WELCOME!

Welcome! I am using this blog to share our family's homeschooling thoughts and experiences.

THIS SCHOOL YEAR (2019-2020): Our oldest child, EL, finished her formal education in May 2017. She remains at home due to her special needs, and continues to learn with us when she is able. Our son, JJ, is in 11th grade this year. We plan to homeschool him through High School, and are using a variety of different curriculum choices to complete this goal.

Feel free to follow along!

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Back to School 2019 - JJ's Junior Year


Traditional breakfast: Toaster Strudel and a banana

Today was the start of  JJ's Junior year. He has a good load of courses again this year; but won't be doing everything all at the same time. David and I (with a bit of input from JJ also) came up with a course of study that will hopefully be challenging, but not too boring, for a visual, hands-on learner.

This is what we have chosen to use for his curricula this year:

  • World History Overview (1 credit) - Drive Thru History's Ancient History, and The History of the Modern World textbook are the spines we will branch out from.
  • World Geography (1/2 credit) - The Geography Coloring Book by Wynn Kapit. (This may sound like a children's book, but it's for all ages. The coloring provides practice in paying attention to detail, and also helps memorization of geographical locations.)
  • Algebra I (1 credit) -We will be starting with SchoolYourself.com, a FREE online curriculum that covers the basics, and might also use other online resources for more help and/or practice.  
  • English/Writing Instruction (1 credit) - Jump In, by Apologia - A workbook for reluctant OR eager writers that teaches how to write persuasive papers, expository essays, descriptions, narration, and poetry. For Vocabulary, we will be going over 1000 High Frequency Words as  listed on K12 Reader, as well as covering one new word per day from 100 Words Every High School Graduate Should Know.
  • Foreign Language: Tok Pisin (AKA Talk Pidgin, one of the three official languages of Papua New Guinea (1 credit) - UTalk.com
  • Bible (1/2 credit) - We will be doing this with Dad in the evenings. Our spine is Drive Thru History's DVD series of "The Gospels"
  • Physical Education (1/2 credit) - A membership to a Teen strength and fitness class at a local gym. He did this last year and loved it, so will be continuing this year as well. Classes are held 2x per week starting in September.  
  • Nutrition & Health (1/2 credit) - Using a variety of resources, including Janice VanCleave's Food and Nutrition for Every Kid and several Milliken worksheets on Nutrition
  • Career Exploration (1/2 credit) - Using the 7 Sisters Career Exploration curriculum.
  • Extracurricular - Strategy Club with a friend.
We are looking forward to a great school year!

Friday, August 16, 2019

What We Used for AMERICAN HISTORY in High School (for a Visual Learner)

During JJ's Sophomore year, we covered a good overview of American History. Since JJ is a visual learner, and does not retain much from reading textbooks alone, I ended up making my own lesson plans using a variety of resources. See below for a breakdown of our 34-week lesson plans. You can also view or print a copy of it on Google Docs through this link here:

 
NOTE:  Feel free to use this lesson plan for your personal use, or send the link to whoever you want, but selling it is prohibited.




SONset Academy's
HIGH SCHOOL AMERICAN HISTORY 


~RESOURCE LIST~

DISC 1
Rebels - Defecting from England, Coming to a new land
Revolution
Westward
Division
BONUS SCENES:
-American Revolution
-Declaration of Independence
-George Washington

DISC 2
Civil War
Heartland
Cities
Boom
BONUS SCENES:
-Civil War
-Transcontinental Railroad
-Statue of Liberty
-Henry Ford and the Model T

