Homeschool planning for year 10
When homeschooling our children we aimed to achieve a “year 12” standard by the time our children were 16. This gave us a year to organise university entrance or other avenues without the pressure and delay that a formal, state required Year 12 would mean.
If you are a parent of younger children or are just starting out homeschooling, this article is a good place to start. By seeing where you want to end up, you can then work backwards and plan to get there.
So having said that, our year 10/age 16 was more like year 12! By achieving that level I was confident that my kids could attempt Open University units. Open Uni units can work as entrance requirements into other universities or your child can complete a full degree online.
At age 16 my first three children did at least one Open Uni subject. The younger two knew what they wanted to do and entered TAFE (photo imaging and vet nursing).
Be aware that year 12 maths is not an entry requirement for most university courses, including science in some cases. Maths courses that pertain specifically to the course, e.g. statistics for science, can be done in their first year.
Besides curriculum choices, we had a reading list for the kids to enjoy. We aimed for around one book a fortnight on top of any other required reading. We chose a range of fiction and non-fiction around their interests and also social or other issues that were pertinent to their age. Discussion was encouraged and we often used these books to source essay topics for our writing program.
Learning Language Arts Through Literature Gold books are suitable for years 11 and 12 – just choose the ones that appeal to you. The Literary Criticism course prepares students for college level wrting and introduces them to different methods of literary criticism, giving instructions, along with example papers, on writing essays. Literary criticism techniques used are:
- Focus on the Reader
- Focus on the Author
- Focus on the Culture, Society, History
- Focus on the Work
- Focus on Poetry
- Focus on Satire
Jensen’s Format Writing is an excellent writing program that is to the point and easy to use for parents.
We used this program with our teens from age 14 up. If you haven’t got time for a full-on writing program with DVD lessons, etc, or your child has not done much writing instruction previously and only has a year to get some in, this program is a good choice. It includes grading check sheets and guides to help you in marking your child’s essays.
Your child will learn how to:
- Write paragraph types such as classification, definition, analogy, and comparison
- Join thoughts and paragraphs together
- Format 5 paragraph essays
- Compose book reports for historical fiction and biographies
- Structure business letters, resumes, and cover letters
- Develop, organize, and write college-level essays of 1,000+ words
- Plus much more.
If you do have time for a more involved writing program, we highly recommend Circe Institute‘s Lost Tools of Writing course. We used this with our younger two children and it produced very good results. We used the first edition and I would not have recommended it to anyone who was not prepared to put in a fair bit of effort to work it out as it was not well set out and rather difficult to use.
However, the edition pictured here is the new edition, and I would hope it has been made more user friendly. This course will teach your student how to write persuasive essays, from how to formulate your essay question into a thesis statement to planning and building arguments, and much more.
Another benefit of this course is that you can use it in conjunction with other subjects such as history and literature to write essays.
It’s pricey, teacher intensive and therefore it’s not for everyone, but it is high quality teaching and you will likely get good results.
With Shakespeare having such a huge influence in Western culture it is fitting to understand his plays and evaluate them in light of scripture.
Brightest Heaven of Invention is a guide to teaching Shakespeare from a Christian perspective. There is a section with commentary followed by review questions and then thought questions.
We are not huge fans of Shakespeare but appreciate what can be gained from his plays and the importance of being educated in them. We found this book an excellent way to achieve this.
We read a simplified story from Lamb’s Tales of Shakespeare and a movie version of each to get a better handle on the plot.
I have always advocated that history is the most important subject, and especially so during the teen years. History is where ideas have been lived out. When your teen is challenging ideas and norms, history is full of situations you can point to that demonstrate there is nothing new under the sun, and we can learn from other people’s and nations’ mistakes and successes.
By now your child may have done history from ancient times up to Australian settlement or thereabouts. Modernity is next and we found lectures and accompanying resources a good way to study this period due to the complex issues and ideas, not to mention no preparation needed by you other than to source books to read. There are two resources we list here for that:
King’s Meadow Study Centre produces a few history resources, mostly lectures by George Grant given at Franklin Classical School. These are the ones we used and can highly recommend. They are pricey, but if you keep a lookout, you can usually get the old edition on sale when a new set is produced.
Compass Classroom – We haven’t used this but it looks pretty good. Students will learn how to apply and refine a Christian worldview to major developments in philosophy, science, and government; personalities such as Newton, Bach, Napoleon, and Austen; and movements including the Enlightenment, Darwinism, Nationalism, and Victorianism. Modernity is a one-year class that consists of:
- 27 lessons (5 videos per lesson, 47 total hours)
- 4 projects
- Student Reader, 400p (PDF, EPUB and MOBI)
- Teacher’s Guide with Scope & Sequence (PDF, ePub and mobi)
- Weekly Exams
- Year-long portfolio
Compass Classroom also has some good Economics courses.
Many people stop at year 10 maths when homeschooling. New Syllabus Secondary Maths Book 4 is an accelerated course for years 10-11.
You can read our comparison of this course with the Australian Curriculum here to see what it covers.
The Teacher’s Resource Book contains full worked solutions to all the examples, practices and exercises in the textbook, making it a great help to teaching parents.
This edition is accelerated, so feel free to slow down and do it over 18 months if you need to.
If you have a maths oriented child who needs to go further than year 10 maths, check Open Uni for maths units.
Discovering Design with Chemistry is written from a Christian perspective.
The student will need to have completed the equivalent to Algebra 1 (about year 9 maths) to attempt this course.
Throughout the course, the student is shown how chemistry reveals the amazing design that exists all around us, from the details of atomic structure to the makeup of the very air that we breathe.
There are 16 units with study questions and tests. Experiments are included and a lab kit is available.
Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Health and Nutrition Course is a good alternative for kids who are not keen on studying chemistry. It is a valuable resource for this age, teaching physical, nutritional, emotional and spiritual aspects of growing into a healthy adult. Important and relevant topics helpful to teens are covered.
This is a full health textbook. Some students may not be mature enough to discuss some of the topics. The reproductive systems are covered in detail, including accurate, yet respectful, illustrations and descriptions.
Please read the full product description to decide if this course is for you. We used it with our youngest child and found it very helpful.
Other subjects you could consider are economics, business maths, art, driving lessons, life skills, music. Always check Open Universities to see if it has units you can take advantage of.
Reading list for Year 10+
Apart from all the curriculum you use for your student, a reading list is a good idea. Here are few books that we chose for this age. We will update this list as we think of more, so check back every now and then.
Robespierre by Otto Scott – excellent if you are studying The French Revolution
The Renaissance by Paul Johnson
The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
Books by Jane Austin