Our Line Up for the New Year

When we first stared homeschooling, we thought we would pick out one curriculum, use it for every subject and then pass it on down the line to the next child.  Our learning curve was quick in realizing that each of our children learns a bit differently and responds to different ways that material is presented to them.  We have some readers, some listeners, some watchers, and some doers. Do we cater to each child in every subject? That would be a resounding NO, because spelled a little differently this would mean sheer exhaustion and INSANITY for mom.  We combine some subjects we are doing this year with the boys in science, we pass down some curriculum in honor of living on a budget, and we do customize when there is a good reason to do so. Without further ado, here is what we are using this year at the True Light Christian Academy from the top down.  Our high school students had a lot of say in the planning of our new year, while Dad and I laid out the plan for the boys.

**Please be sure to click on the links to read our review of these curriculum choices.

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11th Grade (drumroll…)

American Literature and History – Notgrass Bible – Incorporated in Notgrass and Apologetics class from co-op Advanced Mathematics – Saxon Easy Essay Writing – Bridgeway Homeschool Academy (review to come) Grade 11 Essay Writing and Research Paper – Excellence in Writing Discovery of Deduction (Deductive Logic) – Classical Academic Press French – Auralog Tell Me More Science – we are still considering an option for this year in reserving physics for her senior year Financial Concepts – Dave Ramsey (taken at co-op) Communications & Journalism (taken at co-op) SAT/ACT Preparation – Kaplan

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10th Grade (drumroll maestro…)

World Literature – studying Pride and Prejudice, The Screwtape Letters, and a Day No Pig Would Die using the Progeny Press Study Guides. Writing Fiction in High School – Sharon Watson Advanced Algebra – Life of Fred Series World History – Bob Jones Press Introduction to Agriscience – Christian Light Publishing Biology – Bridget Ardoin’s Science for High School French – Auralog Tell Me More Piano Suite – Adventus Bible – Apologetics class at co-op Critical Thinking – class at co-op

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8th Grade (huge drumroll…)

Literature – biographies from Christian Heroes: Then & Now Series (Youth With a Mission) to correspond with our study of Geography.  Stay tuned for our review coming soon. Grammar – Easy Grammar Plus Spelling 5 – All About Spelling Teaching the Story: Writing Fiction for Grades 5-8 supplemented with materials from WriteShop Math – Essentials in Math (Middle School/High School book 2) World Geography – Teacher Resource Materials research guide to World Geography and Global Art Oceanography – Apologia’s Zoology 2 and Supercharged Science Because You are Strong bible study – Doorposts Woodworking Anatomy – class at co-op Creative Ministries – class at co-op Hunting & Survival Skills – class at co-op

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4th Grade (drumroll with a flare)

Reading 4 – Bob Jones Press Grammar and Writing 4 – Bob Jones Press Spelling 4 – All About Spelling Cursive Success – Handwriting without Tears Math 5/4 – Saxon Oceanography – Apologia’s Zoology 2 and Supercharged Science Heritage Studies 4 – Bob Jones Press Beginning Piano – Adventus Kids Theatre – class at co-op Equine Science – class at c0-op We are excited that the kids will also be playing sports on the Georgetown Crusader teams and through Upward Sports.  They will also continue pursuing their own special interests. Our family has been blessed to be a part of the TOS Review Crew this past year.  The reviews highlighted in this post are curriculum we received as a part of being part of this great team.  If you are a blogger and homeschool, I will be happy to share more about how your family can be a part of this team during their next review year.

Let’s Make a Web Page – Product Review of the Week

When Gary and I were first married, we were mentored by a couple that had already raised 5 children of their own. We relished each little tidbit of wisdom that shared on marriage, parenting, and our Christian walk. On the parenting front, they encouraged us to think about what skills we wanted our children to have when they left home and then work backwards. This bit of wisdom helped us to envision our children as adults and then figure out age appropriate times to instill certain skills and habits.

We have learned over the years that the “necessary” skills of today have changed a bit even since we married twenty years ago. Yup, that big “20” anniversary is this month. I can’t believe how the time has flown by, but also the journey that life has taken us down.

Computer and technology skills really are becoming a necessity in today’s culture. Our family does not have cable or computers in the kids’ rooms, because we are concerned about the content on television and the internet. However, there are few jobs in our world that do not use some form of computer technology. Like most families we are needing to find a middle of the road on this issue so that our children are prepared for their future.

We have had the opportunity to review Let’s Make a Web Page e-book from Motherboard Books as part of this plan in technology education.

What We Received:

We received a copy of the Let’s Make a Webpage e-book. This is a 60 page step-by-step guide geared toward students who are between the ages of 8 and 12. The goal of this course is to introduce a child of this age to the basics of developing a web page. An integral part of the course is the use of CoffeeCup as a webpage development tool. This application can be downloaded for free on a trial basis, but must be eventually purchased separately as the trial period.

What We Did:

I did a quick preview of the curriculum and chose to download the CoffeeCup software and have it all set up for our son. We chose to try this curriculum out with our son who has just recently turned 9 and wanted to focus primarily on the product from Motherboard Books. We did not want him to get frustrated with getting CoffeeCup loaded if there were any issues.

Josh’s primary exposure to computers has been mainly with educational computer games, piano instruction through a MIDI interface between our keyboard and computer, and some word processing skills as he writes stories. We started by having one tab open with the e-book and then the CoffeeCup tab where he would do his work. After he struggled with losing his place or accidentally closing one of the programs when trying to switch between windows, we decided to print the e-book out and stick it in a three ring binder.

We then worked through the e-book together as he continued to build his webpage.

Skills He Learned:

Through the use of this software, our 9 year old learned:

  • The different icons and tools used to develop a basic webpage
  • How to copy and paste items from notepad to CoffeeCup
  • How to find and embed files from a stored location on our computer
  • How to incorporate pictures and sound into his webpage
  • How to safely look for free elements to incorporate into his webpage through the use of the safe search features through Google
  • The importance of knowing what permissions he has in sharing images and work of others on his site
  • Some basic html code through the comparison of the changes he made through the drop-drag interface of CoffeeCup and the HTML it built in the background
  • How to build hyperlinks
  • How to add animations (which is always a hit with kids)
  • The importance of not making his webpage too cluttered and busy
  • How to set his webpage as our homepage when we open our browser

What We Think:

This is a great introductory course in webpage development for kids. I feel that appropriate direction is given so that kids can safely build without being exposed to the less desirable aspects of the internet. At 9, our son did need some parental assistance in completing this course. I am not sure if this is developmental or more indicative of the little amount that we have had him on the computer as part of school.

The course is reasonably priced at $19.95. There are no shipping costs since it is an e-book that is downloaded directly to your computer.

Our girls have voiced an interest in doing a journalism course as a high school elective. I think that Let’s Make a Web Page is a great introduction for them that they can complete in a self directed manner before moving on to more complex programming. We are considering having them build their own websites and then keeping a blog with regular entries. This could be incorporated with field trips to local newspapers and TV stations to further explore careers in journalism, not to mention the different aspects of social media and viral marketing.

I would recommend this course as an introduction for students from the age of 8 and above. Younger students may need some parental assistance in getting started. It is a wonderful way of introducing computer skills to make creative writing a bit more creative and fun!

As always, feel free to check out what other Crew members have to say about Let’s Make a Web Page and also LOGO Adventures from Motherboard Books.

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