Monday, July 11, 2016

A Homeschool Plan - Choosing Curriculum and Setting The Course



Welcome back to the 2nd in my mini-series on creating a Homeschool plan. As I have a recent high school graduate and another firmly placed in the high school years, my posts in this series are geared towards these high school years. There are plenty of posts out there on homeschooling in general and even more focusing on the the younger years, but not many that I've come across on high school. So I am hoping that these posts will be of some help to those who are navigating the high school years.

I live in England but we have elected to follow the American SAT route to getting into our UK universities. I have to say that as an ex South African homeschooling mum I am very comfortable with having opted for this route. I understand it better, am able to better implement the requirements and better equipped to support our daughter in her quest to go to university. Best of all adopting this route gives my daughter access to both British and American universities/colleges - not that I want her tootling off to America, that's just too far away ;)

In post 1- The Big Picture, I mentioned that my DD2 is wanting to go to university, whether that will still be the goal when she graduates who's to know. But we will work towards achieving the requirements necessary for her to go.

We sat down together to discuss Year 1 of the plan (listed in #3 in post 1) and this is what we came up with:

*Core Subjects:Bible, English, Maths, History, Science
Electives: TBC - still in the process of choosing for her Junior year
Enrichment: Home Ec, Composer Study and Art Appreciation

* We agreed a reading list of the year based on the recommended reading list of classics of the Oxford University Website. Some we will read and discuss together, others she will read on her own.

* We discussed some of the regular things that have been a part of our homeschool over the years. We determined that she would rather not do formal nature study any more but rather more cooking and baking as is her bent. (I have to say that I was a little sad at this BUT as she is the only one in our homeschool I feel that it is important to follow her interests and giftings. We will still go on nature walks but it just wont be as 'planned out and purposeful' as it has been).

* We discussed the commitment that would be needed from her this year in order to ensure that she prepares as best she can for her SAT as well as the need to achieve at least a 3.0 GPA in all her subjects.

Once we had this general meeting I was able to move forward with gathering the curriculum and setting the course.

1. Curriculum

 Here's what I've chosen and my reasoning behind it.


Bible

*Answers in Genesis Books 1-3

*Of course we always begin our day with sitting down together and reading the Word. Personal devotions are also encouraged.


Science

*Apologia Biology. - You just cannot go wrong with Apologia Science. This year it will be Biology.

English



I know that writing is a skill that you simply cannot undervalue for college/university, in fact for life! This course teaches the student how to write. How to plan their writing using keyword outlines and story sequencing charts. It teaches them how to write an excellent essay, to write in a wide range of forms and genres and how to take notes effectively. These are all skills that will be needed all through life.



Llatl has really done an excellent job in giving our girls a firm and solid foundation in grammar and literature. My eldest daughter wrote her English GCSE having only used this resource and passed. If this American resource can equip my daughter to pass a British English exam then I know that it will more than meet the criteria for the SAT


Maths
*A.C.E - This course gave my eldest daughter a really solid foundation and it's style works well for DD2. This may be up for change though - I'm not sure. I have a bit of research to do into this area but for now we will stick with it.


English Literature

My daughter is seriously looking at studying English at uni so I felt that we needed to make sure that she has a good strong knowledge and love of British literature. IEW resources are A-MAIZ-ING, so we will use this course over her Junior and Senior years.

* Read Aloud - this much loved part of our homeschool will be utilised to it's maximum benefit here. We will read classic literature together, include lots of discussions as well as keep a Common Place book for all our lit reading, whether done together or interdependently.


History




*Streams of Civilisation 1 and 2 worked over two years will give my daughter a great overview and understanding of history from pre-history to modern day. This will form our spine. 

*Lots of living books will be added according to the time period to our studies.




*American History - this curriculum comes in three volumes covering American, World and British history. We will be using the American history volume only along with lots of lovely living books to ensure a thorough understanding of American history for our SAT. We will work through this course over 18 months.


SAT Prep


* Khan Academy Official SAT Practise and SAT Question of the Day App - After having spoken to my friend Tricia from Hodgepodge Mom I feel confident that by using all the excellent resources I have mentioned that my daughter will be adequately prepared for her SAT and SAT subject tests. However we will be using her recommended SAT question of the day app as well as the Khan Academy's official SAT practise site to help prepare for the test.

2.Setting the Course

- I have an overview of all the courses that we want to cover over the next two years. I have a clear direction of our course of action. 

- I have a clear idea of what needs to happen in her Junior year and her Senior with regards to standardised testing. My daughter will sit the SAT for the first time next year, then again in 2018. Of course if she does phenomenally well in her first test then no need to re-do it - but at least we shall have a good idea of where she's at academically and we will have a set of grades that can accompany her uni applications.

- 2017 will be the year of choosing a uni and course of study. So we expect to be attending various uni open days and making decisions and applications.


So there we have it, a plan of action. All the curriculum is now in and stacked on the shelves waiting for September. In the mean time we can now switch off, relax and enjoy the summer hols :)

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