sometimes too much.

 

English: Lightning Literature, Composition, Vocab

Math: Algebra II

Science: Biology

History: AP Human Geography

Foreign Language: Spanish 1

Elective: AP Computer Science

Elective: AP US Government (.5 credit)

 

So 6.5 credits total. People usually average between 6-7 credits per high school year - those that go up to 9 or 10 per year might add in lighter, less academic electives like PE, etc.

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Welcome! I am not yet a high school parent so I am not going to offer much advice, but I wanted to list out everything you are doing by subject/credit, because it sounds like a lot!

 

Yes, it does seem like a lot. I want to do too much I guess, lol.

 

 

It sounds like a lot to me. Have you looked at expected hours per week for each of these choices to estimate what kind of workload this would be? I would start there, and then prioritize based on that estimate. :).

 

That is a good idea, I will have to look into that.

 

Thank you for your advice. I appreciate your thoughts. :)

Edited by Popehj
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I have a 9th grader this year, and this is what we do and it is MORE than enough. Sometimes too much.

 

English: Lightning Literature, Composition, Vocab

Math: Algebra II

Science: Biology

History: AP Human Geography

Foreign Language: Spanish 1

Elective: AP Computer Science

Elective: AP US Government (.5 credit)

 

So 6.5 credits total. People usually average between 6-7 credits per high school year - those that go up to 9 or 10 per year might add in lighter, less academic electives like PE, etc.

 

Thank you for giving me a better idea of class load. I do seem to overkill at times, lol.

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Are you sure your dc likes that many Memoria Press Guides?

Or better formulated: does your child likes several subjects from one Publisher?

 

So far a lot of our grade 9 time is spend (again) on studyskills.

With a certain amount of required subjects where dd has no interest in, grade 9 can be tough ride, while still be done

 

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You know the emoticon where it show someone fainting. Insert that here.

 

My first question is what does your kid want to study?

 

Second is what are his/her goals (or your goals) for skills to learn in 9th? (This is not a race, so stretch it out.)

 

Third, how many hours a day are you shooting for and how many can your student reasonably do while still having time for free interests and life?

 

I am guilty of overscheduling, too. This seems insane (all options seem like too much, honestly). Start with question #1 and go from there. Listen to the previous posters. Six credits is a good start. The kid may end up doing stuff in free time that can count as another half or full credit. Give them a chance.

 

Watch that you don't overschedule English. It is always a big time suck - don't purposely schedule 5 moving parts to it. You have four years!!

Edited by RootAnn
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We used MFW AHL. We found it to be both time intensive, with some challenging reading selections, and light. I read and discussed most of the literature selections with DD, but I didn't feel that the questions the study guide provided really explored the texts in depth. There were five essays to write throughout the year, plus some short-answer questions in the study guides. The writing instructions in the guide helps students revise their compositions, but the writing instruction is only for those five essays, so the other weeks of the year, the writing is light, unless you add something in.

 

Much of the history and some of the literature is comprised of reading the Bible. I have no problem with reading the Bible for school and actually wanted that, but I didn't like that the program assigns a full history credit plus a full Bible credit but counts the Bible readings towards both credits. (Sometimes the Bible readings count as literature, too,such as when studying the Psalms.) You should also be aware that some of the history texts question established historical time lines and realign historical dates to correspond with a Young Earth time line. And one of the books read for the Bible credit is a lengthy set of articles defending the Young Earth philosophy. I'm not mentioning this to be critical -- these might be things that some people are looking for in a curriculum -- but just to make sure you are aware. We did not want to spend such a significant amount of time studying these ideas in my family, because I don't consider it the most pressing Biblical question to devote time to, but others might enjoy that aspect of the program. We also found the Notgrass history text to be light, because DD had studied ancient history several times in past years; Notgrass covered the same material but not with additional depth, and sometimes in a more cursory fashion than our previous studies (which were with Veritas Press and then Mystery of History).

