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Sunday, May 24, 2015

Homeschool Writing Scope and Sequence


For the 2015/2016 school year, Homeschool Connections has made some slight changes to the titles of all our writing courses. This change was implemented to help parents by making the course titles self explanatory and easier to understand.

Below is an explanation of our writing program plus a scope and sequence to help you plan your school year ...

Aquinas Writing Advantage: What is it?

Homeschool Connections has taken our separate writing courses and put them together to create a full program for you and your children:
  • Complete, progressive, and thorough
  • Give your student all the skills needed—foundations, development, advanced, and creative writing
  • Leaves no gaps and prepares your student for college and the workplace
  • Designed as a skills-based program—your student will advance and increase writing skills faster than a grade-based program


MIDDLE SCHOOL LEVEL
Foundations
·       Middle School Essential Writing 1: Punctuation and Grammar (6 weeks)
·       Middle School Essential Writing 2: Sentence and Paragraph Writing (6 weeks)
·       Middle School Simplified Writing 1 (8 weeks)
Development
·       Middle School Simplified Writing 2: Essays and Papers (8 weeks)

MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL LEVEL
Creative (Middle and High School)
·       Fiction: Description and Setting (4 weeks)
·       Fiction: Character and Dialogue (4 weeks)
·       Fiction: Plot and Structure (4 weeks)
·       Fiction: Theme, Style, and Point of View (4 weeks)
·       Fiction: Conflict (4 weeks)
·       Fiction: Authoring a Book (4 weeks)
·       The Hero’s Journey and Mythic Structure for Writers 1: Archetypes (8 weeks)
·       The Hero’s Journey and Mythic Structure for Writers 2: Form (8 weeks)
·       Poetry Writing I; Joining the Great Tradition (14 weeks)
·       Coming in 2016/2017: Screenwriting

HIGH SCHOOL LEVEL
Foundations
·       How to be an Excellent Student (4 weeks)
·       High School Essential Writing 1: Punctuation and Grammar (6 weeks)
·       High School Simplified Writing 1 (8 weeks)
Development
·       High School Essential Writing 2: Excellent Paragraphs and Essays (6 weeks)
·       Vocabulary and Writing, Part One (14 weeks)
·       Vocabulary and Writing, Part Two (14 weeks)
Advanced
·       Simplified Writing 2: Rhetoric, Essays and Papers (10 weeks)
·       Simplified Writing 3: Research Writing (10 weeks)
·       Coming in 2016/2017: The 5-Paragraph Essay and Beyond

Aquinas Writing Advantage: Suggested Scope and Sequence

Parents often asked us, "Where do I start in writing?" To answer that question, we offer the following scope and sequence based on your student's grade level in the fall. Whether your child is starting with Homeschool Connections in 7th grade or 12th grade, in the fall or in the spring, we can help you. Note that the following is only our suggestion, based on our general experience. There is wiggle room for students joining us midyear, who already have heavy writing experience, or need to change the order due to courses filling and closing. Every child and every homeschool is different. You know your child best, so you always have the final say in your child’s education at HSC.

For the Student Beginning in the 12th Grade
12th GRADE
Fall
High School Essential Writing 1: Punctuation and Grammar
High School Simplified Writing 1
Vocabulary and Writing, Part One
Spring
High School Simplified Writing 2: Rhetoric, Essays, and Papers
High School Simplified Writing 3: Research Writing (College Prep)
Vocabulary and Writing, Part Two

For the Student Beginning in the 11th Grade
11th GRADE
Fall
High School Essential Writing 1: Punctuation and Grammar
High School Simplified Writing 1
Vocabulary and Writing, Part One
Spring
High School Essential Writing 2: Paragraphs and Essays
Vocabulary and Writing, Part Two

12th GRADE
Fall
High School Simplified Writing 2: Rhetoric, Essays, and Papers
Advanced Fiction Writing: The Hero’s Journey and Mythic Structure for Writers 1: Archetypes
Spring
High School Simplified Writing 3: Research Writing (College Prep)
Advanced Fiction Writing: The Hero’s Journey and Mythic Structure for Writers 2: Form

For the Student Beginning in the 10th Grade
10th GRADE
Fall
High School Essential Writing 1: Punctuation and Grammar
High School Simplified Writing 1
Vocabulary and Writing, Part One
Spring
Vocabulary and Writing, Part Two
Fiction Writing Series (Three four-week courses)

11th GRADE
Fall
Advanced Fiction Writing: The Hero’s Journey and Mythic Structure for Writers 1: Archetypes
High School Essential Writing 2: Paragraphs and Essays
Spring
Advanced Fiction Writing: The Hero’s Journey and Mythic Structure for Writers 2: Form

