Tag Archives: high school

High School Literature Class – writing a biography of a secondary character

write bio of 2ndary charac

As she approached the final two books of the year, Miss E was unsure what she was going to do for her final required written work. She had two final projects, one of which had to be a written project of some sort. After reading the next to last book, she still wasn’t sure what she wanted to do. She asked permission to read the last book. And then the brainstorm hit.

“Can I combine the last two books and write about the wives?”

“Of course!” was my reply. What a great idea. So she quickly set about getting her research figured out. Searching the library site for books to request (we can make requests and pick them up curbside during this virus shut down). Ordering a book off of Amazon (that she paid for herself because she thought it sounded really interesting). Looking up websites and images. It brought a lot of excitement.

As soon as she received the email that her library books were ready, she was asking to pick them up. She had a Venn diagram in the works. She was reading and comparing.

Y’all – this is a fabulous project that has brought excitement and enjoyment. This is what learning is about!! This is the reason I wanted her to choose her projects, with some guidelines to focus it. She found something she wanted to do and has been at it full force for a week and a half now! She is reading more books, reading more articles, searching out information, and finding out more. Times, places, people – they all come more sharply into focus when the student has some direction to the search.

I can’t wait to see her final product but I know it will be great! I had planned to do a formal writing project with her meteorology course as a final project but does not need to happen now. I am able to watch and guide this research and it will be a better final product because she chose it and is interested in it. She will write a cover page, a table of contents, a bibliography. Get all that stuff in, do the editing, and we will have checked off a couple of huge items from the “need to know” list. All because of an interest that developed and she was allowed to run with it.

This is a beautiful part of home education. We had hoped to reignite a love of learning for her when we brought her education home. I know now that we have been successful in that.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

write the bio of secondary character

 

Mastering Essential Math Skills ~ a Crew review

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

Mastering Math Skills

Math is a subject that we strive to be consistent on – consistent in our choice of curriculum, consistent in our daily requirements, consistent in our approach. It is easy, especially with math, to say “This isn’t working. I need something else.” Much of the time that something else is just a bit of practice and changing up how you do that practice can be very helpful. Enter Math Essentials. They have several products but for practice, we have been using Mastering Essential Math Skills Book 2 Middle Grades/High School.

Mastering Essential Math Skills

Mastering Essential Math Skills is not a complete curriculum in itself but is meant to supplement something else and provide practice on skills that need refreshing or strengthening. That is how we used this book with our 11 year old, rising 6th grade student – practice on the things that need reviewed and/or practiced for speed and accuracy.

The book is set up simply:

  • introductory notes to the teacher or parent and on using the book
  • table of contents, skill by skill with page numbers – includes whole numbers, fractions, decimals, percent, geometry, integers, charts and graphs, and word problems
  • workbook pages (5-127 are the student work pages)
  • answer key (128-148)
  • glossary, important symbols chart, multiplication table, common prime numbers chart, square and square root chart, and fraction/decimal equivalent chart

The plan? One page a day should take approximately 20 minutes and then on to the regular curriculum lesson for the day. Designed to fit neatly into a classroom schedule, it works beautifully in a homeschool setting. Actually, it may fit even better because when we found a skill that was stumbled over, we always corrected work with the student talking about her mistake or we repeated the page when there was a good bit missed and it was clear something wasn’t understood or remembered. This ability to customize the use of the book is just one more reason homeschooling is so student focused and Mastering Essential Math Skills fits perfectly to this customization.

So what does a page look like? There are five sections to each page.

  1. speed drillsSpeed Drills – These are two sets of problems, one is an addition set and one a multiplication set. The teacher chooses the number of the day – say 2 – and the student goes around the circle as quickly as possible, adding 2 to each number and writing the answer in the outside ring. In the other circle, the student multiplies each number by 2. We would set a timer for this section and see how quickly Miss J could complete it. If it took her longer than a minute, we used the same number the next day.
  2. Review Exercises – 4 problems that review much simpler concepts and should not take the student long.
  3. helpful hints sectionHelpful Hints – Tips and ideas that will help the student solve more quickly. These can be as simple as a reminder like “find the difference” means to subtract (p 7) or “Add as many zeroes as necessary.” for dividing decimals (p 63). Some of the tips could also be a reminder to draw a diagram or find a formula to help.
  4. Problems – There are two sample problems for the teacher and student(s) to work together and then 10 problems for the student to work individually. There is an answer box on the right for the student to put the answer in to make grading easier if the teacher has a large number of books to grade.
  5. Problem Solving – Each page has one word problem related to the concept for the student to solve. This is a great way to include word problems without the overwhelm of a whole unit just on word problems.

