Okay, so curriculum isn’t my FIRST concern, but it’s right up there. As my husband and I have been talking, we realized that our 14yo daughter (who is attending 8th grade in public school this year–her first year of school) is NOT ready for high school. This was her first year of public school (other than taking classes at a local exension program twice a week), and it went okay.
She’s coming from 7 years of homeschooling, then one year at a 600 student middle school, and she’s just not ready for an 1800 student high school where fully 600 are NINTH GRADERS! Then there’s the teenage boy scene. We’ve looked at every avenue we can find (Insight School Online, local private schools, correspondence schools, etc.)
She is currently registered for 9th grade, but we’ve decided against full time school. She was pretty upset, but she and I came to a compromise: She’ll attend the high school for two classes (science and something else–we need to find out what the schedule is next week) and she’ll take Math, English/Lit, Health and History at home with me. She’ll take a one-on-one tutoring session per week with the Writing teacher at the extension program (using the writing assignments I give, guided by the writing teacher). This way she’ll receive fantastic writing instruction (Mrs. Inks is awesome), she’ll still feel plugged in with her friends at the high school (but won’t be there for the junk).
I had originally thought we’d have her take math & science at the highschool, but since I began looking into their math curriculum (CMIC- Contemporary Mathematics in Context) I’ve learned it is NOT a good program and is turning out students who can’t pass the math section of entrance exam at the local Community College!! Do an online search about this curriculum and you’ll see for yourself. It’s awful! Surveys of college students (current and graduates) who went through this math program, or were at a school that transitioned into it, and the effects of how they were (not) prepared for college math. Very interesting! Very scary too. Google Reform Math and you will be overwhelmed with information!
After searching far and wide (as far as the internet is concerned–LOL!) I decided to bypass our old standby, Saxon, in exchange for Teaching Textbooks Algebra I. This looks wonderful, with CDs that contain lectures for every section and solutions for EVERY problem in the book! She needs more independence in her learning, and this curriculum claims to foster that. Soooo, here’s my tentative list for 9th grade:
Math: Teaching Textbooks Algebra I (DVDs, textbook & solutions manual)
English: Great Source Writer’s Inc. Handbook & Skillsbook; Literature guides (companies undecided!) for Romeo & Juliet, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Odyssey, and one more title (undecided).
Health: Total Health (high school level) or BJU Health
World History: The Fertile Crescent To The American Revolution by The Teaching Company (DVDs and study guide)
Worldview studies are offered through a local classical academy over the summer, and I thought that would be a great base for her also, since she will be taking science at the high school.
All in all this is just my best guess right now. I will probably spend half of the summer researching, as usual! I have 7th grade to plan also, but that is for another post.