My 14 year old son is officially entering high school this fall, though he did high school level coursework across the board last year as well. Most of his courses this year will be at the 11th grade level and are designed with an eye towards entering community college full time in two years.
Algebra II: Son14 will continue to use Algebra and Trigonometry: Functions and Applications by Paul Foerster. Because I am not fit to teach math beyond first year algebra, we will also continue using the Math Without Borders lectures on DVD. Son14 completed chapters 1-5 last year and will complete chapters 6-12 this year at a relaxed pace. He will not be doing the trigonometry portion of the text, as he will get a full dose of that next year in precalculus.
Latin I: Son14 will also be continuing with Latin I using Cambridge Latin. He completed the first half of Latin I last year in a semester and this next year will spread out the second half over a full year. Foreign languages are particularly difficult for Son14 because of his dyslexia, though Latin seems better than the modern languages because of the emphasis on reading rather than conversation.
American Literature: This resource intensive course will have two distinct strands: the literature piece and the composition piece. The backbone of the literature strand will be Prentice Hall’s The American Experience. Son14 seems to do well with an anthology approach, so that is what we will do. We will also be using Michael Clay Thompson’s Self-Evident Truths series to study the Declaration of Independence, the Gettysburg Address, and King’s I Have a Dream speech. In addition, Son14 will be reading the following whole works:
- The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
- Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
- The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
- Pudd’nhead Wilson by Mark Twain
- The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
- The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
- The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
- Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
- Teaching the Multiparagraph Essay by Jane C. Schaffer
- The Magic Lens Volume 1 by Michael Clay Thompson
- Grammar for High School by Don and Jenny Killgallon
- Easy Grammar Ultimate: Grade 11 by Wanda C. Phillips
- Wordly Wise 3000: Grade 11 by Kenneth Hodkinson and Sandra Adams
American History: Son14 will be using The American Odyssey (from K12) as well as various supplemental resources. He and I will watch the lecture series from the Teaching Company called A History of the United States and I will read A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn aloud. In addition, he will be reading the following books:
- 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann
- The Interesting Narrative of Olaudah Equiano
- Black Elk Speaks by John G. Neihardt
- A Cruel Wind: Pandemic Flu in America by Dorothy A. Pettit and Janice Bailie
- Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin
Astronomy: Son14 requested to study cosmology this year, and as I was wanting to put off biology for a year, I agreed, with the caveat that he also study traditional astronomy. He will be using The Cosmos: Astronomy in the New Millennium by Pasachoff and Filippenko combined with the Teaching Company lecture series Understanding the Universe. Son14 will also be using the Virtual Astronomy Laboratories provided by Brooks/Cole. In addition, he will read the following books:
- Early Man and the Cosmos by Evan Hadingham
- The Pluto Files by Neil DeGrasse Tyson
- Pale Blue Dot by Carl Sagan
- The Universe in a Nutshell by Stephen Hawking
- Dragon’s Egg by Robert L. Forward (fiction)
- Contact by Carl Sagan (fiction)
Health: Last, and least, is health. Son14 will be using Health: Making Life Choices, which is apparently the only book on the market that incorporates human sexuality into the main text. He will also be obtaining first aid and CPR certification as well as cooking experience as part of the course.
So that’s it. I want to emphasize reading, writing, note taking, and organization this year while going a little lighter on the math and foreign language. I’m hoping for an interesting and productive year.