Thursday, September 11, 2014

High School!

And so . . . Kylen has started high school!  I'm finding this hard to absorb even with having spent quite a bit of time over the last few years researching how to homeschool at this level.  I think my biggest concern right now is how to get it all in!  We started last Tuesday and have yet to complete a full day's work.  I'm hoping we've been UNUSUALly busy and that next week will bring better success.

I've learned that 2-3 elective credits per year is typical, although Greg thinks that's excessive.  Each elective credit is about 4 hours each week or 2 hours per week for a half credit.  Kylen's electives are all half credit classes.  His subjects are as follows:

Math ~ Geometry ~ 1 credit
We're using A Beka for math again, which we really don't care for at the higher levels.  I probably should have switched to something else by now . . .

Honors English I ~ Introduction to Literature ~ 1 credit
This curriculum has the student read classics and write papers about them.  It is new to us.  I am considering it an honors course, because he will be doing extra reading and writing stories of his own.

Science ~ Physical Science ~ 1 credit
Our first time trying A Beka for science.  I expect it to be easier than Apologia.  Kylen has never liked this subject.

History ~ U.S. History ~ 1 credit
TONS of reading!!  Kylen is reading BJU's United States History for his textbook, and I'll be doing lots of historical read alouds, as usual.  I am nearly finished with our first one, Miracles and Massacres by Glenn Beck.

Social Studies ~ World Geography ~ 1/2 credit
This is a mishmash of my own making.  I plan to draw from lots of sources and hope to make it a light, fun subject.  We're currently reading from Where On Earth, Flags of the World, and a student atlas.  Will probably watch videos occasionally and play internet geography games.  Also, incorporating current events from WorldTeen magazine.

Foreign Language ~ French ~ 1/2 credit
An independent subject for Kylen, since he is good at learning languages and I am not!  We're using Living Language.

Bible ~ 1 credit
Church on Sundays, evening Bible reading and discussion, youth group, personal Bible reading

Music ~ Piano ~ 1/2 credit
Half hour lesson each week with the same instructor as in the past, plus minimum half hour practice each day.

PE ~ 1/2 credit
As always, this will include any physical activity.  Kylen is presently taking volleyball at co-op for 8 weeks, so that will be part of it.  Basketball is a fairly regular activity.  Bike rides, walks, swimming, tennis, etc.

Guitar ~ 1/2 credit???
Kylen is currently taking guitar at co-op, but whether we can count it as a half credit will depend on whether he stays in the class the whole year.  He has an hour class each week plus 15 minute practice each day.

Quick Summary
I think this is a fairly normal 9th grade schedule for a student planning to attend college.  Co-op is a major outside activity, and it's difficult to do any core subjects that day, so we are essentially down to 4 days a week for school.  I think that's one of the reasons I'm finding it so challenging to get everything in.  But he loves co-op.  It's his main outlet for seeing friends, so we're pretty committed to making it work.  He may need to do school on Saturdays or in the evenings.  One of the perks to homeschooling is having your evenings free, since your school time is so much more productive during the day.  So far, we've always managed to avoid "homework" at night, but we may need to consider that as an option.

I'm also keeping community service in mind.  He's still volunteering at the library an hour each week and will start volunteering with a homeless shelter soon.  More on that to come!  One area I'd really like to explore is contests.  Writing is his greatest strength, and he's only entered one major contest.  I think it would be a good experience, not to mention the potential for monetary prizes.

Lee Binz has been a great source of information for creating high school transcripts.  I'm keeping detailed records of everything to assist in writing class descriptions, and I'm starting a reading list.  Completed schoolwork will be placed in a plastic tub in case colleges request work samples.  Overall, I feel pretty confident that this is doable, and I have absolutely no doubt it is God's will that we homeschool through high school.


katrina said...

I finally have a few quiet moments to catch up on blogs and I had to come to yours first! Feels like ages since I have been able to sit and enjoy it! This post is wonderful! Great schedule and fun to see what Kylen is doing...oh, I use Liz Binz too! I really like all of her resources.