completed page

Each day, Miss J completed one page. We would correct it together, talking about her mistakes. The pages did not have tons of room on them for her to work her problem so she often had to get scrap paper to work on and then transferred her answer to the worksheet. If your student writes small and neat, there is likely plenty of room. We are still trying to reach that point, though. We did have several times where we repeated a day but we have finished the whole numbers section of the book.

working on a page

We are going to be using this a piece at a time, not the whole book all at once. But as Miss J works through a sections, such as the decimals that she just finished in her main curriculum, we will pull this book and use some of the pages to review while she moves on in her other curriculum. Once she moves past the geometry in her main math, we’ll move to that section and use the pages that fit what she knows.

A different options would be to use this as your main math but to complete more than one page each day in it, taking time to teach and review any concepts that are not already known. But since these are skills that should be understood by high school, a semester of solid review is not a bad thing. And some sections could easily be flown through, like adding and subtracting with whole numbers.

No Nonsense AlgebraOne note – there are videos available to accompany this book. We did use them since we were in the whole numbers section but they might be helpful in some of the other, more advanced sections. There is a video set for each main concept section of the book and the information on how to access them is shared in the front of the book.

We have used products from Math Essentials before. We reviewed No-Nonsense Algebra a while back and Miss E used it for her algebra I class. Miss L will use it next fall when she begins algebra I. We like the easy and simplicity of the books and definitely recommend them where they fit your need.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

Please visit the Homeschool Review Crew to read additional reviews on Mastering Essential Math Skills Book 2 Middle Grades/High School but to also find reviews on No-Nonsense Algebra and on Math Refresher for Adults. Click on the banner below.

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High School Literature Class ~ video book report

literature class video book report

Miss E has been working through To Every Nation, a missionary biography based study. We are using this for her sophomore literature class. Her most recent read was Mary Slessor. To close out that part of the study, she decided to create a video book report. She has been enjoying making various videos and movies lately so when we were discussing options, this one just jumped out. She spent several hours deciding what she needed to include, what order to put the information in, and then putting together the video.

The interesting part of this, and something that shows true learning occurring, is that she did this on non-school days. In fact, she worked on it over the weekend because she found it fun to work on a video with nothing else she had to do interfering.


I highly encourage you to work with your student to find ideas and options that are interesting to the student. They may be ideas that are unique and out of the ordinary. They may not be. You student may enjoy writing traditional reports. No problem with that. Forcing the student to vary their projects does help to cultivate the creativity of the student in their responses and that is a good thing.

What projects have your students been working on?

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

create video book report

These Are A Few of Our Favorite Books! P ~ Blogging Through The Alphabet

Fav Books P

Sorry for the lateness of this post. Misunderstandings have occurred. I didn’t realize it was finished so I didn’t get it posted. Oops! Anyhow, here it is.

Pegasus series – Kate O’Hearn

The first book is titled The Flame Of Olympus and it is about a girl named Emily who lives in New York. Her mother has just passed away and her father is a cop and is almost always working, trying to pay off the medical bills left over from her mother’s battle with cancer. While Emily watches a storm one night, the legendary Pegasus crashes into her roof and changes her life forever. There is a special Flame on Olympus that is in danger of going out, because of the war between the Roman gods and a terrifying race of monsters called Nirads. Emily teams up with the goddess Diana, a young Roman thief named Paelen, and a boy named Joel to save Olympus before the Flame goes out.

E – I liked this book series because Emily was such a good character. I liked how she always seemed to try to look on the bright side of things. I also liked how she found love in her heart for almost everyone.

Princess Academy – Shannon Hale

Miri is a fourteen-year-old girl living on the slopes of Mount Eskel. Mount Eskel is the home of a large quarry that produces linder. Miri is content with her simple life, despite the fact that her father won’t allow her to step foot inside the quarry itself unlike everyone else her age. But Miri’s life changes forever when the priests of Danland, the land below the mountain, decree that Prince Steffan’s future bride will come from Mount Eskel. All girls ages fourteen to seventeen have to attend a makeshift academy to prepare them in case they are chosen by the prince in one year. The academy is run by a sharp woman called Tutor Olana. At the academy, Miri finds herself struggling with many things: the competing girls, keeping her old friends, her own conflicting desires to be the one chosen, and perhaps biggest of all, proving that she isn’t the small, weak, little girl she thinks everyone sees her as. But when danger strikes the academy, it is Miri, named after the tiny mountain flower, who has to save her classmates, and their village.

