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This is our eighth year homeschooling, but our very first year to have a high school student. I have to admit I am a little giddy because as a former high school science teacher, I am pretty psyched to teach upper level classes again, biology in particular.
Speaking of, I will start there. We decided to go with Apologia Biology mainly because a friend gifted us with the books. It is the older version, so there is no longer an Apologia student notebook to go along with it available. However, I found a substitute student notebook at TeachersPayTeachers.com. It did not include a lesson plan, so I made my own. The basic version of it is available in my TeachersPayTeachers store. I invested a chunk of our budget into a better microscope, dissection equipment, and specimens. Turns out these were great purchases as my eighth grader, who is obsessed with life sciences, wanted to take biology with her older sister this year. I also added in coloring pages from a Biology coloring book, some additional labs and activities from my teaching days, and Amoeba Sisters videos from YouTube. With all the add-ins in addition to the labs in the Apologia book, this will be an honors level course.
For math, we are sticking with Saxon. She took Algebra 1 in eighth grade, so she is taking Algebra 2 this year. I love that after she completes the Saxon Advanced Mathematics book next year, she will have also completed a year of geometry and have all four math credits taken care of! To help with instruction, we subscribed to Nicole the Math Lady. My daughter and I have really enjoyed Nicole’s instruction this year, and we will continue this next year as well.
We are continuing with The Good and the Beautiful for English Language Arts with High School Level 1. This course also includes a half credit of line drawing and art appreciation and a half credit of geography. I feel it is a complete curriculum and have been impressed with the writing assignments and projects she has produced so far. She has completed three of the ten units and we are only a quarter of the way through the year, so she will also be completing 1-2 additional books studies to make it an honors course. I purchased the pdf option and put the units in a binder with dividers, since her sister will be using this curriculum next year.
We are also continuing with TG & TB for history as well with History Year 3. I really love how the curriculum is broken into four units, each covering a different time period with different topics from the years before. We are including additional read-aloud historical novels as well as videos on YouTube from Crash Course History and Homeschool on the Range. I also designed unit projects for the girls to do and unit tests for my high school student. The unit project ideas for each unit in Year 1, Year 2, and Year 3 are available in my TeachersPayTeachers store. I am hoping to add the unit tests in the future. The girls are also participating one day a week in a co-op taking a history class there with its own assignments, so I feel comfortable considering this an honors level course.
For electives, she is taking Spanish 1 with the newest BJU Press Spanish 1 curriculum. I appreciate that the audio is online, so we do not have to worry about CDs. So far, it has been going well, and I intend to continue with BJU Press for Spanish 2 next year.
We are also alternating days between P.E. and Bible for a half credit each. For Bible, we are using “The Story” along with “The Story Teen Edition” videos on YouTube as an Introduction to the Bible class. I created sheets for each chapter that ask the students to describe main figures from each chapter and timeline the events that occurred. For P.E., we take walks and do strength training two days a week and participate with a homeschool group one day a week for P.E. games, hiking, or other physical activities.
Our day starts at 8:30pm, and my high school student is usually the last to finish at 3:30-4:00pm. She is completing seven credits this year, so it really does take all day to get through all of the assignments. I did ask her at the beginning of the year, when we realized how full her days are, if she wanted to wait until next year to do Spanish 1, but she wanted to keep it. The beauty of homeschool is we can make those changes if we need to in order to tailor her high school experience to meet her academic needs.