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hopeistheword

What else do I need to round out 9th grade English?

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Dd came home in early Feb. from PS after spending one semester there in the fall. Her school was on block, so she was just at the beginning of a new set of classes.  She read To Kill a Mockingbird and did a writing/analysis project there in her pre-AP English class.  They also did some primary source analysis (maybe a MLK, Jr speech?) and vocabulary study. Then she came back home (unexpectedly) and I have scrambled to flesh out a 9th grade English credit.  So far she has read The Yearling by Rawlings and The Chosen by Potok and answered comprehension and analysis questions on them.  She has been working 3-4x a week on No Red Ink, and she’s finishing up a class with Bravewriter (Essay Prep: Dynamic Thinking). 

What would you add to finish this credit well?

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Maybe some poetry? Norton Anthologies are cheap and have decent bios and notes to add context. 

  Or a play or two?  Read a play and watch a performance or video of it.   Shakespeare is an obvious candidate, but more modern selections would be great as well. 

Sounds like she has done some nice analysis already, so maybe just let her absorb some poets or drama, and then respond.  No heavy output needed. 

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So, it looks like she has done this so far -- is this correct?

Literature
- To Kill a Mockingbird (PS class)
- The Yearling (home)
- The Chosen (home)

Writing
- writing/analysis project (PS class)
- primary source analysis (PS class)
- Bravewriter (Essay Prep: Dynamic Thinking)

Grammar/Vocab
- vocabulary study (PS class)
- No Red Ink (home)

___________________

I totally understand that being on a block schedule throws everything off, as it sounds like she did no English in the fall semester, which means having to jam a full year of work into one semester now that she's home -- and reading and writing for an English credit are time-consuming activities. So I would guess you'll need to either double up a bit to finish well by the end of May, OR, go into June for a bit for a complete 1.0 credit course. JMO! 🙂

In case it helps for comparison: when I teach 1.0 credit English courses at my co-op, for each SEMESTER, students read 4 novels + several short stories or a play, and write 4-5 short (300-500 word (3-5 paragraph) essays + 1 longer (3-5 page) paper -- an analysis essay, or research paper with citations. Based on that, I would shoot for the following as a minimum for 1.0 credit of English:

Literature:
- at least 1 more novel*  
- and several short stories
- and a poetry unit -- or -- a play

* = a total of 6 novels for a 1-year/1 credit high school English course is pretty standard as a minimum, so only 4 novels would be "light" -- BUT, if doing all 3 of the Brave Writer courses (plus the work from the PS), then this English credit could be more weighted towards Writing rather than Literature, and would be worth a complete 1.0 credit

Writing ideas:
- do the next 2 Brave Writer courses in that 3-part series (she's doing part 1 of the 3 right now)
- OR, several short reader response papers (1-5 paragraphs in response to a discussion question on each of several works)
- OR, a longer (3-5 page) paper of some kind
- OR, some real-world writing, creative writing, or journalism of some sort if she has an interest in those types of writing
- OR, practice putting together and giving several oral presentations with slideshow element (public speaking is frequently an aspect of one of the years of a  high school English class, and giving presentations with slideshow is very frequently required for college classes of all types, as well as for many types of jobs)


Just my rambling 2 cents worth. BEST of luck as you plan for the rest of this unexpected homeschool high school semester! Warmest regards, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
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8 hours ago, Lori D. said:

So, it looks like she has done this so far -- is this correct?

Literature
- To Kill a Mockingbird (PS class)
- The Yearling (home)
- The Chosen (home)

Writing
- writing/analysis project (PS class)
- primary source analysis (PS class)
- Bravewriter (Essay Prep: Dynamic Thinking)

Grammar/Vocab
- vocabulary study (PS class)
- No Red Ink (home)

___________________

I totally understand that being on a block schedule throws everything off, as it sounds like she did no English in the fall semester, which means having to jam a full year of work into one semester now that she's home -- and reading and writing for an English credit are time-consuming activities. So I would guess you'll need to either double up a bit to finish well by the end of May, OR, go into June for a bit for a complete 1.0 credit course. JMO! 🙂