Favorite Books P

E – I liked this book because Miri was another character that I found very relatable. I liked that she felt like she was always in some conflict with herself but she never let it take over.

Keep your eyes open. The Q post is coming. 🙂

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

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Literature Class for High School – create an encouragement card

make an encouragement card lit class

One thing that our 15 year old enjoys doing is creating artwork in the bullet journal style. She can spend hours recreating images that she sees on Pinterest or searches she does on the internet for particular topics. This is great and it has translated really well into a project for one of her books.

She finished reading the  YWAM series of Christian biography (affiliate link) of Corrie Ten Boom. When it came time to decide on a final project, she was struggling. Corrie was an articulate person, or it appears so from everything written about her. She was encouraging. She had tremendous faith yet that even seemed to pale in comparison to her sister Betsy’s faith. So, when it came time to discuss the project options, that was what was keyed in on.

I mentioned ways in which encouragement can play a part in lives and how I have seen my daughter encourage others. She realized that she could create greeting cards featuring quotes from the two Ten Boom sisters. She has designed those cards and will be copying them to send to shut-ins at church. (This is a project that she spear-heads for the teens within our congregation.)

She is going to create a list of scriptures that she can include on the inside of the cards when she gets them copied and is addressing them. (Sorry – no photo of the cards; for some reason, I can’t find one but they were simple black and white cards. Simple but beautiful.)

She loved the project and it not only brought the character to life – Corrie was such an encouraging person and this mirrors that encouragement – but it was a project that was interesting, hit on an ability for my daughter, and will benefit others. Win-Win-Win.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

encouragement card lit class

 

These Are A Few of Our Favorite Books! O ~ Blogging Through The Alphabet

Fav Books O

Of Giants And Ice – Shelby Bach

(fiction)

Sixth-grader Rory Landon is the only child of two divorced celebrities. She lives with her actress mother, and because of her mother’s busy schedule, Rory is very familiar with after school programs and frequent moving. But there is something different about the newest program. Ever After School is a school for the children and grandchildren of fairy-tale characters, and the they are trained for when their own Tale comes along. For once, Rory makes friends who don’t care about who her parents are. When her friend Lena’s first Tale comes and she chooses Rory as one of her Companions, Rory is thrilled – even though it requires climbing and she despises heights. Along their quest, Lena acts as peacemaker between Rory and Chase, Lena’s other Companion and Rory’s least favorite person. When the trio makes an accidental visit to the Snow Queen in the Glass Mountain, their relationships change forever.

E – This book was interesting to me because I think that Rory is such a good character. I think that anyone can find something of themselves in her. She was one of my favorite characters. The other one was Chase because I think that he grew the most. There is a total of four books in this series and my favorite was the last one.

Ordinary Magic – Caitlen Rubino-Bradway

(fiction)

Where 12-year-old Abby lives, magic isn’t special. It is a part of everyday life. When Abby is found to not have any magic at all, she is declared an ord – ordinary. Most ords are thrown out or sold to adventurers by their families, but Abby is lucky enough to have an older sister who works for the King Steve. Alexa doesn’t do just anything though. She works for a school for ords called Rothermere that teaches the ords how to survive without magic, and she gets her sister into the school. As Abby makes new friends at her new school, she learns that there can be some advantages to being an ord.

E – I liked this book because most books about magic have it being the oddity. Abby and her friends are strange because they don’t have magic. My favorite character was Alexa because she was so caring and understanding to everyone. I was slightly disappointed that there isn’t a sequel to this book because the ending seems to suggest that there should be one, but it has been seven years and nothing yet.

On The Edge Of The Dark Sea Of Darkness: adventure, peril, lost jewels, and the fearsome toothy cows of Skree – Andrew Peterson

(fiction)

When three siblings, Janner, Tink, and Leeli Igiby, find an interesting map tucked away, they set off on a quest to learn about the father they never knew, and a hidden treasure that many have aspired to find. But the childrens’ curiosity puts the whole family in danger, and they run away from their pursuers, the evil Fangs of Dang who invaded Skree. As the family flees, Janner realizes that his mother and grandfather are hiding something – something big. To keep themselves and their family safe, the Igiby siblings will have to use their talents – Janner’s bravery, Tink’s leadership, and Leeli’s singing and love.

E – This book is one that requires a lot of concentration and dedication to the book because of all of the detail in it. One of my friends recommended this book series to me and told me that it got a lot easier to read after the first book, so I made myself get through it the first time and I think that it will definitely be easier next time I read it. I really liked how much world-building the author did. My favorite character was probably Nia, the mother, because she was just so kind and she tried to see everything in as many ways as possible.

