Preliminary Planning for 2012/13: My Older (10th grade)

A few weeks back, I posted preliminary plans for fall for my younger son, A.B. My older son’s plans still have some holes, but here’s what I have so far.  As always, plans are subject to change. For past plans for both boys, see the tab above, “What We Say We’re Doing.”

A.D. (15, 10th grade)

Math: This one is easy, at least for me. My older will be enrolled in a local homeschool-friendly university for Calculus I and II this year. Math is his strongest subject, and his biggest challenges will be showing his work and writing legibly. The math part should be no problem, especially since he’s spent the past month working through my college calculus text with the help of Khan Academy videos. Yes, he’s excited, albeit in that somewhat cool, detached way teenage boys often have.

Language Arts:  The goals for this year are to continually build his writing skills, with a focus on the essay and academic writing, and doing more formal literary study and analysis. For the writing, we’ll selectively work through Models for Writers: Short Essays for Composition, adding in a few research papers throughout the year.  He’ll also complete a Hewitt Lightning Literature course, likely American Mid to Late 19th Century, although that’s under debate.  I’d like to add some formal vocabulary study, since that fell by the wayside midway through Word Within the Word II. What we’ll use remains unknown (suggestions welcome).

History: This one’s a mystery. This summer, he’s watching and discussing The World Was Never the Same: Events that Changed History (Teaching Company) with a group of homeschoolers.  I’m adding some readings to round out the subjects as well. A friend is musing about creating a course on the history of the English language, but this is still in the maybe stage. Last year was American history, so this year won’t be. Beyond that, I’m uncertain (and again, open to suggestions).

Science: Ack! It’s physics time! Somehow, I found myself volunteering to teach (algebra-based) physics to a handful of local homeschoolers. Then, I promptly lost a night of sleep in sheer panic. I’ve found my ground and some good resources. We’ll likely be using Singapore’s Physics Matters for the text, with additions for the material it’s lacking (parabolic motion, centripetal and centrifugal force, and quantum physics, just to name a few). A friend’s husband, who will be doing labs for my younger son and his own son, volunteered to run labs for the high school kids one day a month. I’ll teach the material, likely working some smaller labs and demos during our weekly meeting, and turn over the true excitement to him. Lesson plans will appear on this blog as they develop.

Foreign Language: Latin didn’t work. Spanish with Rosetta Stone (assigned to give the flavor of the language only) yielded less than 20 vocabulary words, per my son’s estimate. So this fall, we’re trying something different. So this September, my older will start the American Sign Language  sequence at our local homeschooling-friendly university. A kinesthetic language for a kinesthetic learner seems appropriate. Will colleges accept it? Many do, and he understands the limits this choice may place on his options later.

The Rest:  He’ll continue with piano through the summer and next year. His negotiations with him piano teacher did yield a happier student and a generally satisfied teacher, and he’s pleased enough to stay put.  While he spent some time at tennis lessons this winter, he’s not interested in our local Y’s current configuration of classes (teens were moved from  classes with adults to classes for age 8 and up). He needs exercise, and finding what will work for him is one of our summer quests.

I’d like to teach a class using David White’s The Examined Life: Advanced Philosophy for Kids, although not first semester when I’m settling into physics. Both my boys enjoyed White’s Philosophy For Kids: 40 Questions That Help You Wonder About Everything, but I’d rather run this second one with a larger group than my own two children (and I think only my older is ready for this much more challenging tome).  I’m also waiting to hear from my older. It is, after all, his education.

Suggestions are always appreciated, as are links to your plans.


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