12th GRADE
Fall
High School Simplified Writing 2: Rhetoric, Essays, and Papers
Spring
High School Simplified Writing 3: Research Writing (College Prep)

For the Student Beginning in the 9th Grade
9th GRADE
Fall
Fiction Writing Series (Three 4-week courses)
Spring
Fiction Writing Series (Three 4-week courses)

10th GRADE
Fall
High School Essential Writing 1: Punctuation and Grammar
High School Simplified Writing 1
Vocabulary and Writing, Part One
Spring
Vocabulary and Writing, Part Two

11th GRADE
Fall
Advanced Fiction: The Hero’s Journey and Mythic Structure for Writers 1: Archetypes
High School Essential Writing 2: Paragraphs and Essays
Spring
Advanced Fiction: The Hero’s Journey and Mythic Structure for Writers 2: Form

12th GRADE
Fall
High School Simplified Writing 2: Rhetoric, Essays and Papers
Spring
High School Simplified Writing 3: Research Writing (College Prep)

For the Student Beginning in the 8th Grade
8th GRADE
Fall
Middle School Essential Writing 1: Punctuation and Grammar
Middle School Simplified Writing 1
Spring
Middle School Essential Writing 2: Sentences and Paragraphs
Fiction Writing Series (Three 4-week courses)

9th GRADE
Fall
Middle School Simplified Writing 2: Essays and Papers
Spring
Fiction Writing Series (Three 4-week courses)

10th GRADE
Fall
High School Essential Writing 1: Punctuation and Grammar
High School Simplified Writing 1
Vocabulary and Writing, Part One
Spring
Vocabulary and Writing, Part Two

11th GRADE
Fall
High School Essential Writing 2: Paragraphs and Essays
Advanced Fiction Writing: The Hero’s Journey and Mythic Structure for Writers 1: Archetypes
Spring
Advanced Fiction Writing: The Hero’s Journey and Mythic Structure for Writers 2: Form

12th GRADE
Fall
High School Simplified Writing 2: Rhetoric, Essays, and Papers
Spring
High School Simplified Writing 3: Research Writing (College Prep)

For the Student Beginning in the 7th Grade
7th GRADE
Fall
Middle School Essential Writing 1: Punctuation and Grammar
Middle School Simplified Writing 1
Spring
Middle School Essential Writing 2: Sentences and Paragraphs

8th GRADE
Fall
Middle School Simplified Writing 2: Essays and Papers
Spring
Fiction Writing Series (Three 4-week courses)

9th GRADE
Fall
Fiction Writing Series (Three 4-week courses)
Spring
High School Essential Writing 1: Punctuation and Grammar
High School Simplified Writing 1

10th GRADE
Fall
Vocabulary and Writing, Part One
Spring
Vocabulary and Writing, Part Two

11th GRADE
Fall
High School Essential Writing 2: Paragraphs and Essays
Advanced Fiction Writing: The Hero’s Journey and Mythic Structure for Writers 1: Archetypes
Spring
Advanced Fiction Writing: The Hero’s Journey and Mythic Structure for Writers 2: Form

12th GRADE
Fall
High School Simplified Writing 2: Rhetoric, Essays, and Papers
Spring

High School Simplified Writing 3: Research Writing (College Prep)

Monday, May 18, 2015

High School History Scope and Sequence


Previously, we published history scopes and sequences for middle through high school. Today I heard from a mom who wanted a chronological scope and sequence, starting with the ancients and ending with modern, just for high school, so I put together some ideas for her. Following are three different scopes and sequences to help you plan your own high school history courses.

Chronological History Scope and Sequence
High School
Note: These are suggestions. Parents can adjust the scope and sequence to fit their homeschool. For example, if there is an interest in specifically studying Imperial Russia or the Crusades, those courses could be switched out with some of the courses below.

Based on a 24-week schedule
Before Beginning 9th grade
Foundations of Christian Historiography (4 weeks)

9th Grade (Ancient History)
The Glory of Ancient Greece (12 Weeks)
The Life and Times of the Ancient Romans (12 weeks)

10th Grade (European History)
Catholic Middle Ages (12 weeks)
The Rending of Christendom; 1417-1648 (12 weeks)

11th Grade (American History)
Early American History; 1492 to 1763 (12 weeks)
U.S. History: Revolution, Republic and Union; 1763-1865 (12 weeks)

12th Grade (World History)
Modern History; 1865 - 2000 (12 weeks)
World History; 12 Inventions That Revolutionized the World (12 weeks)


Based on a 36-week schedule
Before Beginning 9th grade
Foundations of Christian Historiography (4 weeks)

9th Grade (Ancient History)
Dawn of History: Mesopotamia, Egypt, China, Persia (12 weeks)
The Glory of Ancient Greece (12 Weeks)
The Life and Times of the Ancient Romans (12 weeks)