The One And Only Ivan – Katherine Applegate

(fiction)

This book is about a silverback gorilla who has spent most of his life in captivity, including 27 years at the Big Top Mall And Arcade. He is an easygoing gorilla who loves to eat, paint, and watch TV. He has a few friends: Bob, the stray dog who sleeps on Ivan’s belly; Stella, the wise old elephant in the domain next to Ivan; and Julia, the human daughter of the janitor. Stella spends a lot of time telling Ivan about all the places she has been and seen, and about how she wishes she lived in a zoo instead of the Big Top Mall. When a baby elephant named Ruby comes to join them, everything starts to change. An old injury of Stella’s flares up and makes her sick. Stella makes Ivan promise to help Ruby and get her to a better place. With Stella sick, Ivan starts remembering his life before captivity to entertain Ruby with. Then, when Julia gives Ivan some of her old finger paints, Ivan starts to come up with a plan to save Ruby.

E – I read this book when I was about 8 or 9 I think. I read it the other day and I still like it a lot. I really like how it is told from Ivan’s point of view. I also like that it is based off of a real story that actually happened. I remember the first time I read this book, my favorite character was Julia because I wanted to be an artist too.

Forth And Back – Caleb Olmstead

(science fiction)

This book is about three kids – a 9th-grade boy named Darren, his friend Carson, and his little sister Brooke. One day, at school a new kid shows up, gives them all his address, and tells them to flush the paper when they have it memorized. The boy’s name is Chandler, and he is hiding from the government because he has built something amazing – a time machine. The trio doesn’t believe him at first, but then the machine gets broken, sending the three of them into the past. They move around time in a random fashion until they accidentally make a huge mistake that changes history.

E – This was also a book that my friend recommended to me. I really liked the writing style he had. I liked all of the characters a lot. My favorite character was probably Carson because she was so independent. The book isn’t very long or complicated, but this is a newer author, and it was a good book to start with.

Favorite Books O

Thanks for joining us!

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

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These Are A Few of Our Favorite Books! N ~ Blogging Through The Alphabet

Fav books N

Narnia Series – C. S. Lewis

(christian fiction)

The first book to read in this series is The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. The main characters are the Pevensie siblings – Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy. The book starts in 1940 England. The Pevensie children are evacuated to an old house in the country because of the war. The house is owned by Professor Kirke, a kind older man who likes the children. One day, Lucy discovers a beautiful wardrobe that turns out to also be a portal to a magical place called Narnia. She meets a faun named Mr. Tumnus and has tea with him. When she goes back, she finds that no time at all has passed. Lucy finally gets her siblings into Narnia with her, but they are plunged into a war there as well. The White Witch has taken over Narnia from Aslan, the previous ruler. The Pevensie children are part of a prophecy that says that they will save Narnia. With help from several new friends, and a betrayal from someone close, will they succeed?

E – This was a series that Dad read to us when I was about 8. I can remember really liking it. My favorite character is Edmund because of how much he grows in just the first book, and then the next couple as well. The movies also were really good.

Number The Stars – Lois Lowry

(fiction)

This book is about 10-year-old Annemarie Johansen growing up in 1943 Copenhagen. Annemarie can remember what her life was like before the war started. She and her best friend Ellen Rosen were free to walk the streets, they didn’t have food shortages, and the Nazis weren’t all over the place. But now everything has changed. And the Nazis won’t stop. Now the Jews living in Denmark are being “relocated”. Ellen’s family is Jewish, so to protect Ellen, she moves in with the Johansen family and pretends to be the third daughter. Then Annemarie has to go on a dangerous mission to save her best friend’s life. And she can’t back out.

E – I think that I like this book so much because it is a fiction book, but it is full of true facts. World War II has been very interesting to me for a while too, and I really like fiction books in that time period. This book is a little young, but I think that it is a good one. It is nice to read about a WWII character from a slightly more remote area or country.

Favorite Books N

Thank you for joining us on this journey through our favorites. We are just over halfway through and reminding ourselves of books we want to reread.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Be sure to visit the other hosting bloggers who are participating in Blogging Through The Alphabet!

The Rules:

* Each post must be family friendly. If it is not, we have the right to remove it.
* When linking up to this post, you give us permission to share your post and/or a photo from your post in future posts and social media shares.
* Place the Blog Button from the site onto the post you are linking up.
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* If you have time,check out a few of the other posts and share the love.
* The most important rule is to make sure you are having fun! This is not something we want you to be stressed out over. We want to see all the fun ideas that everyone comes up with for the letters!

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