Our 11th Grade Choices

How do I already have a junior in high school? It is so bittersweet. The years seem to go by so fast, and I want to hold on tight, but I also enjoy watching him grow into a godly young man.

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This year we are making a HUGE transition. He is going to be dual enrolled in our local community college. I will still teach him several of his courses, but others he will take at the community college. Those classes will count for both high school and college.

Community College Courses

Here in North Carolina, dual enrollment is free for high school students. He will not pay any tuition, but we are responsible for purchasing his textbooks. He will take College Algebra, Spanish 1, and Public Speaking from the community college this first semester. We will reevaluate towards the end of the first semester, but most likely, he will take Spanish 2, English 111, and Fine Arts during the spring semester. He is starting with two online courses and one hybrid course.

Homeschool Courses

In addition to his college courses, he will take Chemistry, American Literature, and American Government in our homeschool.

My daughter is entering the ninth grade and will be taking those courses with him, so I am excited to do some learning together.

Chemistry

For chemistry, we are using Journey Homeschool Academy. We LOVED their biology program and are very excited about the chemistry course. Both of my high school students will work through this course and can watch the videos together or separately. Each will do their own tests and quizzes, but we will do lab work together.

We love how thorough but relatable Journey Homeschool makes their courses and the fact that they use a Christian worldview.

I am super excited that they even have homework help videos added this year because it has been a long time since I last took chemistry.

American Literature

My son taught himself to read at age three and has read voraciously since he was in early elementary school. However, over the last several years, I noticed that he was not reading as much, and he rarely picked up a book for fun and complained about his literature programs.

I wanted him to be well-read and prepared for college-level courses, retain his love for reading, and be a lifelong reader. This year, we found that he enjoyed comparing books and movies more than answering questions about the books. The comparisons and subsequent discussions generally showed a good understanding of the book.

Therefore, this year he and his sister are each picking several books from American authors, and my husband and I are also picking several. When possible, we will find correlating movies. We will all four read the book and then have a family discussion. When there is a movie that correlates, we will watch it and have them make a Venn diagram comparing the two.

American Government

We have already started the American Government course as it was a recent review from Paradigm Accelerated Curriculum. We will do their Principles and Precepts of Government along with a video series. We have enjoyed the first part of the curriculum and are looking forward to finishing it.

Conclusions

We will continue to use World Watch in the mornings as a family to discuss current events and family devotions. My son is also running his own business raising meat chickens, and we may add in a poultry science elective related to the business. 

He has a full schedule, but we look forward to the changes.

Stay tuned to find out what we are using for my other children. I’d love to hear what courses you love.

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library, you will get a link and password to the library; we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you updated on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always, I will never recommend a product I don’t believe in, and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies

If you have not tried SchoolhouseTeachers.com, you don’t want to miss this BOGO sale! 2 years for the price of one.

Just for my readers, you can use code: SWAG to get 10% off any Journey Homeschool Academy Course this week only!

High School Math Live At My Pace Geometry (REVIEW)

 
Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

I love teaching elementary math to my children. However, once we hit Algebra 1, I find an online program to take over. My daughter is doing Geometry this year, and we had the opportunity to check out the Geometry At My Pace course from High School Math Live.

Course Layout

This course is broken down into two semesters (A and B), and we started with semester A. Once you set up your account, the student can log in to their account and see a syllabus for the semester. The syllabus lays out the course in three lessons each week.

Syllabus

There are video lessons (40 minutes to an hour-long), homework assignments, and quizzes and tests. Students can check their homework using the answer key in the back of the book and answers provided with the syllabus.

Quizzes and tests must be requested from the teacher. The teacher e-mails them to the parent to be given to the student and proctored by the parent. You then scan the quiz or test and send it electronically to the teacher for grading.

Sample Page in the One Drive notebook

Each student has a teaching notebook located in one drive. This notebook has teaching notes for each lesson, links to virtual resources, and the student’s grade book. The teacher inputs the quiz and test grades into this notebook.

There is also some one-on-one tutoring available with the At My Pace courses, but my daughter has not needed the additional help yet.

Since this is an “At My Pace” course students are not required to work through the course on a particular schedule. So even though it is laid out in a week-by-week format they can work through it at their own pace.

