Jump to content

Menu

Recommended Posts

Looking for some feedback on the US history/English I am putting together for my incoming 9th grade daughter. I am trying to keep her on track to possibly enter the local PS high school if she decides to do that next year or any year before graduation. At our high school they do not have English or social studies separate, they combine the courses into a 2 credit humanities course which is described in the course catalog as "an academic discipline that integrates the study of English, history, and other related subjects, to explore fundamental questions  relating to the human experience."

I have the course catalog for our high school and it seems like the junior year focuses on US history but I had planned to cover US history with her this year- already bought a crap load of books! 🙂  I have sort of put together a US history curriculum using the Howard Zinn book- A People's History of the US and many other historical books to go with it. Mostly shorter novels about people and events in history that read like stories and are not text booky. Example- one book I got is called Behind Rebel lines and is a short read about the life of Emma Edmonds who was a Civil War spy. I have a chapter summary to go with the People's book and plan to come up with essay questions for all the extra books. Also I bought her the 9th grade level for EIW/EIL and plan to add in grammar and spelling a few times a week because she needs extra practice there.

I guess I am looking to see if anyone has experience with humanities courses and if this sounds like an acceptable substitution that the high school might count? I am in contact with the school, left a voicemail, but haven't heard back from them yet.

Thanks!

🙂

Link to post
Share on other sites

Before considering your question, have you confirmed that the high school will even admit her at the appropriate grade level and accept her homeschool course credits as work completed?  Many do not.  So, if a student attempted to enter in 11th grade, they would not accept the 9th or 10th grade homeschool English courses and would require the student enroll in 9th grade English.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

thank you 🙂  yes that is what I have called them about and left the voicemail. I am still waiting to hear back and while I waited I was re-reading their course book and wondering if my history/english plan was going to be enough to be considered "humanities".  I will also be asking about her other work that she is doing this year but that was more straight forward. They have freshman take Algebra 1 and biology and she is doing both of those at home using AOPS introduction to Algebra and Levine/Miller Biology. She is also taking at least 4 electives throughout the "school year".

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, in reading your original post, I'm not sure.  I would never include Behind Rebel Lines in a high school course.  It is often included in elementary reading lists.  I suspect that a high school American history/English course is reading books like the The Scarlet Letter, the Autobiography of Ben Franklin. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, The Sun Also Rises, Walden etc.  IOW, a full blown American lit class that coordinates with the time periods being studied in history.  The cross assignments, definitely.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

Ok, in reading your original post, I'm not sure.  I would never include Behind Rebel Lines in a high school course.  It is often included in elementary reading lists.  I suspect that a high school American history/English course is reading books like the The Scarlet Letter, the Autobiography of Ben Franklin. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, The Sun Also Rises, Walden etc.  IOW, a full blown American lit class that coordinates with the time periods being studied in history.  The cross assignments, definitely.

I tried to intentionally pick quick, interesting reads for her to start because she is not a reader (yet!) and this will be a huge step from what she is used to. For 8th grade she did an online charter school and there was no reading of actual books so I am trying to ease her back into reading a bit. She is a good reader, at grade level, but reluctant for sure! I am starting slow but will add on some other age-appropriate books as we go. thanks for the suggestions!

Link to post
Share on other sites

TPS has an integrated history, lit and comp class you could look at the book list for:  https://www.pottersschool.org/course/list/#course-4001

Also WTM academy has correlating history and lit: https://www.wtmacademy.com/course/u-s-history/  and  https://www.wtmacademy.com/course/american-literature/

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes I am aware the school will be the final call on all subjects if she chooses to try and enroll at some point. I was just posting to see if anyone had experience with humanities or even just experience with enrolling kids into high school after homeschooling some of high school. I am aware she might not get to jump into PS at grade level and if that was the case I'm prepared to just continue homeschooling until she graduates.

The school has not responded to my voicemail after a few days so I was getting antsy to talk it over with people who might have experience and input on the matter. Thank you for the book suggestions and links. I am hoping to hear from the school soon to get some answers on their end but it is helpful to get input from other homeschoolers

Link to post
Share on other sites

My other question would be what do they consider other related subjects? I would think a true humanities course would touch on some philosophy and art history as well. There are plenty of virtual museum tours now. You could add in historical and art museum tours. 

As for philosophy, I'm not sure, but at least touching on ethics would work well with US history. I don't have any direct book recommendations, however. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, mountains27 said:

Yes I am aware the school will be the final call on all subjects if she chooses to try and enroll at some point. I was just posting to see if anyone had experience with humanities or even just experience with enrolling kids into high school after homeschooling some of high school. I am aware she might not get to jump into PS at grade level and if that was the case I'm prepared to just continue homeschooling until she graduates.

The school has not responded to my voicemail after a few days so I was getting antsy to talk it over with people who might have experience and input on the matter. Thank you for the book suggestions and links. I am hoping to hear from the school soon to get some answers on their end but it is helpful to get input from other homeschoolers

I would assume the answer from the school is no.  

In terms of your question about designing courses that way, I would assume that is probably a fairly normal option.  Lots of homeschoolers combine subjects and teach cross curriculum.  Combining American history with American lit is definitely not any sort of unusual choice.