 

I actually chose MFW, because I didn't think it would be overly rigorous, and I was using it with an average eighth grader. I wanted something that would be appropriate for her. Your list of items sounds like you are aiming for a rigorous and literature heavy high school. I don't think that MFW matches that, so I would not necessarily recommend it for you. I suspect you would find that it would take a lot of time but not have the focus you want.

 

I don't mean to pan the program. I think it could be a good choice for some.

 

ETA: AHL also asks the students to create a timeline book with timeline figures. DD14 did that back in elementary school and was not interested in doing it again. For her, it was busywork.

 

Edited by Storygirl
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I also agree that your list of things to study is too ambitious. If you want a literature rich high school, I still would make sure that you are expecting no more than an hour to an hour and a half of English each day. You'll need time for your other studies. A student who loves reading and writing and wants to focus on that during school may be able to handle two hours per day, but that would only be for a bookish student (as I was).

 

You have two foreign languages. For full credit, the student should spend 50 to 60 minutes per day on each language, which is another two hours.

 

Math and science will each take an hour or more. Plus all of the extras you want to add in.

 

I was the same way when I was homeschooling. I always wanted to do everything and add in extra. But when I tried to do that, we were never able to accomplish our plans, and we ended up frustrated. It's better to select a reasonable path, do it thoroughly, and then have some extra things you can add in if you find you have time.

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If my high schoolers do more than 6 or 7 hours a day, they get frazzled and grumpy and nothing is done well. My kids love to read, but if they had to do even half the reading your options included, there would be a revolution in our house.

 

Like RootAnn said, I would start with your child and look at the whole, big picture of 4 years of high school and what he/she wants that to look like combined with your nonnegotiable goals and shoot for 6 (maybe 7) credits each year.

 

Keep in mind that there are going to be some things they just won't learn in high school. There are simply too many things in this world to know, and they will continue to learn new things and get interested in new subjects in college (if that's where they are headed) and throughout their adult life. Unless that desire to learn gets squashed ...

 

I would rather them do 6 solid decent curricula that suit them and their interests and do them well than 12 awesome curricula that fulfilled my vision for a "perfect education" and have them done in a slapdash style, kwim?

 

I say all this gently, as someone who also has to curb her enthusiasm for smooshing in just 1 more supplement into every subject. 😉

 

Sent from my Z988 using Tapatalk

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What are your 9th graders end-goals? I'd look at the standard high school line-up, and see where things fall in.  We are planning for four english credits, 4 math credits (geometry, algebra II, etc.) , 4 science credits (bio, chem, physics, advanced bio or physics), 2-4 credits foreign language, etc.....  My current 9th grader is spending 8-10 hours on school a day, and he has 7 credit hours on his schedule.

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My oldest took Physical science, Geography, English/ literature, Health, and pre algebra for ninth grade. This year we are doing Algebra 1, World history, biology, and English/ literature. She is also in band, doing PE exercises and working on graphic design. She works from 8- about 2 ish on all that.

Every year is different :)

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I have a 9th grader this year, and this is what we do and it is MORE than enough. Sometimes too much.

 

English: Lightning Literature, Composition, Vocab

Math: Algebra II

Science: Biology

History: AP Human Geography

Foreign Language: Spanish 1

Elective: AP Computer Science

Elective: AP US Government (.5 credit)

 

So 6.5 credits total. People usually average between 6-7 credits per high school year - those that go up to 9 or 10 per year might add in lighter, less academic electives like PE, etc.

How is your child taking the AP classes? Is he going to a school?

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My dd would be crushed under a schedule like that.  We've already found that she's got too much on her plate and we're trying to figure out how to manage it all without dropping all the fun stuff.  She's doing a lot of catch-up while our co-op classes are on holiday break.  Then we have a day like today where she's volunteering 4 hours with her National Honor Society and a 3 hour Shakespearean Drama rehearsal.  It's a struggle! Here's her current schedule:

 

Algebra 2 at home

DIVE Biology online (lab at co-op)

English at home

History of the Ancient World at home

Shakespearean Drama (.5 fine arts credit at co-op, will finish in Jan.)

