My kid is getting inspired

Quidnam Press Forums Secular Inclusive Classical (SIC) Forum My kid is getting inspired

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    Just turned 10. Always homeschooled. Gifted, autistic, mental health challenges.

    He wants to start university ASAP, and has asked for my support in preparing. He doesn’t yet know what he wants to study, but I’ve told him that he needs more mathematics behind him, and more English composition. I’ve estimated that we can achieve this over the next two years. He’s become a lot more motivated about his study recently, and is willing and able to put in the work.

    What if I only have two more years at home with this kid?! I’m suddenly reassessing curriculum priorities pretty seriously.

    According to our state homeschool regulations (I have bumped him up to high school already), we need to be doing:

    1. English
    2. Mathematics
    3. History and/or geography
    4. Science and technology

    And two electives. DS has chosen:

    5. Languages (Latin and Attic Greek)
    6. Art

    So, please talk me through options for 1 through 6!

    1. We’re using CAP W&R and we’re both really happy with it. We haven’t been getting around to it much lately, but I can change this. I thought we had a lot longer to make our way through the 12 books in the series. DS really doesn’t need to do every lesson in every book, though, so I could conceivably compress the curriculum.

    Or do you think I should abandon progym in favour of something more efficient?

    Using MCT for grammar, and also learning lots of it through Latin and Greek. I’d be happy to finish up grammar after Voyage level, so we’re not particularly pressed for time with this one.

    Going to make book review podcasts using Teaching the Classics, so I feel we have literature covered. Just need to make up book lists, schedule reading, start assigning it. Please direct me to your favourite booklists! I thought we’d spend about a year on Literary Lessons Through the LOTR, but I now don’t think this will be the best use of our time. Plus it looks like a fair bit of busy work.

    Do I have English language arts covered?

    2. We are both bored silly by the state syllabus for high school mathematics, so we’re going hardcore classical instead and getting started on Euclid and Nicomachus. Diophantus, Descartes, Newton/Liebniz the following year, if all goes to plan. I may get a slap over the wrist or a raised eyebrow over this, but I’m an undergraduate mathematician myself and can confidently get DS caught up on standard methods in modern calculus before uni enrolment, if he needs it. I can also teach him any maths he might need in his high school science studies as required. He’ll meet the prerequisites for 100 level statistics, discrete mathematics, computer science no worries.

    3. History. Help! I have totally slacked off on this one and we have just been dabbling for years. I thought I would spend four years on a world history cycle (starting in about February 2020) and call it good. Should I compress the four years I’d planned into two, instead? We do work all year round, so that shouldn’t be too intense, and DS does love history.

    4. High school science textbooks are reeeeeally boring. And we have very limited options for labs. I’ve purchased udemy courses to cover the basics of physics, biology, chemistry. Great Courses are also an option, as well as various MOOCs. Then if DS wants to go into a science degree but isn’t confident he’s met the high school prerequisites there are bridging courses available locally for this express purpose. We’ll go through some history and philosophy of science in there too, so he should be all over the scientific method, even if he hasn’t put it into practice a whole lot. Is this okay?

    5. Latin has been via GSWL, slow but steady. I’d like to hurry this along a little and read through Lingua Latina together. I have all the appropriate study materials to make a meaty course of this. How long do you think LLPSI will take us?

    Greek. We are ditching MP! Yay! Found a great text which I’m really excited about starting. High school, not undergrad level. Secular, not Christian. Attic, not Koine. Perfection! It’s by Jonathan Silverman. He’s sending it to me in exchange for feedback. There are two volumes, and we’ll spend a year on each.

    6. DS has ditched music in favour of digital art. I’ve bought him udemy courses on the use of the software and the equipment he’s using, as well as digital sketching and painting techniques in general. Also some animation for beginners.

    How am I doing? I welcome your critique and advice. Even just a hug would be lovely.

    • This topic was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by Breaca.
    A.J. Campbell

    First of all, this is so exciting! Huzzah!

    I’m not much help with the STEM side of things, so I’ll stick to a few thoughts on humanities.

    I would definitely ditch the progym at this point and focus on outlining, note-taking, and essay skills. Have you read The Writing Revolution? The Art of Styling Sentences is another good resource that would fit in with that approach.

