As the school year drew to a close for my tenth-grade daughter, I began to worry. After completing ninth grade, she only had 5½ credits. She had bounced from one curriculum to another in many of her subjects this year. Has she earned enough credits to be a junior in the fall?
When a review opportunity for Hewitt Homeschooling Resources came up, I was hesitant at first. One of my friends uses their curriculum to teach high school English at a local homeschool hybrid school. She advised that their courses effectively teach literary analysis but may not provide enough writing instruction. Should we take the plunge anyway? My daughter would make the final decision.
Skeptically, I sat down with her and looked at some of the sample pages. Since she is not a fan of English, I expected her to take one look at the curriculum and reject it. She didn’t. As we examined the various high school options, she gravitated to the American Early-Mid 19th Century Lightning Lit course.
Knowing she would need to study American Literature at some point, she reasoned, why not use this? It would complement the US History course she was wrapping up. To finish out our homeschool year, she could complete the first six weeks of American Lit.
Even though English, Math, Social Studies, and Science form the foundation of what most people consider school, electives are equally essential. Our homeschool electives reflect our Christian faith and my children’s unique interests. This year, the twins studied Bible, Apologetics, Art, Computer Programming, and two Foreign Languages. Read on to explore the resources we used.
What subject strikes fear in the average homeschool mom? Math—especially at the high school level. Because I’m pretty math-minded, the subject doesn’t typically overwhelm me. But attempting to push the easy button this year—allowing my girls to learn online using Khan Academy—caused some complications. What worked for one twin was torture for the other. Read on to find out what we ended up doing.
One of our favorite subjects this year was science. We began the year studying geology, a field that fascinates both of the twins. In March, we took a break from rocks to review an online science curriculum which showcases God’s design in the intricacies of the natural world. It’s been an amazing journey! Are you ready for a tour of our year?
While Social Studies was the star of our homeschool this year, Language Arts played the primary supporting role. After a haphazard beginning in August and September, we settled into a wonderful rhythm, incorporating literature, writing, grammar, and vocabulary. Read on to follow our footsteps through the schoolyear.
Homeschooling the twins this year has been an awesome adventure. Rather than having them study independently as in previous years, I’ve enjoyed learning right alongside them. As we count down the days until summer break, I’m busy taking inventory of what we did and assigning final grades. Come take a peek at the progress the twins made in Social Studies.
In my earlier review of CrossWired Science CWS), I shared my excitement at how this online program presents information on large, interconnected areas of science. At that time, I had barely scratched the surface of the deeper science instruction further on in the course. In the Sound unit, these sections are entitled Digging Deeper; the Fluid Dynamics unit refers to them as Gold Digs.
A couple of weeks after I published my review, I chatted with CrossWired founder Don Miller, who has an incredible vision for the future of CWS. I shared with him how much the girls and I were enjoying the Digging Deeper sections. Noticing my fresh enthusiasm, he asked, “Is it possible to add something about Gold Digs and Digging Deepers into your review?”
Rather than expanding on this topic in my pre-existing review, I expressed my eagerness to write a separate blog post about it. Now, having more fully explored this valuable feature, let me share how we approached it and what we enjoyed about it.
When the Crew reviewed products from The Critical Thinking Co. last year, I was disappointed that our schedule didn’t allow us to participate. There were some awesome products I really wanted to try out with the girls! This year, I got a second chance. My twin daughters and I sat down and sorted through the options. One girl was excited to try out Building Writing Skills - Essential Tips & Techniques, while the other preferred Critical Thinking Detective - Vocabulary Book 2. We agreed to review either of the two products.
The following week, the Crew made the final decision, and we received our digital copy of Building Writing Skills - Essential Tips & Techniques.
In February, my high school sophomore asked for a quick and easy way to earn college credit. I immediately introduced her to CLEP tests and helped her sign up for an online course to help her prepare. When we received a three-month subscription to Study.com online test prep materials for the CLEP and DSST exams, she and I were both excited. I wanted to give her plenty of options for acquiring the information and many opportunities to review it. The more resources she has available to prepare, the more confidence she’ll have, and the better she will do on the actual test.