DISC 3
Bust
World War II
Superpower
Millennium
  • DRIVE THRU HISTORY - AMERICAN HISTORY SERIES (DVD’s):
SET 1:  Columbus and the Pilgrims to the Freedom Trail
  • Episode 1: The Discovery: Introduction, Christopher Columbus, the Khan‑Polo Connection, Florence, Setting Sail in Spain, Amerigo Vespucci
  • Episode 2: The Pilgrims: Driving to Scrooby, The Separatists, The Pilgrims in Holland, The Mayflower, Plymouth Rock, The First Thanksgiving
  • Episode 3: Boston & Beginnings of Revolution: Boston’s Heritage, War Brewing, The Old North Church, Lexington & Concord, Battle of Bunker Hill, Dorchester Heights
  • Episode 4: George Whitefield, The Freedom Trail, Granary Burial Ground, Old State House, Faneuil Hall, USS Constitution
  • Episode 5: William Penn, Pennsbury Manor, Henry Muhlenberg, Christ Church, Jacob Duché, Betsy Ross
  • Episode 6: Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Ben Franklin, The Declaration House, Carpenter’s Hall, The Liberty Bell, Independence Hall
  • Episode 7:  Philadelphia, Thaddeus Kosciusko, Germantown, Benjamin Chew House, Fort Mifflin, Valley Forge
  • Episode 8:  The Jamestown Colony, Pocahontas, Peter Mulenberg, Colonial Williamsburg, The Battle of Yorktown
  • Episode 9:  Mount Vernon, Slavery in Colonial America, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, James Madison’s Montpelier, Dolly Madison
  • Episode 10:  Battle Hill, The Battle of Long Island, Hessian Huts, Morris Manson, Prison Ship Martyrs Monument, Lombardi’s Pizzeria, Fort Washington
  • Episode 11:  Wall Street, Federal Hall, New York Stock Exchange, St. Paul’s Chapel, The Battle of Saratoga, Benedict Arnold, West Point
  • Episode 12:  Crossing the Delaware, The Battle of Trenton, John Witherspoon, Princeton, Morristown, Battle of Monmouth


~WEEKLY LESSON PLANS~

NOTE:  We spent a little more time on the Civil War time period because that was a topic of interest for our son.

WEEK 1
  • Watch DRIVE THRU HISTORY Episode 1 (Referred to as DTH from here out)
  •  Read Fun Facts page (printed from disc)
  • Answer Questions, Check Answers (printed out from disc)
  • Choose one Discussion Question (printed out from disc) and write out your answer, or choose several Discussion Questions and answer verbally
  • Watch a movie/video based around time-period
  • Fill out Video Review
WEEK 2
  • Watch DTH Episode 2
  • Read Fun Facts page
  • Answer Questions, Check Answers
  • Choose one Discussion Question and write out your answer, or choose several Discussion Questions and answer verbally
  • Watch a movie/video based around time-period
  • Fill out Video Review
 WEEK 3
  • Watch DTH Episode 3
  • Read Fun Facts page
  • Answer Questions, Check Answers
  • Choose one Discussion Question and write out your answer, or choose several Discussion Questions and answer verbally
  • Watch a movie/video based around time-period
  • Fill out Video Review
 WEEK 4
  • Watch SCHOOL HOUSE ROCK “No More Kings”
  • Look up and copy the following definitions to prepare for “America The Story of Us” Episode One (found on the History Channel website as listed in Resources above):
1.      Alluvial
2.      Aristocratic
3.      Coercion
4.      Contraband
5.      Fedgling
6.      Infringements
7.      Labyrinth
8.      Pre-emptive
9.      The Proclamation Line
10.  Wampanoag
  • Watch AMERICA THE STORY OF US Episode 1: Rebels - “This is the story of how, over seven generations, a group of European settlers survive against all odds, claw themselves up and then turn against their colonial masters. A diverse group of men, women and children are about to become truly American.”
  • Fill out Video Review and/or answer these Discussion Questions:
  1. What was the Powhatan Confederacy and how did this group interact with the British settlers?
  2. What were the most difficult challenges faced by the Plymouth and Jamestown settlers? Do you think they could have done anything to prepare more adequately for life in the Americas?
  3. What role did disease play in encounters between native groups and the first British settlers? 

