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Tech School: Web-Based High School

In my search for Tech-Based High School resources, I wish I could say that I’ve found “THE ONE!”

Alas, I haven’t.

What I have found is that the Internet abounds with resources, if you take the time to look.

Web Based High School

What do you need?

My ideal curriculum is to found on one site or in one program that covers all subjects, is interactive, and if not overtly Christian, is at least not so secular as to veer away from any mention of Christianity and the influence is has had on history from the beginning to present day. It also should not be so expensive that I would need to sell one child to pay for the other’s tuition.

The ideal curriculum from my wishes just does not exist.

This bank’s already tapped, and unfortunately I have not found a technologically current, Christian program any where. With that being the case, I began to look for high quality resources, Christian or not, that would fit into the plan I have for my kids.

Isn’t that what we need to do anyway? The plan should never be set by the curriculum, but rather the curriculum set by the plan, or even better, by the students we wrote the plan FOR.

What I found are that most sites have some sort of a specialty, which I did expect. Some cover “all subjects” but not necessarily very well. This list will be as comprehensive as I can make it. I will put them in categories to make it easier to find what you’re looking for. All of the curriculum and companies listed below are for web-based programs. No CDs to install. Some are online web apps and others are downloaded to your computer. Use them where ever you have an Internet connection.

Even if you don’t find any single resource to fit your needs, chances are pretty high that by using a combination of these, you will feel confident to put together a challenging middle and high school program for your kids.

Full or Multiple Subject Curriculum

  • All In One High School (9th-12th) and it’s sister site, All In One Homeschool (K-8th) Cost: FREE Full, comprehensive high school program covering Bible, English, History, Humanities, Math (Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II), Science (Biology, Physics, Oceanography, Anatomy & Physiology), PE/Health, and a couple of electives. Daily lesson plans written directly to the student, put together by a homeschool mother of 8, utilizing different sites and resources.
  • Learning Aisle (1st-12th) Cost: FREE
    • Subjects for K-8th include: Science, Math, Social Studies, Language Arts
    • Subjects for High School include: Language Arts, Math, Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, Trigonometry, Statistics, Biology, Earth Science, Physics, Chemistry, Social Studies (9th grade test prep courses for the Texas TEKS in: World Geography, World History, US History), plus in depth courses for 10th-12th in US government, US history, and modern world history from WWI+.
  • Khan Academy (Jr./Sr. High thru College) Cost: FREE Known for their fantastic math programs listed below, Khan Academy also has course lectures in Sciences, Economics and Finance, Humanities (History, Art History, & American Civics), Computing, Test Prep (SAT, MCAT, GMAT and others).
  • MIT OpenCourseware Cost: FREE. College level courses available online for anyone to use. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is perhaps the most prestigious college in the entire country when it comes to academia. Courses fall under Business, Energy, Engineering, Fine Arts, Health & Medicine, Humanities, Mathematics, Science, Social Sciences, Society, and Teaching & Education. Many courses have videos and downloadable course materials, and most have affordable texts available through Amazon. Courses include syllabus and lectures as well as assignments and some include tests (but no answers). These  are NOT high school level courses but that’s not to say a bright high school student couldn’t use them for high school credit!
  • Monarch Online Curriculum by AlphaOmega (3rd-12th) Cost: $450 for 5 subjects, or $99 per individual subject. From now through April 30th, get 20% off!
    • Subjects include: Language Arts, Math, Science, History & Geography, Bible. (SOS and Monarch are the same curriculum in different formats.)
  • Penn-Foster High School (9th-12th) Cost: $995 for all four years if paid in full, or $49/mo., total $1395. Full, accredited online high school program following traditional credit requirements: 4 English, 3 Math, 3 Social Studies, 3 Science, 2.5 Arts & Humanities, 1 Health & PE plus 5 Electives. They have career concentration courses students can choose for electives, such at Automotive Repair, Web Design, and more. Upon credit completion, students graduate and receive an accredited high school diploma. They will transfer in credits from other schools if you have them.
  • Time4Learning (K-12th) Cost: $19.95/mo. for 1 child, and $14.95 for each additional child. High school is $30/mo.
      • Subjects include: Language Arts, Language Arts Extensions (K-8th), Math, Science, Social Studies

