If we value the pursuit of knowledge, we must be free to follow wherever that search may lead us. ~ Adlai Stevenson

Monday, June 22, 2015

Thinking, Planning, Choices to be Made... UPDATED

We're thinking about fall. A few choices have been made, but there are still some to go.

For The Boy, we know he will be:
  • taking art and basic welding this fall (spring 2016 still to be decided) at the local junior college. Art is for enjoyment, and the basic welding is part of the automotive repair training certificate program. The Boy has decided that he intends to complete the automotive repair certificate program, and take all applicable tests to become a fully certified mechanic by the age of 17 or 18.
  • doing an overview of world history with the Big History Project  World History: Our Human Story, as per California state graduation requirements. Not that he has to follow those, as we are a private school, but he wants to "just in case", and this seemed the easiest route.  Plus, we like the K12 books! I think he'll just be reading through it for a "survey" approach.
  • reading a lot. I'm putting together a list of suggested books, mostly dystopian or sci fi, but will leave it up to him as to what he actually reads off the list, aiming for at least one book per month. He'll be listening in on family read alouds as well.
  • algebra. Which program to use? He and I are looking at and comparing: Life of Fred Beginning Algebra, Teaching Textbooks Algebra 1, TabletClass Algebra, and ChalkDust Algebra. This is proving to be a difficult decision! We do like Fred, but I worry that it isn't enough.... and video lectures might be helpful. I just don't know right now.  Update: He ended up choosing Teaching Textbooks as he wants the step-by-step instruction at this point.
  • he will probably be finishing off reading the roughly 3/4 of Conceptual Physics that he neglected this last year. Or ????  Science will be integrated with his history program, using additional readings and documentaries, maybe lectures from The Joy of Science if I can get it.
    Then, still up in the air:

    For The Girl, we know she will be:
    • for science, literature, and some light history (see below too), I'm putting together a plan based off of the Scientists in the Field series, adding in either literature or biographies with each title we cover. She'll be doing hands-on science through nature studies.
    • doing some light history this year, mainly through books like Girls Who Looked Under Rocks, Girls Think of Everything,  and Girls Who Rocked the World. We'll just read through a profile each week, and she might keep a notebook/timeline of some sort. I decided that since she'll be hitting high school in another couple of years, and will do world then American history at that point, we could go "light" this year.
    • spelling. Her invented spelling is very, very interesting, but hard for anyone besides me to actually read. I think I've settled on Spelling Works, though I am also considering Spelling Workout, or Megawords. I'm also looking at Apples & Pears, as it is supposed to be very good for dyslexic students.
    • and plenty of reading. She is finding books she really enjoys, though I will continue making suggestions, and I will be reading aloud to her, both from family read aloud books, and books she would love, but that are above her current reading capabilities.
    And up in the air:

    And for both, I know we will be:
    • using the old Great Books academy schedule (no longer available on their website!) of math, writing, science, and literature 4 days a week, then a 5th day with history, geography, the arts, and maybe philosophy or logic (I'm leaning toward The Fallacy Detective). Of course, our time frames will likely differ from what they have listed, example: The Boy may well spend an hour 4 days a week doing math, not 30 minutes!
    • using our Afternoon Basket, though I haven't decided quite how yet. I know we want to read good books together, and enjoy some more of Richard Halliburton's travels (geography), etc., but I have to put it together.


    1. For the math for both, you might want to check out www.mathessentials.net -We reviewed them a few years back and M liked them so much that she's done 4 of their math books, which do include video lessons for most. They're really cost effective as well, which I appreciated., and my father in law, a retired high school math teacher, was very pleased with the content (he went through the Geometry book with her).

      1. Thank you -- I will check that out!

    2. You might want to take a look at CTC Math. We started using it to review Algebra I and also for this coming year's Geometry. It is very economical in the fact that you can use it with multiple students multiple levels of math for like $99.00 a year and it is video based. Short and to the point. We have loved it.


    What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

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