WEEK 5
  • Watch DTH Episode 4
  • Read Fun Facts page
  • Answer Questions, Check Answers
  • Choose one Discussion Question and write out your answer, or choose several Discussion Questions and answer verbally
  • Watch a movie/video based around time-period
  • Fill out Video Review
WEEK 6
  • Watch DTH Episode 5
  • Read Fun Facts page
  • Answer all multiple-choice Questions, Check Answers
  • Choose one Discussion Question and write out your answer, or choose several Discussion Questions and answer verbally
  • Watch a movie/video based around time-period
  • Fill out Video Review
WEEK 7
  • Watch DTH Episode 6
  • Read Fun Facts page
  • Answer all multiple-choice Questions, Check Answers
  • Choose one Discussion Question and write out your answer, or choose several Discussion Questions and answer verbally
  • Watch a movie/video based around time-period
  • Fill out Video Review
 WEEK 8
  • Watch SCHOOL HOUSE ROCK “Fireworks”
  • Look up and copy definitions:
1.      Alacrity
2.      Bayonet
3.      Colonial
4.      Inoculation
5.      Prodigious
6.      Redoubt
7.      Resilience
8.      Siege
9.      Skiff
10.  Typhus
11.  Traverse
  • Watch AMERICA THE STORY OF US Episode 2: Revolution - “July 9, 1776. The Declaration of Independence is read to crowds in New York. America’s 13 colonies have taken on the might of the world’s leading superpower, and by 1783, America is free.  As the British leave, a new nation, the United States of America, is born.”
  • Fill out Video Review and/or answer these Discussion Questions:
1.      Who was Daniel Morgan, and what role did he play in the American Revolution?
2.      Why was it important for the Americans to win the support of France during the Revolution?
3.      What change in the construction of rifles helped the Americans during the Revolutionary War?
4.      What were some of the innovative ways Americans fought disease during the Revolution? What were the risks and potential rewards of these methods?
5.      What are three major reasons the Americans won the Revolutionary War? Give some specific examples from this program or from your own reading.

WEEK 9
  • Watch DTH Episode 7
  • Read Fun Facts page
  • Answer Questions, Check Answers
  • Choose one Discussion Question and write out your answer, or choose several Discussion Questions and answer verbally
  • Watch a movie/video based around time-period
  • Fill out Video Review
WEEK 10
  • Watch DTH Episode 8
  • Read Fun Facts page
  • Answer Questions, Check Answers
  • Choose one Discussion Question and write out your answer, or choose several Discussion Questions and answer verbally
  • Watch a movie/video based around time-period 
  • Fill out Video Review
WEEK 11
  • Watch DTH Episode 9
  • Read Fun Facts page
  • Answer Questions, Check Answers
  • Choose one Discussion Question and write out your answer, or choose several Discussion Questions and answer verbally
  • Watch a movie/video based around time-period
  • Fill out Video Review
WEEK 12
  • Watch DTH Episode 10
  • Read Fun Facts page
  • Answer Questions, Check Answers
  • Choose one Discussion Question and write out your answer, or choose several Discussion Questions and answer verbally
  • Watch a movie/video based around time-period
  • Fill out Video Review
WEEK13
  • Watch SCHOOL HOUSE ROCK “Preamble”
  • Watch DTH Episode 11
  •  Read Fun Facts page
  • Answer all multiple-choice Questions, Check Answers
  • Choose one Discussion Question and write out your answer, or choose several Discussion Questions and answer verbally
  • Watch a movie/video based around time-period
  • Fill out Video Review
WEEK 14
  • Watch DTH Episode 12
  • Read Fun Facts page
  • Answer Questions, Check Answers
  • Choose one Discussion Question and write out your answer, or choose several Discussion Questions and answer verbally
  • Watch a movie/video based around time-period
  • Fill out Video Review
WEEK 15
  • Watch SCHOOL HOUSE ROCK “Elbow Room”
  • Look up and copy definitions:
1.      Commodity
2.      Convulsion
3.      Cumberland Gap
4.      Decree
5.      Exploits
6.      Frontier
7.      Keelboat
8.      Toil
9.      Uncharted
  •  Watch AMERICA TSOU Episode 3: Westward - “As the American nation is born, a vast continent lies to the west of the mountains, waiting to be explored and exploited. For the pioneers who set out to confront these lands, following trailblazers like Daniel Boone, the conquest of the West is a story of courage and hardship that forges the character of America. America now stretches from "sea to shining sea. 
  • Fill out Video Review and/or answer these Discussion Questions:
1.      How would you describe Jedediah Smith? What do you think were his most important characteristics?
2.      Who was Susannah Dickinson, and what role did she play in the Alamo conflict?
3.      What was the significance of Daniel Boone’s clearing of the Cumberland Gap? How do you think this affected the Shawnee Indians and other native groups?