    For literature, here’s my one-year, multum non multa reading list with a Western focus:

    The Iliad or the Odyssey (if only one, the Odyssey)
    a selection of Greek dramas
    Gospels and Acts
    Ovid’s Metamorphoses (selections, perhaps)
    Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
    General Prologue and The Wife of Bath’s Tale (Canterbury Tales)
    Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet, Richard III, a handful of sonnets
    British poets (MP has a decent program)
    19th-century British novels: Pride & Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Great Expectations

    If you want a two-year World Literature approach, add:

    Ramayana (abridged/retelling)
    Bhagavad Gita
    Shakuntala by Kalidasa
    The Tragedy of Sohrab (from the Shahnameh)
    Tang Dynasty poets
    Tale of Genji (selections)
    Atsumori by Zeami
    Popul Vuh
    Monkey (Journey to the West abridgment)
    Epic of Sundiata
    a selection of short stories (Dover Publications has several good anthologies that include authors beyond the Euro/US standards)

    The Norton Anthology of World Literature is fantastic, and you could easily do a two-year reading sequence just from that.

    Hope this helps!


    Okay, thanks. I will ditch the progym. Sad face. Yes, I have The Writing Revolution already.

    I’m looking at the Norton website. Thinking I’ll buy directly from there so that I can access instructor resources. Do you think the shorter version of the 4th edition will suffice?


    Hey A.J., do you think I could do history via literature, instead of teaching the two separately?

    Say, read through the Norton anthology and just keep a timeline of events known to have been taking place when each work was written? Throw in the occasional history assignment according to wherever we’re at with the reading?

    A.J. Campbell

    Yes, the shorter 4th edition is definitely (more than) enough!

    I would still do a proper history course, but not necessarily a full Great Books, read-every-primary-source type thing. A basic World History textbook done over two years should be enough. I like (mostly) Patterns of Interaction. The edition I linked to is keyed to the New York State Social Studies standards which are the best I’ve seen in the US. I don’t know how they compare to requirements in Australia, but they’re worth a look, anyway. I’d also make sure he has a good systematic grounding in geography, even if it’s just at the nations-and-capitals level. I’ve found that history courses that throw in geography as an add-on result in very haphazard knowledge with huge gaps and a lot of misunderstandings. I’ve met kids in high school who don’t realize that Egypt is a modern nation, not just an ancient civilization — not to mention the whole “Africa is a continent, not a country, and no one speaks ‘African'” problem. *sigh*


    Okay, cool. Thanks for the links. I’m looking now.

    Could you please also comment on a reasonable projection for scheduling Lingua Latina?

    A.J. Campbell

    It’s hard to say without knowing where he is at the moment, but I’ve typically taught the book over three or even four years with younger students. Cap. I-VIII is the first year’s work for US middle school age, but I’ve had some kids make it through XII. The ones who’ve done that were either older (high school age) or spoke a Romance language fluently, which gave them a leg up on vocabulary.

    I think it’s better to get the fundamentals of the grammar rock solid than to rush through the book, so I’d just go as far as possible in the time you have. There are some good supplements to the text that go a long way to reinforcing the grammar and vocabulary. I’ve used Colloquia Personarum and Fabulae Syrae. Link to list of supplemental texts.


    Okay, thanks.

    I guess any Latin is better than no Latin. And maybe we’ll continue some home study together while we work through different degrees anyway.


    Update! We have a plan for 2020!

    ~ Social Studies ~

    Ancient History by Courtney. SOTW, Oak Meadow, The Human Odyssey.

    Geography. Seterra.

    Secular Bible studies by Christy.

    World Literature (Norton Anthology). I’ll use audiobooks wherever possible, and do a lot of reading aloud.

    Current Affairs (Behind the News) weekly.

    ~ Science ~

    Great Courses Plus.

    One lab per fortnight, occasional lab reports.

    One article to be read on alternate fortnights. Articles to come from .

    ~ Mathematics ~

    Together: Euclid, Nicomachus. Some writing assignments.

    Independently: Beast online, prodigy, Key to Algebra.

    Programming with Python.

    ~ Languages ~

    Latin daily.

    Greek daily.

    Copywork in cursive. Daily. Might mix it up with some copywork in Greek also.

    Spelling in English with AAS, and dictation in English, Latin, Greek.

    English grammar with MCT.

    Outsourcing Writing-across-the-curriculum to A.J. yayyyy.

    ~ Music and art ~

    Cello, violin, guitar, singing together.

    Digital art lessons on udemy, independently.

    A.J. Campbell

    Huzzah! Looks like a wonderful, rich plan! 🙂

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