Do you believe your dd is college bound?  Does she have any LDs?  If the answers are yes college and no LDs, I would use American authored short stories to "get her up to speed" on reading vs. incorporating books that are more typical of elementary and middle school courses.  For example, you could use An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge for the Civil War (I googled and found a study guide that gives you an idea of how you could use the short story in combo with an American history course.) https://americanliterature.com/an-occurrence-at-owl-creek-bridge-study-guide

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Echoing what the others have said about ensuring that the school will accept what you end up doing.

Unless your student did a high school level American history study in middle school, you may want to consider adding a more mainstream text to fill in the areas that Zinn doesn't cover and provide a counterpoint.  This is because among other things, Zinn was writing in reaction to the traditional narrative, but if the student doesn't know what that is, they won't get as much out of it.  We used Zinn as a supplement to The American Odyssey (which I highly recommend).  

Also, if your student is not a reader, Zinn might be a slog (it is also a slog to read aloud--ask me how I know!).  There is a young people's version that is much more streamlined.  It hits the high points, but it isn't high school level.

As far as integrating English and history--I would think that the school would be using period literature rather than historical fiction for the English piece.  You might want to get an American literature textbook because it will have short stories and poems (and other things like speeches) arranged chronologically.  In other words, it's period literature that is also short and sweet, and you don't need to read every last thing in the book--pick what will work for your student.  You can then decide which longer works to include.  It would probably help for you to get your hands on the syllabuses for the humanities classes because they should at least list the longer works they intend to cover and that will give you an idea of the level and scope of their expectations. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
43 minutes ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

I would assume the answer from the school is no.  

In terms of your question about designing courses that way, I would assume that is probably a fairly normal option.  Lots of homeschoolers combine subjects and teach cross curriculum.  Combining American history with American lit is definitely not any sort of unusual choice.

Do you believe your dd is college bound?  Does she have any LDs?  If the answers are yes college and no LDs, I would use American authored short stories to "get her up to speed" on reading vs. incorporating books that are more typical of elementary and middle school courses.  For example, you could use An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge for the Civil War (I googled and found a study guide that gives you an idea of how you could use the short story in combo with an American history course.) https://americanliterature.com/an-occurrence-at-owl-creek-bridge-study-guide

Yes to this!!

Starting with short stories, poems, and novellas would be a much better plan than starting with books aimed for children.

@Lori D. probably has a list somewhere... 😉

 

When I talked to the homeschool supervisor in our county, she said that if I ever decided to put my high schoolers into public school, they would automatically be placed in 9th grade, no matter what we had studied at home.  (And elementary students would be placed with their age group.)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure if you're interested in Christian resources, but I am pairing Apologia American Literature with Notgrass American History.  Even if you're not interested in using it, you might want to check out the Apologia Literature Table of Contents.  (Most of the works are secular -- the discussion questions bring up the Christian worldview.)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Strongly seconding 8's suggestion to use short stories over children's literature. But also, there are a lot of what I call "short but meaty" options for American lit. Books that are classics or widely read modern lit in schools that are 250 pages or less. I mean, that applies to Of Mice and Men, Catcher in the Rye, Their Eyes Were Watching God, The Scarlet Letter, The Great Gatsby, The House on Mango Street, A Separate Peace... And then for bringing in those engaging selections, I would lean toward including a few YA books that could be engaging instead of middle grade novels that are aimed at younger students. So things like Octavian Nothing, A Northern Light, Alex & Eliza, March, etc. are all historical fiction. But also, you could just choose American Printz award winners like Paper Towns or The Poet X. I really do think if encouraging a student to enjoy literature more is a key component, then it's appropriate to include a handful of YA titles for 9th grade. So the literature could be a mix of...

* a few classic novels that are within reach for her
* a selection of short stories and poetry to expand her horizons and expose her to a wider variety of authors
* a few YA novels to encourage her to enjoy literature and possibly tie into themes or historical topics

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

This is unfortunately one area where other people's experience is not very helpful, because what schools will accept for credit varies not just district by district, but often school by school. In my district and the one next door, the principal has the power. They can choose to accept homeschooling credit, but seldom do so. Every instance I am aware of was a public charter school actively seeking students. 

You surely won't hear from them over the holiday weekend, so you might try searching online to see if you can find a syllabus or at least the text they use. Or possibly ask on social media. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Right... to be clear, my suggestion is just what I think would serve the student best. I think the school is either likely to count anything reasonably documented, because it’s the sort of school that does, or it’s not likely to count anything because it’s the sort of school that doesn’t.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just wanted to say thank you to everyone for the suggestions and help, I am adding more books to her reading list from your suggestions and found a US History book to use as a spine that I am excited about trying!

Also wanted to update  because I was able to get a hold of our local high school guidance office today and speak with someone about homeschooling with the possibility of re-entering next year or a some point. I told her I was homeschooling this year but my daughter might want to enter back into PS next year or some other year and I was wondering if there might be a problem with her home school classes being counted as credits and if she might not be entered into her appropriate grade level if she did want to return. The lady I spoke to said she had never heard of homeschool students being held back or not having their homeschool work counted as high school credits at our school. She said that whenever my daughter wanted to enroll at the high school she would be entered into her appropriate grade level and "we would be happy to have her!"  I asked her about humanities and if there was a certain syllabus I should try and follow but she said no what I described sounded fine! She even gave me the name of a family who had homeschooled some HS and then enrolled recently in the district that I could try and reach out to for help and guidance 🙂 so I am feeling confident that IF I do enroll her at some point it will be a pleasant experience and whatever she does will be accepted and counted as high school credit! phew!

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...