WEEK 16
  • Look up and copy definitions:
1.      Abolitionism
2.      Aristocracy
3.      Cotton Gin
4.      Espionage
5.      Industrialism
6.      Ingenious
7.      Ravine
8.      Rupture
9.      Textile
  • Watch AMERICA TSOU Episode 4: Division - “America becomes a nation at the moment a revolution in commerce and industry sweeps across the western world. This vast new country, rich in resources, experiences a rapid change‑‑in trade, transport and manufacturing‑‑quickly turning America into one of the wealthiest nations on earth. Now two different Americas, united in prosperity, but divided by culture, face each other across a growing gulf. The issue is slavery.
  • Fill out Video Review and/or answer these Discussion Questions:
1.      Why did U.S. leaders want to build the Erie Canal? How did the canal change the U.S.?
2.      Some historians refer to the increase in highways and roads in the U.S. during the 19th century as a “transportation revolution.” How did the addition of many more roads and highways affect the U.S.?
3.      When was the Fugitive Slave Act passed, and what were the consequences of this law?
     
WEEK 17
  • Look up and copy definitions:
1.      Cavalier
2.      Chloroform
3.      De facto
4.      Emancipation
5.      Invincibility
6.      Minie ball
7.      Munitions
8.      Ploughshares
9.      Pragmatist
10.  Telegraph
  • Watch AMERICA TSOU Episode 5: Civil War - “The Civil War rages. It is 20th century technology meeting 18th century tactics and the result is a death toll never before seen on American soil. After General William Sherman's March to the Sea, the South is definitively crushed, and the industrial might that allows the Union to prevail leaves America poised to explode into the 20th century as a global superpower.”
  • Fill out Video Review and/or answer these Discussion Questions:
1.      How did the invention of the minie ball bullet shape the Civil War? What were some other important inventions that affected the course of the war?
2.      Who was Clara Barton, and why was she significant?
3.      How did the telegraph help the Union side achieve victory in the Civil War?
4.      When was the Emancipation Proclamation signed, and how did it shape the Civil War?

WEEK 18
  • Watch THE BLUE AND THE GRAY miniseries - Disc 1 in two parts
  • Watch THE BLUE AND THE GRAY miniseries - Disc 2 in two parts
WEEK 19
  • Watch THE BLUE AND THE GRAY miniseries - Disc 3 in two parts
  • Fill out Video Review
  • Read The Gettysburg Address and memorize at least the first paragraph:
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle‑field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate ‑‑ we can not consecrate ‑‑ we can not hallow ‑‑ this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us ‑‑ that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion ‑‑ that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain ‑‑ that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom ‑‑ and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Abraham Lincoln
November 19, 1863

