Sunday, September 4, 2016

Gearing Up For A New Term

As we coast into our term break & the kids take brain breaks from their academic work I'm busy prepping for a new term. I like to have everything set & ready to go making the kids jobs of actually doing the work a lot less stressful. However our new term also means new grades, new curriculum, & with that comes a whole new expectation of record keeping.

Normally we don't move into new grades and consider ourselves in a new year until we begin in January, but nothing is ever normal & one of the many beauties of homeschooling is that we have this ability to change things up if we need to, & we need to as there is a high possibility we will end up back in the states in a year to eighteen months. That brings it's own slue of differences when it comes to the education of our children.

There are always differences in educational experiences in each country, but as we live in the Southern Hemisphere & would be moving to the Northern it would also mean a change in school years. We took a bit of time to ponder the various methods we could use to move ourselves slowly onto that rotation to be prepared when things transpire, but the most logical move was that since kids were done with curriculum to move them forward & get a new year & new grade underway.

This would allow for a more calm & even paced 9th grade year for our eldest who, all ready having 2 years of Australian high school under his belt, would only just now be reaching American high school. As home educators we'd have various new rules & regulations to adhere to in order to be sure he hits all the needed requirements to legally graduate.

Yes, things will be slightly different, but the bottom line is that we simply need to take what we're doing & see how it fits in with the state requirements. We sat down with Morgan & went over the things he has little choice on, reminding him they are just hoops he has to jump through & that he's capable, & then we presented him with the good stuff. Theses are the things he gets to pick & choose from to round out his education. It was a little nerve wracking at first & we plagued a few US friends with queries for help as we navigated this slightly new, to us, road.

In the end our boy has carved out a 4-Year Plan which is open to changes if need be. For now though, he's got his 9th grade year locked in & all his books have at long last arrived, much to his delight. In fact we had great fun trying to find the table underneath the huge pile of books that arrived here last week!! It took us three days to get everything sorted & put up for the year ahead of us.

For 9th grade he'll be using:

This hits several of the mandatory credits he needs while allowing him to continue forward with his plans. Honestly, this schedule doesn't look that different then what he did last year. He's simply moved forward with history, math, & science. Marine Biology is not a required science, but this was his choice & we ran with it. He may also have piano & programming going on as well, but we'll see how things proceed from here.

Things for Jayden were absolutely no different then normal as he wouldn't be in high school if he was in educating in the US.  While we still left choices open to him he wasn't keen to give much input. He's on the "burnt out" side of education at the moment, which we suspect is likely from tagging along with his older brother for so long. He's also going through the teenage hormone slump which really doesn't help.

We did switch things up for him this year as a literature based education isn't really his foray & it's become more & more evident with each passing year. While I may love books, I also want to give my children the room to grow & learn in the manner that suits them best With that in mind I had a few options I was considering & offered him a chance to pick anyone of them. While he didn't really care I did end up selecting the one he gave the most pause to look over: Timberdoodle.

Timberdoodle sells curriculum kits for all grades with many options when you go to order from secular options to customising whichever one you pick. One of the biggest reasons I opted to go with TD is that it had a few components in the kit that I'd all ready been considering for our boy, but it also mixed in some pretty fun things that I hope will bring some excitement back into his days. 

While he wasn't jumping up & down with excitement when his parcel of books arrived, he was quick to get to the door & happy to sign for his parcel. He was equally dissapointed when I said we couldn't open it up until we finished cleaning the kitchen. He has confessed he's a little nervous about an item or two, but he's also really excited about one or two.

Here are the final selections we made to customise his 7th Grade kit:
I marked a few items with an *, these items were not included in the Timberdoodle Kit, but things I added on. Road Runner Physics is available from Timberdoodle so I added that on to his kit for fun, we'll see what happens there.

All of the Grammar/Language Arts items were not included. Timberdoodle had a few choices in that area & I've never used those items so was interested in checking them out. I just didn't feel the writing was what we needed for our boy & was really not sure what to choose for him as I really don't see Writing With Skill being a good fit for this child. After much researching I opted to purchase Writer's In Residence by Debra Bell. The book is available through Apologia's Website or CBD. 

As for spelling & IEW we'll simply pick up where we left off. Both of my children still need spelling in my opinion. Having undiagnosed VPD for as long as they did this is an area they need constant review. They've made huge leaps & bounds, & in all fairness may never be great shakes at spelling, but for now we'll continue forward with it.

Extreme Dot-To-Dot is a really cool book, but I'm telling you it's also a nightmare for people with VPD. I was given a few samples on the back of my receipts & wow on white paper that actually hurt. I may copy them onto Jayde's awesome grey paper & see how he goes with them. However, we all ready owned ACG Holy Land & we're happy to pull it out & make use of it.

The kit also came with The Fallacy Detective & The Thinking Detective. We owned the former, & I was delighted to know that I could remove it by using the customise option. However, we didn't own the second one so we went ahead & snagged that one. Both will land in our morning book basket which is currently being restocked for the new term. I'll share about that in another post though.

All up we're really excited about the choices for both kids. 


Melissa said...

Hi Kendra. Thanks for the information about Timberdoodle. It has been useful for my 2017 preparations. You choices look great, as usual. :)

Kendra said...

Glad it was helpful for you. We've made a few minor changes, but nothing too major.

Deborah - said...

Hi Kendra. Is the Curriculum Allowed by the Australian Education System? Thanks Deborah

Kendra said...

Hi Deborah,

Im in Tasmania & I've never had any curriculum banned from use where we live. :)