Thursday, March 20, 2014

High School Plan

potential plan
I remember how I felt the first year we brought the boys home for school. I saw years ahead of me, planning what to teach, no end in sight. Now here I am, planning JT's high school years. In fact, I'm nearly half-way through my homeschooling years, assuming EM homeschools through graduation. Realizing how short the time is has made me want to spend considerable time working out a detailed plan for the next four years for JT, and seven years for EM.

Now that we have decided to use PHAA as JT's diploma program, we have a framework to use for our planning. The graduation requirements are 4 years of English, 3 years of mathematics, 3 years of science, 3 years of social studies, 2 years of arts and humanities. My rough plan for his 9th grade year looks like this - English will be primarily covered through tutoring by a former teacher/neighbor with the speech component of the English credit being my responsibility. I'm looking into getting enough kids together to participate in Poetry Out Loud. If that doesn't work out, we'll look for other opportunities. Math will be an Algebra I course through Thinkwell online. We may look into additional tutoring to make sure JT is really absorbing the math. Science next year will be a full course of biology. I'm still researching textbooks. I currently have it narrowed down to two or three possibilities. I am very comfortable teaching biology, so I don't think I'll need any outside help on that one. For social studies, I plan to put together a course consisting of two separate components, half the year covering American government and the other half on world geography. I want to continue our timeline study of American history, but that won't fit into the format for PHAA as well. We will just do that in addition to his credit course. Arts and humanities will be easy to cover in a variety of ways. He will end up with more credits than he needs. For the next two years, he'll be taking Spanish classes from a local private Christian school.  He will also continue taking drum lessons. Either of those activities can count for those credits. He may also take a few Coursera classes that might work as credits. Finally, even though there is no requirement by PHAA for physical education, our state's homeschooling regs do require it. JT will either be playing basketball and/or participating on the track team at the same school where he will take Spanish class.

Starting the planning felt a little overwhelming, but once I really looked at it, I realized it was easier than I thought. I still need to make more thorough plans for EM for next year. Things will be a lot different since JT will need to spend more time per subject, but have fewer subjects to cover than EM. I will probably sit down with EM closer to the end of the year to work out what he'd like to do next year.

One of the most important things I have learned in my years homeschooling is that planning always pays off. Sometimes the plans don't work out, but the process of planning helps me to see where we have been, where we are, and where we are going next. The more data I have about our journey, the better path I can make for the future.

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