Wednesday, February 28, 2007

November 28, 2000 High School Resources

Yes, Faithe, we use Apologia Science for Ryan, along with a grade level
math program. He reads real, living history books (we are in the late
1800's) and literature books from the library that go along with that
period. If you are using LA for your family and have high schoolers, you
really need to supplement quite a bit - especially if they are college
bound. They should have a more advanced grammar program (WTM recommends A
Beka Grammar) and should be doing more advanced writing projects. Both
Writing Strands and IEW are really good programs. High schoolers should be
doing research papers, essays, and a variety of other types of writing that
programs such as these will help you accomplish. They need to continue
increasing their vocabulary and stay on top of the Latin and Greek roots -
adding to them as they go along. A foreign language is really good to have
(at least two years) in high school as well. You can stay with the theme
that the rest of the family is on in LA if you choose more advanced history
and literature books from the library. The literature books in LA are
great family read-alouds, but your high schooler should also be reading
more advanced literature. I usually give ideas for you to supplement
thematically in the beginning of each unit, but you can also choose
classics and other types of books. I find it very profitable to also read
a biography of the author when studying his/her works. (Example - the
works of Twain, Dickens, Shakespeare, Austen, or the Bronte sisters . . .)
The biography brings the history and the philosophy of the period well into
play and helps your student understand how and why the work was written, as
well as its theme, tone, and message. I have NEVER felt the need to work
strictly out of a history text. Although they can be valuable as
introductions and even more valuable as reviews, a student will always
learn more by reading library books on history and biographies than he or
she will from the traditional history textbook route. Combine history and
writing at times - have them do research papers on historical questions and
issues . . . comparing the leadership of Grant and Lee - or speculating
what would have happened if the English had won the Revolutionary War
instead of America, etc. Logic is also a good subject to include in your
high school studies. Whatever you decide to do, please make sure that you
are aware of your state's requirements for your high schooler - and please
be aware that you must keep a transcript for your high schooler. There are
several books available in the homeschooling market that will help you do
this with confidence. You probably have to have one course on your own
state history/government, and Physical Education requirements need to be
met as well - which is something homeschoolers don't always consider. The
fine arts requirement can be accomplished by tabulating the hours spent on
the kinds of fine arts projects, readings and studies that we do in LA -
music and art history, culture, and hands-on art techniques and skills. My
required fine arts college course included the same stuff that we do in LA
fine arts. I think only one year of fine arts is actually required in high
school - but you will need to check on that as well and make sure that you
are putting in the number of hours requred. You can always read more
biographies of artists and composers, work on a new or favorite musical or
art project, take a local art course from a craft store or community
program, or take music lessons in order to complete your time requirements.

If you only have a high schooler, you will have to decide if A World of
Adventure will be that beneficial to you, because you will have to
supplement so much. However, if you have children within grades 4-8 in
addition to your high schooler, you can fairly easily keep the whole family
involved in much of the study together.

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