WEEK 20
  •  Read the book, ACROSS FIVE APRILS - Chapter 1 - 4 (or another book of choice about the Civil War time period)
WEEK 21
  • Read ACROSS FIVE APRILS - Chapters 5 - 8
WEEK 22
  • Read ACROSS FIVE APRILS - Chapters 9-12
WEEK 23
  • Watch SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK “Great Am. Melting Pot” (Immigration)
  • Look up and copy definitions:
1.      Dysentery
2.      Formidable
3.      Gradient
4.      Inert
5.      Nitroglycerin
6.      Redundant
7.      Stealthily
8.      Treaty
  • Watch AMERICA TSOU Episode 6: Heartland - “The Transcontinental Railroad doesn't just change the lives of Americans, it alters the entire ecology of the continent. It's the railroad that creates a new American icon‑‑the cowboy‑‑who drives cattle thousands of miles to meet the railheads and bring food to the East. In less than a quarter of a century, the heartland is transformed‑‑not by the gun, but by railroad, fence and plough.”
  • Fill out Video Review and/or answer these Discussion Questions:
1.      Why do you think President Lincoln decided to support the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad, a very expensive project, even though the Civil War was still going on?
2.      What were some of the benefits of the Transcontinental Railroad? What were the human costs of its construction? What groups of people built the railroad?
3.      In this episode, the bison is described as a “mobile general store” for Native Americans on the plains. What does this phrase mean? What were the consequences of the destruction of the bison population for Native Americans?

WEEK 24
  • Watch SCHOOL HOUSE ROCK “Mother Necessity” (Inventions)
  • Look up and copy definitions:
1.      Audacious
2.      Filament
3.      Irrevocable
4.      Molten
5.      Rogue
6.      Tenement
7.      Unscrupulous
8.      Veritable
  •  Watch AMERICA TSOU Episode 7: Cities - “Between 1880 and 1930, nearly 24 million new immigrants arrive in America. Many go to work building a new frontier: the modern city, one of America's greatest inventions.  This new urban frontier draws rural migrants and newly arrived immigrant workers. Powered by steel and electricity, the city begins to be tamed and defined by mass transportation, stunning skylines, electric light...and the innovative, industrious American spirit.”
  • Fill out Video Review and/or answer these Discussion Questions:
1.      What was the Bessemer steel converter? How did this invention shape U.S. history?
2.      Why do you think so many everyday Americans contributed money to help build the Statue of Liberty?
3.      What was the “rogues’ gallery” and what was its importance? What were some of the other methods used to curb crime?

WEEK 25
  • Look up and copy definitions:
1.      Apparatus
2.      Bedrock
3.      Derrick
4.      Detrimental
5.      Exorbitant
6.      Fusion
7.      Rotary
8.      Temperance
  •  Watch AMERICA TSOU Episode 8: Boom - “In 1910 in California, a column of oil nearly 200 feet high explodes out of a derrick and sets off a chain of events that will turn America into a superpower. Mass production and job opportunities prompted by the First World War draw African Americans to northern cities like Chicago, but racial conflict follows. A popular campaign to ban alcohol succeeds, yet when it comes, Prohibition triggers a wave of organized crime.”
  • Fill out Video Review and/or answer these Discussion Questions:
1.      How did the U.S. change after huge amounts of oil were discovered in Texas in 1901? Do you think this event still shapes our lives today?
2.      Why did Los Angeles city leaders need to seek water sources outside the city? What do you think were the risks of bringing in water from beyond the city limits?
3.      What was the “Great Migration” and when did it take place?
  •  Watch movie/video from WWI time period.
  • Fill out Video Review
WEEK 26
  • Look up and copy definitions:
1.      Adversary
2.      Aspiration
3.      Astronomical
4.      Consumer
5.      Emblematic
6.      Foreclosure
7.      Immortalized
8.      Mesmerizing
9.      Resilience
  • Watch AMERICA TSOU Episode 9: Bust - “In October 1929, the economic boom of the 1920s ends with a crash on Wall Street. The American Dream has become a nightmare. The stock market crash coincides with the start of the Great Depression. The New Deal and public works projects aim to save America from despair and destitution.  However, world conflict is brewing in Europe, and it is brought home to Americans by the symbolic boxing match between Joe Louis and Max Schmeling.”
  • Fill out Video Review and/or answer these Discussion Questions:
1.      What was the “bank run” of 1930 and what are some of the reasons it happened? What were the effects of the bank crisis in the U.S. on international politics?
2.      How would you describe Frank Crowe? What were some of the innovations that made the construction of the Hoover Dam possible?
3.      What was the significance of the construction of the Hoover Dam and Mount Rushmore? How did these projects affect the U.S. economy?

