Plans for a Freshman: Revisited

Yesterday I revisited my schedule plans for my grammar stage girls and how that's been working.

Today I'm going to revisit my son's schedule for his freshman year and let you know how that's working for him.

You can read the original schedule post here, but most of the important information is still here.  My updates will be in blue below! Here's what his general schedule looks like:

Will's Calendar

Since he'll be in Challenge I, most of his studies are set, however, I'll share the skills we'll be focusing on as we journey through the program.

LATIN:  This will be Will's third year of formal Latin studies.  I love that we go back and repeat the Henle 1 Latin book.  We like to do Latin together...well, I like it when he does it with me because he knows the vocabulary so much better than I do. We have enjoyed our Wednesday night study parties.  This has worked pretty well for us.  During the day he drills his vocabulary and grammar rules, then on Wednesday night we get together and work on exercises together (and fellowship around words). He's started studying the National Latin Exam guide from Memoria Press.  That book holds a wealth of information from the NLE that he's loving learning. The skills he'll continue to study will be:

  • Memorization of vocabulary and grammar rules
  • Translating from English to Latin and Latin to English
  • Deepening his understanding of Roman culture and geography as he studies for the National Latin Exam again in the spring.

LITERATURE/WRITING:  He will be reading American Literature and focus his writing and thinking on issues of freedom.  He's mapped out four hours a week for this seminar.  He'll probably have to spend some extra time before bed and on the weekends to get all of the reading done. Um - yes!  He keeps thinking that he'll be able to whip through these books, and it's taking him so much longer than he expected.  I'm good with this because what's slowing him down is the fact that he's marking in his books and thinking about what he's reading while he's reading it.  This just means that his evening "free reading" time has been mostly consumed with class reading. It will be a scheduling aspect we'll have to keep our eye on to adjust if needed. Some skills we'll be cultivating this year are:

  • Analytical reading as he compares the themes and ideas of multiple books
  • Critical thinking - whether a character should have done an action
  • Managing time - there are so many books on his list this year...he'll have to budget his reading well in order to complete it all

GOVERNMENT/ECONOMICS: For Government we'll be reading American Documents.   He's budgeted 1.5 hours for reading and annotating the document of the week.  In the spring, when we study Economics, we'll reevaluate his time budget. Everything is going well here.  We are learning so much about American history/government by reading these original documents. The skills he'll focus on here are:

  • Annotating a document - defining terms, identifying main ideas, underlining and highlighting key points
  • Reading well - deepening the content of his reading will challenge him to truly think about what he is reading
  • Elocution - we'll practice reading aloud and speaking on these documents in class.
  • We'll play a stock market game in Economics
  • Evaluate the cost of living after he's fresh out of college, and create a budget.

POLICY DEBATE: This seminar combines with the Government/Economics seminar to round out the work for the week.  Each semester he'll be researching a single issue.  He's giving himself 2.5 hours a week to find articles, read them, and develop a "brief" as he refines his position on the issue. Oh this is fun...and hard...but fun!  I've found this is a subject that he needs more help in thinking through.  It's not so much the research itself, but how to process what the research is saying.  This is one way that my role is changing for the better as we enter the rhetoric years.

  • Researching a policy with articles from current events
  • Developing a plan to solve a problem within a current policy
  • Listening to another well while having different opinions
  • Responding respectfully
  • Note taking

SCIENCE: This will be our first year using an Apologia text.  We'll also be conducting experiments throughout the year in class.  While he'll be spending 30 minutes per day on his science work, he'll devote a chunk of his Saturday to this seminar's work.  All in, he's budgeted 3.5 hours. I think this is one of his favorite subjects.  I keep finding him talking his dad's ear off about what he's learning in this text.  It's so fun to see The skills we'll be focusing on here will be:

  • Learning how to learn from a text book
  • Outlining a non-fiction writing
  • Observation
  • Keeping good records of experiments
  • Writing up lab reports

MATH: We'll be utilizing Saxon's Algebra 1 book this year which includes some geometry. In the past he's worked through his math without too much trouble, so he'll spend 2.5 hours a week on math.  We keep doing math through the summer, so if he doesn't finish his book as hoped for, we'll keep going even after our community days end. He's really motivated to get it done, so he's adjusted his time to 45 min per day and has successfully kept up.  He borrows time from his morning music time each day.  He enjoys playing music in the evening, so it all balances out.

  • Showing work
  • Checking work for simple mistakes
  • Expressing understanding by presenting problems to the class

RHETORIC:  The first semester we'll be doing a reader's theater with Taming of the Shrew, and second semester we'll be studying music theory. During the week, there won't be too much additional work, so he's not devoted any regular time in his schedule. Yay for rhetoric!  We've finished our reading in class most weeks, so it's been nice to have one subject that doesn't require extra.  He's got a project coming up soon, so that will require a bit more, so we'll adjust when that arrives.

  • Reading Shakespeare
  • Dramatic reading
  • Seeing math in music

Extra Curricular:  While the Challenge I program requires a lot of time from a student, we still believe in life outside of CC.  In addition to his Challenge I studies, Will wants to pursue getting his drivers license (yikes!) good intentions...nothing yet worked out here, and music.  He loves playing his guitar, therefore as we made his schedule, he wanted to ensure plenty of time for practice (he's given himself 7 hours a week for this!) he can fit playing his guitar in any schedule...while he's getting ready for bed, in the morning before school starts...I love hearing him play.

Working hard in the time allotted, Will can accomplish most of what he's assigned for the week.  Every year we end up adjusting after we get a feel for the work.  It may be that some weeks he needs to finish something up while the girls and I are enjoying schole, but for the most part, we want him to be a part of our family's schooling.  We're in this so we can be together.  I'm sure our schedule will be modified throughout the year as things come up, but it's great to start off the year with a plan so that we can ensure a peaceful start to the year.

Implementing the Plan

One of Will's favorite ways to keep up with his work is a great planner.  This year he picked out the Simple Plan Student Planner (there are very few masculine planners out there by the way). He loves his planner, and it's working great at keeping him on schedule.

A simple plan planner

He likes this one because it breaks down his day into tasks per subject.  He can plan out his school work at the beginning of the week, then check it off.  It's important to me to keep finding ways for him to learn to manage himself.

a simple plan planner weekly assignments

So there's the big picture of our first year of high school home schooling.  I'm excited to be on this journey with my son.  I'm so thankful that we also have a community of friends to be with on the journey!



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