Saturday, June 2, 2007

Getting Into College

Here are other homeschoolers thoughts....

As a word of encouragement... My two oldest children have been homeschooled thru high school and are now in college. My 3 younger are doing LA. (3rd, 6th and 8th) That is why I am checking this loop out as we hope to continue with it next year. My oldest daughter did not take the ACT, SAT or get a GED. She went to our local community college and took their placement tests for English and Math and did very well. They did not need the transcript I had made (sigh) from our homeschool. She got involved in student government (Vice Pres.) and other extra curricular activities. They then gave her a FULL 2 year Trustees Scholarship. She transferred to a private 4 yr. school with a double major in English and Pre- Med. She is continuing on her chosen path to be a doctor ( a heart surgeon she hopes) She has taken the MCAT and applied to medical schools. Many community colleges and even a private Christian college around here
allow for dual enrollment with highschool students. At age 16 anyone can begin taking classes. If younger they must get permission from their high school counselor ( me). This is what my son has done. If they can handle the work they have then "proven" their college aptitude and do
not need the tests. Many of the lower level courses such as college remedial, ESL type, computer classes or in an interest such as music or performing arts can be handled by a high schooler. I have given him dual credit for those courses. He is not as academic as his sister and this semester has decided to work and travel with his dad and go on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic. (He hopes to continue in school and go into finance as a stockbroker in the future)
So check out what is available- most cc's are also much more affordable. Even with scholarship money the COST of college is outrageous.

I want to 'second' this post!! This is just what we have done. My son took one math class at our community college when he was 15yo. He did so much better than the other students, that they requested we enroll him full-time. So, his college classes are doubling for his high school classes and I didn't have to make a transcript at all Smile

This year he is 17 and 2 months after he turns 18, in Dec. of this year, he will graduate from both high school and college with an Associates Degree in Computer Science. He will then transfere to the 4-yr college of his choice (we've already checked it out with them) and they will honor his 2-yr degree and he'll only need 2 more years to graduate with his Bachelor's degree (at
19yrs old!!) Now THIS is what I call not wasting your time messing around with school. This is so efficient.

As an added note of encouragement, this child was basically unschooled until he took these cc classes. He just read lots and lots of books and did a math program. So, we didn't do the upper level sciences or any of the text books that you normally think of 'high school' at all, and he has really excelled. As a matter of fact, his picture was in the newspaper yesterday because he was inducted into the Phi Theata Kappa as an academic honor student.

This LA is SO much more involved than anything he ever did. I'm just sure it will work fine for high school for my younger girls and I feel they will be more than adequately prepared for college at the community college when it's their turn.

I hope this has been an encouragement to mom's that worry about the dreaded 'transcript' and the text book route.

I also home school here in Florida through an umbrella school. Our school issues its own diplomas and our principal and vice principal attend guidance counselor meetings with the colleges' officials just like high school counselors. Their relationship with the colleges and reputation in our county are fantastic. They even issue different levels of diplomas including a standard diploma and a college prep diploma. They keep track of all the grades, send scholarship information to the state, and keep us aware of what home schoolers in Florida need to do.

I too have a 7th, just recently 8th grader to be concerned about and with "Bright Futures" scholarship requirements and concerns about credits, it is enough to drive you batty. There are so many things to think about it can get confusing. Our umbrella school takes most of the worry out of knowing what to do next. The biggest worry they helped me with is knowing what to
do for high school curriculum.

I was told by other mothers at the school that I had to use textbooks and I had to make sure I answered all the questions in the books. Also I had to use particular publishers or else my son would not be allowed to home school for high school there. I was dreading this because I had never used one publisher exclusively. I even use many different curricula for one subject.

The school staff knows me and my son. My son has always been a very good student and they recognized that whatever I was doing was working, so I had no problems getting them to accept what I was using. They did make some suggestions though. One is that I consider my goal in teaching to be preparing him for whatever lies in his future.

In his case, that means college. To prepare him for college, I need to make sure that he can express himself, not only in creative writing, which he enjoys, but also in expository writing. They suggested I consider using essays and the precise as a way to evaluate what he is learning. I don't have to use fill in the blank or multiple choice answers from textbooks or workbooks. I can use the textbook's table of contents to make sure I cover all the topics required, but I can use living books and library books on a high school level or whatever else I need to help him understand the subject. Then I can have him write essays to determine if he really does
understand what he has learned. I did not have to worry about making up tests so this works perfectly with unit studies. The umbrella school just needs to see the work he's done to prove that he has covered the required material. They do that at various credit checks throughout the year.

I am also beginning to develop study skills in my son. I "dictate" the history sections in Learning Adventures and have him take notes as if I were a lecturer. I started with giving him outlines for the "lectures" so he could see the kind of information tht was important and how to make notes. Sometimes college professors do this as well. Then he went on to making his own notes. I also use a text book as a resource (not my sole resource) and have him learn to use table of contents, chapter headings and subheadings to make notes from the readings I assign him. (I like to use ABeka for this because it is really very well structured.) I do these things to help him
to become more familiar with study skills but they are not used exclusively. He still learns better from living books and other sources. If I can teach him how to incorporate textbook and other sources he will be an even better student.

Yes, you can start earning credits in 7th and 8th grade, my son is currently fulfilling his 2 year foreign language credit in 7th and 8th. Good luck on your F-Cat's we take SAT's in a couple of weeks. I don't know how your school operates, but I would talk to the person in charge to find out what he or she thinks. You might want to talk to the Florida Parent Educators Association for more information. Just like you, I thought things would be much more difficult than they really are. After talking to the right people, I'm much more confident.

Hi I am new here and will post my intro in a moment, but I wanted to respond to this comment about the GED. The GED certainly has had the bad rap of not being a "real" diploma, but I think that idea is changing. Many homeschoolers pursue this as an option for college admitance, and I have to wonder if we are having an affect on the way society views the GED. Times are changing, and I think the GED is looking towards a brighter future.

My oldest dd just took the GED. I never considered having my children take the GED because I myself considered it a second class diploma... afterall in my day it was only the "dropouts" who took the GED. Now, I have changed my tune! Life happens...and circumstances made it look as if taking the GED was the best option for our dd. She signed up for a GED prep class shortly before Christmas, and took the test at the beginning of March. During this time we have learned some
interesting things about the GED.

1. Originally the GED was created as a tool to allow young returning WWII vets to get their high school diplomas, since many signed up for the war before completing high school. Since that time, it has come to include anyone who did not complete a tradition homeschool diploma.

2. Colleges do accept the GED. As my daughter has talked to college reps this past year, they ALL have said that their schools accept the GED's in lieu of high school transcripts.

3. There is a brand new GED nationwide which came out this year (2002). The old GED was created so that 28% of high school students could NOT pass it. (Yes, you read that right... if you didn't catch it, please go back and read it again.) The new GED, which is harder than the old one and covers more subjects, has been created so that 41% of high school students could NOT pass it! I was shocked!

4. There are some college scholarships available to those who score high enough on the GED. My dd is anxiously awaiting her scores, as her GED instructor stated her pretest scores were definitely high enough to get one scholarship and there is a good possiblity she and get a better one too.

Based on these facts, I do think the stigma attached to the GED is changing.

