Saturday, April 4, 2015

Middle School: A Work in Progress

As we're growing and learning more together, I've been working and re-working the middle school and high school years. Here I'll just post the revised plan for these middle school years. Even though year 6 is nearly done, I'll include it since it changed a bit. I'm not sure when I'll post high school plans (really just ideas at this point).  I'd like to get ds' input on what he'd like to study and how for those years and he just isn't ready to really think about that yet.

Year 6 Year 7 Year 8
Reading ABCD B,C, McGuffey3 ABCD D, McGuffey4 McGuffey5
Writing LoE Composition Writing Skills 1 Writing Skills 2
Grammar LoE Grammar LanguageMechanic  GetSmartGrammar
Spelling ABCD Spelling Patterns (LvlC) Apples&Pears Apples&Pears
Math LoF Elementary LoF FractDec. LoF PreAlgebra
Science EP Biology EP Zoology EP Earth Science
History EP Geo-Cultures Civics/TX History EPAncient
Computer Khan Beg. Program EP Graphic Design EP Spread Sheets
For.Lang. N/A Latin 1 Latin 2 or Greek?
Character Practical Happiness Boyhood&Beyond Do Hard Things
Economics ToothpasteMillionare  Bus. for Kids Capitalism Kids Young Economist
Thinking UsingLogicWkbk Fallacy Dective ThinkingToolbox
Bible EP Year 3 Poetry EP Year 2 NT EP Year 1 OT

As I mentioned in the previous post, we wound up using The Logic of English Essentials only for grammar and composition. For Reading we switched to ABeCeDarian Level B, short version, and then moved into Level C. At Level C, Mr. Bend suggests beginning a spelling program, and has a Spelling Patterns book to go with Level C. We did begin that with Level C, but progress has been - well, we haven't really been able to progress past Unit 2. So I have set that aside and am using a really old Orton-Gillingham based spelling book that had been given to me to review phonograms and go over syllable types. It will do for now, to finish out the year. I must say, though, that he is doing very well with the Level C book. He is also doing very well reading through McGuffey's Third Reader, so I plan to continue with those for reading practice through the sixth reader in year 9. If all goes well with the Writing Skills books, we'll finish off with the third book in year 9, and review grammar with Stay Smart Grammar, as well. We'll probably still be in Apples and Pears for spelling, too. I suppose I should have included Year 9 in the chart above, at least for English. :)

We have just begun Jelly Beans, the last book in the Elementary series of Life of Fred. DS has done well with this way of doing math. However he does seem to need more practice doing the multi-step multiplication and division problems. He won't like it, but I will need to have him do some worksheets in order to work on those more, probably on some graph paper. Otherwise, we will continue to work through the Intermediate series during the summer and then see how he does with the Fractions book this fall. While he still doesn't have them all down, he is doing much better with the basic math facts - to the point they don't hold him back as much. I've decided to have him continue to review the multiplication facts in game formats and use a multiplication chart for working problems.

DS has grown leaps and bounds in his ability to use text to speech to independently work on history and science with Easy Peasy All in One Homeschool. He still needs lots of guidance when it comes to writing assignments and projects, but he is handling the rest pretty independently. Any print books we are reading I am still reading aloud and am only having him read from the McGuffey Readers aloud to me; and he still reads on his tablet books of his choosing with Bookshare.

As I expected, programming is way too tedious and detail oriented for ds' liking. But I am very thankful for the opportunity he had to explore it through Khan Academy. If he had wanted to continue I would have been more than willing to pay for some other courses. But I don't think there will be any more programming courses in the future, unless his goals change. At the moment his goals center on improving hockey skills and getting on a team in the fall. He still enjoys the guitar, but that seems to be just for fun, with no real focus on improving his skills at reading music. So my goals for him (and my husband's) are improving his academic skills, building his work ethic, and helping him get where he needs to go to work on those hockey skills.