So we’ve started our 6th year here at Lamp Post Academy. We still use the Workboxing System and have streamlined it since implementing it 4 years ago. Our school room is now the dining room, which happened a couple of years ago. It keeps my whole downstairs from being consumed by school stuff. I’ve implemented what I call “Boardwork.”
Boardwork is a series of index cards taped to my white board that stipulate certain activities. The kids place a magnet with their initials on it on the card they’ve completed. These are mostly supplemental type activities and they are all to be done on their own time. Things like reading practice (read for an hour if you’re Chi and 30 minutes if you’re Pieces and Pynni), math worksheets, various apps that supplement math and language arts, typing, free writing, copywork, etc. These are things they have to complete every day before they can hang out with their friends. I’m hoping it fosters personal responsibility that they don’t get from having to turn in homework.
Pieces has caught up with Pynni and we’ve been doing “class” together when we do “Work With Mom”s (WWM). They really like this and make a game of spelling and reading. All of the work we’ve been doing with Pynni has really been paying off big time. While she’s still behind grade level by quite a lot, she has less issues with doing the work and moving onward. Pieces was recently assessed for ADD/ADHD and we’ve started a low dose of Ritalin to see if we can help him organize himself a little better and focus better. This is new, and I can’t really tell yet if it’s having a positive affect.
Chi started 9th grade. Let that sink in for a minute. Chi is now in high school and everything he does here on out is to go on his high school transcript. I considered enrolling him in a virtual charter school but I didn’t like the idea of being beholden to someone else’s schedule and Chi was hard against it. I’ve been sort of panicked trying to decide what the right thing to do was and what direction we should take and then finding all the resources I needed to make this high school thing happen. I have been trying to decide if I feel like I can adequately teach high school English, Social Studies and Science. I’ve looked every place I can think of for information and suggestions. What you’ll see here is the culmination of months of researching, planning, scrapping, etc until I felt I had something both comprehensive and affordable.
So what follows, as far as the curriculum round-up is concerned will be first, what I’m doing with Pynni and Pieces followed by the course plan for Chi for this, his freshman year of high school.
Pynni and Pieces (4th Grade)
Language Arts: spelling, reading, writing, grammar, vocabulary
- All About Spelling by All About Learning Press
- All About Reading by All About Learning Press
- Explode the Code by Nancy Hall
- Writing with Ease by Susan Wise Bauer
- First Language Lessons by Jessie Wise
- The Arrow by Julie Bogart (Bravewriter.com) slow going with Pieces because the reading level is a little high for him, but he needs to be pushed because he’s apt to languish if I let him.
Mathematics and Critical Thinking
- Handwriting Without Tears: all three kids with Pynni and Chi learning cursive
- A History of US by Joy Hakim: all three kids
- R.E.A.L Science Odyssey by Pandia Press: all three kids
- Science Detective by Critical Thinking Co.: all three kids
- Young Scientists Club: all three kids. This is a lab mailed to your house once or twice a month.
- Which Way USA? and Top Secret Adventures by Highlights: all three kids (this helps cover basic geography on top of what they learn in their history curriculum)
- Piano Adventures by Faber
- Rosetta Stone: Spanish Level 1 and 2
- Keyboarding Without Tears by Handwriting Without Tears: Pynni and Pieces
- Study Island: I’m using this in lieu of other supplements and review curricula I’ve done in the past.
- FINSIHED Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling (We’ve been reading through the Harry Potter series. I thought I’d start including our group read-aloud books here, as well.)
- FINISHED The Scorch Trials by James Dashner (We finished the Harry Potter Series and started with the Maze Runner series. The books aren’t nearly the tomes of Harry Potter and makes for fast reading.)
- FINISHED Savvy by Ingrid Law
- FINISHED The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee (This is just with Pieces right now. It’s for The Arrow. We take turns reading out loud. Chi will read this on his own and then he will read the passages used in the curriculum out loud to me. He’s read this book before about 4 years ago.)
- FINISHED Scumble by Ingrid Law
- FINISHED The Death Cure by James Dashner
- Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Chi (9th grade)
English 1 credit
- Brave Writer: Help 4 High School (writing papers)
- Brave Writer: Arrow/Boomerang (literature)
- Editor-in-Chief by Critical Thinking Co. (grammar)
- Vocabulit by Perfection Learning (vocab)
- All About Spelling by All About Learning Press (spelling)
Foreign Language 1 credit
- Rosetta Stone Level 2
Math 1 credit
- Math U See Pre-Algebra by Demme Learning
- Math U See Geometry
- With us. I create a lesson plan, lessons, and use labs to teach various topics in Earth Science, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. He won’t get a credit for this, but UNC requires only 3 science credits. He will start earning credits in science next year.
Social Studies 1 credit
Electives 2 credits
- 3D Character Animation by Youth Digital
- Music Theory and Appreciation using Alfred’s Essential Music Theory and Faber Piano Adventures
- Study Island
- Spider Island Logic
- Spider Island Riddles
- Reflex Math
The plan is for Chi to finish out any of his current supplementals. He has puzzle books that I won’t be buying more of, but I want him to finish them. Study Island covers language arts, math, science, and social studies for K-12.
He will also finish the Handwriting Without Tears book he is on and that will complete that, and he will finish out the All About Spelling level he’s on and that will finish that.