Monday, September 18, 2017

New Year, New Curriculum


It’s that time of year again when we the curriculum is rounded up & everyone’s gearing up to dig into fresh new books. It’s not much different in our house either as we also prepare ourselves for the academic year ahead.

We are still waiting for a few stray parcels to arrive, but the majority of our new books are here & we're back to business around here.

Both of my children opted to move to the Heart Of Dakota programme. One preferred the book selections as he's far more interested in non-fiction than fiction. The other felt that the HOD programmes start with God & work from there where as his current curriculum seemed to start with the world & see how it could mirror God.

While things can change at any time here’s what we’ll be starting out with & aiming to accomplish within our year. Due to changing math very late last year there will be some overlap with that for each of them, but it should all even out as long as they keep the pace with it:

8th Grade:

Heart Of Dakota’s Resurrection to Reformation & Revival to Revolution — Jayde hasn’t completed Res - Ref so he will just continue working forward & we’ll purchase the next set when he’s ready. This is the curriculum we moved him to halfway through last year & it’s been a beautiful move for him. This will cover Bible, science, geography & history. We swap out the math & language arts portions.

Teaching Textbooks: He will wrap up Level 7 & move right into Pre-Algebra. We moved to Teaching textbooks late in the year & while half the info in Level 7 he already knew they’ve woven material he’s not familiar with throughout so we’ve been working in order through some areas & will jump forward through others.

Earth & Physical Sciences: HOD covers earth science in Res to Ref & physical in Rev to Rev. Science is not something this boy enjoys much, especially from a textbook view point so we’re committed to trying what they offer for him & see how it goes. So far he’s enjoyed the earth science all though it’s a little below him.

Bible: he’s been really enjoying the Philippians study that is scheduled through HOD & will move into the Hebrew study after that {which ironically is also scheduled in the next level of HOD.} He's also reading through Boyhood & Beyond, & will use Who is God & Can I really Know Him?

IEW: we’ll continued forward with our Student Intensive Writing & Fix-It Grammar at this level. While I’d like to see him move a little faster through things, I will say the results are wonderful so it’s hard to argue with that.

Literature: We’re using a list from HOD’s Dithor programme. This worked well for him last year & it’s helped introduce him to different genres, something he’s not generally inclined to try out for himself.

10th Grade:

It’s hard to imagine that if our child were in the local school system he’d be graduating high school this year. Seriously. Tasmania does things a little differently, on the other hand our boy will remain in school through Grade 12, or so goes the plan.

World Geography: Morgan is following the state requirements for our home state back in the USA, one of those requirements for high school is world geography. He opted to use HOD’s World Geography this year which will cover Bible, Geography, some History, art, logic, literature, & world religions. As is the case with the younger we will use our own resources for Math, English, & a foreign Language. He’s especially excited with the various assignments {research & writing} & notebooking pages included in this programme.

Teaching Textbooks Algebra 1 & Algebra 2: Again, with that late math switch it will create a considerable amount of overlap for our boy, but he’s flying through the programme so it’s hard to complain.

IEW: He is also using an IEW SWI for writing as well as IEW Fix-It for Grammar. All of this, plus his literature is combined for an English II credit. He’ll need a total of 4. We actually include Vocabulary & poetry under that as well dividing the whole grade amongst the various topics for a complete grade.

Logic: Morgan will be working through The Fallacy Detective & The Art of Argument, with DVDs. This won’t be his first trip through TFD, but it’s always good fun. We’re enjoying a quick read of the chapter in the early morning hours, sometimes Mr S joins us, & then discussing the questions/answers. The later programme was on our list for this year or next so it was lovely to see it already included & planned out.

Bible: HOD schedules Rooted & Grounded for the students personal Bible study this year. We’ll see how he enjoys it as he moves along. Knowing my boy as I do, I think he’ll take great delight in praying for the peoples of this world, which is part of the focus of the programme.

Religions & Cultures: There are a small handful of books scheduled under this topic, that I would generally classify as theology. Either way, after reading the scheduled chapter{s} for the day he has notebooking pages to compare & contrast varying religions.

Literature: this particular programme schedules in a small selection of books along with BJU Lit 9. We’re opting to simply do it as written because one of the pieces to an English Credit that our boy needs is literary analysis. This will cover that topic & he’ll get to read through some fun books. In fact he’d already read 3 of the 5 books on the boy’s list, but he’s keen to reread them & swap out one or two for a selection on the girl’s list that he’s been meaning to read.

French II: He will continue his journey with French using the same combination of DuoLingo & Rosetta Stone. He really had a huge confidence boost the previous school year when he was able to communicate, in writing, with someone from France. He did well enough that the person asked if he was French too, which really inspired our boy to keep going. He needs 2 years of the same language to earn his 2 credits. This will fit the bill to wrap up those 2 needed credits, all though we are debating another 2 years of either French or Spanish. We opted not to use the HOD resource because it was for Spanish & only worth 1/2 credit which would not fit our needs.

Animation: Out boy is very artistically inclined & one of his interests has been to learn more about animation as he’s considering it for a career path. We caught a sale via YouthDigital & purchased him the Animation 1 course. We debated purchasing 3 courses, all based around animation & film, but oddly enough the sale code couldn’t be used on a combo course.

Biology: His plan was to do Chemistry in 10th & save Biology for 11th, which we agreed with, until the major math snafu we had in waiting nearly 3 months for his math book to arrive from overseas. This really didn’t bode well for having the math knowledge he’d need for Chemistry this year. Rather than rush things we encouraged him to switch his plans up & take his time with the math in order to be well grounded in it to do Chemistry in another year. Thus he’ll be using Apologia Biology this year.

All up, it’s a pretty full course load & if completed in full will land him 8 credits. I will say this, our boy is a pretty hard worker & very goal driven. While most of these things are worked on during school hours electives tend to happen in the evenings & even on the weekends.

If you use HOD as written they figure you will have 6.5 credits {that half being for the foreign language}, but keep in mind that doesn’t include electives. Either way it’s still a beautifully written curriculum & really nice that they’ve taken the guess work out of things for figuring out grades & credits. Just be sure it matches up with what your state requires & what your student needs based on their end goals.