Thursday, August 14, 2014

Launching into the Sophomore Year

Julia prefers bright colors in her back-to-school materials.
She decorated the fronts of her spiral notebooks with these flashcards, which she colored using her zentangle skills.
We dashed to WalMart for some pens, pencils, and notecards, and found this coolness! It's all one LONG zipper :)
You unzip it a bit, and it opens up to hold pencils or what-not.
As a once-classroom teacher, I'm imagining all the times I'd have to say, "Do NOT unzip your pencil cases in class over and over!!!"
Okay, on to what Julia's studying in this, her sophomore year in high school. In science, she's doing Astronomy. Adam will have a daily podcast for her to listen to from McDonald Observatory at the University of Texas, telling her what to look for in the night sky later that night. She'll write brief reports to Adam on that. Because she wants a textbook and work to do (she actually does, folks!), I bought these. The self-teaching guide is recommended by Susan Bauer and will lead Julia through a thorough study with assignments in the text and self-tests for each chapter. The Night Sky Deck is a kit of large fold-out cards with great photos, diagrams, maps, and text that leads the student through the study systematically. Adam's the astronomy expert.
For history and literature we're studying the Medieval period. We'll use The Timetables of History again, to ensure that we don't miss anything. (The book is exhaustive.) The other book by Spielvogel is (I think) meant to complement his history textbooks (which I also have), but this one contains just primary source documents. Today I read a letter from Pliny to Trajan, and then Trajan's reply. Lots of that stuff. But this will be matched by lots of reading online and in other books (a Great Books study, or a half-literature/half-history arrangement) throughout the year. A good example is Venerable Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People. It's literature, but it's really history. But you only read it if your a literature major, I think. Do history majors read that text in college?
Last year in math Julia did almost all her work on Khan Academy online, which did a good job of getting her back on her feet in math. In the end, she did a study of both Algebra I and Geometry, about half-and-half.  So this year we'll need to continue in that vein and finish the study of these areas. I bought used texts for this purpose so she can have lots of problems to work. Khan is great, but for some reason it felt unorganized to both of us -- we really couldn't figure out the system of how she was progressing through her math study. This year I intend to make sure there are no holes left, and she has mastery of all the crucial areas.
Julia will study French as her foreign language in 10th and 11th grades. It's the only language I feel at all competent to teach her because (shockingly) I do still retain a good bit of French from high school -- by that I mean that I can read simple French and I remember a lot of the grammar. I chose the same curriculum that I had in high school, used, cheap (yay!). I bought the student book, teacher book, and workbook.
Back in June I shared some of my plans for Julia's literature study this year.  Here's a more complete list of the works I plan to read with her:

St. Augustine's City of God (portions)
Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People (lots of it)
Beowulf (I've talked about this before.)
Song of Roland
Dante's Inferno
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales (My goal is to do about half of it, in Middle English. Gulp.)
The Book of Margery Kempe
Malory's Morte d'Arthur (This is so fun and wonderful I don't know how we can escape reading the whole thing. Maybe.)
Luther's Commentary on Galatians (Don't have a clue about this one. We'll see.)
The Life of St. Teresa of Avila by Herself (portions that look interesting to her)
Spenser's Fairie Queene (portions)
Shakespeare's Henry V, Hamlet, The Tempest (Maybe just the first two. Shakespeare really is a fast read.)
These literary classics will give a deep, satisfying study of Medieval history as well, and reinforce the factual history study she'll get from the timeline and other primary source material.
I definitely want her to read Ivanhoe, and perhaps one of the Kristin Lavrensdatter trilogy.

And we will finish the vocabulary and grammar texts we studied last year, concluding her formal work in those areas. Sophomore year, here we come!
maps of the Mediterranean, Jerusalem, and Medieval England, plus a chart of the universe
map of Europe on the kitchen wall


  1. Une programme scolaire vraiment impeccable. Il faudrait cependant une sejour culturelle en Irlande pour bien apprecier l'histoire!

  2. Oh, I wish I was studying with you! But, of course, we're all free to homeschool ourselves at any age, right? :) Have a tremendous year!

  3. Wow! What a year you are both going to have.

  4. Sounds like you have a good year planned. I like that zipper bag!

  5. Her supplies are beautiful and fun! Julia is quite artistic looking at those cards.
    The Lord bless you in this year ahead.
    Joy! Debbie

  6. Oh, boy! A new school year! I've been retired for 8 years but still get excited over cool new school supplies and books. Love, love, love the reading list!


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