Homeschooling High School {10th Grade 2014-2015}


Our oldest, AKA Curly on the blog, will be in 10th grade this year. Where has the time gone?

Time marches on as they say, and he will be in his second year of high school this year. He will continue his education at home. This post is not about why, but he manages his time wisely, studies hard, is respectful of me as his teacher, and puts forth 100% effort in his school work 95% of the time.


This next year is going to be very challenging without a doubt as far as pure academics. He is going to have a heavier load than last year, and he will be working on his Eagle Project before the school year is over.

Below is a list of his classes:

  • Advanced Chemistry in Creation* (aka Chemistry 2)
  • Prentice Hall Algebra  **Per Jonah’s request, we switched to Geometry instead. More about that below.
  • Logic and Debate: Art of the Argument (1 semester)*
  • Music, Movies and Mozart (1 semester)*
  • American Lit and Advanced Communications*
  • Mandarin Chinese ***I loathe Rosetta Stone now, but I’ve invested so much. Trying again this year as Jonah will have a lighter load and we will try it with a newer computer.
  • AP US History
  • Physical Fitness: Flyfishing, Pursuing Eagle Scout*Taken at our local Tutorial with a teacher and other students

He will receive 5.5 more credits toward his 22 credits needed for high school graduation. Last year, we did have to drop his foreign language course, but he received 6 credits toward his graduation. You can see our 9th grade plans {here}.

Now, I will break it down with more specifics if for no other reason than to have a record here to refer back to as we progress through the year. I hope some readers may find it helpful! I have provided links at the bottom of the post to the books he will be using in the courses. The amazon carousels do use affiliate links and help me to pay the nominal fees for having my blog self-hosted. 🙂

Before I get started, here are our state’s high school graduation requirements for those on a college prep course:

Total Credits: 22

  • Math: 4 credits – Including Algebra I, II, Geometry and a fourth higher level math course (Students must be enrolled in a mathematics course each school year.)
  • English: 4 credits
  • Science: 3 credits – Including Biology, Chemistry or Physics, and a third lab course
  • Social Studies: 3 credits
  • Physical Education and Wellness: 1.5 credits
  • Personal Finance: 0.5 credits
  • Foreign Language: 2 credits
  • Fine Arts: 1 credit – May be waived for students not going to a University to expand and enhance the elective focus
  • Elective Focus: 3 credits – Math and Science, Career and Technical Education, Fine Arts, Humanities, Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB)


History: {AP US History}* {1 Social Studies Credit/3}


• I’m using the AP US History site as a reference tool. We also will continue using living books to fulfill this credit, but I am thrilled to find a well-laid-out plan designed by a fellow homeschool Mom {US History Course Info}{Resources Needed List}. I feel like I’ve found the golden ticket! If you go to the course info. page, you need to click on the DOWNLOAD text for her full syllabus complete with links to the resources she recommends using. Three of her children scored 5 out of 5 on the AP US History exam, which is definitely our goal!

•  I am planning to type up a syllabus and send it to the AP Review Board for approval. I’ve heard it isn’t hard and I’d like to be able to put this officially on the transcript.

• This past year Curly studied modern history chronologically and read books from both the world and US history perspectives. I have gone back and forth, but, since the TN grad requirements include only 3 Social Studies credits, I am going to focus on US History this year and World History next. His senior year, I will most likely encourage him to narrow a topic and/or time period (e.g. Civil War History. There is an AP exam for US Government and Politics AND AP Chinese Language & Culture, so there are other possibilities as well.

• My official and evolving plan is that he’ll take the AP US History exam this Spring and take the AP World History exam next Spring (11th grade). Another possibility would be to take the CLEP exams for college credit, but after some extensive research this summer I would prefer he goes the AP route.



History of the United States, 2nd Edition (Great Courses Lecture DVDs)

Critical Thinking Through US History (Critical Thinking Company)


A History of the American People (Johnson)

The History Channel Presents The Presidents



Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong


John Adams DVD Miniseries


Up from Slavery (Booker T. Washington)


Cracking the AP U.S. History Exam (Princeton Review)

In addition, I found different suggested reading lists {HERE} and {HERE} for AP US History Courses, so I am planning to let Curly choose a few books from these to read for pleasure. Trust me when I say he will have no trouble choosing from these lists as he LOVES to read living history books!


