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More High School, Continued

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Choosing Curriculum

There are many options when it comes to choosing curriculum for your high school student.  If you want to design your own CM-type High School program you will need to start with a good book list.  There are oodles of these online, but I prefer this one.  This is the same book list you will find if you read Mortimer Adler's book, "How to Read a Book."  It is a true classical book list, with some of the finest books of history, philosophy and literature of the Western Civilization.

The Biggies

In my opinion, if your student plans on attending college, they need to make sure they have a solid foundation in math and science.  There are a number of very good resources out there, so pick one and stick with it.  My best picks include:

  • Apologia Science

  • Math-U-See

  • Saxon Math

For college-bound students, plan on taking four years of each discipline:

Math> Algebra 1 and 2, Geometry and Advanced Math

Science> Physical Science, Biology, Chemistry and Physics

Humanities - The Best for Last

Once you have your math and science curriculum chosen, all you really need to do is sketch out a four-year plan for your high school reading list.  Once this is finalized, you can start picking and choosing your books.  Remember, that all the books are considered to be "literature" so you don't have to over load your student on novels when they are already reading other books.  Pace your students books, choose fewer titles, spend more time on them, and enjoy the experience.

Four Year Plan

The four year plan is probably the easiest and works well for students just coming into a CM or classical type program.  There is a good Great Books list here or you can simply use Adler's list above.

Six Year Plan

The six year plan is what Ambleside Online uses.  It suggests reading through history twice over the course of 12 years of schooling.  Some people like this approach as it breaks out each historical period into a smaller unit.  However, some people find that it reduces the study down to such a small unit, that it makes the study less interesting.  However, you dice it up, choose a plan that suits your needs and that of your student's interest.

Some Specifics

For writing instruction, I like the following curriculum (self-contained):

  • The Elegant Essay (IEW)

  • Jensen's Format Writing

For Grammar, I have had good success with Wanda Phillip's curriculum, Easy Grammar.  Ambleside Online recommends Jensen's Grammar or Nancy Wilson's Our Mother's Tongue.  Other people seem to favor Winston Grammar.  Which ever program works for you, choose one and try and complete it before Y9.

Next:  CM Teaching Tips

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