In case it helps for comparison: when I teach 1.0 credit English courses at my co-op, for each SEMESTER, students read 4 novels + several short stories or a play, and write 4-5 short (300-500 word (3-5 paragraph) essays + 1 longer (3-5 page) paper -- an analysis essay, or research paper with citations. Based on that, I would shoot for the following as a minimum for 1.0 credit of English:

Literature:
- at least 1 more novel*  
- and several short stories
- and a poetry unit -- or -- a play

* = a total of 6 novels for a 1-year/1 credit high school English course is pretty standard as a minimum, so only 4 novels would be "light" -- BUT, if doing all 3 of the Brave Writer courses (plus the work from the PS), then this English credit could be more weighted towards Writing rather than Literature, and would be worth a complete 1.0 credit

Writing ideas:
- do the next 2 Brave Writer courses in that 3-part series (she's doing part 1 of the 3 right now)
- OR, several short reader response papers (1-5 paragraphs in response to a discussion question on each of several works)
- OR, a longer (3-5 page) paper of some kind
- OR, some real-world writing, creative writing, or journalism of some sort if she has an interest in those types of writing
- OR, practice putting together and giving several oral presentations with slideshow element (public speaking is frequently an aspect of one of the years of a  high school English class, and giving presentations with slideshow is very frequently required for college classes of all types, as well as for many types of jobs)


Just my rambling 2 cents worth. BEST of luck as you plan for the rest of this unexpected homeschool high school semester! Warmest regards, Lori D.

Thanks, @Lori D., for your thoughtful reply (as always!) Yes, what you've listed is correct, though I wouldn't say that her experience in the PS class was wonderful in terms of learning due to some severe anxiety spikes (which led to her coming back home again).  As we are unexpectedly homeschooling again to finish up this credit, I do not have a lot of time to prep, etc., due to prior commitments made when she was in PS.  What this means is that I need something that's student-directed and provides a good bit of guidance due to my inability to actually do a lot of the teaching. She will be home again for tenth grade next year and will be enrolled in a lit class that I'll be teaching. We'll be using Windows to the World and diving deep into lit analysis writing. Knowing that we're doing that is somewhat tempering my decision-making on how to finish this year decently.  

I would LOVE for her to finish the BW sequence, but unfortunately, it's really not in the budget. The dynamic thinking class is a great one for (obviously) deepening the thinking process for the student, and I hope that what she has experienced and learned in this class will carry over to her writing in all areas. 

One thing I've considered is the Great Christian Writers study from 7 Sisters. We used their Christmas Carol guide a year or two ago and I thought it was well done.  I feel more than a little bit behind the eight ball here because I do not have a comprehensive high school plan. I really thought we were good for the next four years with her enrolled in PS, but it's just not working out that way for the foreseeable future. She also has a younger sister who will be counting high school credits next year and I plan to lump them together, so that's also in the back of my mind.

Eeek. I'm having a minor freak-out. 

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4 hours ago, hopeistheword said:

... As we are unexpectedly homeschooling again to finish up this credit...  I need something that's student-directed and provides a good bit of guidance...

...She will be home again for tenth grade next year and will be enrolled in a lit class that I'll be teaching. We'll be using Windows to the World and diving deep into lit analysis writing. Knowing that we're doing that is somewhat tempering my decision-making on how to finish this year...  

...I've considered is the Great Christian Writers study from 7 Sisters. We used their Christmas Carol guide a year or two ago and I thought it was well done...


The Great Christian Writers study looks good, but more material (NINE books) than you could probably pull off in just a few months time (unless planning on working over the summer to not have to do "double time" on the subjects DD was going to have as block credits this semester).

Also, in case it matters, it looks like it is more of a program to enhance Christian studies, rather than a traditional Literature program. I note that 2 of the 9 books are very focused on theological ideas (Pilgrim's Progress and Screwtape Letters), but are fiction and can be discussed/analyzed in a more literary way. But another 2 of the 9 books are "devotional" or "Christian-living" based, and the remaining 5 of the 9 books are autobiographies -- and neither of those types of books are analyzed / discussed in the same way or with the same depth as novels, short stories, plays, and poetry. Just a thought for your consideration.