Dorian Holt's Thoughts

You can easily make the adjustments and use LA as a "spine." You will just have to toss out any ideas that your high-schooler doesn't want to do. College-bound students should do something like the following:

First - get a high school/home school plan book so you know what you are doing and will know what is required, how to do transcripts, etc. They explain what is required for college-bound and non-college-bound students. We use Home School, High School, and Beyond by Beverly Adams-Gordon. There are two basic ways of gaining credits - the first is to complete a
year-long-grade-level text in a year and it counts as 1 credit. The second is to count hours that pretty much amount to 50 minutes to an hour per subject per day for 180 days. We count an hour each day in each subject that we do this. (Schools account for extra homework time in that amount - so I think requiring our son, Ryan, to work an hour per day is an easier way than making him do separate "homework" beyond a typical 50 minute class period.) But, that's just how we do it.

Now for using LA with a high schooler - here's what I'd do in each subject:

Do with the rest of family. This is not a required school subject so any time spent together is just "icing" in terms of family bonding and spiritual growth.

Literature - Do read-alouds with rest of family for discussion and family bonding. These are all family books, so they aren't going to seem "babyish" - and the fundamentals and elements of literature that we cover are good, solid concepts that high schoolers would be covering anyway. IN ADDITION to this, though - I would assign an extra higher level book (use some of the ones I suggest in the beginning of the units) - Treasure Island, Robinson Crusoe, and The King's Fifth are all good choices for the Explorers Unit, for example - Ben Hur, The Robe, Quo Vadis are good for the Roman Unit, etc. If you can find Progeny Press literature guides to go with some of
these extra literature readings once in awhile - it would be good, to help in following along with what is happening, etc. since these collateral books will be read independently. (I list LOTS of higher level stuff in Book Two, so you will have plenty to choose from there as well.) Have your
high schooler count the hours spent on reading (including the family read aloud and discussion time) and list alphabetically all of the books he/she has read (in bibliographic format, like I list all of the regular suggested books in AWOA). This would go in his/her English folder. The literature times are very bonding for families. The collateral reading is important because there are books that every high schooler "should" read by the time he/she is finished with 12th grade. Many of these I will list in the extended sections of the curriculum - but you will need to be on the lookout for classics, etc. and keep your high schooler reading, reading, and reading.

Grammar/Vocab./Writing - Skip the grammar and spelling in LA - For a high schooler you will need to get a formal grammar program, and get Vocabulary from Classical Roots - this series will last you through all four years of high school, and for writing, stay with the LA lessons - especially for the first two years of high school - only you will have to lengthen them
considerably, requiring a page instead of a paragraph, and stuff like that. The fundamentals in LA are all pretty much the same as any high schooler or even college student would have anyway - if you think about it - we do summaries, reaction papers, contrast and comparison, biographical sketches, we just do them on a very manageable level that doesn't seem too intimidating - see what I mean? PLUS, you should assign at least one research paper a year. They don't have to be super long, though. Buy a book that tells you how to do this if necessary. I have seen lots of them at my library - check there first. He/she should be able to learn this pretty much on his own - it's not hard.

For all the language arts elements of literature, vocab, grammar, and writing - I call them ENGLISH 9 - depending on the grade, and then I include the number of hours spent on all of these things combined. If your high schooler works on all of the suggestions I have made here, he/she will go WAYYYYYY over the required time - and that's good - because he will be
challenged in a very important area.

Formal program of your choice - complete a graded text in a year - OR count 180 hours of math work.

Formal program of your choice - although I can't recommend Apologia highly enough - we LOVE it and the student can work independently on it. Complete a text in a year and gain a credit.

History - follow the format of LA and have your high schooler read histories and biographies according to the period studied. PLUS - a separate unit for each unit would be good. An explorers notebook is already a part of AWOA, and in Book Two there will be the World, Presidents, Native Americans and State notebooks, so even a high schooler would be fairly well
covered automatically if you stick with LA. That means, an Egypt Notebook, a Greece Notebook, a Roman Notebook, a Middle Ages Notebook, and a Renaissance Notebook would be good supplements for a high schooler - just to help wrap all the information up as a unit is covered. We will also be doing more report writing in Book Two, and these can be added to the notebooks. I might add two additional notebooks to Book Two - "Colonial Notebook" which would cover the period and customs from Jamestown up to the War, and "American Revolution and Beyond Notebook" which would cover the specifics of the War and the Constitution. Remember - the notebooks aren't ONLY written reports, but information researched and printed from the
internet - maps and charts, battles and photos of battlefields, copies of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, etc. This is an EXTREMELY effective way for high schoolers to learn - and they actually sort of enjoy it if they can surf the net to do it. Count all of of these
hours and keep track of a COMBINED total for history and geography and call it SOCIAL STUDIES 9 - or use the appropriate grade as you move through high school.

Geography - I have seen lots of geography programs and I think what we do in LA is better because it is meaningful when we study the geography at the same time we study the country and culture. Keep doing that, but if you want to go through a really good map-reading series - look into Modern Curriculum Press - they have a series called MAPS-CHARTS-GRAPHS that is
excellent. They are like what we do in LA only MORE. Of course they won't relate to the study - but these are the same kinds of questions they always ask on standardized tests and they even include stuff like how to read and understand political cartoons. I'm telling you - they are excellent. I think they are pretty much considered elementary to junior high - and they come in levels A-H. But in my opinion, levels E,F,G, and H are worth having a high schooler do. Ryan loved these - he even did some of them for "fun" when he was stuck and "bored" at a home school conference a few years ago. Another great game to get and have your high schooler master all the levels of is Where in the World - and the rest of the family could play it too. The combination of learning all the details of the game, studying LA in a meaningful way, and the MCP maps books - will be a good plan of action. And boy, oh boy will your kids impress the relatives if they learn the stuff in Where in the World! I've seen people's mouths drop open when Ryan could rattle off places and facts from the game! Smile Who says learning can't be fun - right!!! Smile Even in high school! Smile

College-bound students should have two years of a language - most colleges want to see this. If you complete a graded text in a year it counts as a credit

Usually two years are required and we count hours that Ryan does ANYTHING athletic - but he has more than enough just from soccer practice and games to add up to a credit per year. Count hours and keep track.

So, you see how you can work things around LA and still keep your high schooler involved with the unit study and the rest of the family. The high school plan book will help give you ideas about what you might want to do. The above are not really "professional recommendations" as much as they are what works for us and what my opinions are of what a college-bound high
school student should accomplish. But I'm kind of hard on our son, Ryan, so everyone wouldn't necessarily have exactly the same ideas as me on this.

The above suggestions would be the highest level of achievement, in my opinion. You can cut down from there in terms of what your high schooler's future plans are and what your state requires.



Here are some forms that homeschoolers have designed for using with LA...

Note: All of my forms are figured on 120 hours. Why this many hours? Most schools require some where around 180 days of school (Texas 175). If you take those 180 days and multiply times 50 minutes (length of class time), then divide by 60 minutes (time in 1 hour) you get 150 for each credit (1 years worth of class).

But,... where do I get the 120 hours? How much of those 50 minutes is actually spent in teaching? 40 seems to be a good number. So when you do the math on 40 minutes, you get the 120 hours.

