Whew! It’s done! I’ve just finished planning Miles’ curriculum for this year. He’s now in the 11th grade. For the most part, I’ve gone with curriculum that’s already put together from the upcoming Time4Learning High School classes, along with a few Coursera courses thrown in. Also, this coming Spring we are aiming to have him take his first class at our local community college to start introducing him to engineering principles since he wants to be an engineer.
I’ve not ever publicly posted our homeschooling plans, but I’m in a sharing mood so here goes….
English (1 credit)
- We will use the new Time4Learning High School curriculum for his English. More details on their website. This is the first year that Time4Learning is doing high school, but we’ve used their materials for the younger kids in the past so are very interested in what they’ll do for HS. We will also have Miles do extensive reading throughout the year of non-fiction and fiction books, as well as grammar review throughout the year to supplement.
Algebra II/Trigonometry (1 credit)
- will also use Time4Learning but will have him complete both their Algebra II and Trig classes. I also want to cover probability & statistics this year, so we’ll do the KhanAcademy videos on this topic as well. I plan to have Miles take the SAT Math Level 1 Subject Test at the end of the year.
Chemistry (1 credit)
- will use Time4Learning – more details on their site. I plan to supplement with additional resources, such as The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Chemistry, as well as the author’s supplemental website and additional resources.
World Geography (1 credit)
- again, Time4Learning’s World Geography course. If I feel necessary and/or helpful, I may supplement it with material from Saylor.org’s World Regional Geography course.
Nutrition (.5 credit)
For nutrition, which will provide Physical Wellness credits, we have chosen two Coursera courses. One starts in September; the other can be done at any time. They are “Economic Issues, Food Choices & You” – which is a 10-week course and then ”Nutrition & Physical Activity for Health,” a 7-week course. Miles had followed along with part of a Coursera offering before, so he will be familiar with the overall format and structure.
Fine Arts (.5 credit)
- We will have Miles do two more Coursera offerings and these are just cool! The first one is “Online Games: Literature, New Media and Narrative.” This is a 7-week course that is about multiplayer online games. I’m personally excited about this because it’s taught by Vanderbilt professor Jay Clayton. I work at Vanderbilt and read an article about his in real life course several years ago and how popular it was amongst the students. This should be fun! Miles will also take ”Comic Books and Graphic Novels” – a course that surveys the history of American comics and graphic novels. These should provide a fun diversion to his more routine subjects.
Web Design (.5 credit)
- I will be ensuring that Miles learns HTML, CSS and WordPress this year and is able to create websites using WordPress. I’m a huge WP fangirl and have used it already for more than 80+ websites. So.. his instructor will be ME. :-). And, we already have two real-life projects identified for him to work on that will give him practical experience. Then, I may have him help me with some of my genealogy sites as extra practice (evil grin).
Technical Graphics (.5 credit)
- Because we think it will be good for him to start exercising more independence, we really want to enroll him in Nashville State Community College courses. Tentatively we have one identified that teaches computer drawing skills — something that could come in handy in engineering right? Then, next year, we can have him do more there.
In addition to these, we’re going to make sure he gets plenty of standardized testing practice in, as well as the real tests. These will include the ACT, SAT, the PSAT, and SAT Subject Tests. Given his homeschooling, I’m a little unsure how colleges will consider him, so we want to position him well so that he has at least those under his belt. Plus, the state of Tennessee gives free money for going to a TN state school with certain score requirements on the ACT (which Miles already meets).
Of course some of this will get refined throughout the year, but I am very glad to have mapped out the bigger picture. Here we go with another busy school year!
image credit: back to school by Flickr user jesuscm