Sunday, August 5, 2012

Comments, Suggestions, Recommendations, Critiques?

We are going to dip a toe into academics tomorrow, doing an introductory Mapping the World by Heart lesson.  We'll do a subject or so a day this week, a little more next week and probably nearly full speed by the week of August 20.  I'd be interested in what you all are planning and how you all are feeling as the school year gears up, though I realize for many it never really ends.  I have some questions at the end of this note and I'd appreciate any insight and advice.

Our plans for the year ahead:

Math--taken at his college.  Real Analysis I and II, Topology (knot theory) in the spring.  Continue summer research on Weakly Viewing Lattice Points (whatever that means).
Physics--taken at his college.  Physics I, II and III.
Geography--Mapping the World By Heart, done here at home with DS15 and DS11.
English--Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond and research paper offshoot from that.  Grammarlogues.  Writing the Easy Way.  Monthly lit group. I'm sure we'll read other stuff, see question below.  Ditto for DS15.
Bible--AWANA and a start on Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem.  Ditto for DS15.
Gym--weekly group gym time at local homeschool co-op.  Jogs on his own.  Ditto for DS17.
Extras:  part time job (Mathnasium), AWANA volunteer, church tech crew volunteer, youth group, Science Olympiad, Lit Group, Gavel Club (Toastmasters for the under 18 crowd).

Areas of concern...really needs to pick up another year or two of language.  He doesn't want to continue with Rosetta Stone Latin--he finished the first one, which Rosetta Stone says is equal to Latin 1 and 2.  Maybe LiveMocha Spanish?  Also, he needs a fine art of some sort...maybe digital photography?  Or perhaps computer programming?  

Math--Life of Fred Trigonometry.  Competitive math club--Geometry.
Biology--Virtual Homeschool Co-op free live Biology class online using Apologia.
Geography, English, Bible and Gym same as older brother.
Art--Advanced Art at local co-op, Woodcarving.
Driver's Ed
Extras:  very part-time art class teacher, fall and spring rec soccer, AWANA volunteer, youth group, Science Olympiad, Lit Group, Gavel Club.

Areas of concern...same language concern as older brother.  

Math--Life of Fred Pre-Algebra I with Biology and Life of Fred Pre-Algebra II with Economics.
Geography, Bible, Gym--same as brothers, minus the Systematic Theology.  
English--not sure here.  Probably written narration of some of what he reads for Bio and Econ, Grammarlogues, free online spelling at  Once monthly boys' lit group.
Extras:  fall and spring soccer, gymnastics, AWANA, youth group, Science Olympiad, Gavel Club, Lit Group, piano lessons and possibly adding in drums.

Areas of concern...he's not finished with Rosetta Stone Latin.  Do I make him continue?  

Math--Singapore 2A and B.
English--outloud reading from Christian Liberty Press Nature Readers, McGuffeys and Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans.  AWANA verse copywork.
Geography sticker book to work on while her brothers do Mapping the World by Heart.
Literature Unit Studies--Five in a Row (Three on Occasion for us)
Art--informal.  She's little.  Do you all think access to lots of craft supplies about covers it at this age?
Extras:  karate, gymnastics, AWANA, church group.  Maybe Daisy Scouts if I can get into the neighborhood troop I want.

Holistic, kinesthetic approach to his world.  Puzzles, reading to him, toy trains, etc.  Trying to keep him alive and safe while attempting to tend to the others.

Question:  What are your very best recommendations for high school and middle school for literature that ties in to a continent?  Can be any time period.  I prefer historical fiction, but am open to other suggestions.  I just want to give them the flavor of the continent we might be concentrating on during the geography units.  (Edited to add--thanks to the several who suggested All Through the Ages by Christine Miller as a must have historical/geographical book list).

Comments, suggestions, recommendations, critiques?

What does your year look like?  I'm curious (and nosey).


  1. I need to get mine written out, too. I started, but didn't finish. Loved the "Three on Occasion" that fits our use as well. :)

    We are starting high school spanish around here. I kind of speak it, so as usual my firstborn is the guinea pig. We'll see if I can make it through with him and teach him enough to earn a credit. :) I just got some extra books that a school was getting rid of, with teacher's guides if you want to try, too. ;)

    Sounds like some great plans, even your lofty goal of keeping your 3 year old alive, I can relate to that, too. :)

  2. It looks like you all have a great year ahead. We just discovered Life of Fred. The kids love them.
    Blessings, Dawn

  3. I don't know if the reading level would be right, but Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne is one of my favorites.