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Sunday, June 17, 2018

9th Grade Curriculum for Caitlin

This will also be a work in progress.  I will add to it as I decide which choices I will be using.  I have decided for 2 classes so far.

English/Literature first Semester:

I will have to update this class throughout the year, as it will depend on how long each book is.  I found this cool website, Virtual Home School Group, and they offer both live and at your own pace, classes.  Since I probably won't ever do live classes, at least not 9th grade, I chose Animal Farm as her first semester book.  There is a free version of the book, and they share it on their website.  This book is a nice easy read, and will be a good start for the new school year.  There are several activities, and quizzes for this book.  As this will be our first time using this website, I can not evaluate the course.  Below see a picture of a book.  I bought the book for a quarter at a consignment shop.  It is such a cool book, and will be used for History and Writing assignments.  Adapt it for your child's level of research and writing.  This will give her a short research, or writing project each day.  I didn't enforce homework with my first child, until his senior year.  This child will have homework at least a couple of days out of the week, even if it is just to study.


Using the same website mentioned above, VHSG, I found an Apologia Physical Science class, that was at your own pace.  I chose this one instead of Biology, for grade 9, because Caitlin started Earth Science at the middle of grade 8, and I think this will roll nicely together for her.  You do need to have the Apologia Physical Science textbook, edition 1 or 2.  You can buy it used, and if you have a Kindle, and subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, it is free to read right now.  Trust me I got it.  This should be a full year course.  I love Apologia, so I was very excited to see that is what this course used. 


For 9th grade will of course be American History.  This time around I decided to find an American History timeline, online, and go through what I want her to learn, that maybe she doesn't already know.  Since we did the American Revolution a lot in Middle School, I will mostly be glazing over that era.  However, since the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, are very important to that era, I think we will do some unit studies, or documentaries on those.  I will share the links when I decide.  We will be definitely starting off listening to the play, Hamilton.  My kids have been begging me to listen to it, and decided to incorporate it into the first part of History.  We are still on Summer break, but will be doing it in next couple of weeks, along with a unit study.  Since I don't want to spend a ton of time on this musical, I decided on this unit study.  I am sure we will have a lot of discussions as well.


The hardest of all to decide, and the most time consuming to consider.  I think I have finally decided on the following options.  We are currently working our way through Introduction to Algebra on Edx.  There are about 84 days left to completion.  So, over the Summer, as time allows, we will continue to work on that.  I try to do a lesson a day, but somedays there is just no time.  After we finish that, which will be at the beginning of the new school year, I am sure, I want her to try this class on Edx.  Hopefully it will help her see Math in different ways.  That course is 7 weeks long.  After that, I will move her right into this Business Math course.  That should complete the full year of Math for her.  Dave Ramsey financial math is also a consideration, but for now I will stick with the others. 


Caitlin has decided she wants to learn French for her language.  She did not have to start it in 9th grade, but she chose it over other electives.  These are the websites I have chosen to use.  The first one, will be a quick 3 week start to her French lessons.  We will also incorporate in a lot of French food, and cooking.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

8th Grade Portfolio for Caitlin

This will be a post that will be added to, and edited frequently over the next few weeks.  I will be going through all of the things we did, and making summaries for each subject below.  I probably won't add any samples of work here, as I bring them to the physical evaluation in August.  This just gives me better organization, and less papers to carry with me.  If the majority of the work was done online, I will share the website it was done on.  I will start with the easiest.  We have worked out an arrangement with my graduated son, for him to be my nanny/tutor for the next school year, and then we will go from there.  Over the Summer, they will be reading Seabiscuit, walking a mile each day I work, and Math games. I am still in the planning process for the next school year, but it will all be laid out for him what to do, and when.  He is taking 2 college classes in the Fall, and  then we will go from there with his college work.  This works out good for everyone.  Here is the STAR website, where you can print off sample questions.  I give her time limits for each question, and do not help her in any way with answers.


Caitlin's Reading and Writing has progressed immensely this last year.  I am very proud of her, and though I still think Writing could use some work, she is finally where I think she needs to be for Grade 8, at least from a non common core perspective.    See results below.

