Looking back over the start of 9th grade so far, we’ve come a long way, alhamdulilah. Care Bear has grown far more than I have, actually. I’m still getting used to this high school at home business, but I’m hoping to have my act together after we get back from winter break. So how have each of her courses gone so far? I’m glad you asked.
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Care Bear looks forward to her writing course, and it seems to be a strength of hers as well. She thinks Andrew Pudewa is hilarious, and looks forward to checking out his new and funny tie every time the DVD set changes days (the lessons are a recorded workshop. It takes a few lessons to get through one day of the workshop). I got the teacher DVDs to go along with her student set, but honestly I’ve fell off the wagon, and I haven’t watched the teacher DVDs after Lesson 5. *blush* In my defense, a big reason I got the (kind of expensive) teacher set is because Care Bear is still only in 9th grade, and it would be useful for Little Miss and Tulip also, so I still have time to redeem myself. Care Bear has shown great strides in her writing, she enjoys it, and now we just need to implement these writing strategies in her other subjects!
Currclick Mandarin Chinese
After spending an arm and a leg on Rosetta Stone, only to find out it really isn’t enough for me to feel comfortable awarding a high school credit, I was happy to find an online option for Care Bear. We got the hybrid class to save some money, and I’m a bit disappointed that the hybrid option isn’t available in the spring. This means we’re paying over double for Spring semester as we did for Fall. Still, Care Bear really likes the teacher, the lessons are short enough to be easily manageable, and it seems like she’s getting fairly confident in her Chinese. Even though I wanted the hybrid class for the sake of our pocketbook, I’m glad Care Bear will have a weekly meet with the teacher to work on her Chinese with a real person.
The teacher has introduced the idea of a foreign exchange program as well, which has my teenager really excited, and she is quite driven to make it happen, in sha Allah. Since she’s just in 9th grade, we have a little bit of planning time for that adventure. I love seeing that type of passion and motivation towards something because the youth really have a lot of energy and it can be used for positive things… or not.
Saxon Algebra 2
Saxon is Saxon, what can I say? It’s straight forward, very black and white text, and no fluff. I like the spiral method because it forces my teenager to revisit previous lessons, so she doesn’t forget something after not seeing it for a month or more. We’ve toyed with the idea of getting the teacher CD, and I’m willing to get it if she ever gets really stuck, but so far she’s doing okay. I have to say I’m quite impressed she’s learning math by just reading a textbook. I love math, with a passion really, and I never got the hang of reading a book to learn new material. I always needed a teacher, and she doesn’t need that, alhamdulilah.
Hippocampus AP US History
I’m loving how Hippocampus has the entire course laid out with presentations, reading assignments, weekly writing assignments, and quizzes. All I have had to do is write out when each lesson should be done (for the sake of accountability), and then grade her work. It’s been a piece of cake for me, and she seems to be soaking in what she is learning. We’ve had to talk a few times about answering a question with more depth, but other than that, she’s done really well. This course was probably the first real feel she got for high school/college level work, and the level of detail required when answering a question.
I am in love with the fact that Care Bear is consistently learning Qur’an, from a professional, and perfecting her tajweed. MashaAllah, she’s almost done with the last Juz! She loves her teacher, enjoys getting ready for the class, and really feels like she is progressing nicely. Remember when I said that Qur’an memorization slows down when they hit puberty? Either she’s on the other side of it, or this teacher really knows how to bring the memorization talent out of my daughter. I’ve talked to Hubby about getting him a class, too. In sha Allah Studio Arabiya can benefit our whole family!
Since we setup a Biology study group earlier this year, it’s been an experiment to see how all the pieces of the puzzle will fit. Alhamdulilah, it seems we are in a bit of a groove at this point, and making steady progress forward. It seems Care Bear is quite shy around her peers and only speaks up when she’s asked a question directly, so I wonder how she’ll do on the final AP exam. Still, either way I know she’s getting a solid education in Biology this year, and that wouldn’t be possible without the help of the two other moms in the group. I’m forever grateful.
Excellence in Literature, American Lit.
Care Bear follows in my footsteps in the sense that she doesn’t see the point of studying American Literature. I see more value in it now that I’m an adult, but she’s drudging through it just like I did when I was her age. She’s found a couple books, like Sleepy Hollow, that she enjoyed, but overall it’s a getter’ done mentality. As long as she gets it done with nearly no complaining, I’m not going to force her to find the deeper meaning in it all. Our goal is for her to go to college, so this is just a checkbox we have to mark off.
Excellence in Literature as a resource though is a great layout and concept. The fact that they start learning about the context of the author before they start reading helps her see the bigger picture. I think it is about time for a revamp of the links included in the book since I’m finding quite a few dead links, but since the author included a short description of each link, I’ve been able to find alternative links whenever necessary.
Other Islamic Studies
Honestly, we haven’t followed up with the Tafseer plan we had since we had a pretty rough start to this school year. In sha Allah we’ll be starting that when we get back from winter break. The commentary for the 40 Hadith of Imam Nawawi I got is much more scholarly than we need, so that’s been a stumbling block as well. We keep trying, and I have a little seed planted in my brain at this point to compile a 40 Hadith of Imam Nawawi book for teens, in sha Allah. We’ll see what happens with that given I have little ones at foot. Allahu alim.
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