Here you can click on forms (the only thing there right now).

In here you will see 3 forms that divide history into : US, World, and Government & Economics.

These forms are designed for covering LA History. Each form equals 1 year of credit (120 hours). You could use 2 US History to make a 4th year of history - you will probably fill this anyways.

Also on this page you will see folders for AWOA & ANWOA. These were what I designed 1st, but decided they would be better suited for the younger grades, but they can be used here as well. Mainly, they have all of the units broken down & match the lesson plans (ie Day 1, etc). These would be as record of what you have covered, ie days done with school.

I also will have more forms to upload (I have to make some more). I am kind of waiting to see some items I have coming in the mail.

Mainly, what I plan on doing (history) is having my daughter write down what she covers (ie read Ben Hur for 1 hour) in each square. Of course, you could write down the title (ie Greek myths) then keep tally marks in the square (6 tallys = 1 hour), thus a tally in this instance would be 10 minutes. You might have several squares labeled, but you would know once you have 6 tally marks, then that hour is complete.

Barb Shelton's Form-U-la does go into depth on this. One thing she mentions, is that you read through her whole book, before you start doing it.

She has a form for you to list all of your daily subjects (I did make my own, so I can upload this one too.) I do not want to upload any that are hers, but she did see some of mine and said it was ok to share them with you, since they were "my creations".

In a nutshell, I could list the ones that I am planning on using if that will help you. I think this form plan is easy to do. Also, the idea is that your child is the main person who is filling out the
forms. There are forms that are used more as a permanent record (of course you could include all), but these would be more formal.

The way we can use these forms with ease, is that we do not need to cover an hour of each class every day. Barb does have forms that do explain more clearly how to cover all the material needed to graduate.

I hope this helps a little, I am sure it will bring up more questions, so ask away!!!!


This is a list of the forms I plan on using with High School:

Pace Determiner Worksheet
Tally Worksheet
Staying on Track Record
Weekly Assignment Plan (1 per week)
English Completion Check-Off Sheet (1 per year)
Class Content Plan (1 per class) this is for ideas to cover
-would not be necessary if covering a straight curriculum
-could be used with LA, (ie extra things mentioned in LA)
-used before or just before subject that is covered.
Class Completion Record (1 per class)

Right now, that is all that I have in my binder. I do have her book report form & Scripture form (actually my own version).

Documenting High School

Here are ideas from other homeschoolers....

I have Barb's Book and it is great!!! A big one for sure. I have read one book by the Author of Home School High School and Beyond and she is a very good writier and easy to follow. I highly recommend Barb Shelton's book (and anything by Cafi Cohen). It will put perspective on highschool and also give lots of ideas on how to use forms she has to help you out. It has given me a spring board to think of of ways to help my dd with her education.

I have Barb Shelton's book "Senior High-A Home Designed Form-U-la" and it is awesome! I haven't finished it yet, but it is so refreshing to know someone else out there thinks like I do. I am not into doing "school" for school's sake. I am preparing eternal beings to take their place in the world, according to what God has designed for them to do and be. I highly recommend her book!

Well, thanks for listening. I am looking forward to gleaning from everyone's wisdom, and perhaps dropping a "nugget" in here and there myself.

First, I got a copy of "Senior High: A Home Designed Form-U-la" by Barbara Shelton. I would highly recommend this if you would like to continue doing unit study type work for high school. I think it will work great in implementing LA into high school credits.

This is what I have come up with for our oldest daughter to cover in high school: (1 credit is one full year of a class) (This is also based on the minimum credits for Texas - non college bound.)

English (4 credits): Easy Grammar, Easy Writing, Learning Adventures (also 1/2 credit of speech is included) - main emphasis will be in the writing from LA, just expecting more and better quality.

Math (3 credits): Business/Consumer Math - Ray's Arithmetics and Teaching Our Daughters to Be Keepers At Home (TODKAH); Algebra; Geometry (have not decided yet what we will be using).

History (3 credits): US History (1), World History/Geography (1), Government (1/2), and Economics (1/2) - all covered in LA

Science (2 credits): Biology, Physics/Chemistry - "Science Scope" and the science covered in LA and TODKAH placed under these 2 categories.

Health (1/2 credit): TODKAH (and whatever is in LA)

Computer Science (1 credit): computer programs - ie learning to use a word processing program, writing projects from LA.

Music (1 credit): violin, piano, vocal, theory, music appreciation

Foreign Language (2 credits): Spanish, Greek, sign language (?) computer programs etc.

Home Ec (1 credit - at least): TODKAH

Bible (2 credits): Polished Cornerstones, TODKAH, LA

Arts & Crafts (1 credit): TODKAH, LA

In Form-U-la, she shows you how to implement what you study into credits. Mainly, you would just want to make sure that you not just read little kids books. Form-U-la is a fairly expensive book to buy, it is well worth it. But I would suggest that you do an interlibrary loan ($1). Also, the latest edition is 1999, only a few libraries nationally have it, and it is not available for interlibrary loan. But there were close to 100 of the 1996 edition available nationwide. In fact that is the one that I own. This would be a great way for you to read the book to see if you would like to purchase it.

Also, Dorian suggests "Home School, High School, and Beyond" by Beverly Adams-Gordon. I did get the latest edition through interlibrary loan, and I think that Form-U-la would work the best
with LA!!!

I am going to check into making forms to use with LA to cover History mainly. I am going to check with Barbara Shelton to make sure I am not infinging on copyrights. I will be designing my own.

I plan on using as much of LA as I can to fit into these subjects. As you will notice, I do not have any textbooks (I guess Easy Grammar & Writing sort of are, I just happen to own them, but they are as a supplement/guide) listed in my classes. I plan on using "ALL" real books, library or purchased.

This makes a very inexpensive high school curriculum, as well as enjoyable. I am currently making games to cover math in K-8th so I am looking into ways to continue this in high school as well. I hope this gives you some ideas.

Ok........if you use LA units for 5 years....there will be allot of credits there you are NOT seeing.
The main thrust of a unit study is to look at where you can get credits. And at times,you might have to adjust the name.......ok? There will be Ancient hx.,there will be Geography in all units,there is the American hx,in LA #2-you can add your 1/2 credit for your state hx. there,
and depending on your state-you can get other credits for whichever kinds of hx. they need.
Government in there as well. With 9th grade and up,I would skip the science in LA units and add another program. The science in LA is more general science/earth/life type. They need more than that in high school. The recipes in the book can be added to with more home type books and there is your HomeEc credit. PE-well,if your child is into sports already-use that as part of credit. If your child is not-let them use an exercise aerobic tape. Then add health type stuff. There is a study on the body in LA #1.Use that in that unit. And you can add biographies on sports people. Or you can gives essays on various health topics of your choice. You can do this for ever how many years PE is required in your state for those credits.
Fine Arts.....another credit. There are studies in LA #1 on composers and artists. There are projects to do as well. You can add more reading literature books and get more credits in things like Communication or speech. This will allow the child to share verbally with the family, friends, church, neighbors what they are learning. Also,your Bible will be given as credits as well. Let's see...... how many credits here???? And you have to add in Literature/grammar credits. The Literature part of that has already been done in LA readings. Vocab already with LA Greek/Latin roots And your math.....whichever you need for graduation. You can add any needed extra credits on anything else you might need. Such as foreign language. If you want to add art course if you need any more credits. Shop,if your child works with Dad in building things.
Remember though,find out what you need from your state with requirements. Go from there.
And,you do not need to do a full year of any 1 elective. Let say your son starts woodworking with a neighbor and that man moves mid stream. You can assign 1/2 credit there. Give the credits where appropriate.