10th Grade (European History) 
Catholic Middle Ages (12 weeks)
The Rending of Christendom (1417-1648) (12 weeks)
Early Modern Europe; 1648-1789 (12 weeks)

11th Grade (American History)
Early American History; 1492 to 1763 (12 weeks)
U.S. History: Revolution, Republic and Union; 1763-1865 (12 weeks)
Modern US History; 1865 - 2000 (12 weeks)

12th Grade (World History)
The History of Latin America (14 weeks)
Modern European History; 1789-1991 (14 weeks)
World History; 12 Inventions That Revolutionized the World (12 weeks)
Note: Unlimited Access courses are self-paced. Students could either double up lectures some weeks to finish their senior year in 36 weeks, skip a couple of weeks in the first two courses, or work into the summer.


Using the Catholic Textbook Project Series with Christopher Zehnder
9th Grade 
Light to the Nations I: A History of Christian Civilization, Christ to 1750 (24 weeks)

10th Grade 
Making of the Modern World (24 weeks)

11th Grade 
Characters of the Reformation and Enlightenment (24 weeks) (Tentative 2017)

12th Grade 
North American History: From Columbus to the 20th Century (24 Weeks)



Thursday, May 14, 2015

Summer Reading Lists for Catholic Students and Parents


In her book Language Wars, Dr. Ruth Beechik tells the story of a student she had many years ago. His mom put him in summer school even though he didn't really need it. So, Dr. Beechik sent him to the library with a reading list of the classics. After two years of this, Ruth noticed that his standardized test scores didn't change much from September to May. But they skyrocketed from June to August. This is motivation enough for me to get reading this summer, alongside my children.

If you'd like to spend your summer immersed in books too, here are some great reading lists to get you started ...

Multiple Ages
Melissa Wiley's Book Recommendations. Melissa is a children's author whose blog always has great ideas for reading with children. This list covers preschool to adult.
Eagle Forum: A Child's Reading List. This is a good list of classics for grade school through high school.
Bethlehem Books. Okay, this technically isn't a reading list, it's a publisher. However, anything they publish is good, fun reading for children.
1000 Good Book List: John Senior's reading list for primary school through high school. Provided by the Classical Christian Education Support Loop.
Reading Your Way Through History. Historical fiction list from Love2Learn . Titles are arranged by historical period and coded for age level.
10 Books You Must Read to Your Daughter (Or How to Keep Your Daughter From Ending Up Like That Horrid Girl in Twilight). Um, the title says it all.
Top-20 List of Living Math Books. Yes! Math can be fun. Really. Here's a list for preschool to adult of literature that also introduces math concepts. Terrific for someone struggling with math who needs to find joy in the subject.
Chesterton Press. Again, not a reading list but a publisher. Several fiction titles for preschool to adult. It is also the home of Regina Doman's fairy tale books, which are popular among teens.
Emma's Top 50 Historical Fiction Picks from Sweetness and Light.

Preschool
Before Five in a Row. Five in a Row is a literature-based homeschool curriculum. Scroll down for their preschool reading list. Several great read alouds here for you.
Begin at the Beginning: Board Book Delights & Good Book Habits. Includes a great reading list of board books for your preschool child.

Grade School
An ABCs of Must Read Children’s Book Authors from Haley Stewart over at Carrots for Michaelmas.
Mensa for Kids: K to Third Grade. This link will take you to a PDF file for the reading list.
Mensa for Kids: Fourth to Sixth Grade. More from Mensa.

Middle School
A Downton Abbey Children’s Book List. Another great list from Haley Stewart. These are titles you could read together with your child for an enjoyable summer.
Mensa for Kids: Seventh to Eighth Grade: Filled with great, yet fun, classics.

High School
Chesterton Academy. Their summer reading list for high school. A good, short list.
Mensa for Kids: Ninth to Twelfth Grade.

College / Adult
Dr. Taylor Marshall's Lifetime Reading Plan. This is a Catholic theology list and there a lot of good titles to choose from. They're organized nicely by subject (literature, mariology, history, etc.).
The Big Ol’ Catholic Reading List from Haley Stewart. Terrific list that includes both fiction and nonfiction.
100+ Catholic Novels. This list is from Deal Hudson and for the fiction lover.

Just for the fun of it, if you'd like to put down your book and watch a movie instead, here is Alicia Van Hecke's Favorite Historical Fiction Movies.

If you have a favorite summer reading list, please share with everyone in the comments!

Let's close with Father Robert Barron ...



Oh, one more thing. If you're reading this long after I posted it, we keep updated reading lists here: Reading Lists for Catholic Students and Parents.

Happy Reading! And, have a great summer!!!