Monday, July 17, 2017

11th Grade Curriculum Choices

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As I was planning Matthew's 11th grade year, I sat with his transcript and wrote in the edges what I felt he needed to graduate.  Our state has no formal rules, but if he chooses to apply to college, I feel he needs a competitive-to-local-students transcript.  It certainly doesn't need to match the ones the public district students will have, but I think it should have a similar composition.  To our delight, we're approaching the "electives" phase of our journey - most of the core requirement classes are complete, so we can really start exploring within his interests or specific needs.

You can see from this screenshot of his transcript that he's planning on some extra sciences.  He seems to be gravitating toward earth sciences, and my theory is if it's something he's interested in, that's half the battle.  Since he has completed four credits in Language, he has a space "open" in his schedule for extra sciences. Thanks to the Homeschool Review Crew, we've got the opportunity to do Aviation and Marine Biology.  Matthew is enthralled with Doctor Aviation, so we're going to take the time far beyond the review period and finish this one out, in addition to Physics, his official "Junior Science" course.  We'll probably work Marine Biology in "part time" and spread it into Senior year, and see what else life throws at him.

Our current plan for Matthew's Junior year is carved in play might dry into the original, or we might squish it back up and re-mold.  We'll see how it goes.  The current plan is:

Language Arts

We're creating our own interest-based literature program, based on the books suggested for his other subjects.  You can read more about it in this blog post.  The one formal program that we will be continuing with is Memoria Press' program for The Iliad and The Odyssey. It began as a review and is definitely a challenge for Matthew, but he finds the books interesting so we'll continue on.


Matthew just began Thinkwell's Trigonometry program.  That will probably take him into very early spring when he'll start their Calculus program (continuing into 12th grade).


One goal is to finish Chemistry! He has completed the "book" part, but we need to finish up the lab section.  We're working with MEL Science kits, and he'll continue through the school year doing just labs to finish Chemistry once and for all!

Physics is coming from The Great Courses.  We're adding in the recommended textbook & problems as well.  I'm looking into lab options.  I remember my own physics labs and they were pretty simple in terms of activity -- the hard part was using all the formulas and math calculations.  I'm leaning towards the Lab Manual section of BJU's program.

Doctor Aviation is our resource for Aviation. Matthew is really enjoying this - and since "good" electives are the reward for finishing core requirements well, I'm all for it!

Update for Doctor Aviation! Read our review for that by clicking here.

Social Studies

This is another two-course year.  Matthew's continuing with American History, using History of the United States, 2nd Ed. from  The Great Courses.  We'll add in some of the suggested reading, as well as using U.S. History Detective from the Critical Thinking Co.  (In our state, American History is a two-year course.) I'm hopeful we'll get to do a little more traveling and add more National Park site visits to our agenda, too.

His other social studies course, Critical Thinking,  also comes from these two resources.  The Great Courses is our choice for video-based instruction.  His first video course is "Your Deceptive Mind: A Scientific Guide to Critical Thinking Skills", to be followed with "Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning".   He's working on two workbook sets from The Critical Thinking Co.: Basics of Critical Thinking and Practical Critical Thinking.

That brings him up to six "heavy" courses.  That's probably all I'm going to plan on, for now.  Being part of the Review Crew means we'll likely get some new stuff to work with, so I'd rather leave him a little breathing room to try new things.  If he's making really good progress, I'll start planning senior year, or we'll add an arts or music course - something "different" that is challenging but not stressful.

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