Saturday, December 17, 2016

9th Grade - Semester 1 Report

In lieu of a weekly update this week, since it is Christmas vacation for us and we've basically gone to doctors, baked, and played LEGO Dimensions most of the week (what?  I said it was vacation for US), I'm doing an update on progress for the first semester of high school.

Cookie baking with Grandma and Rosetta helping with the Advent calendar.
After much deliberation, Amber had selected a rather rigorous high school course schedule for all four years of high school. We spent quite a while this past summer planning our her possible courses to obtain all the needed and desired credits. I was somewhat concerned over the amount of courses she wanted to take each semester, although the load is fairly consistent with what I took in high school. However, we all know that Amber is not me and that her chronic illnesses change the game - not to mention the hours per week she spends in therapy.

During our high school planning time we purposefully did not set aside any time at home for practical arts or fine arts credits since Amber intended to continue with our homeschool co-op for the foreseeable future. What we did not expect was that she would take additional classes at co-op outside the realm of practical & fine arts or religion. These unexpected classes all required study time at home that we did not accommodate in her schedule. Thus, the semester has ended rather differently than we anticipated even as late as August 1st.

Pain Clinic and a well deserved lunch with Mom - having fun with Christmas sweaters.
To see her detailed plans, check out our 2016/2017 curricula page, which still shows our original plans plus updates. I use these pages, along with my Homeschool Tracker, to keep up with what Amber actually does in school each year.

9th Grade - Semester 1 Progress Report:

Hours Totals:  (our second semester has more days than first)
Core Hours: 265 of needed 600
Total Hours: 480 of needed 1000
I'm actually more concerned with her high school credits than school hours, since we have no problem making the hours each year.


Math - Miraculously is on schedule. Amber finished Algebra 2 before Christmas break and will start Geometry our first week back in January.  Yes, we scheduled the topics slightly out of order from how some curricula structure math. We liked it better this way and our curriculum suggests this as the preferred pathway.  (1 credit of Mathematics earned since Jan 2016)

Language Arts - Amber spends much of her days working on some aspect of language arts. I'm still not sure how I will credit this. I think the literature, writing, grammar, and vocabulary will go under an English 1 credit, with the creative writing being an ongoing separate elective credit. At any rate, she is exactly halfway through the hours needed for 1/2 of her English 1 credit, with a bunch of miscellaneous hours that may be attributed to other electives.  I'm happy with her progress here.  (1/2 credit of English 1 earned)

Speech - In early August just prior to co-op starting, I switched one of the classes I was teaching and ended up with this course using the IEW Speech Bootcamp. Amber also switched into this class from the previous one I had been teaching.  There was significant homework from the class, as you might expect. We ended up delaying Amber's philosophy at home in favor of Speech.  (1/2 credit of Elective - Speech earned).

German - Here's where things start to falter some. She has almost no time at all in this subject yet this year. We just ran out of hours in the day or brain power. She wasn't fond of the curriculum and I really should have switched her earlier on. There will be time for this second semester, even if she has to drop Creative Writing for a short time.

History - We had a bit of a slow-down in this subject after years of going strong. We resolved the problem, which turned out to be mostly just her concern over how prepared she needed to be for socratic discussions. We're a tad behind now, but since we usually finish history months early each year, I assume all will work out fine by May.  This class will be credited at the end of the year as 1/2 credit of American History and 1/2 credit of Western Civilization, however right now I can't determine exactly how much of each topic she has banked.  She did a little bit of government work during her history time too, but that was to be an ongoing credit over all four years of high school by utilizing Tapestry of Grace.  (1/3 credit of History earned)

Formal Logic - Slower than anticipated, but progress was made. She will just keep plunking at this one until it is complete. I'm not overly concerned about it. Hours were accumulated towards her 1/2 credit.

Philosophy - We didn't start. This was dropped in favor of the co-op classes that required homework time. I'm not sure when she will pick it up.

Science - Amber is almost finished with her 1/2 credit Botany course at home. We weren't sure we could finish it in one semester, and we couldn't it turns out.  Next semester she's taking my forensic science class at co-op, so that may be her science for the coming semester.  (*almost* 1/2 credit of Science earned)

Health - I unexpectedly ended up teaching this year-long class at co-op, and Amber is registered for it too. Of course it has homework that takes up time at home. I really need to stop letting her take credit worthy co-op classes.  (1/4 of eventual 1/2 credit of Health earned)

Fine Arts - Amber takes weeks flute lessons, has random flute performances, a year long drama class at co-op, and just finished a semester of 3-D art at co-op too.  We do not even worry about her obtaining a fine arts credit. At the end of high school I'll decide exactly how to divide up her fine arts, until then I'm just tracking it carefully.

Practical Arts - Absolutely nothing :)

Religion - An unexpected elective. Amber signed up for a Bible class at co-op taught by one of our pastors both last semester and this coming semester.  Each class is worth 1/4 credit. (1/4 credit of Elective - Religion earned)

Physical Education - Amber will have no trouble earning these credits either. The proper type of physical activity is key to keeping her body working. She currently still has weekly physical therapy plus a home exercise program. I was extremely conservative in recording her hours for this subject, but did include her PT time since she's always exercising and learning more about her body. We also only include purposeful exercise time and not fun play times out with friends, although those can also be rather physical events depending on the activity. (over 1/2 credit of Physical Education earned)

Final Analysis:

Although Amber's progress hasn't been entirely how we planned back in June, we are pleased with the end results at this point. Next year we will hold off on planning some of our home courses until we are certain about co-op - or make it a rule that she can't take any homework / content courses at co-op.

Linking With:

Weekly Wrap-Up  Homeschool Coffee Break


  1. You guys have accomplished tons already.
    Blessings, Dawn

  2. Sounds like a perfect vacation week! How do you assign credits; just curious my oldest is only in 7th so I have a few years...

  3. We using 120 hours for a full credit, 60 for half credit, 30 for quarter. In some cases, like math, if she is close to the hours I award the credit for finishing the book. Not most of the book, or some of the book. If all lessons and all problems were completed, but she was just fast at her work, then she gets the credit.