It’s time to plan for the new school year!
In the middle of Ben’s freshmen year, I discovered once again that swaying from unit studies just isn’t a smart idea for my boy. To be transparent, I’ll share that the reason for not starting our year in the same way we have homeschooled most every other year was selfish on my part. I wanted it to be easy for me. It’s much easier to do a history curriculum, science curriculum. technology curriculum, geography curriculum . . . and enter those credits on the transcripts. Using unit studies means I have to work harder.
But our first semester was an abysmal failure because Ben just learns better (and is much happier) with a unit study style. So I found this incredible unit study based on the Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan, and we suddenly found ourselves thrust into the Reformation period of history. It is wonderful, and there’s a part of me that feels we’ve gone back to our literature-based unit study roots from where we began 10 years ago with Five in a Row. I have no idea what next year will bring, but for now, this is working, and it’s a wonderful study.
Another of our favorite homeschool comapnies, Writing with Sharon Watson publishes both fiction writing and nonfiction writing curriculum for high school students, designed to fully prepare your students for college-level writing. We will be using these resources during Ben’s final years of high school. But for now, we are excited to be using their latest resource, Illuminating Literature: When Worlds Collide, a literature course also written for high school students. Illuminating Literature. This course combines 8 books — covering apologetics, classics, and modern literature — into a biblical worldview course that I feel confident will help Ben to develop the ability to discern anything he reads in the future. You can try the first two lessons free here.
One of the most solid writing programs available to homeschoolers, I wish I had discovered it when Ben was younger so we could have always used it. But we didn’t discover it until Ben was ready for WriteShop 1 & 2, however I have reviewed several levels and last year helped the owner of the company with her booth at a homeschool convention. I was so touched (and impressed) when parent after parent stopped by to share how using WriteShop had changed their writing-reluctant students into wonderful writers. A few students even came by for the honor of meeting (and getting a picture with) the person who had helped them greatly improve their writing skills. Whatever the grades of your children, from K to middle/high school, if you’re looking for a common sense approach to teaching writing, I highly recommend this company. Be sure to visit their blog for tons of FREE writing prompts.