My bigs are 12 and 15. While most of their subjects are independent, we do have some corporate subjects that they enjoy working together on. The two of them have always been very close, so the idea of a jr. high and high school student working together seems very natural here.
We also leave plenty of time for them to pursue their own interests. My oldest son is working on writing an AirSoft guide as well as working part-time at a shooting lodge. My daughter is teaching herself guitar, and spends a lot of time taking photos and writing stories and songs. It is important to us that we avoid cramming their day so full that they are unable to spend focused time and energy on things they enjoy. (To learn more about how we see view the “Homeschooling Extras”, click HERE.)
So, all that said, here are the actual subjects our Bigs are doing.
First up, our 12 year old daughter:
She is in 7th grade, and is currently brushing up on her fractions and decimals in math using Khan Academy. I’ll explain more about that in the section on our son’s curriculum.
She is our highly creative child, who at times baffles me (except for the fact that she is VERY much LIKE me!) She is currently taking piano lessons and decided a few months ago to teach herself guitar. After a failed attempt using one online program, we found another from a Christian artist that has proved to be amazing! Aaron’s Guitar Lessons is the name of the site, and we are very impressed with the results. She is needing to get a bigger guitar, so we’ll be looking into that soon. (She also wants a ukelele…and drums!)
After taking a break from English, we decided to hit it hard this year with English 6 from Rod & Staff. She really hates this kind of work, but we know the discipline of learning sentence structure will only make her writing even better.
She is also learning Spanish through Rosetta Stone and French via iTalki.com. (Here is my review of iTalki – we are INCREDIBLY impressed with the results!) The gist of iTalki is that you have a teacher who meets with you via Skype for paid lessons. It has been worth every penny we’ve spent. Meg is very gifted in languages and has taught herself sign language and some Hindi. The reason she is pursuing French is because she wants to go to Haiti. I am hoping to help her find some more opportunities to speak (and sign) with others the languages she is learning.
And now for our 15 year old son:
He’s a sophomore this year, and is seriously motivated to have high school knocked out in 2 years.
For math, he is doing Khan Academy. We are having him work through all the Algebra and the Geometry. He has already finished Algebra I, so he only has 2 credits left for high school work. He is also going to do Saxon Geometry in addition to Khan. (Khan Academy is a free online math program that is just the kind of outside-the-box thinking education needs. I feel like my children are actually UNDERSTANDING math, something I never could wrap my brain around.)
He will finish up a Spanish credit in December using Rosetta Stone. Our state does not require a foreign language credit, but we feel it is important to have a grasp of another language.
He is doing Apologia Biology with Lab. He is very excited about the Lab part of this!
Besides the writing done in Tapestry of Grace, he is also doing Rod & Staff English 8. That particular program is very solid when it comes to Composition and Grammar. Once he has worked through 8, 9, & 10, I feel confident he will have his English I-IV knocked out.
I want to mention here that Blake is using Tapestry of Grace and a yearly program called TeenPact to gain a Government credit for high school as well. If you have never looked into TeenPact, you should! It is an incredible Christian program designed to give your student valuable knowledge about the inner workings of government and how they can be involved in that process. They also offer a public speaking class. It is one intense week for your student, but the knowledge they gain will carry with them for a lifetime.
Now for the corporate stuff. These are the subjects my Bigs (and sometimes the other children) share.
First off, is one I’ve already mentioned in this post – Tapestry of Grace is the History & Literature curriculum we are using. No matter how far I stray away from Tapestry, I always end up back there. It is so complete and so well done. We have learned so much (yes, mom included!) using it that I am willing to pay the price. We are currently in Year 2, but will be moving to Year 3 around the first of the year.
Our Bible time is simply reading from the Bible and discussing. This has been so fruitful, and such great discussions have come from it.
We are also doing Missions this year. We are reading from missionary books, notebooking about the people and places we are reading about, and setting aside money and prayer for their efforts.
Speaking of notebooking, most of our notebooking work is coming from NotebookingPages.com. They are having a great sale on Lifetime Memberships (which I own)! From now until August 15, you can get $15 off a membership. With it comes access to all the pages on site and all that will be added in the future as well as a notebooking page generator you can use to make your own pages. I just used it the other day to create a page for Of Plymouth Plantation. Don’t miss this sale! (If you would like to see how we do notebooking as a large family, click HERE!)
Be sure to check out my
Homeschooling Mother page
here on Raising Arrows!