Spanish at co-op

World Geography at co-op

Clean Cooking at co-op(fall)

Health at co-op (spring)

Russian Imperialism at co-op (spring)

 

Weekly chorus and volunteering at a therapy horse barn.  Science Olympiad.

 

High school curriculum takes much longer that anything we used for middle.  There just aren't enough hours in the day!

 

 

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Welcome! You are excited and want to do it all -- yea!  :) However -- totally agreeing with previous posters.

I graduated 2 DSs from homeschool high school. Both were slightly above average, but only moderately interested in school work. (And when I say "moderately" I really mean what Garga describes below. :laugh: ) At best, we could manage about 6 credits a year, and about 6 hours of concentrated steady work a day. After that, they needed time to recover. Neither knew what they wanted to do career-wise, so we invested a lot of time in exploring a wide variety of extracurriculars. In retrospect, that was an excellent balance and fit for us. It just meant that every year I had to whittle my master list of 50 "must read" classic works/authors of Lit. down to about 8-12, and decide on just ONE program for History, not THREE, and limit our Electives to just 1-2 a year, not 4-5. ? And it was good to realize that DSs have the rest of their lives to read, and learn. Because NO WAY can anyone stuff all the knowledge and subjects into 4 years of high school. ?

The reality is that each 1 credit program = approx. 1 hour of work per day. If you have a typical student, 5.5 credits to 6.5 credits is a full plate for the student who is transitioning into 9th grade. That comes out to 5.5 to 6.5 hours of school work a day, AND that work is at a "step up" in rigor to high school level. Plus, you want to leave room for "down time/recovery", time to pursue hobbies or personal interests, and time to explore extracurriculars. 

How does your student fit into that?

How interested in school IS your student -- i.e., how many hours a day will the student WANT to do school, or be ABLE to concentrate/work? 

What subjects is the STUDENT interested in? 

What extracurriculars does your student want to explore?

Also, this is the STUDENT who is doing the learning and the work for the credits. Many of the things you list sound like things YOU are interested in. ? What about getting and enjoying some of these books and resources above for yourself and enjoy self-studying? For some of these classic books you're interested in, consider joining a book club or taking a Well-Trained Mind Academy course (designed for PARENTS!) ?
 

On 11/28/2016 at 5:40 PM, Popehj said:

Please let me know what you think, thanks so much.


Below is just what *I* think you can realistically do for 9th grade -- although I do encourage you to substitute something in there if possible to get an Elective that would be of high interest to your student to be something to look forward to while also stepping up to the higher workload of high school and having to do required credits that may not be of very high interest to the student.

OPTION 1
1.0 credit = English -- MFW (with Fagles substitutions)*
1.0 credit = Math: Algebra 1 -- Videotext
1.0 credit = Science: Biology -- Apologia
1.0 credit = Soc. Studies: History -- MFW
1.0 credit = For. Lang.: Latin 3 -- Memoria Press
1.0 credit = Elective: Bible -- MFW + Unveiling the Kings
6.0 credits = total
________

* = the English of MFW is designed as a stand-alone credit; a typical English credit should run NO more than about 75-90 min. a day, with up to an additional 2 hours per WEEK of reading the Lit. outside of school hours, as needed

If you want to include Analytical Grammar, plan on only using excerpts as it fits in to fill out a week where you don't have as much of the MFW English to accomplish. OR, cut 1 day a week of the English from MFW and do 1-3 pages from Classical Composition.

