Saturday, June 2, 2007

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.

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