Math

  • Aleks Math (K-12, college, adult ed.) Cost: $19.95/mo or $179.95/year with a 29-43% discount for multiple children in the same family on a 6-12mo/ membership contract. Interactive math courses, elementary up through college Statistics, Pre-Calculus, Trigonometry, GED Preparation, and SAT Preparation courses.
  • Khan Academy Cost: FREE Video instruction for Early Math, 3rd-8th grade level programs, and Pre-Algebra up through Calculus, Integral Calculus, Mulitvariable Calculus, Differential Equations, and Linear Algebra.
  • Plato Courseware Cost: $49.95/single course, $74.95/two courses, discounts for up to 4 courses ordered at once. High school courses include: Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, and Pre-Calculus. Middle School Courses include: Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, or Consumer Math
  • Uzinggo (5th-12th) Cost: $9.95/mo or $94.95/yr. for just math. Math/Science combo is a very good deal. Fun, interesting instructional video lessons for Math Foundations, Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II

Science

  • Aleks Math has AP Chemistry and math for AP Physics. Cost: $19.95/mo or $179.95/year with a very big discount for multiple children in the same family.
  • CurrClick Live Online Classes. Jr./Sr. high science courses include Apologia General Science, Biology and Honors Biology, Physical Science,
  • Khan Academy Cost: FREE.  Video instruction for Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Cosmology and Astronomy, Health and Medicine
  • Plato Courseware Cost: $49.95/single course, $74.95/two courses, discounts for up to 4 courses ordered at once. High School Courses include: Physical Science, Biology, Chemistry, & Physics. Middle School Courses include: Life Science, Physical Science & Earth Science.
  • Uzinggo (5th-12th) Cost: $9.95/mo or $94.95/yr. for just science. Math/Science combo is a very good deal. Fun, interesting instructional video lessons for Middle School Earth & Space, Physical, and Life Sciences and High School Biology, Chemistry, and Physics.

Technology

Code Academy Cost: FREE. Interactive instruction in HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, Ruby, Python, and APIs. Great for 7th-12th grades and beyond.

Khan Academy Cost: FREE. Video based Computer Programming and Computer Science courses.

Lynda.com Cost: $25/mo or $250/yr. This adult-geared tutorial site is perfect for techie-minded teens (and PARENTS!) Courses include instruction in 3D + Animation: Game Design, Photoshop, Flash, & more;  Audio + Music: Mastering, Mixing, Recording Techniques & lots more; Business: Communications, Presentations, Social Media Marketing, Microsoft Office Suite program instruction, QuickBooks and more; CAD: 2D and 3D Drawing, Architecture, Interior Design, 3D Modeling & more; Design: Illustration, Logo Design, Digital Publishing and more plus Illustrator, Photoshop, GIMP, CorelDRAW and lots more! Other categories include Education, Photography, Developer, Video and Web with dozens of courses in each category. I can’t list everything here. Just go check it out and bring your geek with you. :)

History, Civics and Social Studies

CurrClick Live Online Classes (All grades.) Cost: Varies. High school courses include: Economics, Government, 20th Century American History, The American Story: History and Literature, Classic Literature, and more.

Geography

MapStudio Pro web app from Knowledge Quest Maps. (4th-12th) Cost: $4.99/mo or $59.90/yr. Flexible, fantastic geography software with maps you can customize with color, labels, and drawings and then save or print for any history or geography studies. Students will appreciate the ease of use!

Writing

BraveWriter Online Classes All levels. Cost: $199-$249 per 4-6 week course. Jr./Sr. High school courses include: Literary Analysis, Mini Reports, Romeo and Juliet, SAT/ACT Essay Prep, and more all taught by an experienced writing teacher. These classes are very thorough, rigorous, and focused. Your students will come out with a new skillset.

Inspiration Software All levels. Cost: $32 through Homeschool Buyer’s Co-op or $39.95 through their website. Fantastic software for compiling projects, presentations, and graphic organizers to get your writers on track. Perfect for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders and others with language and communication disorders.

Time4Writing (2nd-12th) Cost: $99 per 8-wk course. One-on-One writing courses taught by certified teachers.