________

Other Option 1 credits/resources you are interested in for 9th grade:
1.0 credit = Elective: Logic -- Traditional Logic 1 & 2 **
1.0 credit = For. Lang.: Spanish ***
- additional Literature + Shakespeare + Ambleside free reads  ****
- Ambleside booklist, Citizenship, Gov't/Econ, Worldview  *****
- Astronomy -- Signs & Seasons ******

** Logic = decide which ONE Elective is most important this year: Bible, Logic, or something of interest to the student; if it is not Logic, then save this as an option for a future year 

*** Spanish = wait and see if student is still interested in a second language later on; if so, do Spanish 1 & 2 in 11th-12th grades after completing Latin 4 in 10th grade; could possible do Spanish 1, 2, 3, 4 as 4 semesters of dual enrollment in gr. 11-12, if the student has a high interest in Foreign Language or wants to knock out college degree gen. ed while still in high school

**** add'l Lit = save Shakespeare for later in high school (unless student has a high interest now); save some additional literature for later in high school for a do-it-yourself Lit. credit, and put the free reads in a book basket for free reading choice, where they will be read, OR NOT, as the student chooses since it is FREE reading, not additional required reading

***** Ambleside = wait and do the Citizenship/Gov't/Econ books with your future Gov't and Econ credits -- a lot of their books are listed in multiple grades so that you don't "miss out" OR have to jam an overload of books into 1 year

****** Astronomy = from reviews, it looks like this is light for high school AND hard to schedule/do as a high school credit; maybe just enjoy this summer as an interesting family read aloud

=====================

OPTION 2
1.0 credit = English -- choice:
     LIT part: Memoria Press Greeks/Homer / COMP part: Clasical Composition
     OR: LIT & COMP: Memoria Press 9th grade Medieval
1.0 credit = Math: Algebra 1 -- Videotext
1.0 credit = Science: Biology -- Apologia
1.0 credit = Soc. Studies: Geography -- Memoria Press|
1.0 credit = For. Lang.: Latin 3 -- Memoria Press
1.0 credit = Elective: Bible -- Memoria Press Story of Christianity
6.0 credits = total

same additional credits you are interested as above in option 1, plus:
0.5 credit = Social Studies: Archeology -- Master Books**

** Archeology = similar to the note above: decide which ONE Elective is most important this year; if it is not Archeology, then save this as an option for a future year -- OR -- use this in a LATER YEAR as a 0.5 credit of Social Studies, as it fits in a future schedule

=====================

OPTION 3
1.0 credit = English -- James Stobaugh's Literature Analysis 
1.0 credit = Math: Algebra 1 -- Videotext
1.0 credit = Science: Biology -- Apologia
1.0 credit = Soc. Studies: Geography -- Memoria Press
1.0 credit = For. Lang.: Latin 3 -- Memoria Press
1.0 credit = Elective: Bible -- Memoria Press Story of Christianity
6.0 credits = total

same additional credits you are interested as above in option 1, plus:
Social Studies: Amer. Hist.-- SOTW4 & James Stobaugh's Studies World History +

+ = NOT high school credit materials: SOTW4 = elementary/middle school "spine" text; James Stobaugh's Studies in World History = middle school program
 

=====================

OPTION 4
1.0 credit = English -- choice:
     Lit: Memoria Press Greeks/Homer / Comp: Clasical Composition
     OR: Memoria Press 9th grade Medieval
1.0 credit = Math: Algebra 1 -- Videotext
1.0 credit = Science: Biology -- Apologia
1.0 credit = Soc. Studies: Geography -- Memoria Press
1.0 credit = For. Lang.: Latin 3 -- Memoria Press
1.0 credit = Elective: Bible -- Memoria Press Story of Christianity
6.0 credits = total

and want to add/substitute:
"Diana Waring's History Revealed: Ancient Civilizations and not do the MP Literature" ++

++ = similar to above: Diana Waring's materials are middle school level; these could be added as a fun supplement to high school History

Edited by Lori D.
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I'd heard people say that 9th grade was just like 8th grade, only a little harder.

 

I have not found that to be the case At All. I had to drastically change how we do things in high school compared to 8th and below.

 

Because now, if I want my kids to have a shot at college, there are certain boxes that I must check, and they must be checked well. If I had a child who was curious and wanted to study a lot, or even if I had a child who devoured books, then maybe 9th would be like 8th.

