We are ramping up for another fantastic school year. This year my little boy is in high school! Good gracious did that go fast. I feel so comfortable going into this year, even though a lot of people seem to fear teaching high school. It was years in the making though. I have been homeschooling the kiddo since he was 2 and having fun with preschool. So, if this is year one for you, take a breath and try to relax. It won't be perfect, but if you make changes as needed over the year you will all have an overall happy experience. If you are wondering if you are capable of homeschooling, check out this post!
This year I will start making the kiddo's high school transcript. Though we are currently learning in Quebec, we will be moving back to the USA for graduation and he will need it there. It only needs to cover grades 9-12, but I am taking grades 7-8 to practice. This means I have broken up all of his studies into a series of courses, named after actual courses available in high schools in the USA. I will break down each class to share what we are planning to do and which of those things will cover Quebec competency requirements.
This is our language arts for the year. It is all about non-fiction. The kiddo is reading books available on SCRIBD. We are reading great non-fiction aloud as a family. The kiddo has been writing and running RPGs with family and friends. That one my DEM especially liked and said to keep it up. You can find out more about using RPGs for learning here. He is writing short stories telling the tales from the RPGs as well. We are doing film analysis of books translated to movies. The kiddo is also exploring storytelling in video games. This course covers much of the competencies for language arts and, quite frankly, none of it looks or feels like school or work. Any writing projects he does for social science and science will cover most of the other competencies for L.A.
7th Grade Math
We are finishing up our Shiller Math curriculum this year. It is a Montessori program and we will be using books 5 and 6. The program covers most of the competencies required for 7th grade in Quebec. Next year I am planning on switching to Spectrum Math on SCRIBD. It is so much more cost effective. We don't spend a lot of time on math lessons, maybe 30 minutes to an hour 3-5 times a week. Most of his math learning is through conversations or games.
The Kiddo wanted to do chemistry. We got a chemistry set and are working through the experiments. It covers the lab work needed for 7th grade and some of the competencies for science. We are also using the bilingual book to cover competencies for French.
Conflict & War in America
So, obviously, this does not cover any social sciences competencies in Quebec. Not every subject you study needs to. This course has covered the American revolution and civil rights movements past and present. We are currently covering the great depression using The Great Depression for Kids on SCRIBD.
This is the catch all for art and craft projects. Lately, the kiddo has been learning how to needle felt with kits from Dollarama. Art is another non-required course of study in Quebec.
This is where we are getting the Quebec competencies for social sciences. The kiddo will be learning about various regions people live in. We are basically taking it straight from the competencies chart. He will be doing online research and finding a creative way to present the information. He will basically be doing this whole course on his own. You can find the printable we used for our homemade program here.
This year we are using My French Coach on the Nintendo DS. We already had it, so it was easy to pull out and use. Our chemistry kit is also multi-lingual and so we read each experiment in both French and English. We picked up a French chapter book for the kiddo to work on too. This will be our 3rd year in Quebec learning French, so we are not really on track with the competencies on this one. Our DEM has been very understanding and has seen his improvement, which is what she is looking for. We also added live lessons from takelessons.com to appease our DEM.
This one is also not required. The kiddo marks down all his activity. Mostly it includes walking, biking, and yoga.
This course fills some of the competencies for sciences. It is a pretty broad subject for the kiddo. It includes his study of wild mushrooms and plants. We are taking Natural History Illustration 101 together. it is a college course offered by Newcastle University in Australia on edx.org (for free). Since the course is very technical and about drawing nature with scientific accuracy, we are including it in biology instead of art.
Those are our courses this year. They are broad enough to encompass most things the kiddo might want to learn. I want him to be free to explore any topic and we absolutely have the freedom to do that. I want to encourage all of you homeschooling in Quebec. You do not need to cover all competencies. Many of those competencies can be covered without sitting at the table for "school lessons". It also doesn't have to be expensive.
How much cash did we lay down for school this year? Our monthly SCRIBD membership is $9 a month. We already had our math curriculum. The Chemistry kit was about $80. We use board games for school quite often and there are options for keeping that cost low or free. Check out more about using games for school here. For the most part we use SCRIBD and the internet. We watch a lot of YouTube videos. If the kiddo hadn't wanted to do chemistry, our school year would really only cost us $9 per month.
If you want to use our free units you can find them here. Our typical homeschool day looks like this. If you want to know what we did for 6th grade, you can find that here.
If you are not subscribed to SCRIBD, we highly recommend it. Many of the books in our units are included in the subscription and it is a great homeschool tool. We were surprised to find out that it includes a free subscription to Curiosity Stream, along with other great apps. That's a homeschool bonus! All the books in this unit are available on SCRIBD. If you sign up for an account by clicking our referral link here, you will get 60 days for free, if it is a new account.