May 27, 2008

School's Out

School's Out

Summer Carousel by Alan Maley

Yes, school's out for summer...well...almost. This is our last week of official school. DJ has a couple books to finish up, but for the most part, he has completed his 9th grade course of study. I thought I would recap what we accomplished this year, just to have it written down and saved for future use (should we need it.)

Bible - we continued our low-key approach of Bible reading combined with weekly devotional study. We finished C.S. Lewis', Mere Christianity (carry-over from Y8), and Lee Strobel's, The Case for Christ. Grade: A

Math - we started our year using A Beka Algebra 1, but after we decided to return the DVDs in October, we used some online websites for Algebra 1 review. Then we completed MEP Y8B (Y9A was completed last spring - 2007). D.J. earned two high school credits: Algebra 1 and Geometry. Grade: B

Science - A Beka Biology was a bear, but we finished up this text last week. Overall, DJ found it interesting, though he much preferred physical science (completed in Y8). In addition to Biology, DJ read Charles Darwin's, Origin of the Species, and Michael Behe's book, Darwin's Black Box. At some point, we will see Ben Stein's movie, Expelled, to cap off our secondary study of Evolution vs. Intelligent Design. DJ also read the Wiley Self-Teaching Guide, Basic Physics. Credits: 2 for Physical Science and Biology Grade: A

Foreign Language - our language study was not as successful this year as it has been in the past. We continued to use Rosetta Stone via our public library, and our overall approach was hit or miss. DJ continued on with French 2, German 1, and Latin 1. He seems to have a strong grasp of speaking German and his French translation skill is quite good. Grade: B (I think he was burnt out on the approach)

English Literature - our study this year was combined with history and focused on the writers of 19th century Britain. DJ read Robert H. Fletcher's book, The History of English Literature as well as completed several novels: Waverly by Sir Walter Scott; Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen; Frankenstein by Mary Shelley; Great Expectations by Charles Dickens; Silas Marner by George Eliot; Twice-Told Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorn; and Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. He also read three plays: Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol and A Cricket on the Hearth and Timon of Athens by William Shakespeare. He completed a poetry study as part of Fletcher's History book. Grade: A

History and Geography - combined with Literature, DJ read E.H. Nolan's History of England, Vol. 3 (period of Queen Victoria) as well as two other books, The Growth of the British Empire and The Reign of Queen Victoria, both by M. B. Synge. For geography, he completed A Beka's World Geography in Christian Perspective along with two travel books: Eothen: Tales of Travels in the East by A.W. Kinglake and Endurance by Alfred Lansing. Grade: A

Computer Programming - DJ continued his study into the C++ programming language and read several new books. He recently finished Professional C++ as well as wrote a number of programming applications. Grade: A

Art & Music Appreciation - we struggled a bit with art appreciation (not DJ's favorite subject) but still was able to manage to review several artists of the 19th century: William H. Hunt, John E. Millais, and Dante G. Rosetti. We made great use of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Timeline of Art History website. Music appreciation included a study into the life of Chopin (D.J.'s favorite composer) as well as continued practice and performance with the Macklin Music Studio (private piano and Chamber lessons). DJ also added vocal lessons during the 3rd term of this year (through our church Music and Worship department). Grade: A (as always!)

Health and PE - our worst subject (no doubt -- both of us are computer-potatoes!) DJ completed A Beka's Health in Christian Perspective and we attempted to ride our bikes daily for physical fitness. Grade: A plus 0.5 credit Health (no PE credit -- save for next year!)

Community Service - DJ continued to volunteer in Children's Ministry (as technician) through Scottsdale Bible Church and began working towards assisting with Music and Worship (children's). He stayed active with the Thunderbird Amateur Radio Club (TBARC) and participated in several field days as well as a safety test at the Palos Verde Nuclear Power Plant and John C. Lincoln hospital (North Valley).

Overall, I think our year went well...considering we started out using A Beka Academy with DVDs and then switched back to Charlotte Mason in November. We didn't spend enough time on expository writing assignments (shame on me!) so we will make extra effort to do that next year. We did spend a great deal of time in discourse (using the Socratic Method) and will continue to develop this process in Y10. DJ began Traditional Logic 1 by Martin Cothran in the 3rd term of this year and will finish this book over the summer. I hope to have him complete Traditional Logic 2 and Material Logic for Y10-11. This series will help prepare him for speech and debate as well as develop his critical writing skill.

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