Recap of the 2008-2009 School Year

I am going to be better about blogging here. Here is the run down of the school year that just ended:

HISTORY - Big score with a combination of Biography of America from Annenburg Media, the CLEP US History I book, The History of US by Joy Hakim, and the history component of the American Literature class. My kids are studying for the CLEP now. We only got through Reconstruction, but we are good with that. We tried to follow along with the American Literature timeline, and she really spent a very short amount of time after Reconstruction.

AMERICAN LITERATURE - Big score here too. Thelma English is the bomb. I was able to edit out her tangents on the lectures, have the kids take the quizzes in the quiet of their own homes, and leave enough time for a little more freedom for the two hour class time as a result. We all learned so much about the different eras of literature. My kids really loved it. They especially liked reading Uncle Tom's Cabin and Huckleberry Finn. Two thumbs up.
They read author biographies and syllabus (300+ pages), and books. Here is a list of the "works" they read:
"Mayflower Compact"
"Arabella Covenant"
"How to Spend a Day with God"
"Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mary Rowlandson"
"Narrative of Jonathan Edwards"
Declaration of Independence
Constitution of the United States
Anna Bradstreet - To My Husband and Other Poems
Thomas Paine- Common Sense
Benjamin Franklin – Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
Ralph Waldo Emerson- "Self Reliance" and "Nature
Henry David Thoreau – "Civil Disobedience"
Henry David Thoreau – Walden; or, Life in the Woods (Just 25-35 pages)
Frederick Douglas – Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas
Louisa May Alcot- "My Contraband" and "A Night" (they thought they were boring)
Mark Twain- Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (loved)
Mark Twain- Humorous Stories and Sketches (loved)
Great American Short Stories (including Poe's "Tell-Tale Heart, Melville's "Bartleby", Harte's "Luck of Roaring", London's "To Build a Fire", Hemingway's "The Killers", Fitzgerald's "Bernice Bobs Her Hair", Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown", Crane's "Open Boat" and "Bride Comes to Yellow Sky", Steinbeck's "The Red Pony".)
101 Great American Poems (Just Poe's "The Raven", Whitman's "O Captain! My Captain!", Crane's "War is Kind", Dickinson's "Stop for Death".)
O’Henry- (W.S.Porter) The Gift of the Magi
Harriet Beecher Stowe - Uncle Tom's Cabin (their favorite)

ENGLISH/WRITING - The kids had fifteen writing assignments for the American Literature class (I skipped one and adapted another though). Paul did Daily Grams and Michael did Nitty-Gritty Grammar review.

MATH - Bob Jones Geometry and Pre-Algebra. It wasn't broke. So, we didn't fix it. Michael will switch to Teaching Textbooks Algebra II since I got it for only $30 used! It is also beyond my schooling. So, he will need the tutoring. Paul will do Algebra I.

SCIENCE - Michael completed the entire Cornell Handbook of Bird Biology (Michael says it is "No handbook. It is so huge!). I am going to order the tests now and have him do the course of certification because some colleges accept it as credit. Paul started the BJU Biology, but it is a high school text, and he just wasn't ready for it. I am going to switch him to Apologia Biology next year because that is a little bit more user-friendly for him. He isn't as much of a science guy as Michael. We started the Biology lab in co-op, but they used a different text, and it was too much work to have to match the two courses. Consequently, Biology lab will be a part of summer school, and I am going to get GEORGE to handle it by doing "Biology Blitz" Saturdays where we do a bunch of labs in one day. It should be fun for them to do together. :) Sherri is selling me Adam's book and lending us his cool microscope. :)

BIBLE - Michael just informed me that he finished the Pentateuch! My goal is to have them read through the entire Bible by the time they are done with high school. They both read through the New Testament last year. So, they are on their way. Paul is in Exodus. They are also journaling daily. :)

READING - My kids still do a "DEAR" time, and I think this gets lost in schools and even homeschool with the onslaught of more rigorous subjects.

Michael's Pleasure Reading:

The Tin Woodman of Oz
Rink-i-Tink in Oz
The Lost Princess of Oz
The Case of the Blazing Sky
The Quest for the Great White Quail

Paul's Pleasure Reading List:
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle
Tripod Trilogy
Hank the Cowdog (about 5 of them)

CO-OP - They did American Government in the fall with many presentations. That was really healthy for my kids to get in front of people. Paul did great for his first time. Michael was very well prepared for both and had fun doing video with Adam and Joe for his Bill of Rights talk. They switched to Critical Thinking with Nikki and learned quite a bit (she is a very good teacher). They had a debate unit too and debated some aspect of renewable energy production. Then, we finished up the year with studying the history of the abolition of the slave trade using the movie Amazing Grace as a springboard. It worked out nicely, but it was too much for me to do that AND the American Literature class on the same day.

MOVIE MAKING - Another aspect of the co-op was the movie Road to Freedom written and directed by Bethany. Michael had a minor part, and Paul helped hold the boom microphone during those scenes. It was quite a bit of time and driving around, but it was really fun for the kids. Two thumbs up (even though is was sometimes a royal pain to have so many last minute schedule changes). Thinking about signing them up for the Corvallis High School film making camp so they can use their equipment. The boys also did movies with their friends every other Friday and one Saturday a month
PLAYS and FIELD TRIPS - We didn't do that many field trips this year. Trying to think of any? We did go to about four plays. This is much less than we used to do, but the kids are getting too old for some of the ones that are offered. So, we are good with phasing that out since we had their "fine arts" in the movie making.

DRAWING - Shannon P. led a drawing class that was really good. I didn't particularly care for the hassles associated with the Tuesday School, but the kids learned some wonderful things, and I am still looking for a teacher for Michael and Paul to improve their drawing/art talent.

PIANO - Paul did great at the slower pace of every other week. We liked this much better and combined it with our Dial-a-Book days to combine the driving time (so green!).

TYPING - Mavis Beacon

COMMUNITY SERVICE - In addition to our regular Dial-a-Book twice a month, we served at the Southside Youth Outreach dinner twice and Benton Food Share twice (labels for their mailing and postal workers can drive). We also raised money and walked in the Alzheimer's Walk in Eugene. It was a good year.

WHEW! This post has taken me entirely TOO long, but it was fun to review the year.
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