11 July 2007

New school year

There have been several changes in the wind for this next school year. One change is my new teaching job at Belmont University. The other big change is that my oldest daughter is starting high school. We've been homeschooling the kids since kindergarten, but I wanted the kids to have a transcript when they finished high school. So my oldest daughter is going to be in correspondence school this year.

She and I decided on Christian Liberty Academy (CLA). I would have liked to send her to the University of Nebraska high school because of their really good reputation, but we couldn't afford it. On the bright side, we've been using some books from Christian Liberty for years, so we know what we're getting into. Also, we can take individual classes from Nebraska and still get them on her transcript from CLA. I think we might end up doing that for math. CLA only requires one year of math, so after this year, any math she takes will cost us extra, so maybe we can afford to pay a little bit more and get the course from another correspondence school.

For seventh grade for all the girls, I switched to a curriculum from Veritas Press that was more difficult than what we had been using for elementary school. This made for a big jump in time commitment and difficulty between sixth grade and seventh grade for the girls. The positive side of this is that the leap from eighth grade to ninth grade won't be so much of a leap. I'm generally pleased with the ninth-grade text books. So far my girls haven't read many short stories and poetry for the past two years, and not much American literature, and the new literature class will fill in the gaps nicely. I'm still a bit skeptical about the Algebra II book from Saxon Math, but I can supplement with my books if I need to. I think it's a bit light on the trigonometry.

We worked out a schedule for the year together, and I looked through the forms that CLA sent on a CD. Some of them I need to use for them when I send in materials for grading, but the scheduling forms were optional, and we didn't like them. I decided to program my own scheduling forms. I came up with something that the girls and I liked, and so I have the whole school year in the computer now. We can all access the calendar, and I can print out weekly schedules for all three girls. My husband thought I was completely obsessed with this project, but after years of writing out assignments by hand, I can't believe that I didn't write a computer program to do this years ago, and the programming for it took me just a few hours.