Sunday, September 4, 2011

Weekly Report: Weeks 1 through 3 - School started already??

It's hard to believe that we have finished three weeks of 9th grade. Honestly, it's been very difficult for both mom and student. The workload is pretty intense and has proven to be a challenge to Rocket Boy. It's hard for him to give up his summer free time and even harder to realize that the amount of time he needs to spend on school has increased pretty significantly. It's been hard for me to watch him struggle with the increased demand in both quantity and nature of the work demanded. Additionally, we are using outside resources for some core subjects this year and I am learning how to juggle that as well.

Here's the run down so far:

History: Notgrass American History seems to be a good fit. We are using the history and Bible components, but will pick and choose from the literature assignments. My intent is to have him read most of the books listed and the original documents, but we will have to use another source to teach literary elements, writing, etc.. One of the big advantages of using this program is that our homeschool co-op is holding a class with it, so there is an added benefit of group discussion.

Science: This year Rocket Boy is taking an online class through Landry Academy. The Shepherd Science Biology is the text, with the teacher providing different labs, additional information, tests, etc. Even though the teacher is engaging, it is hard to sit still & maintain attention during class. I am pleased with the content so far and am hopeful that Rocket Boy will begin to enjoy biology. To date, it has been the least favorite of all of the sciences.

Algebra I: This time for sure! You may remember that last year we attempted Algebra I, but ended up using a variety of resources to basically form an additional year of Pre-Algebra. The Horizons Pre-Algebra program that we used in the late winter and spring ended up being a great fit. This year we are using an outside class and Elementary Algebra by Harold Jacobs. Class starts on September 6.

Architectural Drafting and Design I: This is another Landry Academy course. It is very demanding from a volume standpoint and it has been hard for Rocket Boy to keep up. He was pretty discouraged last week, but the teacher gave them an additional week to catch up on bookwork due to the power outages related to Hurricane Irene. This, combined with the content of last week's class and the drawing assignments for this week has been a great encouragement and has rekindled his interest, I think.

Language Arts: I am still floundering around with my plans for the year. I am looking at Smarr's Introduction to Literature and possibly adding IEW onto that. Additionally, Wordly Wise 3000, book 9 and More Reading Comprehension are intended to reinforce some basic language arts skills. I am thinking of weaving in a book that introduces literary terms before we go any further as well. This is the point in literature where Rocket Boy needs to switch from basic reading comprehension to interpreting literature and that will be all new. I'm a little excited about it though, as my high school courses in English were among my favorites.

Fine Art: Rocket Boy is doing How Great Thou Art with the co-op. At his stage, I don't think that this program is credit worthy, as it will not introduce any new art concepts or techniques. It's definitely falls under the fun category.

Extra curricular activities have been slow to come this year. I'm hopeful that he will be able to settle on some things soon. He has been accepted to a local chapter of a homeschool honor society. The one we chose is fairly active, with meetings and socials monthly as well as some service projects. He has filled out an application for the Teen Advisory Council at our art museum. They will send out acceptances by Sept. 16. There are two area drama companies as well as community theater that he may pursue as well as possibly pursing participation on the media team at our church. He's going to try Teen CBS, but it doesn't start until later this month. He's going to visit the first time and then we will see how he likes it.

I am a little concerned that this week school will be disrupted somewhat as we are having some work done on our house - exterior power washing and trim replacement. I am praying it won't be too disruptive, but I know it will be loud for a couple of days.

How is your school year progressing?


Sydni said...

My dd did 9th grade last year, and I feel for you. It was an adjustment for us too. I think we figured out how to get rid of the fluff and focus on what is most important for this year though. Hang in there--it will get better, but it takes time to adjust.

TechWife said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Sydni. I am going to tweak a few things to try to even out the work load some. Maybe this week will be better.