Wednesday, August 8, 2018

High School Line Up

Last year I graduated a senior. I think I finally have this high school thing figured out. This year I will have a sophomore and a junior. Time really does fly! These two are close in age; many of their subjects are similar. They might work together, but really each one learns so differently that they will most likely work independently.

Tenth Grade:
  • Personal Finance
    • A sweet friend is teaching this class using the Dave Ramsey personal finance materials. I really love these principles and am glad my teens are learning them at a young age.
  • Algebra 1/Geometry
    • Alivia is going to finish Algebra 1 using No Nonsense Algebra and go into Geometry. Schoolhouse Teachers has an awesome geometry taught by Mr. D. She will use that or Math U See Geometry, whichever suits her best.
  • Literature
    • This is one I'm looking forward to. I love reading and discussing literature with teens. And a book club style is a great fit for us! We will be working through Illuminating Literature: Characters in Crisis. The first novel we will read together is Frankenstein.
  • Heart of Dakota Missions to Modern Marvels
    • For Alivia, this literature based curriculum is a great fit. Even though this is technically a middle school program, the reading assignments are adequate for high school with just a few modifications.
  • Chemistry
    • I'm still a bit undecided about chemistry. There are some chemistry instructions and assignments in the Heart of Dakota schedule, but I really think for high school it should be a bit meatier. I have Chemistry 101 to use in addition, but I'm really thinking we should consider DIVE Chemistry.

Eleventh Grade:
  • Personal Finance
    • Dave Ramsey taught by a dear friend.
  • Geometry
    • We are going to start the year using Math U See Geometry. If after a few lessons this is not a good fit, she will transition to Mr. D Geometry on Schoolhouse Teachers. There is a video for each lesson and note-taking pages as well as full solutions for each homework question.
  • Government
    • Lexi will be reading the Uncle Eric series for government this year. These books are a series of letters written from Uncle Eric to his nephew answering questions all about government, finances, careers, and economics. She will also read the Declaration of Independence, study the constitution, and read many primary source documents written by the founding fathers.
  • Literature
    • Lexi and Alivia will work together reading and discussing several literary classics. I'm thinking to add Fix It Grammar book 3 into the rotation.
  • Chemistry
    • Lexi wants to go into nursing. I'm now accepting suggestions for college prep level chemistry options. 

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Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Eighth Grade Line Up

Wow! I can't believe my youngest in already in eighth grade. I honestly never thought it would happen so fast, but it has! This is what we have lined up for him this year:


  • Introduction to Robotics level A
    • This really amazing curriculum from 42 Electronics looks so incredibly promising! Plus he's really excited (me too) to be learning programming with the Raspberry Pi mini computer. I can't wait to see the other levels that are coming out soon. Level B is supposed to be released this August with levels C and D following. All levels will build on each other.
  • Physical Science
    • Exploration Education Advanced--this will count towards high school credit for him so that's exciting too!
    • This is a repeat curriculum for us. My oldest used it as well as my third daughter. I decided to pull it back out for my son as well. He really learns well with hands-on experiments and I like that this can be done mostly independently. This company has excellent customer service. When I asked about a replacement project, they worked with me to get me the newest update since the project we had done in the past was outdated.
  • Scientist Biographies
    • I have a nice collection of scientist biographies that we will read through. My goal here is to read them aloud to him, but he may in all reality end up reading them on his own.
  • DIVE math with Saxon 8/7
    • I'll be honest here: I've always kind of written off using Saxon with my kids, but the more I heard about DIVE and the more I read about this particular level of Saxon, I knew it would be a perfect fit for my son. He knows this math, but really needs to become proficient with these skills before going into higher level math.
    • We will be working through this using the timed method--he will work for 45 minutes each day and stop regardless where he is in the lesson and will simply pick up the next day where he left off from the previous day.
  • Modern American/World history
    • I think this is going to be an interesting year for him. We are focusing heavily on STEM subjects this year, so I'm choosing to keep history simple. I have a list of audio books for him to listen to as well as DVDs to watch. We will discuss and spend more time on topics that he is interested in.
  • English/Language Arts
    • I'm still not completely sure on what to do here. I know for sure we are going to finish working through Fix It Grammar book 2, and I'm open to suggestions for any literature and composition suggestions. 
    • We will also continue to work through Essentials of the English Language.
    • Word Up vocabulary videos should be super fun and helpful this year.
  • Last, but not least, we will continue to be involved in Bible Quiz through our church. This year we are studying the book of John. I love how Bible Quizzing fulfills a Bible study, curriculum, and scripture memory in one neat little package.
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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Monday, July 16, 2018

Code for Teens Review

Code for Teens has recently published this engaging beginner's guide to programming. We have enjoyed learning more about programming through this book titled, Code for Teens: The Awesome Beginner's Guide to Programming (Volume 1). My 13 year old son has always been interested in coding and other computer related things. This book was a nice starting point for him. While he has taken other coding classes online, this was nice having a book as a reference point. The glossy, full-color pages are interactive and engaging.
Parents need to be sure to read the section of the book titled "A Word for Parents". This is the only part of the book that kids are not allowed to read. This chapter basically spells it out for the adults that even if they don't know a thing about coding, their kids can still learn and still be successful by using this book. The book is intended for teens to use on their own; however, a parent should make an effort to double check their work. Go ahead and ask the teen to explain to you or show you what they have done. You may be surprised at how much they are learning and how much you can learn just from having them explain it to you. Check their quiz answers. It only takes a few second and provides feedback as well as the  message that you care.

Each chapter is laid out in a similar manner. The chapter lesson teaches a new skill or concept. At the end of each chapter there is a chapter quiz, key concepts from the new material, drills, and aggregate review, which is a fancy term for reviewing all of the concepts from previous chapters. I like to allow my kids to use their books and materials for quizzes and reviews.

This book focuses on JavaScript programming. The conclusion talks about a sequel volume to this title, which will focus on HTML and CSS programming. All three build on each other so it doesn't matter which order you learn them in.
Each chapter includes tons of information. It's not like a book that you read straight through. You read and do as you go through the chapter. The book starts with the basics of learning some basic computer vocabulary. You really don't need any fancy equipment except for a computer. You must have a computer to practice your skills on--not a phone or tablet. Different fonts mean different things, but the most important thing to know is that the actual code that is to be typed onto the computer is written in a gray highlight. I included a photo of a page from the book so you can see what I mean.

This is a great beginner's guide to programming. It is easy to understand and easy to use. Of course learning anything knew is going to take some time and lots of grit. With practice it will become easier. I really think learning to code is like learning a foreign language. The more you immerse yourself in it, the quicker you will learn. We look forward to continuing to learn about this topic as well as the second volume of this book!

Curious what other reviewers had to say about this product? Head on over to the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read all the reviews.

Crew Disclaimer

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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Wednesday, July 4, 2018