April 8, 2009

Thinking about next year

I have been working on next year's curriculum. We are already finished with our Y10, but are still reading a few more books and trying to complete a second math course. Next year, we will be back with AO/HEO full-time and will be following the written schedule as closely as possible. I am really glad to be back with AO. The past two years have been such a mish-mash of styles, and frankly, I have struggled to find cohesion and consistency. Our years with AO, while challenging academically, were actually easier on me as far as scheduling and planning. So...I am already looking forward to Y10 (Civil War) and am starting to collect the necessary books.

Some reviews of our Y9:

Well, we started out strong and with a good plan in order. I had decided not to use AO/HEO, mostly because we had already ready one term of the program, and wasn't sure my son wanted to return to AO after a year off.

Our fall was spent reading through ancient history and literature. While interesting overall, the problem we found was that the year was not as full as when we were using AO/HEO. We made the decision to return to AO in January and couldn't be more happy. We are reading terms 2 and 3 and should be finished by the mid-end of June.

Other recaps:

Math - we started our year using MEP GCSE. GCSE is a special program created for students in the UK in schools using the MEP math materials. GCSE is an exam prep course and students take 1-2 years of classes to prepare them to sit/pass the GCSE Math exam. We went ahead and tried to use the GCSE material, but found the course work difficult to use on our own. After a fitful start, I went back into the Y7-9 material and pulled out all the Geometry units. I had my son complete all the Geometry and Trig lessons, thinking that I would give him a full unit in Geometry. He actually blitzed through this curriculum, scoring nearly 100% on every lesson. After finishing up our review, I started him on a college level Algebra text. He is currently working through this book on his own and is doing well (80-90's). Once he finishes this text, I will give him an additional credit in Algebra 2.

Science - we completed a college-level Chemistry textbook this spring. In addition to reading the textbook, we also watched The World of Chemistry, a video series from the Annenberg Project. Now, we are working through Physics for Dummies and using another video series called The Mechanical Universe and Beyond. On completion of this text/video series, I will give him an additional credit in Physics.

Art History - we are still watching The Western Tradition, a video series we started back in the Fall. My son really likes these videos and has written some excellent summaries on them. I am not sure if I will just save this credit or add it in as Art History.

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