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Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years

Chaotic Bliss Homeschooling

Academics
Resource Roundup: High School Courses
Category: Academics
Tags: free high school homeschool high school

The following list highlights some of the free high school resources featured in my Homeschooling High School Newsletter. Included are full courses, or materials that, when combined, could make for a full high school course.

New links to high school resources can be found in the August Newsletter. Sign up to continue to receive monthly updates; and be sure to check out the newsletter archive for links to even more resources.

Math

              Algebra 1 - Full course in Algebra 1 from SAS Curriculum Pathways.

Algebra 1 and Algebra 2 complete courses feature warm-up exercises, lessons consisting of documents, videos and PowerPoints, additional worksheets, and quizzes.

Investigating Geometry Online  Presents 12 units in Geometry; includes video lessons, interactive examples to solve, worksheets, and online quizzes

Math TV  Short video lessons on math topics; includes basic math, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, calculus; you can also pull up videos that correspond to particular textbooks

Literature/Writing

English 10Complete course from Curriki includes units on grammar, essay writing, fiction and non-fiction reports, short stories, and specific literature titles, such as Julius Caesar, and Antigone.

High School Lit Roundup: List of sites with full courses, free books, and other resources. 

Science:

Exploring the Way Life Works  online textbook; eight downloadable chapters

Companion Website includes assignments and activities, Powerpoints, practice tests, and additional links

            Geology Labs Online: earthquake; dating rocks and artifacts; virtual river

History

             Bridging World History  Annenberg Learner site presents 26 units in world history; each unit has a 30-minute video and online text chapter; there's also a course guide with suggested activities and assignments

Electives:

             Personal Finance CoursePractical Money Skills is offering a new financial literacy curriculum for grades 9 - 12. The curriculum is comprised of 22 lesson plans and accompanying teachers guides that can be downloaded separately, or altogether as a zip file. The lessons are free, but registration at the site (also free) is required. Also available at the site are lesson plans for Pre-K through grade 8, college level, and special needs students

              Additional Financial Literacy Resources

Multiple Subjects:

            Free, At-Your-Own-Pace Courses: Offered by the University of Washington at their website, OpenUW.  Courses include: The American Civil War; Greek Mythology; HTML Basics; the History of Jazz, and others.



Adventures in Geocaching -- And Other Geography Resources
Category: Academics
Tags: geography geocaching for kids world geography geography games

(Geocaching at Skidaway Island State Park, GA)

My son likes to study maps and to draw up his own. He has always enjoyed learning about landforms and the locations of continents, countries, mountain ranges, bodies of water, etc., so geography has never been something he dreads. (Grammar and spelling, however, are another matter entirely). 

Most kids are going to find at least one subject distasteful, an offense to have to study, which is why we homeschool Moms and Dads are always on the lookout for ways to make those subjects more palatable. (If anyone's found something that works for Algebra and other higher math, please let me know).

One way to make geography fun is with geocaching. It's like an outdoor treasure hunting game in which participants, using GPS devices, navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location. Kids can learn about and sharpen such concepts as direction and mapping, coordinates, longitude, and latitude. 

The caches that are found generally have various trinkets inside. The one my son found had a log book you could sign, a couple of bracelets, a dreidel, a globe keychain, some play dough, a doll's leg, and various other things. If you take something, you're supposed to leave something. 
 
Sometimes caches are used to direct the finders to perform some task, such as providing information to identify trees, leaves, or rocks in the area.
 
If you're interested in geocaching, here are a few resources to get you started:

Additional Geography Resoures:

  • National Geographic is leading an effort to promote geography awareness through a new website called MyWonderfulWorld. While much of the information on the site is directed at school implementation, there are a number of free resources on the site that would be useful to homeschoolers. There's a page for geography games. Another resource that caught my eye was a link to World Youth Newsan online e-zine written by teens. Those of you with burgeoning writers: according to the site's About page, any student (age 14 - 19) can become one of their reporters after completing a certification course that is online and free.

Cultures and Geography, by traykay

 

Self-Directed Animal Classification
Category: Academics
Tags: classification of animals animal classes animal types animals with vertebrates

I came across an article (10 Pairs of Commonly Confused Animalsthat reminded me of when my two youngest children (7 and 10) and I were learning about the five classes of vertebrates (mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish). We talked about classification in general, putting things into groups based on different criteria, and we learned about the characteristics that put animals into their respective groups. (Our study developed into a rather strange game we called the "Dharma Initiative," in which talking animals assist scientists in preserving the various species due to some impending, yet unknown cataclysm). 

Anyway, from that, my daughter decided she wanted to learn about animals that she classified in her own way as “kind of the same but different, like frogs and toads.” For the next few days, she would come up to me with a new pair of animals: alligators and crocodiles, hares and rabbits, octopuses and squids, etc. Each time, we would look them up, compare and contrast them, and she would make drawings of some of the animals. Voilà. Her own unit study. ("Dharma Initiative" is still one of her favorite games).

Here are some free resources on animal classification: 

 

Free Books:

Animal Classification Cards: 

 

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