Write-at-Home (7th-12th) Cost: $129 per 8-wk workshop and $399 per year-long tutorial course. $99 for two-week SAT Prep workshop. Also offering a Pay-Per-Paper service for grading and revision tutoring, from $18-80 per paper depending on length and number of draft revisions.

Language Arts

Vocabulary Spelling City Cost: Basic membership FREE, Premium Membership $29.99/yr for up to 5 students. Enter your child’s spelling lists from his spelling book, and Spelling City uses them in games and vocabulary exercises to help reinforce their learning. The free membership is all you really need, but Premium gives your student more games and exercises, and gives you the ability to create daily assignments with due dates. Very good for vocabulary study for many subjects.

Books Should Be Free Cost: FREE Huge depository of free audio books, for streaming or downloading. Everything from children’s books to academic titles. If you have teens with learning disabilities, audio books make those high school literature studies possible!

Foreign Languages

CurrClick Live Online (Jr/Sr. High) Cost: Varies- $50-80/semester. Live classes meet 1-2 times weekly online with homework to complete during the week. Courses offered: Mandarin Chinese, French, Russian, and German.

LiveMocha (Jr high-Adult) Cost: FREE  Learn any of 35 languages offered through self-study courses, and students may join a community and practice their language skills with others online.

 

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Cotton Towels & Autism

My 13 year old notices everything, so he’s always doing SOMETHING.

Something to help. Something to get. Something to ask. Something to give. Something,  to avoid doing other things.

But always something.

I’m over at The Homeschool Post today, talking about Autism, cotton towels, and kids who can’t tune anything out. April is Autism Awareness Month!

Join me?

puzzlepiece

categories: Special Needs Kids

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Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes: Being Your Kids’ Advocate Means Finding Resources That Help Them Succeed

I know it’s been quiet around here. It’s not that I haven’t had anything to say. It’s more like I am trying to figure out HOW to say everything. I’ve been inundated with life again. and that usually causes me to withdraw a bit until I get it all sorted out. This is the same.

God is the one who set everything in motion for us to begin homeschooling. He knew we would have a child who struggled with school. He knew that someone would give me a book about homeschooling. And he knew that once I read it, a new path would begin. I never realized what an undertaking it would be… not in a million years.

Changes: Being Your  Kids' Advocate Means Finding Resources That Help Them Succeed

Beginning homeschooling right off with a child who struggled was challenging. Starting over again with our “Round 2 Kids”, again with learning challenges and developmental disabilities, has been even more challenging. The major question being that, this time around, how I can quantify what my son knows—what I know that he knows—when he in nearly incapable of producing written work?

And what is written schoolwork but the PROOF that he has earned those high school credits that I need put on a transcript. Thus, my current dilemma and what led me to what we’re doing now.

Sometimes as parents we have to make the hard decisions. In the case of kids with special needs, we often have to make VERY hard ones. This is one of those cases. I can advocate or speak up for my kids all day long, but if I’m not willing to go the extra mile and find those resources that help them be successful, what good is it? This is why the boys are now attending classes one day per week at a local homeschool extension program– a Parent Partnership Program.

Yes, we’re still homeschooling, although I feel like we’ve gone to The Dark Side.

I know I said I wouldn’t “go there” again. Yes, I know it is pretty highly regulated. I also know that my boys’ needs will be met from here on out in the area of receiving CREDIT for what they know. D1’s disabilities aren’t out of the ordinary, and they are workable using a few programs that they have available to their students. They have great online courses through Compass Learning, aka Time4Learning.

D1 will get his credits and will graduate.

For a kid on the Autism Spectrum, who can’t write things down or even take notes like most kids can, this is huge. Huge.

The Advisor they assigned us is a part-time teacher at the school, a Christian, and a homeschool mom herself. She homeschools her own kids while she works part time at the school. She helped me design a curriculum package just for my sons and their own special needs.

She has helped me troubleshoot some struggles D2 is having, and some workarounds for those. In short, this lady is helping me and I think right now if I didn’t have it I’d be inclined to let too many things slide. Because lemme tell ya, things have been hard around here lately. Really hard.