 

But I have children who would rather sit around playing on computer games all day than do anything else. So...I have to make sure that they do the 6-7 required classes a year in order to have a transcript at the end of the 12th grade that gives them a shot at college.

 

What I did: I went onto various college websites and saw what the minimum requirements were for kids to enter their schools. I looked at places like Harvard all the way down to a local college up the road. I mapped out how I would fit those requirements into the 4 years of highschool.

 

I also noted that there are things called credit hours. A full credit is about 160 hours of schoolwork. That means I can't say we did English for 9th grade if we only worked on it every other day for an hour. Well...there are those who would disagree with me, but that's how I see it.

 

I can't fit more than 6 or 7 classes a year, if I need to spend about 1 hour a day per class. And we spend over 1 hour a day per class. My son works about an 8 or 9 hour school day. For many people, that's normal.

 

You probably should start at the end. What does your child need to get into college? Then work backwards and map out when those things could be taught. Basically there are 5 subjects each year that are required:

Some form of history,

some form of science,

math,

English (which includes literature and writing, but not so much grammar),

a foreign language (and Latin doesn't count I'm pretty sure...read up on that just to be sure, but I think it doesn't if you were going to do Latin).

 

That only leaves one subject left per year that you can play with. Oh, and somewhere in there you need a fine arts. And PE. So, some of your precious electives time is taken up with more requirements.

 

I was kinda disheartened to see how much these required subjects would dictate our day. Now, you can be creative in how you approach them, but my dreams of lots of logic studies and 3 different history classes was shattered when I took a good hard look at the requirements and took a good long look at my unmotivated student. (He's a great kid--but he's too young to care about education. Yet. There's always hope!). It takes everything out of him just to get the requirements done, without piling any other subjects on him.

 

In middle school, we easily had 11 subjects a day, but I didn't expect a lot of hours for those subjects. In high school, you have to account for hours.

 

I'm sure there are those who would disagree with me entirely, so take what I say with a grain of salt.

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How is your child taking the AP classes? Is he going to a school?

Homeschoolers have a couple of options for taking AP classes. You can use an outside provider, in person or online. You as the teacher could submit your syllabus to the College Board and have it approved. Our, you could forego the "AP" designation for the class on your child's transcript and they could self-study and just take the test.

 

Now, finding a test provider is a whole different challenge.

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On 11/30/2016 at 2:21 PM, Garga said:

...Because now, if I want my kids to have a shot at college, there are certain boxes that I must check, and they must be checked well...

But I have children who would rather sit around playing on computer games all day than do anything else. So...I have to make sure that they do the 6-7 required classes a year in order to have a transcript at the end of the 12th grade that gives them a shot at college...

...That only leaves one subject left per year that you can play with....

...I was kinda disheartened to see how much these required subjects would dictate our day. Now, you can be creative in how you approach them, but my dreams of lots of logic studies and 3 different history classes was shattered when I took a good hard look at the requirements and took a good long look at my unmotivated student. (He's a great kid--but he's too young to care about education. Yet. There's always hope!)...


Garga, not at all dismissing what you're saying here, but I do want to reassure you that I had the same type of students, and yes, we did do some box-checking, but unless you are shooting for a top tier school or a highly selective/competitive school, you do NOT have to chew through ALL your time/credits with just requirements, and you will do very well for college admissions.

A total of 22-24 credits (5.5 to 6 credits/year) will get you into the majority of universities (just not the selective, competitive, top tier schools) with no problems whatsoever.

A majority of colleges only require 2 Foreign Language credits, not 4. If you can do dual enrollment in 12th grade for 2 semesters, you knock that out in just 1 year. (Both DSs did just that, and DS#2 has some LDs with spelling and writing, and did surprising well going this route.)

A number of colleges only require 3 math credits (up through Algebra 2).
 