Other ideas for self-directed / open-and-go (all are by Christian authors/publishers, with the Christianity more or less apparent in the different programs):

Windows to the World
1 semester program, 6 short stories and literary elements (Lit.) + literary analysis essay (Writing) -- BUT, it sounds like you'll be doing that NEXT year.

- Illuminating Literature: When Worlds Collide
1-YEAR program of 8 books, but you could could pick just 4 to do and call it good, with the other works DD has done (I'd suggest these 4 as the easiest to do solo: Friendly Persuasion, Warriors Don't Cry, Peter Pan, and War of the Worlds).

- Words Aptly Spoken: Short Stories
Very light, with just the stories + a small handful EACH of comprehension and "thinking" questions for each short story. No teaching info about literary elements or literature topics. There are 10 sections (each section focuses on a different literary element such as character, setting, theme, etc.); you could have her read 2 stories from each section, and then pick one of the thought questions for each short story and write a short (1-3 paragraph) response essay to the question; at 2 stories a week, that would be 20 stories in 10 weeks, and would also take care of both some literature and writing to complete the English credit.

- Progeny Press guides
Each guide includes background info on author/times; suggestions for "while reading"; vocabulary; comprehension questions; some deeper thinking questions, usually in conjunction with a passage/idea from Scripture. Also ideas for extension activity or writing assignment. Perhaps pick 3 guides from these titles that would be manageable for a 9th grader to do fairly solo:  Call of the Wild The Hobbit, The Old Man and the Sea, Pride and Prejudice; Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

- Total Language Plus
Guides contain: comprehension questions, enrichment/writing, grammar, spelling, vocabulary. Perhaps DD could choose 3 books from these categories:
grade 7-9 (books good for 9th grade: The Giver, The Hiding Place, Anne of Green Gables, Treasure Island, Call of the Wild)
grade 9-11 (books good for 9th grade: Animal Farm, The Good Earth, Pride and Prejudice)

- Movies As Literature
1-semester program (could be 1-year program depending on how you add to it). Analysis of deeper themes and "big ideas" going on in movies, which works as a great "stepping stone" to then do analysis of Literature. Comprehension and thinking questions and guide info for 18 movies -- perhaps select 8 of them to do over the next 16 weeks, and select 2 of them to also read the book. Since she just read To Kill a Mockingbird, that could be one of them, and the other could be Shane, Friendly Persuasion, or Emma

4 hours ago, hopeistheword said:

... I feel more than a little bit behind the eight ball here because I do not have a comprehensive high school plan. I really thought we were good for the next four years with her enrolled in PS, but it's just not working out that way for the foreseeable future. She also has a younger sister who will be counting high school credits next year and I plan to lump them together, so that's also in the back of my mind.

Eeek. I'm having a minor freak-out. 


Deep breath. Just take it one step at a time. What is needed is material to finish out the credits for THIS year. You can worry about thinking through your comprehensive high school plan, and researching/planning NEXT year (10th grade), over the summer.

Between the PS and what you do this semester (and into the summer, if need be), at a minimum, if you can accomplish 1 credit each for: English, Math, Science, and Social Studies, plus a 5th credit (maybe Social Studies, Fine Arts, or an Elective), you will be okay. My guess is that she already has 4 credits from the PS block scheduling from the fall semester, so you may only really need to worry about completing the 1-2 credits out of those core subjects that didn't get completed last fall. 🙂

Edited by Lori D.
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1 minute ago, Lori D. said:


The Great Christian Writers study looks good, but more material (NINE books) than you could probably pull off in just a few months time (unless planning on working over the summer to not have to do "double time" on the subjects DD was going to have as block credits this semester).

Also, in case it matters, it looks like it is more of a program to enhance Christian studies, rather than a traditional Literature program. I note that 2 of the 9 books are very focused on theological ideas (Pilgrim's Progress and Screwtape Letters), but are fiction and can be discussed/analyzed in a more literary way. But another 2 of the 9 books are "devotional" or "Christian-living" based, another  and the remaining 5 of the 9 books are autobiographies -- and neither of those types of books are analyzed / discussed in the same way or with the same depth as novels, short stories, plays, and poetry. Just a thought for your consideration.