Keepers Of The Faith has wonderful books on all subjects. There you might get ideas. If your child is interested in computers-buy him a Computers for Dummies book. Ah-la........give a credit as elective for him completing that book. Just make sure you get in all the main credits like Math,Lit.. That will be the focus. And sciences, It will also depend on if your child is going to college. There will be different courses to add to that as well. And remember,Abeka and BJ has videos of the higher maths and sciences that you can get if these subjects scare you. There is also Alpha Omega out there as well. If you need a credit or help in science or math. They have several different 1/2 credits as well.

The Texas info I got online at (ours is listed under curriculum, then there is requirements for high school graduation). I think you could probably put your states two letter abreviation in place of "tx".

College Bound:
English - 4 years
Math - 3 (or 4) years (Algebra 1 & 2, and Geometry)
Science - 3 (or 4) years (Biology, Chemistry & Physics)
History - 4 years (World History, World Geography, US
History, US Govt - 1/2, & Economics - 1/2)
Physical Education - 1 1/2 years
Foreign Language - 2 to 3 years (same language)
Health - 1/2 year
Computer - 1 year
Fine Arts - 1 year
Electives to equal 24 credits (1 year = 1 credit)

Math and Science requirements are only 3 years, but you may want to add the 4th. Pretty much, my plan for my daughter will be college level too. We would just have to change a couple of hours (which we will probably be covering anyways).

I am also going to have her start working on high school credits (slowly) next year - 8th grade. This will lesson her hours a little. But also, we would be covering more of her world history in
volume 1. (Which of course, will be repeated in her senior year.)

If you take a look at my Pace Determiner Worksheet, you will see how much time needs to be spent each day in each subject. You could either spend that amount of time each day (for a four year plan, it comes to 4 hours). Or only do the class on certain days. This plan also shows that unlike conventional school, the 1/2 credit of health for example, does not need to be covered in 1/2 year. You could spread it across 4 years (ie 5 min a day). This lets us use what is in LA to cover these subjects. At the end of the year, you would figure out how many hours were completed, then subtract from total need to graduate. Then this would be the amount needed to cover in the following years. When you do finish a subject, then you do not "need" to count that subject any longer. But I do plan on counting these as "extra credits".

What you do to receive credit with unit studies is to add up your hours. When you are reading history books you have your child time herself. Use a timer if necessary. Plan an hour for history or what ever time you go with. An hour for highschool classes is good to go with because they total up to 180 hours durring the year. This will give a whole credit. Some choose as low as 150 hours others choose as much as 270 hours. (This is rare) You would do this with all the subjects unless you use a text. The compleation of a text will count as a credit itself.

If your child spends 2 hours reading about history and the book being read is something like Tempest, then you would be able to split the credit, by giving 1 hour to history and 1 hour to literature. You have plenty time to digest this, don't let let it get you down. Once you get the hang of it, it is easy, and well worth the effort.

You can grade on class participation, essay grades, and test, so on. What ever you choose, or all of them. You must require your dd to learn the material as well as enjoy the hands on things. That is important. If she chooses to not learn you may want to take away the hands on till you see an improvement in her learning. (This is if she is doing it purposely, it would be another story if she has a learning disibility.)

Now as far as a diploma or a GED, most colleges aren't worried about either. It may be different where you are. You would need to call the college that you plan to send your daughter to and ask what they require. Most colleges want test scores. For a transcript I would suggest that you get the progam Transcript Pro or some other program that will walk you through the steps. It is not too hard but I can't explaine it. Maybe someone else here can do that.

We have text books for math and science, sometimes grammar as it is not necessary to have grammar every year. These we do not have to calculate hours for. We time ourselves for history, literature (when not using a set program), Bible, and basic living skills (home ec or shop) this would include cooking, sewing, changing oil, building a bird house, and so on.

I hope this helps in some way, as I am not the best person in the world to answer your questions. I recenly went to go see Inge Cannon, who is wonderful at explaining all of this. If you ever get a chance you may want to attend one of her conferences. Here is her website:

Colleges want homeschoolers because they have learned to study and to think. These students often know what they want to do and why they are going there; they know what they are trying to accomplish and have goals in mind. This is rare, and makes homeschooling the success that it is. It is not due to regulating and structuring the homeschool according to any particular pattern of 'school'. We've learned there is a difference between homeschooling and "school at home". Homeschooling is whole life or "natural learning", as Susie explained. . Homeschoolers score well on tests whether they have been used to a school setting or not, if they have studied and learned the subject material and developed the ability to think. Learning this has helped me a lot in letting go of the "academic" biases and prejudice that "structured" or "institutional" learning set in place for me. So often if everything is done "for" you, then you lack confidence in yourself to do what otherwise you would know that you can do, having to learn by experience. Some of us are only being allowed, in letting ourselves learn, to think freely now for the first time in our lives. Thinking is much that way.

When asked to explain what homeschooling means to them, most students after a few highschool years of learning in an even somewhat flexible environment, can explain that it is that flexibility (or time) that gave them the opportunity to discover their own particular abilities, strengths and weaknesses and how to improve themselves. Such is what Education truly means, and the colleges that we are interested in having our young people attend have that understanding as well. There are some colleges now that are moving beyond the "structured" approach also in their instruction and finding that such a close-knit environment for learning, such as a family working together and having resources to share by many at various levels, is the ideal one for excellence, invention, and genius. Taking time to think is a wonderful thing to do at such a time as this.

High School Supplements

Here are other homeschoolers ideas....

Ok, I have been pondering this..I just saw the new LLATL American and British Literature and I like it for my dd who will never keep up with **** like her brother. That is a possibility for Literature? English.

I like the idea of using a bunch of things from Barb Shelton's High School Design A Form-U-La. I think they would help beef up the History. So far the only thing I have come up with for science is using the Apologia series.

Maybe making a detailed time line in a large 3 ring binder with different events written out in detail on each page.

We are also using Singapore Math, Reading Made Easy, English for the Thoughtful Child, Primary Language Lessons and MCP Spelling. My 9th grader is using Singapore Math, LLATL Gold, Vocabulary from Classical Roots, Abeka Biology and Chemistry, and Learnable Spanish.
Sorry for being so long winded - it is nice to be here and thanks for starting this group! I thought I was one of the only ones desiring to use LA with a High Schooler.

Our son in high school uses, Smarr Literature, Saxon Math, Apologia Chemistry, Learnables Spanish, WE used the Uncle Eric Series for Government and Economics this year( usually use Beautiful Feet), we also have used Vocabulary from the Classical Roots. We only use LA and math with no added extras right now. Not quite sure, but we are considering LLATL Gray and Gold for High school with my daughter. Looking forward to everyone's ideas.