We started out the school year reading, Little House in the Big Woods.  I purchased lesson books to go along with it, from Lee Giles, called Blaze New Trails.  We did not get all of the projects done, but we did a good deal of them.  The literature study book was a lot of fun, and I will be sharing a couple of pics from the things we did.  She absolutely loved washing clothes by hand in the kiddie pool!  After we finished that book, we moved on the The Hobbit.  We tried it in audio version, and it was just so slow.  Because, we were short on time we decided to watch the movie, which I immensely enjoyed, and will be trying to get the rest of The Lord of the Rings series somehow incorporated in coming years.  I used, and the class How to Write an Essay to help improve her writing.  This is a college level course, and I didn't have her do all of the exercises, but it did help her a lot.  The end product was she had to write a Thesis, an 8th grade level Thesis, lol.  I gave her my expectations, and gave her 3 chances to edit, and make suggested changes.  She ended up with a 75 for a score.  Though I would hope for at least a B, I will take a C.  I love Edx, and you will see below that I am also using it for summer Math.  Just like last year, I used STAR to print off a sample of test questions.   For Reading I printed 10 in total, and she got 2 wrong.  We reviewed the 2 she got wrong.  Her reading comprehension is immensely better than last year.  Next year we will start a more intensive vocabulary curriculum.  She does not like to read aloud, something else I would like to work on.  There were several other small writing assignments throughout the year, all with good improvement.  I have printed off 3 writing samples, that I will bring with us.


Math is a work in progress.  She started the year finishing up step one of middle school Math, on Easy Peasy Homeschool.  She then moved on to step 2, and was getting good grades.  Apparently, however, she was not retaining the info well.  When I tested her, she struggled to remember rules, and steps to follow for some basic sort of Math.  So, for Summer school, she is doing, with me, Introduction to Algebra, on Edx.  I had already started this course myself, weeks ago, as a refresher.  I started her from the beginning, on her own account, and I do it with her.  I only help her to find info, and resources, and use the curriculum.  I do not help her with answers.  She also now has to take notes, and keep them for review and studying.  If she doesn't finish this course by the end of Summer it will roll over into 9th grade.  At the end of this course, I will probably return to my favorite, which is Saxon Algebra 1, and start working our way through that.  Another option,, would be Business Math, for grade 9, as she wants to own her own business someday.  Since June 30th, when we began Introduction to Algebra, she has moved through about 30% of the lessons.  We left off on adding fractions.  Here is a link to the curriculum,


This one is fairly easy.  It is very informal.  She learns the music she wants.  Since she does not read music, she memorizes the chords using Youtube, and then plays the songs on the piano option of her organ.  For grade 9 I will probably expand her Music lessons to include some reading music.  She would like a keyboard for Christmas, also.


Caitlin's History was centered around the Little House in the Big Woods book.  We did not complete all the activities, but did get a lot done, plus we watched a documentary on The Great Depression.  She got all the History questions right on the STAR test questions.  I think there was only 3 or 4, but she knew ones I wasn't sure she did.  That was a good thing.  Caitlin loves documentaries, and I will be incorporating more of them into her high school years.  Hoping to find some for all subjects, not just History and Science.  In the Middle School years, History and Science are not a priority class. 


We started the school year learning about Weather, and what an active Fall it was.  We had Hurricane Irma come plowing through here, and we had to evacuate.  It was definitely an experience.  She did a writing assignment about it.  I still want her brother to do some experiments over the Summer with her, just haven't had time to put the info together for him yet.  After we got bored with Weather, and I take it back, The Great Depression we watched, was because we were learning about dust storms, we moved on to Earth Science.  She did the second half of the school year on CK12, doing Earth Science.  She did quite well with it too.  She likes online format much better than textbooks.  I was going to have her finish it up in 9th grade, but I am transitioning her to Physical Science with Apologia, because I like Apologia, and a lot of the stuff covered is the stuff she didn't complete in Earth Science.  So, they will transition together nicely.  She did well on the STAR questions for Science, as well. This should show where she left off on Earth Science  It might not come up if it signs me out. 

I think that covers the basics.  I will continue to add stuff as I think of it.

Currclick for Homeschoolers


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