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Subjects for Freshman Homeschool Year

Submitted by kim on Wed, 09/04/2013 - 12:32 in Homeschooling

I'm somewhat of an eclectic homeschool mom. Over the last 22 years, I've found some favorite publishers, favorite texts, and favorite order of teaching topics to my children. I've learned that homeschooling has to first and foremost work for my children and me. We do a lot of reading and writing,  a lot of math and critical thinking, a lot of interacting and talking between parents and students. We do very few workbooks. We have a firm daily schedule that serves as a guide through our day so we all know what to expect, but it doesn't control our lives.

Drummer is a freshman and will use the following curriculum and texts for his studies this year:

Bible, History, Historical Fiction, Literature: Sonlight Core 100. We are one of those families that reads every book and does all the writing assignments that Sonlight assigns. We simply love to read and discuss books! Despite being in high school, I still read aloud daily to Drummer. We pick one of the assigned books and read it in the evening along with his daily poetry. Poetry is meant to be read aloud. I award a half credit in bible, half a credit in literature, and one credit in history for completing this Sonlight core.

Math: Saxon Algebra 1. I'm a die hard Saxon Mom. I started using Saxon 22 years ago and despite all the new curriculums with bells and whistles and computer software and DVD's', I'm still using the plain old black and white paged hard back Saxon textbooks. It's that "use what works for you" thing. Building Thinking Skills Verbal Level 3. Love all the Critical Thinking Company books and try to do a couple a year with the kids. This material combined equals one credit in math.

Science: Bob Jone's Life Science. They advertise this text for 7th grade, but I tend to use it in 9th and then follow with physical science, chemistry, and physics through the high school years. I do beef up the assignments by adding additional reading of library books and requiring lab reports. Drummer is doing his science with two other homeschool students in a weekly co-op this year. Cutting up frogs is much more fun if others are doing it at the same time. One credit of science.

English: Here is where I really pull a lot of different pieces together. For vocabulary, Drummer is doing both Vocabulary for Classical Roots (book B) and Wordly Wise. In addition to the writing assignments in Sonlight Core 100, we're using a writer's notebook daily, using ideas from my own Write Next To Me project and from Always Write. We do daily exercises in William Strong's Sentence Combining and study a grammar topic a week using Our Mother Tongue and my grammar text from graduate school. I award Drummer 1 credit for English, in addition to the half credit in Literature because this is a lot of reading and writing.

Electives: We're still discussing these. I tend to let my high school student select their own electives. We're considering photography (fine arts credit), piano (fine arts credit), child development (practical arts credit) and/or sign language (foreign language) this year. The later two are significantly influenced by the new little baby our family is adopting. Once Drummer and I settle on the topics, we'll search for texts and resources and decide if they will be full credit classes or just half credit one semester courses.