Elizabeth’s Thoughts

“I was able to learn and understand her teaching, but it felt a bit chaotic, especially at first. There are things and links you need scattered around in different places, and the tests are complicated because you have to print them, fill them out, and then send them to the teacher, and if you are not used to doing that, it can be challenging. The lessons are long, ranging from about 40-50 minutes each. “

Screenshot from a Class Video

Parent Thoughts

The instruction in this program is solid and appropriate for high school students. The teacher we interacted with via e-mail was polite, prompt, and helpful.

I felt overwhelmed when we first looked at the program because it felt like a lot to figure out and find. That became much easier as we moved forward in the program.

It is a program where someone else teaches, and the parent is simply the proctor. Depending on your family’s needs, this could be a pro or a con.

I feel like this course will give my daughter a solid understanding of high school-level geometry, and we plan to continue with the class in the fall to provide her with high school math credit.

High School Math Live

Conclusions

I think that the instruction for this course is solid, and it is a well-done and in-depth high school math course. It is a bit challenging to figure out initially but much easier to use once you have gotten through the first few weeks and understand the layout.

The lengthy videos and teacher-graded paper quizzes and tests make it more like a traditional math course than some other online courses we have used. This could be good or bad, depending on your student.

Other Review Crew families reviewed different courses from High School Math Live, so click on the graphic below to check out their reviews and see how the program worked for their families.

High School Math

High School Credit for Morning Time Studies

We have done some form of morning time or family learning throughout our years of homeschooling. If you look back at what I’ve shared about our morning time over the years, you will notice that each year is different. We have changed what we did in different seasons of life and as we found new resources.

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We are currently in a season of life which involves preschoolers to high schoolers. It is an exciting time, but it also has its challenges.

Today, I want to primarily talk about how we do morning time with a high schooler and when/how we incorporate it into his high school credits.

First, it is essential to note that not every part of a homeschooled high schooler’s education must be for credits.

The reasons we homeschool and the goals for our family have not changed just because our children are in high school.

For example, we memorize scripture because we believe it is beneficial to our Christian walk, not because we are trying to get high school credit.

However, when we can use our morning time activities for part of a high school credit, we do. One of the benefits of homeschooling is that we can be creative about structuring classes and education.

High School Current Events

One of the main components of our morning time this year was watching World Watch News. World Watch is a ten-minute daily news program (Monday through Friday) that shares real-world news for students from a Christian perspective. (You can also see our review: WORLD Watch News Review)

We started just watching it and discussing it as a family. However, we decided that our rich discussions were valuable and could be part of a social studies elective. So we took the watching and discussing and added a journaling component to turn that part of our morning time into a current events elective for my son.

We watched it together, discussed it together, and then had him complete a journal entry each day that shared what he had learned. Some days our discussions lasted five to ten minutes, and some days they ran as long as an hour.

High School Fine Arts

Another way to incorporate your morning time into your child’s high school credits is through fine arts. This can vary by family, but most morning time picture or music studies are not robust enough for high school credit on their own. However, they can form a great jumping-off point or base for the credit.

We plan to incorporate fine arts into our morning time next year by using the curriculum from You Are An Artist. We will go through some of it together and then have my high schoolers go more in-depth independently.

They have options by grade level or some unit studies for the whole family. I am still deciding which of their courses we will use, but I’ll make sure to share about it when I do my curriculum posts later in the summer.

You can find out more about their fine arts programs in this post about adding music to your homeschool.

High School Morning Time

High School Morning Time Literature Study

While we will not replace high school literature with morning time, it can be a great starting point. For example, we are working on memorizing some passages of Shakespeare together during our morning time.

We use Ken Ludwig’s How To Teach Your Child Shakespeare. We will also read a children’s version of the play and discuss the characters and plot.

Then my high school students can read the full version and have a more in-depth discussion as a part of their literature course.

You could also read other novels together during morning time and have your high schooler do literature analysis, projects, or papers connected to those novels as a part of their literature work.

High School Morning Time Conclusions

These are just a few ways to incorporate high school credit work into a mixed-age morning time plan! Look for part two of this post coming later, where I talk about using morning time for a few other subjects.

Remember, not everything has to be for credit, but it can be beneficial to look at how what you are already doing can be incorporated into the credits your child needs.

I would love to hear what subjects you incorporate into your morning time and high school credits.

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies

If you have not tried SchoolhouseTeachers.com, you don’t want to miss this sale!

