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 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

ACT Mom Test Prep (Review)


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

The ACT Mom

Somehow we went from our first year of homeschooling him in first grade to having a high school sophomore in the blink of an eye. Suddenly, I have to think about college, scholarships, transcripts, and college testing. I am not sure how time went so quickly, but I am grateful there are people and products out there designed to help me through this process. This month we have been reviewing the  ACT Mom Online Class, a product from ACT Mom designed to help him prepare to take the ACT.

ACT MOM Overview

This online course is broken down into the four categories of the ACT:

-Science

-Math

-English

-Reading

Inside of each category are multiple lessons breaking it down into different topics. My son decided to do science first. There was an introduction to the course at the beginning (it is available in each category but only needs to be watched once.)

ACT Science Prep

Then there were seven sections. The sections were fairly short and he mostly completed a section each time he did a session. The first one was about how the science test worked and test taking strategies.  There was a section about outside information questions, which are the science based questions that are testing your prior science knowledge.

Some examples of the test taking tips were reading the questions first to help you find the right information in the reading and stay hydrated, drink water and have protein bar in between the 2nd and 3rd sections

There were quizzes that checked for understanding of this material. Those were completed and graded online.

The rest of the science sections were broken down by the five sections that will be on the test. Each section had a science based reading selection and a set of questions.  There was a 10 Minute video with each one that went over what section was about and then a timer for you to complete the section.

The course came with a three ring binder that had laminated sample answer sheets, graph paper, and other materials. When you came to these sections of the science lessons, you fill out the answers on the laminated answer sheets with a dry erase marker. This gives students a chance to get familiar with the layout of the answer sheets.

Students would answer questions for that section while the timer ran. They had 6-8 questions per section, and then there was a 2nd 4-5 minute video that explained the answers and where the answers were found.

Paper Materials for ACT Test Prep

Test Prep Overview

The other categories were set up similarly, with each one being broken up into different sections. For the math there were explanations of various math concepts with the digital quizzes and then at the end there is a practice ACT section. For that one she did videos that explain the correct answers and broke it into 10 questions per video so that you only had to go back and look at ones that you had trouble understanding.

Final Thoughts

Overall, while my son wouldn’t tell you that he enjoyed ACT Mom Online Class, he did feel like it helped him have a better understanding of what to expect when he takes the ACT. He felt like it was going to help him be more prepared and consequently score better.  We plan for him to finish the program over the course of this semester prior to taking the ACT next year.

We do recommend this program for any high school student who is preparing for the ACT.  I think it would be somewhat helpful for the SAT as well but it really targets the ACT set up and style.

Many of the Review Crew families took a look at ACT Mom Online Class and started with different sections. So be sure to click on the graphic below to see what they thought.

Test Prep with The ACT Mom

Our 10th Grade Homeschool Curriculum (2021)

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My oldest will be in 10th grade this year. It feels almost unbelievable, as it feels like just a few years ago he was in first grade and we were starting our first year of homeschool.  Last year we learned a bit about what worked well for us and what did not for high school level courses.

As always, there are many great options, you just have to find the ones that are right for your family and your child’s strengths and goals.

Thinkwell Math

Math

First, we were blessed with the opportunity to review Thinkwell Math for geometry last year. This went really well for us and I loved that he could go to office hours to get help each week if needed. They also allowed for a flexible schedule so that we could take our breaks on our schedule.

We enjoyed the combination of support with flexibility and are signed up for Algebra II with them this year. I purchased the self-paced course and we will add in the office hours if we see that he needs the additional help.

I love that while I am available to answer questions, he can complete this course with very little input from me (it has been a few years since I have taken upper level math courses.)

Literature

We used Schoolhouse Teachers last year for literature after our original plan did not work well and plan to continue that for this year. Last year he took a course focused on Tolkien and this year he is doing a course that covers a variety of British Literature.  For literature, he will read and answer the questions that come with the course. We will then discuss the questions together.

History

He is going to take a Modern World History Course from Schoolhouse Teachers. We did ancient history last year and wanted to make sure he had a good foundation in modern history before we move on to US History and Government. This course is set up with readings, writing assignments, maps, and activities.

He will complete most of the assignments on his own and I will grade them. We will also have some discussions about what he is learning and add in a few documentaries.

Livestock Show 2021

Electives

He wanted to take Horticulture and Animal Science for two of his electives. These courses tie in very well to the hobbies and extra-curricular activities he was already doing. They also fit well with his college goals. To facilitate this, I am using 4-H and FFA materials as a guide.

We will also be adding hands-on projects including raising animals for the livestock show, growing a garden, and doing a 4-H presentation about one of those topics.

In the spring, he will be taking Culinary Arts. We are still working on the exact syllabus for this course. However, I know that we plan to use some of the course work from the Home Economics course at Schoolhouse Teachers and some episodes of Good Eats with projects based around the different techniques that he learns.

Playing for the Youth Group Band

Music

Last year he took Music Performance I and he really enjoys his music so we are doing Music Appreciation and Performance II this year. We plan to continue using Practice Monkeys for his guitar lessons. Last year he did guitar and violin but is planning to focus on guitar this year.

In addition, we will be using Schoolhouse Teachers Advanced Music Theory and  SQUILT Music Lessons for theory and music appreciation. He also has the opportunity to play with our youth group band which gives him the opportunity to perform for other people.

Biology Lab with Journey Homeschool

Science

Last but not least is chemistry. Last year we reviewed the biology course from Journey Homeschool Academy. My son really enjoyed it, so we decided to try their new chemistry course this year. The videos were interested and easy to understand but also thorough.

There were tests that they graded and discussion questions and lab reports that I graded.  It was so simple and required very little time on my part, which was important with everything else we had going on.

They have elementary, middle, and high school level science courses. All of their courses are done from a Christian world view.  (If you are interested in Journey Homeschool Academy science courses their open enrollment ends at the end of August.)

Family Studies

He will be joining us for our Bible and hymn study time in the morning, but that will not count as a course. I still feel the family time is an important part of his development.

Overall, we are looking forward to a great year. Since my son wanted to be able to take a few extra days off this fall for hunting and fishing, he has already started some of his courses. We will stay flexible throughout the year as always and change if needed but I think we have a good plan for the year.

What courses or programs do you love for high school? Anything you are trying to find or need suggestions for?

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: Buy One Year Get Another Year Free!

Not Consumed is offering 15% off everything in their store! Great Bible studies, hymn studies, missionary curriculum and more. Use Code: 2NDCHANCE

Evan-Moor is having a 25% off sale one all of their resources!

Use this link to get 15% off at Thinkwell Math! It was a lifesaver for us for Geometry and I look forward to using them for Algebra II next year.

Journey Homeschool Academy is offering a FREE Virtual Open House August 24 at 9pm. This is a great way to find out more about this science program and see if it is a good fit for your family. Get signed-up today!