Thursday, January 23, 2014

Our Plans for Year 9 (2014)!

I've been perusing social media and reading some blogs in my very limited spare time these holidays. Lots of people getting stuck back into homeschooling with a vengeance - planning, reorganising, moving furniture, going the Full Monty (Montessori) and Charlotte Mason-ing.

Us? Well, I've been working and the kids have had more screen time than should legally be allowed (I'm awaiting the call from Family Services as we speak).

We generally follow the school terms, and since we are the private-ist of private schools (without the fees), I figure we don't need to start until they do. We will "officially" be going into Year 9 this year (Oh. My. Goodness.) and starting to get to what I see as the "pointy" end of school. So kiddies, it's time to start getting academic and putting the pieces in place for a time where MUM no longer holds the educational reigns and I can palm you off hand over responsibility to someone else (eg: a university).

So, while I'm ever on the lookout for cool resources and FUN stuff to do (eg: THIS little video and questions on infinity which Wombat Girl and I did today just for fun yanno), I do have a plan of action mapped out which includes:

  • a bit more writing and higher level thinking
  • some workbook stuff I can leave the kids to do if I have to go to work (to make money to pay for a much-longed-for holiday)
  • work directed to their strengths and interests and which will prepare them for their (potentially) chosen fields of work
What do I have planned for 2014?

  • Finish off Midsummer Night's Dream - I was rewriting out questions from a study guide into kid/user-friendly worksheets, but this is proving way too labour intensive. So I've gone Google and found some good graphic organisers that my kids might be able to manage here, here and here. I think I will also be brave and attempt a short essay with them, to finish off (give me strength!).
  • Apart from Shakespeare, we have to study a range of fiction, non-fiction, film and poetry, so I have this as a "perhaps" list:
    • Lord of the Flies (I've never read this, but I think it could be interesting!)
    • Dragonkeeper - Carole Wilkinson
    • Leviathan - Scott Westerfeld
    • Japan Diary - Trudy White
    • A Wrinkle In Time - Madeleine L'Engle
    • The Arrival - Shaun Tan
    • The Lady of Shallot - Tennyson
    • The Importance of Being Earnest - Oscar Wilde
    • 10 Things I Hate About You
    • Gallipoli
    • Dead Poets Society
  • So many good choices, so little time!!!!!
  • I purchased this book, which has chapters based around different texts, which should help us cover off non-fiction, poetry, film etc and tick lots of grammar/punctuation outcomes too.

  • I also found these on sale at Aldi, which should also supplement things nicely (particularly when I'm working).

We have just about finished off Year 10 Advanced Maths, but we have a few topics to finish off, namely:
  • curve sketching/polynomials
  • circles
  • functions and logarithms (we did some of these last year, but will need to revise)
  • and will start the year off with algebra review and finish off some trickier concepts like quadratic formula etc.
This book will be handy - I did some research, and apparently Jim Coroneos is da man for NSW Syllabus textbooks. The font and formatting is SOOO 1980, but the explanations and exercises seem quite good. I may have to rewrite some of it, especially for Video Boy!

Again, found these in Aldi - turns out I already have Book 2!

Later in the year, Wombat Girl will be ready for Year 11 Extension 1 and 2 Maths:

Perhaps we might even do that by Open Learning - Open Universities Australia has a series of Bridging Units which, if they pass or do well, will allow the kids to apply for a suitable course at University without sitting the Higher School Certificate (which we can't do as homeschoolers anyway). They could also do first year subjects and then apply to the university, but this way they can apply with all the other school leavers.

Ahh, Year 9 - the year of the First Hand Research Project! They have to do an investigation where they choose the topic, do background research, collect data, analyse data and present it all (conclusions included) in a Scientific Report. So we will tackle that baby first up this year. As an ex-science teacher, I have a bunch of resources that are handy, including this from OTEN and this resource that I helped write (you are welcome!).

Other topics we will try to cover (probably using lapbooks/notebooks) include:
  • chemistry (more of a revision) - might do Open Uni version later
  • light and waves
  • space
  • nervous/hormonal systems and...
  • reproduction (joy).
We might also do Open Uni's intro to Physics sooner, rather than later.

Lucky us, we get to try out the new Australian History Curriculum of the Modern World (1750-1918) (quick, hurry, before Christopher Pyne goes and changes what has taken YEARS and lots of INPUT to sort out because he wants a more right-winged interpretation of Australian history, before NSW has even implemented it and let's include a Christian perspective while we we are at it - DO NOT start me on this topic!!!).

I'm actually looking forward to it - we start of with a broad introduction to the big changes that happened in the 18th century - the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution. Then, highly relevant after our big trip through Asia, Look at Australia's world in Asia and the rest of the world and finish up with World War I. 

Given history is not my strong point (although I am enjoying it), I went with a textbook/student activity approach, incorporating the new curriculum, which I will pick the best bits out of and Google some other activities or approaches (I found some good resources here).

Geography will be much the same, except more Google. I couldn't bring myself to fork out another $70 on a textbook that I knew the content, so I just purchased the Student Activity Book and we will search the internet for the answers to the questions!

Lots of good physical geography to start, with an Australian focus - I have a Bachelor of Science in Applied Physical Geography, so hopefully I'm well qualified to teach all about landforms, soils, climate, flora, and fauna. We also seem to be experiencing lots of Natural Hazards in Australia and around the world at the moment, so lots of life learning will be had!

Kids have been loving this, so we will continue on our merry way with this as an "elective". I purchased an iiTomo text and activity book last year, so will continue to keep working through these and then get Book 2 when they run out:

And for speaking, we are continuing to use Mango through our local library e-resources.

Information and Software Technology:
We will also do this an elective. So far, we've just been going it alone, but this year I've printed out the Syllabus and apparently you work on projects that achieve the outcomes. Video Boy has built his gaming PC (post on this pending), which I'm sure ticks off lots of Outcomes, but I may buy a workbook to cover my bases. We also may enrol in some online courses through the Academy of Interactive Entertainment - will also tick off outcomes and will start down a path that could lead to further things. Video Boy has also been doing some work for customers in our shop - video editing and scanning old photos. Lots of practical life learning!

I feel tired just looking at all this! It will be a busy year, but pretty exciting too. Now we just have to get week :-)

How are your homeschool plans looking for 2014?
Have you started back after a summer break or waiting for school?
Are you in the midst of a cold, dark winter and have been going for half the year already?


  1. they sound great :) I've got all my bits and pieces, we started our school year with the new year (only because I like to divide the year in to 52 weeks) though in the hot stinky weather we tend to just laze about in front of the air conditioner...

    I can't bring myself to follow what is happening now with the government talk of changing curriculum as it just infuriates me!

  2. wow...busy year Ingrid...looks like ours, although we are sticking to stage maths...thanks for sharing...x

  3. Thanks for sharing. I'm so glad you're ahead of me so that I :)

  4. Nearing the end of planning, whew! Actually more writing plans for the children to follow, done the overview planning. and for the AP visit.
    Plan is to start back next Tuesday or Wednesday.

  5. Good reading list...good luck getting through "Lady of Shallot"! *Wink* If you do, you might read/watch Anne of Green Gables as "Lady of "Shallot" has a role in the story of Anne!

  6. Wow! It all looks so grown-up. Great planning!


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