Did I really just say that? Could that adorable little boy who used to run around the block to watch the garbage truck every Thursday really be a junior in high school? Oh, where has the time gone?
Well at least planning a junior year in high school was easier the second time around. I've already been through it once with my daughter who is a junior in college this year. (Don't get me started on those tears again!) I learned from a few more years experience, more research, and yes, from the mistakes I made the first time.
So what exactly are we doing this year in our homeschool for his junior year? Thanks for asking!
In Pennsylvania, the following credits are mandatory for graduation:
- English - 4 credits
- Math - 3 credits
- Science - 3 credits
- Social Studies -3 credits
- Arts & Humanities- 2 credits
For English, this year, I decided to focus completely on Literature and a Research Paper. My son is on the local school district's football team and, as I learned last year, there's a lot of time in his schedule devoted to football so I determined to wait on the research paper until the Spring semester. He'll be taking an online course - probably here. For the literature aspect, I decided to give him some more of his own leadership this year - which is not easy for me - but I'm thinking it may be beneficial. Basically, he needs to read about 15-20 books (depending on length; some longer works may count as two books). I have only made three specific titles mandatory this year: All Quiet on the Western Front, All Creatures Great and Small and The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. Yep- that's it. He has to decide the rest for himself - with some guidance of course! All the books that he chooses must be sound quality literature and NOT considered TWADDLE (he may pick ONE book that I would consider twaddle just for fun if he chooses but one is the limit!). A minimum of 2 books that he chooses MUST be considered 'classics' by at least one reliable source as deemed by myself. He will be giving both oral and written narrations of all the books he reads (including a few that we will use as read alouds).
For Consumer Math & Finance, we are using a combination of the Abeka Consumer Math curriculum and Dave Ramsey's homeschool curriculum titled Foundations in Personal Finance as well as taking part in the monthly budget meetings held by my husband and myself.
Science this year will be an Anatomy & Physiology class taken with the local homeschool group. I wasn't thrilled about taking part of this since it would take up our Tuesday afternoons and affects my ability to get my youngest son to swimming lessons but as my older son thinks a science major may be in his future, I felt it important enough to find a class with a teacher that knows more about this subject than me!
One credit will also be given for Home Economics. I have devised the course myself and have a set number of mandatory hours (120+ total) in a variety of subcategories including cooking, home maintenance, automotive, nutrition, sewing and laundry. Most of the requirements is hands on participation but some will involve reading articles and other reference materials. I love the fact that we have recently found a new handyman that would be a great resource to use to teach my son a few things that my husband and are not capable of teaching. I just hope that eventually my son will be here when the handyman is! So far the football season has interfered with that quite a bit!
He will also have two half credit courses this year. One such course is Economics. He will be using the well known source Whatever Happened to Penny Candy as well as the Bluestocking Guide Economics and The Money Mystery to complete the course. All of these books are pictured above with Amazon links!
The other half credit course that I created for my son is Introduction to Christianity. He will be using the book Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy by Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick as well as The Orthodox Way by Bishop Kallistos Ware (Bishop Wares book has actually been used in college Introduction to Christianity classes). We will be using a Charlotte Mason approach with this class in that he will be giving both oral and written narrations for these book selections in addition to related articles that we find through the year.
Finally, my son will be taking a Study Skills course which I have assigned a full credit as he is using several sources to complete the course and give him a firm foundation in skills essential to success in his college career. For this course, I have selected College Study: The essential ingredients by Sally A. Lipsky, a professor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania as well as the other text used by the same university, How to Study in College by Pauk and Owens. He will also be watching a very old video course that my husband thrived on, Where There's a Will, There's an A.
So there it is! The plan for the eleventh grade year. I think it will work well. But only time will tell! I’ll keep you posted in other posts this year as well as my monthly updates!