Math: Algebra 2 {1 Math Credit/4}


• He did great in his Chemistry course, which required extensive Algebra I knowledge, however he didn’t test well with his end-of-course exam in Algebra I. After careful review with The Prez, Curly is going back over some of the topics in Algebra I.

• We are trying a different curriculum as he strongly prefers a textbook, but I want more than just a text as I’m not able to help him much and the Prez is very rusty though he is a math nerd. The one I’ve chosen includes on-line tutoring support as well as on-line videos, extra problems, quizzes and teacher supports as well. We will also receive a complete Teacher’s Book in addition to the Textbook and Course Workbook, which includes extra practice problems.



**So we switched to Geometry at Jonah’s request. He used Great Courses Geometry, which is DVD-driven but also has an accompanying workbooks. He likes it, but I’m not certain of its thoroughness. We will see when he takes the ACT again this fall/winter how well he does in math, which was his weakest subject understandably last year on the ACT (as he had completed only part of Algebra and no geometry when he took it).


Great Courses Geometry1033---packaging_flat (a note on this: sign up for e-blasts and never pay more than 50% of retail as they put them on sale all of the time and often include free shipping. we buy the DVDs b/c we don’t have very good streaming internet and the extra cause is worth it for us to have them on hand when we need them even if on the road)


Science {1 Lab Science Credit/3}


• He soared in Chemistry this past year at our tutorial. In fact, his teacher, who has her Master’s in Chemistry, came to me and asked me to strongly consider signing him up for her Advanced Chemistry course this coming year. She was highly impressed with his motivation, class participation, study habits, and determination. He ended Semester 1 with an 88, but he ended Semester 2 with a solid 94!



Advanced Chemistry in Creation

Lab Notebook from last year, which he will continue to use


Language Arts {1 English Credit/4}


• He will be taking the HONORS level course for American Lit at our tutorial this year. The book list contains 14 books. He does love to read, but this is definitely going to challenge him in new ways.

• I am not adding any Grammar or other Language Mechanics resources to his coursework this year. His teacher this past year for English 9 felt he didn’t need it anymore, and I tend to agree with her. He will NOT be sad to hear this!

• When I asked him what he thought about taking the Honors track, he said, “What do you think, Mom?” I said, “I think you are quite capable, and I think challenge is good and prepares you for college.” He answers, “I thought you’d say something like that. OK, sign me up!” 😀


Autobiography and Other Writings (Franklin)
Young Goodman Brown and Other Tales (Hawthorne)
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Twain)
The House of Mirth (Wharton)
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories (Irving)
The Scarlet Letter (Hawthorne)
The Great Gatsby (Scott)
The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Writings: Poems, Tales, Essays, and Reviews (Poe)
Their Eyes Were Watching God (Hurston)

Additional Books for Honors Track:

Ethan Frome (Wharton)
The Crucible (Miller)
Walden (Thoreau)
The House of the Seven Gables (Hawthorne)
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass  (Douglass)

*Links below in the carousel!

Mandarin Chinese {1 Foreign Language Credit/2}

**We tabled this again, which is so frustrating, due to software incapability. We will get this done next year as he has to have 2 foreign language credits to graduate.


• He doesn’t love the idea of taking Mandarin Chinese, but he also said he’d rather do that than Spanish.

• This will be a means to an end (or so he thinks). I’m hopeful he will enjoy it more than he thinks, and I have no doubt if he puts forth effort and actually learns something that he will be able to use this in the future.



Rosetta Stone Mandarin Chinese Level I, II, and III*



Debate and Logic Class {.5 Elective Credit/3}


The Art of Argument


Music/Movies and Mozart Class {.5 Fine Arts Credit/1}


Various selections TBD by teacher


Physical Fitness (.5 Credit/1.5)

• Boy Scouts: Eagle Scout Pursuit

• Flyfishing

• Farm Work

Total Credits: 5.5 Credits/22 {10.5 Remaining}

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