FREE Family Astronomy Course from Journey Homeschool Academy!

All About Learning is offering 10% off with this link and code: BUYEARLY

Principles and Precepts of Government from Paradigm Accelerated Curriculum (Review)

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

One of our educational goals for our children is to have a good understanding of our government and grow up to be informed, productive citizens. As a part of that goal, we have been looking for an excellent high school-level government class. We have recently reviewed the Principles and Precepts of Government from Paradigm Accelerated Curriculum (PAC).


What Is Principles and Precepts of Government?


The Principles and Precepts of Government curriculum included three text booklets and three coordinating activity booklets. There was also a teacher’s resource kit with tests and quizzes. You can choose from print or digital versions, and we were able to look over both for this review. The program is worth ½ of a social studies credit.


Course Overview


The text booklets are approximately 60-75 pages in length. Each one contains three sections which are further divided into five topics.
The content begins with the evolution of government, going back to historic empires before Christ. Then it moves on to the Roman government before introducing the colonies and the beginning of the US government.
The second booklet is an in-depth look at the constitution, the bill of rights, and the branches of government. The final booklet covers state and local government, the election of the president, rights and responsibilities, and parliamentary procedure.

I am somewhat concerned that the paper formatting of the text booklets may not hold up to long-term use.


Text Layout


Each topic is only 3-4 pages in length, making it a manageable amount to cover in a day. At the beginning of each topic, a vocabulary list covers essential vocabulary from within the text. Those vocabulary words are also written in bold format within the text. There are black and white illustrations and maps sprinkled throughout the text.
Most sections also include a life principle, an important quote about government from famous historical figures. For example, one of the sections is from Francis Bacon. “If we do not maintain justice, justice will not maintain us.”

Principles and Precepts of Government Text Booklet


Activity Books


The activity books are broken down into the same chapter, sections, and topics as the textbooks, which makes pairing them seamless. Each topic has a page or two of questions that are mostly fill-in-the-blank and multiple choice. Sometimes, there are places to write down quotes or important content, such as the preamble to the Declaration of Independence.
I think it is important to note that while these are called activity books, they are more in the style of what most people would consider workbooks. There are no hands-on activities, just the questions.


How Did We Use Principles and Precepts of Government?


I have a rising ninth-grader and a rising high school junior who both need an American Government course, so we are going through this course with both. They are doing the work independently, but then we discuss it as a family. (You need a second set of activity books for a second student as they are consumable.)
Since it is broken down into small topics, we can do two to three topics a week and cover the course material in one semester.

Activity Book Page

What Did I Think?


I liked that the curriculum was straightforward and easy to use. They had the students understand the background of our government and get a good knowledge of our constitution. Grading was simple because it included worksheets and tests.
I would like to see a little more time on primary source materials and more hands-on learning, but I appreciate the quality content and ease of use.
I also really appreciated this quote on the Paradigm website, “Principles and Precepts of Government is designed to equip students with an understanding of the evolution of various forms of governance, and thereby gain an appreciation of the workings and myriad benefits afforded in their American Republic, the sacrifices to bring it to fruition, and the requirements of involvement to preserve it.”


I just felt like that quote aligned with our family’s desire to teach our children about our government.


Both of my high school students will complete this course and some additional government materials to make a full government credit in the fall. You can also pair this course with an economics course from Paradigm to make a full credit.


What Did the Teenagers Think?

“I like how it is easy to find where you need to be in the text and activity books because Chapter #, Section #, and topic # are given at the top of the page. At the beginning of each section, it gives a vocabulary part, and throughout the section, it highlights all the words in the vocabulary part. I like how the quizzes are formatted with multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, or true or false questions. The curriculum covers from about 500 BC to more modern times, which I like because it gives you a good background on how government started and how it works now.” Elizabeth, Age 14

“The government course is a great course on the history roots and workings of the US government and I like the way that the quizzes are set up as multiple choice or fill in the blank.” Matthew, Age 15

Conclusions


Overall, this is an excellent self-paced American Government course for high schoolers. Most high schoolers could complete it independently, or you can add in family discussions. If your student is a more hands-on or auditory learner, you may want to add some additional activities or lectures.
I encourage you to check out this course and the other offerings at Paradigm Accelerated Curriculum. You can also click on the graphic below to see what other Review Crew Members thought about various classes.

Paradigm Accelerated Curriculum