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Saturday, January 26, 2013

A Day in the Life: Curriculum 9th grade

Curriculum. The big word. A question that many homeschoolers get asked often, and ask OTHERS often. "Hey--what do you use?". The picture above is only a partial view of the 3 bookshelves currently overtaking my bedroom. I use 'bits' and 'pieces' of things, and from time to time, actually use ALL of something. This post is just to discuss the things we have used and what seems to have 'worked' so far. Change is always on the horizon. I believe in continuity, but I also believe in meeting certain goals we have set. Above all, I am reminded of our school's 'verse' when making curriculum decisions.

Philippians 4:8:
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (bible gateway)

9th grade:

This year was PANIC year. I have a high schooler and I have only been homeschooling for 3 years! I want him to get into college, I'm worried about SAT/ACT scores, I want him to.....(fill in the blanks here). I took my focus off the WHY and put my focus on the HOW. Big mistake (think Peter stepping out of the boat, taking his eyes off Jesus, and looking at the STORM). As I felt the Lord whisper to me why we were doing this, I realized that in my panic I had made many mistakes. That is why things just were NOT working this year. 

We started the year off using a Unit Study approach mainly for History, hoping to keep me sane and keep my kids on the same time period. Did it work? NO. Their age difference made finding books, not to mention scheduling everything, very difficult. I LOVE this method and applaud everyone who is able to make it work, however for MY family and our lifestyle, things kept getting 'missed'. They were having trouble retaining some of it too.

Worrying over that and high school, I put my oldest into a 'classical' unit studyish type program. Major bomb there too. Again, I applaud ALL those who go this route--it will provide them with a good solid education, but it just didn't work here. Not classical education, just the program we used. I had to edit FAR too many 'Bible' associations and 'rationales' for doing what the author of the curriculum called for. As a matter of fact, I found myself editing so much that it just wasn't worth it. At all. Nor did I want to use any of the book selections for my younger crew at their age. All is well though-he was able to obtain 1/2 credit in this History and his comments were "Hey--I learned--it wasn't a waste. I love to learn and anytime I can, that is great!"

Soo--what did we find that did work with this child and mom's comfort in teaching? The VERY thing I swore I would never use. Don't judge me--I didn't get it at the time (lol). We switched him to Abeka for World Geography. He LOVES it and is doing really well!! We also switched to Abeka for their full Language Arts--Grammar/Comp, Poetry/Spelling/Vocab, and Literature. This child devours books--his book list for this year alone is huge and includes readings in Norton's Anthologies. However, he LOVES Abeka's Literature. We just give him extra books to read to satisfy his love of reading. 

For next year, we will probably be using ALL Abeka, or a mix of it and BJU with him. He especially enjoyed their math when he tried some of it last year.

Do we have it all together? NO. We are trying to seek the Lord not only yearly, but daily, in our pursuit of homeschooling and the plans HE has for each of these kids.

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