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How Many APs Should My Student Take?

How Many APs Should My Student Take?
  Don't get caught up in the AP hype. You don't need a million APs in high school . In fact, you really shouldn't have too many  APs . All tests and no fun make a dull teen. A recent study of 400,000 entrants to about 100 colleges...
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Will Changing Curriculum Mess Up My Kids?

Will Changing Curriculum Mess Up My Kids?

Is your curriculum just not working? Is everyone miserable and learning just isn't fun anymore, but you're worried about changing curriculum mid-year? Click on the video below for a stress free way to change up your curriculum when it just isn't working!

Do you have concerns about changing your curriculum? Have you ever changed your curriculum mid-year? Let me know in the comments below!

Subscribe to my YouTube channel. You will be notified when I create new videos on homeschool high school topics!

If you're changing up your curriculum, or planning for the fall, you might like my online training class: Planning High School Courses (Online Training) - only $15.00!
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Queen of Crime Course Title

Queen of Crime Course Title

What a great idea!  Take a classic book and turn it into a springboard for English and science!  Take a look at Debbies ideas about a class on Agatha Christie, and learn how to come up with creative, outside the box, class titles and course descriptions.

I am trying to come up with a great name for a course description I'm/we are currently working on with my daughter. She is going into 11th grade next year and is working on putting her learning plan together for next year. She would like to do a study on Agatha Christie the "Queen of Crime". We have started a web of ideas, but have just hit a wall with this course description. Ideas we have so far..... British Literature, Detective Fiction, forensic psychology, forensic science literature, forensic chemical analysis, forensic pharmacology and toxicology.  She is currently working on putting a reading together of her books to read through out the year. We were thinking of making this an integrated language arts class with maybe some science. We would love to hear any ideas you might have to give this class a great name. Thank you,

When you are putting together a class from scratch, sometimes it can help to see what other people are doing with the same topic.  I did a quick internet search to find another class based on Agatha Christie, and here are some things I found:
Danville Community College uses the course title: Detective Fiction University of Washington uses the course title: Reading Literature (Crime Fiction of the 19th and 20th Century) Wachusett Community College uses the course title: Mystery Fiction

For an English class, make sure you cover reading and writing, and that it takes at least 1 hour per day, 5 days a week, all school year.  Often English will take more than 1 hour, but I don't suggest more than 2 hours each day.  If your daughter likes reading, you might consider Learn to Write the Novel Way, so she can write her own mystery!

I like the idea of incorporating a study of forensic science. It's very popular these days, because of all the crime TV shows, so lots of high schools are including the subject. Here are some ideas:

For this to be a science class, make sure it takes 1 hour per day, 5 days a week, most of the school year.  Use the class title "Forensic Science with Lab" if you include chemistry or biology lab work.  I think there are some high school textbooks for this topic....  I'm not a fan of public school textbooks, but looking at one might give you some ideas for content and lab suggestions.

I hope that helps!

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This Is My Guinea Pig...

This Is My Guinea Pig...
Becky asked me to look over her high school plan for 9th grade, as she is trying to prepare her son for college, adding "This is my guinea first of 4 to go this far so I'd appreciate advice from those who have been here. "

Dear Becky,

Be brave!  Your plan sounds wonderful to me, but you know best - you really do!  Sonlight 100 is great, Apologia Biology is wonderful.  Reading and writing is critical, just be sure he is challenged but not
overwhelmed (it should be hard, but not impossible.) Teaching Textbooks Alg 1 is great - if it doesn't work for him, try to find something that does.  Just a couple lessons into it, though, may be too early to tell.  It could be just some "rust" from the summer, you know?  Rosetta Stone Spanish sounds wonderful, too.  With foreign language, it's important to make sure you do it every day for at least 15 minutes - probably more important than what curriculum you choose.

You asked me, "is it enough to have him just read. Should he be writing about what he has  read, or answering the questions in writing. If he is just reading  the  material is that enough for high school credit?"

I have written extensively about my failures in literary analysis, LOL!  I always WANTED to be good at it, but I never was.  Here is my series of blog posts, so you can read and decide for yourself:

This all sounds like a GREAT college prep plan.  I hesitate to sound like a commercial, but you DID put my name in the subject line, right?  LOL!  You seem to feel a little insecure, and you seem to want to prepare your son for college.  You may be a good fit for my 3 hour DVD on "Preparing to Homeschool High School."  It can help you with a LOT of these questions you're having.  I've heard that the video will also calm the nerves of husbands, too :-)

Are you on my newsletter list?  Remember that you can call me once a week, during my free office hours, with little questions like these. No worries, you can do this, Becky!  And I'll be glad to help in any way that I can.

If you need more help getting ready for high school, check out my "Preparing to Homeschool High School" DVD.  Nearly three hours of instruction on all of the key high school issues, including planning courses, assigning grades and credits, and preparing for college!
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