Although our daughter, Amber, is involved in many activities and co-op classes merely for enjoyment, the majority of her at-home lessons focus on earning high school credits. We spent a fair amount of time the summer before she began high school planning courses and strategizing how best she can achieve her goals.
Amber's curriculum and learning must all be structured to compensate for or accommodate her multiple chronic conditions that do affect her physical stamina and mental acuity. Many of the positive changes we have made to our schooling methods in the past year were based on recommendations from Amber's occupational therapist. (See her complete curriculum list here).
English Language Arts: English 1
We have chose to use a mixture of curriculum and products to create a high school level English 1 course for Amber. While it would be a dream to find everything she needs in one package, the reality is that is unlikely to happen. Instead, we focused our energy on finding sufficiently rigorous curriculum that provide the flexibility needed for Amber's daily physical and mental fluctuations.
Writing: Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW)
Grammar: Fix It! Grammar from IEW
Vocabulary: Latin Morphemes Lessons (Latin and Loving It)
Literature: Teaching the Classics method, plus a few Memoria Press guides for Shakespeare and poetry.
|Working on Fix It! Grammar|
I had not intended to formally include vocabulary in Amber's English 1 credit, but she honestly loves studying Greek and Latin Morphemes, so we are continuing with this curriculum. When it is complete, we will make decisions on purposeful vocabulary lessons.
Literature is one of Amber's absolute favorite subjects, but finding a curriculum that fit all of our requirements seemed impossible. We have successfully been using the methods set forth in Teaching the Classics for the majority of Amber's literature this year. Still, I wasn't all the confident on my ability to lead her through Shakespeare or even the poetry she adores. So, we are using an old favorite, Memoria Press, for Romeo and Juliet and American Poetry.
During our initial planning I did fall into the worry trap, concerned about how we would complete all of language arts each day, or even each week. Then, thinking back to my own high school honors English courses, we did not do any of these topics daily. We had on-going literature assignments, between which we worked on grammar, related vocabulary, and writing style. Our writing assignments were usually based on our current literature project and not independent writings, unless it was a course entirely devoted to writing.
I decided to structure Amber's English 1 course in the same way. She always has a literature project going, but we may not work on it during our class time every day. We alternate grammar and vocabulary while giving emphasis to writing most weeks. This has been very successful so far and thus we will continue with this schedule for the foreseeable future.
English Language Arts: Creative Writing
Amber decided she wanted to earn two creative writing credits, separate from her English credits, over the course of the four years of high school. We have started the first credit by using One Year Adventure Novel. Although Amber isn't as far along in this as she would like, she does love it and is improving. She has set it aside at times for a couple of other writing projects, but we always come back to the curriculum.
Foreign Language: German
Over the years, Amber has taken several foreign languages and enjoys learning new languages. She's been studying German with me for a couple of years already, and is continuing with it through high school. Unfortunately, our previous curriculum was discontinued and we've now had to switch over to Portfolio Deutsch from Klett-Langenscheidt. This curriculum was one of my original contenders, but it is more expensive than our previous set. Since I also teach German at our co-op, we went with the least expensive set to make book purchases easier for my students. However, Amber and I have been much happier with Portofolio Deutsch than our previous curriculum.
Extras - Speech
What is speech, besides words? I made the decision to use the IEW Speech Bootcamp at home with Amber, but the opportunity unexpectedly arose to teach it at our co-op last semester. This was a fantastic video course that put the students at ease while giving them the basics of speech presentation and writing. After going through the course with a small class, I'm glad we had the chance for Amber to take speech with a group instead of at home with just me.
Next week I'll be talking about how unique science topics and math have been working out for us in high school, so far.
Miss a week? Take a look at some of the other posts from the 2017 Curriculum Fair.
Please visit my fellow homeschool bloggers who are writing about Playing with Words this week:All posts will be live by Monday, January 9th at noon EST.
- Delight Directed High School English by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds
- Act Your Part Well- 2017 VCF by Lisa @ Golden Grasses
- The Search For Language by Michele@Family, Faith and Fridays
- Our Top Picks for Language Arts by Amanda H @ Hopkins Homeschool
- Multiple Approaches to Language Arts in 2017 by Laura @ Day by Day in Our World
- How We Cover the Language Arts in Our Homeschool by Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory
- Use Your Words by Laura @ Four Little Penguins
- The Art of Perfecting Macarons by Jennifer @ A Glimpse of Our Life
- Loving Languages Every Day by Jen K @ A Peace of Mind
- Speech Therapy & Elementary Latin by Yvie @ Gypsy Road
- The Readin' and Writin' Part of Homeschool by Shecki @ Greatly Blessed
- Children Who Love Books by Lizzy @ Peaches At Home
- Customizing High School Language Credits by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool
- A Poetry Feast by Sarah @ Delivering Grace
- Teaching Language Arts without Curriculum by Brittney @ Mom's Heart
- I know your pain and it is worth it! by Kim @ Good Sweet Love
- Language Arts: Our Style by Annette @ A Net in Time
- Words! Words! Words! by Lisa M @McClanahan 7
- 10 Wonderful Word Games (+1) by Lori @ At Home: where life happens
- Finding the Right Words by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break
- What About Reading Comprehension? by Kristen @ Sunrise to Sunset
- Teaching Grammar and Writing Through Discussion by Chelli @ The Planted Trees