Monday, September 22, 2014

Ben’s Sophomore Year

I am absolutely flabbergasted, amazed, dumbstruck, in awe of the fact that Ben is beginning his sophomore year of high school.  I had pulled out the baby book not so recently; those days seem so long ago and yesterday allathesametime. 

Since I cannot argue with time and keep my sons to myself, I have accepted that Ben is on the heels of learning to drive, getting a job, and just generally becoming his own person. Actually, I LOVE have a 15 year old young man around the house.  He can be a good helper, has a fantastic wit, and after 10:00 am in the morning is really fun to have around (he is not a morning person).  I also really enjoy discussing his school work with him!
It took until almost the last minute to decide what his coursework would look like for this year.  Since I am a director/ tutor for Classical Conversations, he had to be enrolled in one of the Challenge levels.  Of course, if it were not appropriate for him, I wouldn’t tutor – so I am fine with the stipulation that all your eligible homeschool students be enrolled in an appropriate CC level in order to tutor.  The corporate office wants us to ‘walk the walk.’  Ben had a wonderful Challenge B year and was really looking forward to Challenge 1, especially debate, economics and government.
His classmates from last year went off to pursue private high school options, so we waited on God allclass of 2017 summer to provide classmates for him.  God came through and he is currently in a small class of 3.  Next week, two more students are being added, which is GREAT – a class of 5!  The only twist to this is….the others are girls;  pretty, Christian girls.  It could be worse. 
So now that we are 2 weeks into the program this is what Ben’s sophomore year is looking like:
  1. American Literature & Composition – this is two credits, as long as he reads all the books and does all the essays  required of the class. 
  2. American Government – this is the second semester course
  3. Economics – we get to study this one right now.  I am considering purchasing the CLEP book, and having him try to CLEP out of Macroeconomics this year. 
  4. History of Philosophy – this will be a second semester course
  5. Team Policy Debate – this is half of a credit for the several debates the students will complete this year
  6. Drama/ Intro to Shakespeare {toying with the titles of the course} – The students read Taming of the Shrew. 
  7. Ben has already completed Physical Science (in 8th grade), but will be working on the labs in seminar.  At home, he is working through Apologia’s Biology.  I’m having him work through quizzes and tests at the Virtual Homeschool Group online (the at-your-own-pace timeline) and then every few modules, we will take a few days to work through a batch of laboratory work.
  8. Latin – Well, I lost the battle on this one.  Ben was never won over to Latin last year, unfortunately.  He actually did quite well with it. (I was amazed when I checked over his translations – he was good!)  He really wants to learn Spanish – and I decided to raise the white flag on Latin and surrender to Spanish.  In seminar, he contributes as much as he knows from last year, but at home he is working through our state’s online charter school’s high school Spanish program.
After Cross Country season is over, Ben will also spend time in learning Java coding.  He is looking forward to this, and the goal is that he takes the AP test for it in May. 
I’m VERY happy with his coursework this year and I am thrilled that Ben is happy with his courses, too.  He was willing to rise to the occasion to jump up to Challenge II if there hadn’t been enough students to enroll a Challenge I program, but honestly, I’d rather he work through the Challenge level program in order.  It is such a well designed program that I would hate for him to miss out on some key skill development.

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