Other ideas for self-directed / open-and-go (all are by Christian authors/publishers, with the Christianity more or less apparent in the different programs):

Windows to the World
1 semester program, 6 short stories and literary elements (Lit.) + literary analysis essay (Writing) -- BUT, it sounds like you'll be doing that NEXT year.

- Illuminating Literature: When Worlds Collide
1-YEAR program of 8 books, but you could could pick just 4 to do and call it good, with the other works DD has done (I'd suggest these 4 as the easiest to do solo: Friendly Persuasion, Warriors Don't Cry, Peter Pan, and War of the Worlds).

- Words Aptly Spoken: Short Stories
Very light, with just the stories + a small handful EACH of comprehension and "thinking" questions for each short story. No teaching info about literary elements or literature topics. There are 10 sections (each section focuses on a different literary element such as character, setting, theme, etc.); you could have her read 2 stories from each section, and then pick one of the thought questions for each short story and write a short (1-3 paragraph) response essay to the question; at 2 stories a week, that would be 20 stories in 10 weeks, and would also take care of both some literature and writing to complete the English credit.

- Progeny Press guides
Each guide includes background info on author/times; suggestions for "while reading"; vocabulary; comprehension questions; some deeper thinking questions, usually in conjunction with a passage/idea from Scripture. Also ideas for extension activity or writing assignment. Perhaps pick 3 guides from these titles that would be manageable for a 9th grader to do fairly solo:  Call of the Wild The Hobbit, The Old Man and the Sea, Pride and Prejudice; Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

- Total Language Plus
Guides contain: comprehension questions, enrichment/writing, grammar, spelling, vocabulary. Perhaps DD could choose 3 books from these categories:
grade 7-9 (books good for 9th grade: The Giver, The Hiding Place, Anne of Green Gables, Treasure Island, Call of the Wild)
grade 9-11 (books good for 9th grade: Animal Farm, The Good Earth, Pride and Prejudice)

- Movies As Literature
1-semester program (could be 1-year program depending on how you add to it). Analysis of deeper themes and "big ideas" going on in movies, which works as a great "stepping stone" to then do analysis of Literature. Comprehension and thinking questions and guide info for 18 movies -- perhaps select 8 of them to do over the next 16 weeks, and select 2 of them to also read the book. Since she just read To Kill a Mockingbird, that could be one of them, and the other could be Shane, Friendly Persuasion, or Emma

Thanks for this! I am actually an English teacher (oh, the irony!), and all of my children read fairly voraciously. For some reason this unexpected hitch in our plans has semi-paralyzed me. DD has done a fair amount of analysis already (a lit analysis class at co-op in middle school taught by me; lots of reading aloud over the years and informal discussion; etc.) I own the first book of EIL already and was planning to use that with her this year before we opted for her to go to school.  Maybe I should look into using parts of that.  

I think my main area of concern is just lack of time on my part. I actually teach English at our local CC (again--the irony!), and I am loath to add more grading to my plate this year than I already have. However, we really had no choice but to pull her back home.  I won't be teaching outside of homeschool and co-op next year, so I should be able to manage the load better.

Thanks for giving me some things to look into and more food for thought!

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39 minutes ago, hopeistheword said:

... I own the first book of EIL already and was planning to use that with her this year before we opted for her to go to school.  Maybe I should look into using parts of that...


Well, I'm always a fan of "use what you have" IF it works for you! 😉 And Excellence in Literature has complete units, which would make it pretty easy to just do 2 units, for example (taking 1 month per unit) -- or 4 units, working at double speed of a "block schedule" semester -- of books or short stories or plays that your voracious-reading DD has not yet.

Edited by Lori D.
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39 minutes ago, Lori D. said:

 


Deep breath. Just take it one step at a time. What is needed is material to finish out the credits for THIS year. You can worry about thinking through your comprehensive high school plan, and researching/planning NEXT year (10th grade), over the summer.