They are both taking middle school level Physical Science online, as well as Social Studies. In D1’s case this means World Geography, and D2 is hitting Ancient World History again. D1 is enjoying both. D2 isn’t a ‘book’ type kid but he’s tolerating. We are still using BiblioPlan but it isn’t written into their official Learning Plans, for obvious reasons.

I had them each take a reading and math assessment to find out where they are, and found we have some things that need addressing. I’m looking forward to seeing some progress in those areas. We found language arts materials, CoreSkills Writing and Reading, that will help fill in the gaps for the remainder of this year. The books received good reviews at Rainbow Resource. We will opt out of the state mandated assessments this year, as the ones they already took are acceptable substitutes, according to the school.

So that’s where we’re at. The boys are also taking some really great classes (read: ASD Science Geek’s dream classes) one day per week, too. Classes like Repairs (fixing broken things), Reverse Engineering (taking apart electronics, appliances, etc, harvesting the parts and creating new things!), Rocketry (guess how many rockets have landed on the school roof?! Too many!! lol), PE, and Creative Writing. Next year they are looking forward to Barista class, and commercial bakery. They have so many awesome options!

Now I take Wednesday and use it to work for Blessings Under the Bridge, as we are stepping up their online presence and moving them into the 21st Century. :)  Oh and I tackle Mt. Laundry too.

Necessary Disclaimer: What works for my family may not work for your family. This is in no way an endorsement for parent partnership programs as a whole or in part, nor is it my recommendation that you quit homeschooling and start doing this. It is just what we have found will work best for our family, and our boys, with their particular special needs. No condemnation will be given or received. I will delete negative comments.

Secondary Note: The image used in my title graphic are of my “Round 1 Kids” back in 1999, now ages 22, 19, and 22. Weren’t they cute?! They survived. I survived. :D

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The Differences Between Math Curriculum

This one is “Mastery-based” and that one is “Spiral”. Do you know the difference? Getting math figured out can be frustrating and confusing! Today I’m over at The Homeschool Post discussing the different types of math curriculum, and which helps what type of kid. Click the graphic to go there!

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Weather Unit Resources

With winter hanging on for another couple of months here in the Northwest, and spring right after, we have plenty of weather yet to look forward to. In the past two weeks alone, we have had extreme cold down to –4* and 8” of snow, to 30mph winds of 45* that melted everything and caused a lot of flooding. This is the perfect time to do a unit on weather! It is always interesting and can be really fun and hands-on for the kids.

 Weather Fun & Games for Kids

Resource Websites

There are so MANY websites with helpful things for unit studies. This is just a small selection of the great sites out there, but some of the best, in my opinion.

Weather Unit Resources at HomeschoolShare.com

Climate Kids NASA’s eyes on the earth.

National Geographic Kids has lots of games, videos, and interactive weather resources.

KidStorm: All About Storm Chasing at SkyDiary.com

National Weather Service Government weather tracking site

Science For Kids Weather experiments, projects, and games

NeoK12 Educational Videos, Lessons & Games

Music

I love incorporating multi-sensory experiences into unit studies. Did you know that when things are set to music, kids are better able to absorb and remember them? Even dry random facts are easier when memorized with music! My favorite weather related music for the younger kids is from weatherman Nick Walker, “The Weather Dude”. You can download his CD Sing A Long with the Weather Dude from Amazon.

Videos

Forces of Nature videos at National Geographic Kids

Amazing Weather 60 Minutes of amazing weather footage from Discovery Channel (YouTube links lead to other videos. Parents please be aware of what your kids watch.)

Experiments

Steve Spangler Science Weather Experiments are some of the BEST!

Weather and Seasons Science Projects at How Stuff Works

Games

There are no shortage of educational games online, and there are a good assortment of weather-related ones. Let your kids have fun while learning! Great for reinforcement of concepts or to illustrate something that is difficult to understand.

Tornado Chase at Discovery.com

Weather Whiz Kids Games and Puzzles

Tornado Quiz at National Geographic Kids

Interactive Weather Maker at Scholastic.com

BrainPop Weather Games (Subscription required after initial trial)

The Young Meteorologist Game helps prepare kids for extreme weather.

I hope that you find fun things to add to your weather unit. If you find something really cool that I don’t have listed here, leave me a comment with a link. I’d love to add more!

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