We've used Vocabulary from Classical Roots, Apologia Chemistry, Heroes of the City of Man, Uncle Eric books, Streams of Civilization, Jacobs Geometry, and many other sources I can seem to think of at the moment. Variety is spice around here. Smile I really like picking and choosing this and that so I've been pleasantly suprised at the flow of Learning Adventures. I didn't realize how nice the integration of unit study would be. I always thought we were kind of doing unit studies, but Dorian's focus has been very good for us.

We will be using LA with the 9th grader. I am looking forward to this. He has never liked the text book approach. We will supplament with Apologia Science, Saxon Math, and a Spanish course. I really think that this is a answer to prayers for him. He is just now showing a spark for learning,I hope this fans the flame.

Anyway the point of telling all this is to explain that we've always been "unit" and "family" oriented in terms of our studies, but this is the first pre-packaged unit we've bought. My main reason for buying it was to have some continuity in terms of our Social Studies and Science, and the plain old ease of not having to pull units together myself. You could say I'm taking an "Administrative" break. The other reason was because they are moving more into a high school, delight-directed, independant phase of learning so they do alot of work on their own, but we still wanted to have something to do together, so we can learn from the feedback. Oh yes, there has been alot of talk about Cafi Cohen and Barb Shelton books. These were the two books that led me gently into the Homeschooling through High School movement. I also fall heavily on the Moore and Charlotte Mason Method of learning. Another book I would recommend is Freedom's Challenge by Grace Llewellyn. this book is a compilation of essays and interviews by and with African American homeschoolers, but its a fascinating read regardless of race as it really shows the various ways in which people homeschool. Oh yes that was another thing that I did, I gave my daughter various books to read on homeschooling starting from the end of last year. I can't think of all the book titles, but "The Teenage Liberation book" is one that comes to mind and then there was of course "Homeschooling through High School" and a few others. We also read through the book "Education" by Ellen White. One of the main things I had to learn was that at this stage of the game their education is really in their own hands and so I wanted her to be aware of the capabilities she had and avenues she could take to accomplish what she felt were here goals in life, something we've stressed since day one. That is that God has given you a gift and an ability to do something unlike anyone else, and that it is our job to figure out what that thing is, hone it, develop it and ultimately do it to His and our glory.

Just wanted to add my opinion on High School Science. We used Apologia's Biology this year and found it to be very dry and boring. I had already ordered Apologia's Chemistry and when I got it I reviewed it and sent it back. We are finishing the year with Abeka's Biology for units on mammals, etc. and I can't say enough about how much both my son and I love this text. He is excited to see all the nice color pictures, the great explanations, outlines of the chapters, etc. It was a refreshing change. I have also ordered Abeka's Chemistry for next year and it looks like it will be wonderful also. I know many people absolutely love Apologia, it just wasn't for us. In the Chemistry book there was absolutely no color, etc. For my younger ones, I might look into Rainbow Science for Junior high when they get there, and Rainbow is also coming out with
Chemistry in Sept 2001. This will be called The Spectrum. This is too late for my oldest son since we start school in July, but it would be worth looking into.

I plan on using Apologia Science, Easy Grammar Plus, Latin or Spanish, and Singapore Math along with LA. My daughter takes formal Art lessons, and I plan on using that for an Art credit
on her transcript. Do you think that adding additional reading from Dorian's list along with the Easy Grammar and possibly an analogies book will qualify as a complete Language Arts credit? Will we need a formal writing program? Also, do you feel the need to supplement with younger students, and if so what with? I just want to make sure we have all the bases covered. If you see any other holes in my plan, please feel free to help me fill them in. Much thanks.

I just bought "Streams of Civilizations" to use for high school supplementation with my 9th grade dd. It does, in my opinion, give an in-depth study but it is very "textbooky". No color photos and very wordy. After looking it over, I found I could learn a lot from it but felt "bogged
down". However, high school should give you a lot of info and this book does it well. It is clearly from a Christian world view and explains away, in a logical christian manner, theories such as evolution.

Hi! I will also be homeschooling an 8th grade girl with LA along with her 11 yo sister. My 8th grader has some difficulty in Grammar so I plan on using Easy Grammar Plus for some extra practice. Also I will use Spelling Power along with LA words. I was going to supplement a little Science but I changed my mind. I won't do that until 9th grade. Then I plan to use Apologia Physical Science. I don't want to start that for another year because she has some&n;! bsp; gaps in Life Science so I will concentrate on those areas covered in LA.

There is no reason why you can't continue with LA in high school. Supplement in areas that you believe are needful and that your daughter is ready for. There is no set standard you have to follow. As long as you are following your states' guidelines and your daughter is progressively learning, that's what is important. As I said in a previous email, it is better to give a little and have them learn it well, than giving too much and have them get frustrat! ed and overwhelmed and not learn it properly. Do what is right for your daughter.

My child plans to go to college. She wants to study to be a veterinarian. We will be using LA next year when she is in 9th grade. We will be supplementing as follows:

English - Easy Grammar I (and possibly Language Arts Through Literature - Gold Edition, American Literature) This may turn out to be too much to read when combined with LA and BF Ancient History, but we will try it. If needs be, we will discontinue it.

Math - Saxon Algebra I

Science - Apologia Biology

History - Beautiful Feet Ancient History This gives additional resources to add to LA on a jr. or sr. high level (you pick which one you want to use). Many of the books are the same so I thought it would mix well with LA. She will be able to keep her own notebook following the BF guide in addition to the hands-on projects we do with LA.

I'm pouring over Barbara Shelton's book some more today. I do find the book a bit overwhelming but I know with this book I can figure out how to do make LA work. I've looked at other unit studies geared for high school but after using LA who wants to use anything else? Nothing can compare.

I know I'll continue to use Saxon Math, add Apologia Science, I really have no problem with History - that's our favorite subject in this house and we are probably already doing it at a high school level. We read a lot and do lots of hands on projects. I know what I'm going to do for health (Barb Shelton's book has a good plan for this). I know what I want to do for Bible. I'll add a foreign language. I've got lots of ideas for electives (probably too many) and once again in Barbara Shelton's book she shows you how to keep track and give credit. This book is a lot to get through but I'd highly recommend it to anyone trying to use LA for high school.

I guess what I'm really not sure about is English (our least favorite subject). We will be using Easy Grammar Plus next year (8th grade) and that's as far as Easy Grammar goes. Do I still need grammar? I notice that English for high school seems to be more literature - focusing on different types. Writing is our weak area and I may add Writing Strands during this time. But I'm wondering if I need to add Smarr or LLAL for English. This would make for a lot of reading. We already do so much for History (we're in the Middle Ages now and both of my sons have read all 6 of the Henty books on this time period in addition to library books and the two books used in LA - I told you they love history. I don't require this amount they just want to read this much.

Easy Grammar does have a high school curriculum. It is the older edition (I have seen it on vegsource). I bought this along with Easy Writing several years ago (really cheap), and I have been holding on to them to use. They are about 1 1/2 inches thick. Wanda Phillips wrote both of these editions in 1990. They include everything.

Also, you should use what is in LA for Grammar and Writing. The Grammar would not be enough, but the writing would. Just assign longer papers. Have them do book reports on the books they are reading(Barb has a great form for this - I will upload my version too). Term type papers, etc. Dorian told me that in the 2nd volume, she has written more ideas to use with high schoolers.