Unless your student is going into a STEM field, you will be FINE with 3 sciences -- many liberal arts colleges only require 2 lab sciences. And they do NOT have to be Biology, Chemistry, Physics -- if you have an interest in another area, do that instead! Yes, make it high school level, but do what you're interested in -- that gives the student a talking point for admission essays and makes them a more interesting stand-out-from-the-crowd student.

You're putting in very long days if you're doing 8 hours/day -- you can "double dip" some things with that kind of hour count: like, papers written for History -- you can count some of that time towards English credit. Use some extracurriculars to help towards credit hours; activities that have learning/class/instruction time and participation and practice time can double dip -- count the first part towards the credit, and the second part towards the extracurricular list. (For example, DSs did Youth & Gov't for 3 years; we counted some of the hours towards part of the Gov't credit (which cut down on the total hours that had to be spent on a textbook program since we'd covered some topics by "doing" with the extracurricular) -- and counted the rest towards an extracurricular.)

If money is the concern and you are thinking you need to have oodles of credits to get scholarships, that's NOT usually the case. Merit aid is VERY much awarded based on ACT/SAT scores. So spending time/money prepping for the ACT/SAT tests is where you need to focus time and energies, rather than racking up lots of credits. And on writing -- super scholarship application essays can be another big winner of $$.

But if top ACT/SAT scores is just not the reality at your house (it wasn't here), then check in to alternatives for funding college (see this thread to start with: "s/o Cautionary Tale: High Cost of College -- A Brainstorming $$ Idea Thread".

Even without exceptional ACT/SAT scores, DS earned some partial scholarships, and we still managed to keep college costs down through some alternatives.

I'm not trying to tell you it's okay to slack, or that you shouldn't push DSs off the gaming couch and into some serious school work, BUT... don't forget balance. Be careful not to burn out (you or your students) by pushing too hard and too long so that it becomes your "routine" to be stressed and exhausted and have no time for extracurriculars or to develop personal interests. Many students are so burned out by the end of high school, while they may easily get into college, they drop out after a semester or two or three due to burn out.

Remember, college is ONLY 4 years of a young adult's life -- you don't want to spend all of high school so focused on that one goal of college, that you aren't prepared for the decades of adult life that is the rest of your life.

Sorry -- not meaning this to be a lecture at *you* Garga. ? It's more me resurrecting the "rant" and struggle I had all through our high school years of fighting for that balance. Because it was SO easy to let my panic about credits and rigor consume our homeschooling and I would lose sight of what our real, overall goals were. 

Edited by Lori D.
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Garga, not at all dismissing what you're saying here, but I do want to reassure you that I had the same type of students, and yes, we did do some box-checking, but unless you are shooting for a top tier school or a highly selective/competitive school, you do NOT have to chew through ALL your time/credits with just requirements, and you will do very well for college admissions.

 

A total of 22-24 credits (5.5 to 6 credits/year) will get you into the majority of universities (just not the selective, competitive, top tier schools) with no problems whatsoever.

 

A majority of colleges only require 2 Foreign Language credits, not 4. If you can do dual enrollment in 12th grade for 2 semesters, you knock that out in just 1 year. (Both DSs did just that, and DS#2 has some LDs with spelling and writing, and did surprising well going this route.)

 

A number of colleges only require 3 math credits (up through Algebra 2).

 

Unless your student is going into a STEM field, you will be FINE with 3 sciences -- many liberal arts colleges only require 2 lab sciences. And they do NOT have to be Biology, Chemistry, Physics -- if you have an interest in another area, do that instead! Yes, make it high school level, but do what you're interested in -- that gives the student a talking point for admission essays and makes them a more interesting stand-out-from-the-crowd student.

 

You're putting in very long days if you're doing 8 hours/day -- you can "double dip" some things with that kind of hour count: like, papers written for History -- you can count some of that time towards English credit. Use some extracurriculars to help towards credit hours; activities that have learning/class/instruction time and participation and practice time can double dip -- count the first part towards the credit, and the second part towards the extracurricular list. (For example, DSs did Youth & Gov't for 3 years; we counted some of the hours towards part of the Gov't credit (which cut down on the total hours that had to be spent on a textbook program since we'd covered some topics by "doing" with the extracurricular) -- and counted the rest towards an extracurricular.)

