Monday, 23 March 2015

A Course of Study for Homeschooling Years 11 and 12 in Australia


This is an outline of the work JJ, our eldest did in her final years of high-school. Most of it was done over eighteen months as she did the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) in May of her final year, and when she received the results from that, she applied directly to the university she wanted to attend. She received an offer by phone about two weeks after applying and was sent an official letter confirming it soon afterward.
The application to the university included:

*  Official SAT results
*  An outline of the Year 11/12 equivalent subjects she had done
*  A letter from me as her teacher regarding her abilities, attitude to study etc.
*  A list of books read - Literature, History, Fiction
*  Extra curricular activities (music, volunteer work, paid work, interests, Girl's Brigade Leadership) 
*  A photocopy of the Table of Contents from the Chemistry course she did as Chemistry was a pre-requisite for the degree she wanted to do.

This university accepted direct entries which means you don't apply via UAC (Universities Admission Centre) and you are not restricted to applying at only certain times of the year when there are multitudes of other applicants. It allows a home educated student to show the breadth of their interests and abilities - which you can't do on a fill in the blank form. Not all universities have this option and her two siblings after her had to apply through UAC.

Year 12 Credits:

Maths - Saxon Advanced Maths; Calculus
             
English - Literature; Writing/composition; Poetry Study

History & Geography - Ancient & Modern History

Religious Studies - Old & New Testament Survey

Science - Apologia Chemistry; Physics

Electives - Typing; Information Technology (computer based training); AMEB Grade 5 -Theory;       AMEB Grade 8 - Practical Piano; Health; Nutritional Science; Duke of Edinburgh Award


A Reading List







Homeschooling materials were very expensive at the time, mainly because the Aussie dollar was very low and postage high, so I tended to buy books that would be helpful in putting together my own course of study. These are some that have been good investments:

TruthQuest History: Age of Revolution III  by Michelle Miller 

This is a guide to late modern history in the form of a huge book list with added commentary. Even though there were many books I couldn't source, it helped to have a chronological list of living books to serve as a guide. The author covers principles relating to History, Law, Government, Culture & Art, some of which are often overlooked in other resources. I didn't actually have this book when JJ was covering this material but her brother went through it when he was doing Modern History. I've read unfavourable comments on the author's style through the commentary and her fondness for exclamation marks. However, I think the content is good and I just overlook the delivery. A big chunky spiral bound volume with around 300 pages.





Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum by Laura Berquist

Although I don't adhere to the ages and stages concept of modern Classical Education, the heart of this book is providing a Liberal Education & imparting culture and character/virtue. It is helpful for both designing your own Classical curriculum or adapting a curriculum to make it your own. It was a good general guide for me in working out what to do with our first child. I like the tone of this book. The author has a common sense approach to homeschooling a large family without sacrificing excellence or neglecting the things of the heart. She also includes wonderful book lists!

http://www.bookdepository.com/Designing-Your-Own-Classical-Curriculum-Laura-Berquist/9780898706604/?a_aid=journey56


We've also used Laura Berquist's The Harp & Laurel Wreath for Poetry and it's very helpful for the high-school years. I wrote a little about it here.

Using Books - this is a post I wrote last year on how we've used books and there are some there I used with JJ for her later high-school years.
Below is a sample of JJ's Year 11 schedule. She didn't start 'formal' science until she was 16, but she did regular nature study and other activities relating to science. So in Year 11 she was still completing Biology:




8 comments:

  1. I just wanted to let you know that your posts are very helpful for me to help plan out what we are going to do in the future. Thank you so much for sharing. :o)

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  2. Thank you for taking the time to comment, Deborah. It's good to get some feedback from an Aussie home educator!

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  3. Truthquest guides were so helpful to me in schooling my older children years ago. I recently ordered Age of Revolution 1 for me as Amelia and I finish out Y3. It helps history come together and helps me see the significance of certain events and people and keeps history from becoming a list of random names and dates. I haven't started using it yet and will have to back track some, but I figure we are lifelong learners and it is not a chore when you are enjoying it so much! Thanks Carol! From Betty

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    1. Hi Betty! I'll be using the one I posted above when I modify AO next year for Benj. Hope you are all well. Love hearing from you, my friend. X

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  4. Hi Carol,

    Thank you so much for this post. It is really helpful for Aussie homeschoolers to hear how others who have BTDT managed to navigate the pathway to uni, especially as the pathways are so variable.

    Best wishes,
    Angela

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    1. You're welcome, Angela. I used to think the variable pathways a disadvantage but in many ways it's a plus. There's always some alternative if you have a child who really wants to go in that direction.

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  5. I love seeing what other families are doing for the late high school years. Did your course of study change much with your younger children?

    We've enjoyed Harp and Laurel Wreath as well. It's a wonderful book. :-)

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  6. Hi Sara! It changed a little for the next two dc. They did a couple of uni subjects in their last year which were related to the degrees they were interested in. Maths, English & Science were basically the same except they didn't do Calculus; History similar although my son concentrated more on the Middle East and he did more technology; electives differed also. 4th child did AO year 8 as a year 12 equivalent with some substitutions & modifications & Saxon Advanced Maths. 5th finished with a Year 10 equivalent & entered a trade.
    The youngest two haven't got to that stage yet - 15 yr old son is heading towards engineering & later this year I'll be planning his final two years.

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