Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The High Schooler's Routine

Ninth grade is off to a grand start! I thought I would share how things are going and how I schedule out his assignments, but first I guess it would be a good idea to list what E14 is studying and what he's using for curriculum this year. It occurs to me that I need to do that for all of my kids having missed the not-back-to-school hop circuit.

Ninth grade:
  • One Year Adventure Novel- he is finishing the second half of this course
  • Literary Lessons from The Lord of the Rings- this one is lovely and I get to hear him read the story to me. His choice and my absolute pleasure!
  • Chemistry- we are doing Real Science 4 Kids Chemistry Level 1 as a family and he'll continue on with Level 2 this year as well. 
  • Life of Fred Advanced Algebra- he will finish this the first half of the year and will continue with LOF Geometry
  • Greek- he is studying Level 3 of Hey Andrew, Teach Me Some Greek
  • Foundations of American Democracy- a course in Civics that I've designed which includes reading about the lives of the founding fathers and about the electoral process.
  • Falconry- E14 is currently researching plans for the mews (hawk house) we will build and how much it will cost based on materials needed. He will eventually do a cost analysis of feeding a kestrel and a red tail hawk. Our plan is to build the mews in the spring for DEC inspection so he can be a licensed falconer and get his permit to trap the bird of his choice.
  • Phys Ed- he practices soccer and we bowl each week. On Mondays he has large group games at co-op.
  • First Lego League- E14 is on an FLL team and we are in the heart of the competitive season.

Everyone knows that I use a plain spiral notebook as my homeschool planner. But, for years I've owned Edu-Track which is a computer based tracking system for homeschooling. I've used it here and there mostly for book lists. I think the user interface for the book list is much more concise than Homeschool Tracker.  I had tried it for daily assignments, but I considered it fairly cumbersome. So, I stopped using it. However, one of the best things about Edu-Track is that it makes a trim report- and you can report on lots of things including transcripts.

This year I also wanted E14 to be able to have a daily assignment checklist including personal care items. After trying several formats, I decided it was time to put Edu-Track to the test and learn to use it well for my purposes. Mission Accomplished!

This is on the back of the weekly checklist and includes items E14 needs to take care of- sometimes daily, sometimes weekly, but all of it are things I don't want to nag him to do. The checklist will take care of that for me now.

This is the screen I see when entering in daily assignments- all of the fields need to be filled out. Once it's complete, I generate the report you see below.

This is such a sweet format! I toggle the date I want to display and how many days and whether I want the check box on the form. It lists out the subject and the course with the assignment listed.

After attending more than a few secondary support homeschooling meetings locally, I also learned that depending on the college you apply to, some require homeschoolers to include a list of all the books they've read in high school. Usually this is requested in the "supplement" to the "common app" for any college or university. Haven't applied for college in a long time? Most schools now have a common application which is web based which kids fill out and each school has its own supplement- some have one specific to homeschoolers.

Although, I love the plain notebook pages bound with my ProClick for daily planning and recording, once a student hits ninth grade, I need to be able to call upon a lot of information later on. Rather than have to compile that at year's end or worse yet to create a transcript closer to college app time, I'm going to have a record as we go. With Edu-Track, I will be able to have an easy list of books at the ready when our students need that data along with a handsome transcript.

I still jot down what he's doing on my notebook page- it helps me to keep track of what is planned for the day. I also have the chance to write the details of a lesson out which is not on the checklist. This is important for anything I'm facilitating like the Foundations of Democracy course. Eventually I may just print two copies of his weekly list and leave it at that. I don't want to be too redundant. The downside of the weekly form is making all the entries by hand ahead of time. The upside is having that as a permanent trail of the work he's been doing.That will be useful later as we prepare for college. It doesn't hurt for NY State reporting either!

For those of you homeschooling highschool, how do you keep your teen's schedule? For that matter, how many of you are homeschooling high school right now? I'd love to hear from you!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is my 1st year homeschooling a high schooler. Before we used Time4Learning which did all the record keeping for me. Unfortunately, they only go up to 8th grade. So, Thank you for sharing the Edu-Track. I have been trying to figure out how to do it myself. As far as curriculum I must admit we haven't settled. For now, my daughter is taking a physical science class through are co-op and I have been having her read and practice essay writing at the moment. Luckily, I recently found the LetsHomeschoolHighschool.com . It is a community for parents and kids who homeschool high school. I am hoping between blogs like yours and sites like this, I'll be able to figure this High school stuff fast ;)