Lit class, we do not need a separate one with LA. There is plenty of classics and great literature that Dorian has incorporated in LA!!! Also, make sure you check out her recommendations for advanced studies.

I saw a great Bible study called God's Priceless Woman that I think we might get and use for our BIble as well. This is a subject also that we can assign 4 credits for as well. I want to immerse her in Bible study. At this age they are sponges. But,this said to tell you all.......that I searched high and low AGAIN to find better than LA. Notta! The only thing that I did find that I did like any at all was the WEaver Vol.5. This was a study on the Roman era when Jesus was alive (remember from LA????-The Bronze Bow?) and a indepth study on Jesus.But.....we did the BB and Rome in LA.LOL..........again...... And who says we can't study Jesus on our own? That might be something ole Dad might enjoy doing with her.........ahhhhhh........a thought! You know, LA is about the most economical program out there. The books you need-even with buying those-still great price overall. And the ease of doing it!!! Yipppppeeeeeee.

I do have God's Priceless Woman (I have to remember to use this too). I would also highly recommend Polished Cornerstones. It has lots of great stuff in it, for studying the Bible, and to become a Godly Woman. It is based on Proverbs 31, and uses the whole Bible to become like this godly woman.

I think the Bible in LA is great!!! We just finished Ancient Greece (I know, we have been here, faithfully doing LA since August. We just took too long doing Egypt & Greece - we just loved Egypt). The Bible in LA, helped to reinforce the Truthfulness of God, while studying the greek myths. It was great!!!

I am planning on using Easy Grammar, but not "as is". Of course, I am sure I will somehow make it into a game. I am sure we will also do a lot of it orally. But I am positive I will be making it into a game!!! Along with all the other ones I am always making. I need to get busy this summer!!!

I am glad that you have decided to stay with LA. It is a great curriculum!!! I can not believe how "EASY" it has been to create a high school plan, especially with LA as our core. Also, as you stated, who can beat the price? and God's hand is in it, ...

I will have my high schoolers (I'll have 2 next year) simply read through the Science listed in LA just because it is a good review. As far as the actual Science program, they will be using Rainbow 9th grade Biology by Beginnings Publishing. We will probably finish early because we plan on
starting it this summer and then they will read through the Applications Science in the back of the Rainbow book.

Rainbow is a wonderful science program and requires only 2 lessons + 1 lab a week in order to finish in a year. My older two love this program (we used the Physics and Chemistry in 8th grade). It's simple, colorful and fun! Most importantly, they can do it by themselves with little or no help or overseeing by me. This is exactly what I wanted because I work with them on the History and Language Arts and also teach our 9 year old. At this point, it is better for me to work with my high schoolers separately from my 4th grader.

Check it out if you can at . It costs around $200 for the biology supplies and book. We have found it to be well worth the price. Apologia is another good Science program and is not as pricey as Rainbow. We found Apologia to be a little dry and boring for our needs, but it is a good program. As you know, you have to find what works for your family.

For Pre-Algebra, I think Abeka can't be beat. It is a solid program with great review. It prepared my son incredibly for Algebra. When he did his standardized testing after having completed it, he only got one wrong in the whole math section. My girlfriend borrowed it for her two kids after we were finished and she was extremely pleased with it and she has one that is really math-challenged. Again, she felt like it did a great job for preparing them for Algebra 1.
We have used the Chalkdust series for Algebra 1 and Geometry and will be using Algebra 2 this coming year. The videos are what make this series great. Mr. Moseley is an exceptional teacher and very interesting to watch. He teaches every lesson in the books. He is also available to help if your student has questions. My son emailed many times this year with problems with his Geometry. Mr. Mosely wrote back very quickly and always cleared up the problem for my son. I was at a loss to try and help him. For upper level math, I believe Chalkdust can't be beat. A friend once said, "You can either pay for a private tutor or buy Chalkdust and then you won't need one." I believe she's right. She felt like the Chalkdust helped her daughter more then the tutor they had hired.

I have an easy alternative to algebra etc. I have not used it yet. Barron's has a series of books called _____ The Easy Way. I did buy the Algebra book. It is written as a fictional story, that has algebra weaved into it. It seems like it would be a lot of fun! It is supposed to be a whole course (I think they also use it in college).


I now have a whole bunch of these books - they are great!!! They do cover all that you would learn in High School. These are used in colleges!!!

The Algebra book does cover Algebra 1 & 2....

Rainbow science is for jr high level students. It is written in a very friendly conversational style. The information is very concise and presented in very short chapters. (Perfect for my son!) It is colorful and interesting and really holds my son's attention and has increased his interest in science. There are only very few questions testing the information presented in the text. (I supplemented this by developing my own chapter questions.) There are large unit tests at the end of each unit and in the middle of one large unit. There are also weekly labs with tests and
explanations of what was to happen. The labs have everything you need included in the science kit sold with the curriculum. There is one text book, one lab book and one teacher's guide. The text is a general science type book that includes physics, chemistry, biology and applications -- the application of the other three sciences.

Apologia is a high school program. It is written in a very friendly and conversational style but at a reading level higher than Rainbow. It has concise information presented more thoroughly and in much longer sections of reading. There is a good deal of testing throughout the material. There are also labs, though the scheduling is up to you, there is no set schedule on how to present the material. You can buy supplemental kits to go with Apologia. The general science is a jr high level book but the physical science book (also jr high), is very strenuous mathematically; I believe high school students would have a better time of it. The other sciences -- biology, chemistry and physics are all high school level programs.

Dr Dobbins, the creator of Rainbow Science, is working on the Spectrum, the high school level of his Rainbow program. He has finished the chemistry portion but biology and physics are yet to come.

I had decided to use Rainbow in jr high grades and Apologia in high school (I haven't seen the Spectrum yet). I think Rainbow is an excellent science program for jr high but not quite strenuous enough for high school unless you supplement it heavily. For example when I did a study on light in the physics portion of Rainbow, it talks about light that hits a mirror at
different angles. From my own sr high education, I knew that these angles had names. But these names, angle of reflection, angle of refraction, and angle of incidence, were not mentioned in the Rainbow book. The angles themselves were used and explained but the terminology was not used. I think knowing about what is happening is fine for jr high but knowing the terminology, as well as understanding what is happening, is necessary for high school. I'm sure that Spectrum, the high school level of Rainbow, addresses the terminology, but I think that anyone wanting to use Rainbow Science, the jr high program, for high school needs to know that this may be the case.

If your child won't really use science beyond high school, Rainbow Science is a wonderfully colorful and interesting program that can even hold the imagination of children who don't like science. But if there is any chance they will need science in the future, I think a more strenuous program or heavily supplementing Rainbow Science would be best. (My own personal opinion.)

We also are taking the Apologia and Learning Language Arts through Literature along with LA, route. It may seem like overkill, but I really wanted something to encourage the children to read good literature. I know that this will be happening in LA, but these will be so "time-period" or "subject" related that I wanted something to help along with other "fun" literary readings. We will also be working on a school newsletter, which we've done in the past, as well and using Winston Grammar for our "fun Fridays". (Fun Friday's are our version of the school 4 days, off 1 day routine but we choose to do fun school instead (so we can get credit) and basically play games to cover our subjects that day. The kids have their choice of Careers(math & college
prep), Yahtzee (math), probe(spelling), Carmen Sandiego (geography & critical thinking), Un-game(social studies), Mindtrap(math, science, language arts) and Mystery Mansion (critical thinking) plus the children have band that day and that generally rounds out a full day of education).