 

If money is the concern and you are thinking you need to have oodles of credits to get scholarships, that's NOT usually the case. Merit aid is VERY much awarded based on ACT/SAT scores. So spending time/money prepping for the ACT/SAT tests is where you need to focus time and energies, rather than racking up lots of credits. And on writing -- super scholarship application essays can be another big winner of $$.

 

But if top ACT/SAT scores is just not the reality at your house (it wasn't here), then check in to alternatives for funding college (see this thread to start with: "s/o Cautionary Tale: High Cost of College -- A Brainstorming $$ Idea Thread".

 

Even without exceptional ACT/SAT scores, DS earned some partial scholarships, and we still managed to keep college costs down through some alternatives.

 

I'm not trying to tell you it's okay to slack, or that you shouldn't push DSs off the gaming couch and into some serious school work, BUT... don't forget balance. Be careful not to burn out (you or your students) by pushing too hard and too long so that it becomes your "routine" to be stressed and exhausted and have no time for extracurriculars or to develop personal interests. Many students are so burned out by the end of high school, while they may easily get into college, they drop out after a semester or two or three due to burn out.

 

Remember, college is ONLY 4 years of a young adult's life -- you don't want to spend all of high school so focused on that one goal of college, that you aren't prepared for the decades of adult life that is the rest of your life.

 

Sorry -- not meaning this to be a lecture at *you* Garga. ;) It's more me resurrecting the "rant" and struggle I had all through our high school years of fighting for that balance. Because it was SO easy to let my panic about credits and rigor consume our homeschooling and I would lose sight of what our real, overall goals were.

 

This is good stuff. Thanks for this perspective. I was totally thinking of sci/math for all 4 years, but why? I don't even know. Unless something changes, my kids aren't the kind that will want to go to elite STEM schools. They'd be miserable! They wouldn't thrive with that. When I sit back and think, we're going to do our best to get the requirements out of the way in these first couple of years, to have wiggle room for more interest led stuff in the later year. RIght now, my guy can't come up with anything he's interested in. I ask and he pleasantly says, "I don't know!" He did ask to study introductory Astronomy this year, so we are doing that. He seems to be happy with it.

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Ladies, 

 

Thank you so very much for your opinions and help. I realize now my folly in over planning and killing my son with reading. lol. It is a struggle now to get him to read so having a "literature rich" curriculum may be slightly overreaching my son's ability at this time. I guess I am just afraid he won't read after he "graduates" high school and trying to get as much in him as I can. Even after writing it all out, I feel that I have way more than necessary. It helped to see it written out and published, haha. I have taken all your advice and with his help, am narrowing down and refining my plans for next year. I want him to help decide what we choose so he will feel more involved and take ownership of his education. You have opened my eyes to my folly and have given me much to think about and change my plans. I have been struggling with trying to do too much and not getting enough done. I am thankful for you all taking your time to answer my questions and sharing your thoughts. Thank you again.

 

Heather P.

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On 12/3/2016 at 12:03 AM, Popehj said:

... Even after writing it all out, I feel that I have way more than necessary. It helped to see it written out and published, haha. I have taken all your advice and with his help, am narrowing down and refining my plans for next year. I want him to help decide what we choose so he will feel more involved and take ownership of his education... I have been struggling with trying to do too much and not getting enough done...


We all have been there. ? You'll do great! And that's a great idea to get DS's input. I will just add, that if he's anything like mine, you may get "I don't care" or "it doesn't matter" for an answer. ? At that point, I just tried to line up what I thought would be of highest interest to them, and what was most important to me that we cover before they finished high school. That's where making a high school plan and deciding on your top 3-5 goals to accomplish before graduation in advance of starting high school can really help. Check out this thread for a "quick start" on how to make a high school plan: "High School Curriculum: Where Do I Start?"

