Monday, November 9, 2015

Home schooling update: fall semester of 9th grade

Counterbalancing the difficulty getting J what he needs in college is the ease of getting H what she needs in home school. Here's the latest:

In Literature, we continue with Bullfinch's The Age of Fable and are finishing up To Kill a Mockingbird (with Atticus 2.0 having just made powerful closing arguments in defense of Tom Robinson). We just finished up Frankenstein and the Book of Judith and have moved on to Dracula and the Book of Esther. She's especially enjoying Jane Eyre.

In history she continues with Outlines of European History, having just completed several chapters on the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. (And I'm appreciating, for the first time, just how central all this tumult was to the Europe's transition from feudalism to nationalism.) She's also reading a Glencoe American History text in which she is about 70 years ahead of Napoleon.

In math she continues her alternation of Weeks &Adkins Geometry (my husband's high school text) and A Second Course in Algebra (my mother's high school text). She especially enjoys geometry proofs (even though some education gurus say she's supposed to hate them).

In science she's working her way through a great biology text I found on Amazon. I'm impressed by how much deeper and more conceptual this textbook is (in the good senses of these terms) than the largely memorization-based material I had in the 1980s. Perhaps this is a reflection of ongoing breakthroughs at the foundations of biology?

In French she's continuing with A-LM French Level III, and regularly conversation practice avec moi. On her own she continues through  Wheelock’s Latin.

In art she's continuing classes at the after-school high school program at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts: Foundation Drawing, Oil Painting, and Life Drawing.

And music lessons continue, including Chopin's Sunshine Etude for piano, Bach's Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C major for organ, Mozart's A major violin concerto, and Dvorak's Sonatina for violin and piano (piano part).

At some point I'll need to relinquish control, but it's tempting to wait a bit longer yet.


GoogleMaster said...

Whenever you post these updates on H (whose initial I have only just learned despite reading your blog regularly for some years now), I am awed by the sheer quantity and variety of things she is studying.

Surely she can't be studying all of these things every day. How organized is her learning? Do you have a regular weekly calendar with blocks of time set aside for various subjects, like a traditional school? (I'm guessing no, not necessary and too limiting.) Or do you have monthly goals for each subject, and allow her to progress at whatever pace she chooses in each subject as long as the goals are met?

Finally, by what criteria do you assign her to "9th grade"? Is that just a convenient shorthand to communicate her age cohort to the uninitiated? Because obviously that is not a typical modern-day 9th grade courseload. ;-)

Hainish said...

The biology textbook is used for AP and introductory college bio. It is indeed an excellent text (I own a copy myself) and I particularly like how it starts at the molecular level and moves up from there.

Katharine Beals said...

Hi GoogleMaster,

We spread the various literature texts over the week, so, while reading many different books, are proceeding relatively slowly with each one. Schedule is relatively flexible, but we try to be proceed relatively steadily with each subject.

"9th grade", yes, is a shorthand.

ChemProf said...

Ha, a colleague of mine is one of the authors of that book! And I've answered a lot of her questions about the basic chemistry in the first few chapters, so am pleased to hear good reviews!