Between the PS and what you do this semester (and into the summer, if need be), at a minimum, if you can accomplish 1 credit each for: English, Math, Science, and Social Studies, plus a 5th credit (maybe Social Studies, Fine Arts, or an Elective), you will be okay. My guess is that she already has 4 credits from the PS block scheduling from the fall semester, so you may only really need to worry about completing the 1-2 credits out of those core subjects that didn't get completed last fall. 🙂

Yes, she already has one credit each for biology, Algebra I, world history, and Spanish I from first semester.

At home we’re just focusing on finishing what she started second semester in ps: English, geometry, and Spanish II.  She also had a career prep elective which we’re not attempting to duplicate.  

Edited by hopeistheword

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5 minutes ago, hopeistheword said:

Yes, she already has one credit each for biology, Algebra I, world history, and Spanish I from first semester.

At home we’re just focusing on finishing what she started second semester in ps: English, geometry, and Spanish II.  She also had a career prep elective which we’re not attempting to duplicate.  


Super! That gives 1.5-2.0 hours per day per subject to very nicely complete 1.0 credit each of English, Math: Geometry, and Spanish II. Best of luck! Warmly, Lori D.

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I love Lori & think she's a treasure trove of ideas and wisdom, but I'll toss another perspective in (to somewhat echo Zoo Keeper's early post- I don't think she needs to add a whole bunch to the rest of this semester - maybe a play to read, then watch & perhaps a paper comparing/contrasting the performance vs. the written play. Then, I'd just let her loose with some choices for free reading the rest of the semester.

At our local PS, it is not unusual for them to read one book (sometimes a middle grade novel) each semester. Their writing might only be what they do on comprehension questions each week and two essays each semester (sometimes one of those is timed as part of a test).

Dd#1 had an online writing class (billed as a 9th grade class) that was a full year & a full credit from a well-respected provider that covered no full length works, some excerpts and a few short stories (To Build A Fire, A Christmas Memory),  and about four papers (might have been only three). That's it.

So, I don't think a "standard" English class is necessarily standard and that "Honors" classes (which the above online class was bizarrely labelled) cover the amount of work Lori D listed but not necessarily a regular one.

Just another opinion.

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50 minutes ago, RootAnn said:

I love Lori & think she's a treasure trove of ideas and wisdom, but I'll toss another perspective in (to somewhat echo Zoo Keeper's early post- I don't think she needs to add a whole bunch to the rest of this semester - maybe a play to read, then watch & perhaps a paper comparing/contrasting the performance vs. the written play. Then, I'd just let her loose with some choices for free reading the rest of the semester.

At our local PS, it is not unusual for them to read one book (sometimes a middle grade novel) each semester. Their writing might only be what they do on comprehension questions each week and two essays each semester (sometimes one of those is timed as part of a test).

Dd#1 had an online writing class (billed as a 9th grade class) that was a full year & a full credit from a well-respected provider that covered no full length works, some excerpts and a few short stories (To Build A Fire, A Christmas Memory),  and about four papers (might have been only three). That's it.

So, I don't think a "standard" English class is necessarily standard and that "Honors" classes (which the above online class was bizarrely labelled) cover the amount of work Lori D listed but not necessarily a regular one.

Just another opinion.

I see this, too. I’ve always wanted to do “better than” my local ps in terms of content and instruction, though this time I’m trying for just “as good as.” I know dd was going to read How to Read Literature Like a Professor (our parts of it) and Animal Farm. I think that’s it as far as books and novels go. I have to say that I was most impressed with her English teacher out of all the teachers she had, but that might’ve been my own natural bias.  

To clarify: Three books: To Kill a Mockingbird, Animal Farm, and parts of How to Read Lit Like a Professor, plus documents and I’m sure (surely?) some poetry, etc.

Edited by hopeistheword

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You know what I would do?  I would just get the LA/English "kit" from Abeka or BJU or Timberdoodle and have her start it.  And she gets where she gets by the last day of school in May.  Plus set up a book basket with some good novels, and require 30 minutes of reading a day.

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