High School: Plans for Year One

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:

For composition, we will be using the following resources:

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:

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:

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.

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7 Responses to High School: Plans for Year One

  1. RamonaQ says:

    Hello! How exciting to see you have a blog. This year looks incredibly exciting for your son– it makes me even want to do it! I am curious if your son will read all the literature/ history/ astronomy selections you have chosen or do you excerpt or use other technologies (such as books on tape).

    • Good question! When I wrote the post, I knew I would be reading the Zinn book aloud and was toying with the idea of reading the literature text aloud as well. In the intervening days, I’ve come to the conclusion that not only reading the literature text aloud but also reading the history text aloud is the way to go. Doing this will enable us to have discussions as we go, but perhaps more importantly, it will ensure that we maintain an appropriate pace throughout the year. He will read the astronomy text as well as all of whole works on his own.

      • RamonaQ says:

        Sounds like a great plan. I love discussing literature with my (dyslexic) ds. His insight and understanding is simply fascinating to me. How does your ds feel about the reading load?

      • He hasn’t expressed much of an opinion, though I’m sure I’ll hear about it once school starts. He will be reading about 25 pages per day, not including the astronomy text. It seems like a reasonable load to me, especially in light of his college goals.

      • RamonaQ says:

        It does seem like a very reasonable goal. Thanks for sharing how you plan and think. This is all very inspiring for me think about for my 2e kid as we follow behind you all.

  2. Swimmermom3 says:

    I am delighted to find that you have a blog as when I need a curricula answer beyond the mundane, you usually have it. Best wishes on your new project. I look forward to reading more.

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