My biggest problem however, is overkill so I'm trying to stay a little more focused on what we will and won't cover. As for the LLATL I don't plan on going overboard, almost to the point of just sticking to the lessons on the literature and not focusing so much on the other material if it seems to be too much.

We used the Pharoahs of Ancient Egypt. I am curious about what would be good for a high schooler for the Greece unit.
TIA, Susie

I used this book too when we did Egypt last year. I really like finding something that is truly chronological to go with the eras, especially the ancients, where it is still fairly simple.

The book that I used for Greece was called The Greeks by Roy Burrell. I didn't have a high schooler last year, and read the book aloud, but it would be a great one for that. I also used Ancient World by Usborne -- there are two books by that title and I used the "harder" book for the older kids, and the easier one for elementary aged kids. I was able to use those books for
all three of the ancient civilizations.

This is what I have stored in the data base for Ancient Egypt. I haven't really been into it but you can take a look and see if it will help.

a great Eygyptian generic gameboard is located at:
You can build a pharoah at "Rosetta Stones" site Surprised)
Also make your own mummy at

This is just MY .2cents worth......... I spoke to Dorian on this matter last year and this year. We are in the new unit this school year and my dd is in 8th grade this year. As far as either Book -Ancients or American goes- if your child is in up to 8th grade-you do NOT have to do anything but the LA book. Add reading from literature lists and you are fine for the year. You do not have to add nothing more to the LA.

You will add a different science program in 9th grade and not do the science from the LA at all.Too much over kill there with both.Dorian suggests APOLGECIA. You might want to add another Grammar program as well in high school. The literature, Dorian gives a list of books and suggestions for higher grades. I would use this listing she gives and add those to your work during the week. LA books are not really meant to be added to until 9th grade. But,there are
those that do. For some families,this works well. For others,that are just starting LA or never have done a unit before-they might add this and that......get overkilled and burned out. The kids get tired. And they drop the LA ball. Another one hits the road. But,Dorian did not set up LA to be like that,. There is enough in there to do an average 8th grader with all needed items. We are conditioned to think that our kids are not learning UNLESS they are doing long drawn out sentences of 25-30 and all this other work. They get tired and burned out that way. This is the concept Dorian used- a little goes a long ways... This new unit-there are sahort daily grammar lessons each day. There is a different Spelling concept. There are many ways to expand this new Book. We live in VA and we are expanding the Va study to get our 1./2 credit state hx
in at this time. But.....we are only doing LA 4 days a week too. This way,there is no burn out.

I would base my supplementing on my child. I have 3 children. One is a learning disabled highschooler. In depth, abstract principles are extremely difficult for her and clearly, she will not be attending college. For her, even though she is in 11th grade, we have found LA's science to be
sufficient. Because I want to expose her to high school sciences but know that she would have no interest in or ability to learn about some of these things, I have added for her Lyrical Life Science. These are familiar songs with words replaced to cover biology. Because the tunes are so catchy, she can remember some of the basic biological facts. When we go places, I play these tapes in the car and the kids sing along. I do for her what I know needs to be done to help her be all that God has created her to be. We have found LA's science also to be sufficient for her 5th grade brother and it certainly does him no harm to sing along in the car. However, our middle
child has expressed an interest in being a veterinarian. She is currently in 9th grade. She definitely is planning on going to college. Common sense, therefore, tells me that LA's science is not adequate for her and so she has added Apologia's Biology (she, too, sings the biology songs in the car). I have found that we need to consider each individual child, their abilities, talents and goals and then make an informed decision that's right for them. You should know best whether your child needs supplementation or not. If you and your child are comfortable with what you are doing and it is consistent with his/her goals, then I see no need to supplement. Last year, before we knew of LA, we had used various science curriculum. One of which was Rainbow Science. We found this curriculum to be fun, informative and encouraging for the jr. high level student. However, my college bound dd said she found too many times in the curriculum where it would say "you will cover this more in depth later in high school". She didn't want to wait until later. She wanted the challenge of covering it more in depth now so for her, and only her, we made the switch to Apologia. It definitely fits the bill!

TruthQuest is a literature based history curriculum that shows Gods hand moving through out time. It is (if you go with the ones designed for 4-12) more detailed than LA. I guess because it is geared for a more mature audience. I thought they would go like hand and glove together. Dorian does a wonderful job with things that TQ does not touch on like hands on. There are samples at the site: Tell me what you think if you get the time.
I bought the Rome guide, because we are starting that adventure Monday. Surprised)

Of all the programs, I find Latina Christiana the best blend of ease of use and thoroughness of material. Here is a helpful site w/ reviews of Latin programs.

You can also find a review of it here: It is in one of the back issues of the newsletter.

Here's another site that might help

We are using Editor In Chief for grammar, LA required books for literature (I will through in more advanced stuff) and LA writing for writing. I am looking into WriteShop for further writing instruction. We also use some of the ThinkWrites in TruthQuest for a few writing

The kids find Editor In Chief very fun, and I find it wonderful maintanance of previously learned skills. It can also help them to learn a few skills they may have missed. There is a paragraph and a caption. The child has to compare the paragraph with the caption to make sure that their are no content errors ( information from both must agree ),plus check for any punctuation, spelling, and grammar errors. It is sort of like a picture with hidden items. Fun and makes them think. The answers are given in the back of the book, and even detailed explainations of the whys and wherefores are given. It is very reasonable, only about $15. check out samples at

We're reading the Redwall series by Brian Jacques as our read aloud. We will also pick classics such as Tom Sawyer, etc. We also use selected readings from whatever the historical period is we currently are studying. It ends up being a variety of types.

We are presently in ANWOA Jamestown, but this can be used with AWOA also. We have the book, "Invitation to the Classics" by Louise Cowan and Os Guiness. This book goes through the classics and their authors from ancient times to contemporary writers. It discusses each author and explains the works from a Christian perspective. You will get a summmary and thought provoking questions at the end of each author. What I do, is go to the time period we are studying. I have my daughter read 1 author a week. I also have her do some independent research. I am going to put together a Famous Writer form for her to fill out along with asking her to summarize what she read. This is a hardbound book of high quality and is expensive.
$34.99 and worth every cent as I do not know literature at all and could never come up with all the conversation this does. Another book that goes along well with this is Compact Classics "The Great American Bathroom Books" These books have a wealth of information. They will take a book and give story overviews along with plot and character summaries etc. This helps in showing my daughter these aspects of literature. These books also have a lot of word building
exercises, trivia, quotes, and biographies of different people.

We are taking information off the internet about William Strachey and his writings about the tempest he went through coming to America. Shakespeare's play, The Tempest is supposed to be patterned after this. We are looking at these notes and writings from Starchey and others and then we will read The Tempest in play format and then in a simpler format. We are going to compare and contrast Strachey's writings and Shakespeares. Here are the web sites I plan on using.