And some of those additional things you'd like to include, while they might not happen as formal credits, you might get them in as exposure:

- a co-op class, with the Logic, or the Signs & Seasons book
- an extracurricular of Worldview Academy summer leadership camp for worldview
- a scheduled weekly "tea (or cocoa) and cookies" and Ambleside artist/composer study
 

On 12/3/2016 at 12:03 AM, Popehj said:

...It is a struggle now to get him to read... I guess I am just afraid he won't read after he "graduates" high school...


Maybe not, but at least you can make a list of the 25 works you think are vital to exposing him to over the course of 4 years of high school, and you can certainly cover those together! (That's just 6 per year, with a bonus book in there at some point.) And on top of those 25 works, you can go to a Shakespeare play once a year for an extra 4 works during high school (plus building a possible lifestyle of enjoying the theater or other fine arts performances). And a few times a year you can have a movie night and watch a good film adaptation of a classic work that you're not going to have time to get to. So right there, you're guaranteed by the end of high school to get exposure to the 35 works (reading 25, watching 10) that are your most important works to know. ?

And about the reading after graduation... You never know; they can surprise you. My non-reader and writing struggler (mild LDs) is almost 23 and working long hard days (trail restoration with a conservation group); for relaxation he has been ::gasp!:: READING (while not classics, they are very thick "world-building" fantasy/sci-fi books) -- and he's WRITING short stories and journaling! This, from the child who would not voluntarily pick up a pencil *ever*... and reading was pretty far down the list of choices of free-time activities, as well.  :svengo:  :laugh:

Edited by Lori D.
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One thing I highly suggest adding to all 9th grade course loads is a a College and Careers class.  You can do this as a 1/2 credit elective.  What you do is spend time examining possible career choices (do a career assessment test to give and idea if your student is not sure of their interests).  Research what the jobs require for education and also potential earnings (all of this can be found on line or at your library(there are reference books with this info in it).  You make sure that the student has actually assignments to complete this research.

 

Then you can start researching some colleges that have majors related to their top choices (we usually look at the top 3-5 career areas).  This will give you an idea of what those colleges require for admittance and better help you plan out the high school classes that you need.  Sometimes the schools have certain classes that are needed or certain tests like the SAT subject test that are needed for admittance.  It also can give you and idea if there are any outside opportunities such as explorer programs or volunteer opportunities that would be good for your student and give them some experience in the areas they are interested in. 

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My 9th grader is doing US HISTORY, Earth Science, Algebra,a Language Arts course with composition literature and grammar all combined, half credits of fine arts and computer science so switches off each day, Latin, then he finishes his US history early and that class switches to visualize world geography.

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I wanted to add I think it's a great idea to let him have some input. My son hates drawing and painting etc, but loves loves love poetry so I let him do a poetry course instead of forcing him to draw and paint and he loves it and to him poetry IS art. He also has been obsessed with US history so even though it wasn't in my initial plan I let him do US history this year and he's doing so well and loves it.

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My 9th grader did:

 

1 year: English (includes Lit, writing, grammar and vocab)

1 year: Algebra 1

1 year Honors Biology

1 year: Russian 1

Fall : 1 semester: American Government   /   Spring: 1 semester:  Introduction to Economics

Fall: 1 semester: Instrumental Music  / Spring: 1 Semester: Performing Arts

Spread out through the year: 1 Semester: Religious Studies / 1 Semester PE: Hiking and Backpacking

 

For 4 full credits, 6 half credits... total credits -- 7.

 

For 10th grade, he'll have:

 

1 year British Literature and Composition

1 year Integrated Algebra 2

Fall: 1 semester British History, Spring: 1 semester Big History Project

Fall: 1 semester Astronomy, Spring: 1 semester Geology (or 1 year Earth and Space Science)

1 year Russian 2

1 year Culinary Arts

1 semester Logic and Rhetoric and 1 semester Robotics

 

4 full credits, 6 half credits -- total of 7 credits

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