WEEK 27
  • Look up and copy definitions:
1.      Barrage
2.      Catalyst
3.      Infinite
4.      Infrastructure
5.      Mobilize
6.      Munitions
7.      Oscilloscope
8.      Prosthetic
  • Watch AMERICA TSOU Episode 10: WWII - “The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor brings America into another world war, changing the nation from an isolationist continent to a global player‑‑and ensuring economic prosperity once more. America launches a war effort, and as always, bigger is better. The might of America's strategy and supplies turns the tide of war. A new world order has been created‑‑and America has changed forever.”
  • Fill out Video Review and/or answer these Discussion Questions:
1.      Why did the U.S. avoid involvement in WWII until December 1941? Why was the Pearl Harbor attack such a shock to the U.S.?
2.      Why was the invention of penicillin so important in the context of WWII? What were some other advances in medicine that were important during the war?
3.      How were women affected by WWII? Do you think the war advanced the rights of women?
  • Watch SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK “Sufferin’ til Suffrage”
WEEK 28
  • Look up and copy definitions:
1.      Authoritarian        
2.      Counterculture
3.      Definitive
4.      Exceptionalism
5.      Innovation
6.      Prosperity
7.      Silicon
8.      Suburbia               
  •  Watch AMERICA TSOU Episode 11: Superpower - “The country becomes enmeshed in a second Civil War of sorts‑until, at long last, the Civil Rights Movement brings the words of the Declaration of Independence home to all Americans. America is united once again, but a new threat is on the horizon: Communism. The conflicts of the late 1960s and 1970s remind America of the rifts that divided the nation before the Civil War, but the boom of the 1980s heralds better times. America's confidence is rocked by 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, but the country remains the world's superpower. As the nation launches into the 21st century, what does the future hold?”
  • Watch movie/video from time period 
  • Fill out Video Review
WEEK 29
  • Watch AMERICA TSOU Episode 12: Millenium
  • Fill out Video Review and/or answer these Discussion Questions:
1.      What inventions do you think have been most important in U.S. history and why?
2.      What do you think have been the five most important events in U.S. history since WWII?
3.      If you could interview one American about our nation’s past, who would it be, and why?

WEEK 30 - 34: WRITE A RESEARCH PAPER
Write at least a 3-page paper on an American History topic of your choice. (We used the book “How to Write A Great Research Paper” as a guide.)
  • Do some brainstorming: Write down a time period of American History that interests you. EXAMPLES:  The Civil War, Slavery, The Old West, WWI, Prohibition, WWII.
  • Narrow your topic down to a title that asks a question about one specific idea.
  • EXAMPLES:
                  -What Happened at the Battle of Bull Run?
                  -Why Did Lincoln Write The Gettysburg Address?
                  -How Was Slavery Abolished?
                  -Who Built the Railroad and Why?
  •  Research your topic and write sources and notes on index cards -Use the Internet, textbooks, library books, notes you have taken, documentaries, etc.
  • When you are done, organize your notes (index cards) in the order you want to write about them on your paper.
  • Make a simple outline of what you want to include in the paper.
            I.  First Main Topic
                A.  Subtopic
                       1.  Detail
                       2.  Detail
                B.  Subtopic
                       1.  Detail
                       2.  Detail
            II. Second Main Topic
                 A.  Subtopic
                       1.  Detail
                       2.  Detail
  • Write your THESIS STATEMENT: An important sentence that tells your readers the main idea of your paper.
  • Begin writing a rough draft of your History paper by using 3 simple steps:
1.      Tell your readers what you’re going to say (Thesis)
2.      Say it (The body of the paper)
3.      Tell them what you said (Conclusion) - Sum up all your main points
  •  Complete the Final Draft - nicely written or typed, double-spaced. Be sure to have correct spelling and punctuation.

Compiled by: Victoria Stankus, 2018