We are going to use "The Military 100" by Lt Col(Ret) Michael Lee Lanning. It is a book I found at Barnes and Noble for only $9. It discusses the top 100 military leaders of all time. As we go through the time periods we will use this along with the encyclopedia and internet to research the military leaders of each time period. We are going to fill out a mlitary leader form and do summaries. I am requiring my daughter to use at least 3 sources for her information.

I just put together a sample for my dd of a state project book using some of Dinah Zike's ideas. I am going to try and explain it to you. It would be good if you could get ahold of her Big Book of
Books and Big Book of Projects along with the videos. This is what I did. I took 2 manilla file folders. I opened one up. I layed the 2nd folder on the right side of the open folder so that it would open left to right. I then took packing tape and taped the spine on the right side top the other folder. This all folds up real neatly into a project folder. The front is used for my dd to use her creative talents and decorate it. On the inside left page I made a 4 door folder book.(it sits horizontally)The front has the state flag on it. Each door has a picture of a different aspect of the state: bird, seal, flower, tree etc. Underneath each door would be the name of each and a descriptions of some kind. Below this I mad a folded book from 2 pieces of paper. (It also sits horizontally) This book includes parks and recreational facilities. There is a map on the front tha is labeled with a list of the parks on the first page. The rest of the book is used to pick a few parks to have information about.On the next page of the manilla folder is a map of viginia done
in detail. The 3rd page inside the book has a mock travel brochure and 2 mini road maps. The 4th manilla page is titled' "Famous Virginians." It has a 2 pieces of 8x11 paper made into a folded book. Each page has the picture of a famous Virginian and a summary about that person. On the next manilla page I have 2 small 6 flap books. One of the books is for Recipes from the state and the other is for miscellaneous info like crops, industry, state song, timeline of events, and a graph of major cities and their population. These are just suggestions, but this makes a very nice looking project book that would go great in a portfolio. I hope you get the jist of what
I was describing. The four door folder is alos folded in half so you have a front page that is just blank. When you ope it up you then see the four doors and each door as a picture on it. Then you open each door and there is information written about the object that was on the little door. The manilla folders do make 7 pages. If you could get ahold of a copy of Dinah Zikes "Big Book of Books" and "Big Book of Projects" that would help. You could probably get an interlibrary loan for them. They have video tapes also. It helps to see her put together stuff. She has a great way to put together weather. Her BBOP has photocopiable things to use in the project folders that are great.

OK It was message # 167 on the ANWOA loop that I found Dorian speaking about Government/Constitution. Here is an excerp:

~~~~~~~~Book Two does much more than just touch on the United States Constitution. We will go through every word of it together in Unit Three and play games on it, etc. In fact, this is why I included the mammals unit and THE INCREDIBLE JOURNEY during the time we study the Constitution - because it will get very heavy - and these other things "lighten" the rest of the
study up a bit. We do all we can to make it fun and meaningful - but you are still talking about legal issues and some of it is rather "crusty, dusty" stuff. As always - you will have to ask yourself - will my child learn better through a government textbook or through the real books, real activities approach - and then you have to judge by your son's response to this concept in the past and make your decision based on that.

We review state government 13 times - each time we cover a different state and discuss its governmental structure. But when we get to the constitution we will study it in probably greater depth than some government texts. In fact, this is one reason I chose mammals for the last unit and will extend it for 60 days instead of thirty. The mammals unit is a fun and "lighter" unit and offers lots of flexibility for the kids in terms of projects, etc. Also - the reading of The Incredible Journey will lighten up the unit as we "plod" through the Constitution together. It is truly very interesting to learn how it all came about - but actually going through the Constitution itself gets pretty heavy - no matter how many games and activities we throw in to lighten the load a bit!!! But, it has to be done - and it is important for kids to know and understand the way their country's governing document works! We will go through the entire constitution point by point, article by article and we will learn about the formation of it and the problems that colonies had with it - the Federalist Papers and their contribution to the ratification of the Constitution, etc.
You, of course will also be reading books about the Constitution as well. IF your state requires you to show a count of hours for a separate American Government class, here's what I'd do. I'd count every single hour that you spend on the government parts of LA first. (Likely this requirement will be only a semester requirement - so you are maybe talking about 90 hours
of work). I would also count any time spent reading biographies of the framers - Jefferson - who had a hand in the early stages but was in France during the time of the Constitutional Convention, Hamilton, Madison, Adams, and others. We also include several games that will help kids understand the different balance of powers issues between the three branches, etc. Count these as hours as well. After you have covered everything you can think of relating to American Government in general - I would start reading about famous cases in the government's history. Read about famous legislators and supreme court justices throughout history. Then delve into
political parties and how they were formed - AND elections throughout history. We just barely touch on political parties in Book Two as they did not exist until the very end of our study. I would also assign a notebook and/or a research paper that covers summaries of these things, copies of documents, governmental terms and definitions (bill of rights, amendment, democracy, federalsim, habeas corpus, etc.) A research paper might compare two different views of the framers of the constitution - or might visit a topic such as Famous Elections throughout History and What We Have Learned from Them OR The Connecticut Compromise and its Connection to the Constitution. (You will learn all about all these things when we cover them in LA - so don't get scared yet!) If you get really scared you can pick up a used government high school text to just get an idea of what a "course" might include. But government texts are REALLLLLLY boring and I would definitely choose the real books and projects approach! I would also include a visit to your representative/senatorial offices, etc. and ask for any information (which you'd include in your notebook).

What they want you to know when you take a government course is HOW it works, How it came to be, what are the components and how do they work together, How government works for Americans, and what our rights AND responsibilities are. If you are not required to take a "civics" class - I would wrap some of this up into a govt. course as well. Have the high school student spend time volunteering at a polling place during election time or helping out a local candidate of your choice during campaign season, etc. See how fast you could get 90 or even 180 hours - and it would all be in the totally hands-on or done the real books and projects way! Who needs a dry government text when you can find out for yourself through real books and methods?

My intent here was not to overwhelm you, but to give you PLENTY of ideas to show you that this will not be a problem!!! Smile We will list lots of books on this topic in Unit Three that you should really try to max out on when it comes time to gather your hours. People overlook the bios of the framers too much as well, I think. You can learn a LOT about government when you read about the thoughts of the people who had a hand in creating it! Madison is the biggie that you for sure don't want to skip. You can also pick up little paperbacks of the Constitution for about $5 or so that include a Constitution Test in the back of the book - or I'll bet these are
available on the web as well. This would be helpful to cement the knowledge after all is said and done for a high schooler.

I think I've given you plenty to think about until the time comes. Smile

Ocean Theme Day

We did an "ocean" themed day with another homeschool family that is not using LA. Our theme days have been great fun and allow the kids to have "school" together with some great learning opportunities.

On this day, the kids did a report and poster on an ocean based topic. One of the boys used sharks as his project, the other one had his on ocean pollution.

We started the day with a video on ocean life. There was a list of questions to quiz on what they learned from the video. While they were watching, the adults prepared lunch with sea food salad, gold fish, ocean spray juice and fish shaped cookies. After lunch we had them present their reports and posters. Crafts came next with shell wreath crafts purchased from Oriental trading. While the crafts dried, we took the kids swimming.

These "theme" days are a fun way to join together with other homeschoolers but they can be done within the family as well.