Saturday, June 2, 2007

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


embracelife said...

I am so thrilled to come across this blog. I really wanted to do AWOA with my high schooler, I am blessed to see all this information and encouragement. THank you 100 times over

marry said...

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