Setting Up for U.S. History II and Getting Ready for Your Last Year

From Our House to Yours

Setting Up for U.S. History II

So, I’ve placed my children, had my Heart of Dakota  ‘box day,’ and am setting up for high school U.S. History II (USII). My first step is to read through USII’s Introduction/Overview, Appendix, and first week or month of plans. This helps me envision my year and understand what my guide covers. Each high school credit includes its own specific course description, required resources, course materials, and suggested grading. So, taking time to read through these is time well spent.

Setting Up the Front of My U.S. History II Binder

First, I slide the preprinted full color U.S History II Journal cover in the front of my 1  1/2 inch three-ring binder. Second, I print the Overview of the guide off the Internet (click here). I use the Table of Contents as my attendance record, noting the dates we completed each unit (i.e. Unit 1:  Sept. 2-6, 2019). Likewise, I include the Earning Credits and Possible Grading Scale in my binder to show how credit was earned.  Third, I print the first week of plans (click here), which is a nice overview. Some states require a completed portfolio for meeting with a principal or umbrella school. The Introduction and first week of plans give an excellent overview for this. (Carrie gives permission for the Introduction and First Week of Plans to be printed or copied for portfolio compilation. However, any other photocopies or retyping of plans would be a copyright infringement.)

Setting Up the Rest of My U.S. History II Binder

I continue setting up the rest of my U.S. History II binder. Behind the First Week of Plans, I place USII’s notebook pages inside clear page protectors. Throughout the homeschool year, my student takes out each notebook page he is using for the week. Then, when he is done with each page, he simply puts it back in a page protector for safe keeping. This makes a beautiful keepsake of our year of spent doing U.S. History II!

Preparing for the Living Library Extra Credit Work

If my student is doing the U.S. History II (USII) Living Library 10% extra credit option (which is an option I personally love for my children to do), from the USII Appendix, I photocopy the “Triple-Entry Journal Assignment” sheet. I have my student glue it in the front of a bound and lined composition book of his choice. This way, he can refer to the example to know the format expected for his journal assignments. I simply keep the notebook with his completed triple-entry journal assignments on hand as a record of his extra credit work for the year.

Setting Up the Book of Centuries’ Binder

For the Book of Centuries (BOC), the USII Introduction suggests using a 1 inch three-ring binder. This already comes preprinted and three-hole punched.  So, I just slide the preprinted full color BOC Notebook cover in the front of my binder. Then, I place the three-hole punched BOC pages in the binder. (If you used WG, WH, and/or U.S. the years before, you’ve already done this step). Then, I add the extra pages needed for USII. As many different BOC pages are used at a time and there is gluing involved, I don’t put these in clear page protectors.  Next, following the “Course Materials” section in the USII Introduction, I print the U.S. History II Timeline Figures from the Timeline Figures CD. I put these in a pile in order and staple the top left corner to keep them together. Last, I slide the stapled together timeline pages inside the front of my BOC binder’s pocket.

A Few Other Noteworthy Things About Setting Up for the U.S History II Course

Throughout the year, my student follows the USII daily plans to make photocopies for Key Decisions in U.S. History: Volume 2 and from Great Documents from U.S. History: Volume II. I help with making these copies the first time they come up in the plans. Then, my student follows the directions to do this on his own. We file his completed maps in the back of his U.S History II journal. I also let my student know he will need a DVD player for The American Testimony DVD Set 2. He will also need about thirty-seven (I like a few extra) 3″ x 5″ index cards for the Talking Points assignments.  Likewise, he will need a yellow highlighter and a pink or green highlighter (or small yellow and pink or green sticky notes) for his key word narrations.

Getting Ready for Bible

For Bible, students keep a prayer journal. Any bound book with lined pages can be used. We found some beautiful options at our local Christian bookstore! (If your student completed WG, WH, and/or U.S.I, he already has a prayer journal.) Next, I photocopy the “Prayer Journal Insert” from the Appendix of the U.S. History II guide. I have my student fold this and put it inside his Prayer Journal cover. Students also need their own Bible  to look up Scriptures each day. So, enjoy choosing whichever Bible you and your student would like best. Finally, I download and print the I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist Curriculum: Answer Key. I three-hole punch these and place them in a 1/2 inch three-ring binder.

Getting Ready for English IV and Speech

For Speech, I print the needed pages from the Secrets of Great Communicators: Teacher’s Guide CD from the PDF_Files folder. I three-hole punch these and put them in a 1/2″ three-ring binder. For English IV, I use either 3 bound and lined composition books (1 for English Grammar, 1 for Dictation, and 1 for Speech), OR I use 1 large bound and lined composition book with 3 section dividers (1 for English Grammar, 1 for Dictation, and 1 for Speech). I also choose a bound journal with lined pages for my student to use as his Literature Journal. Likewise, we choose a Common Place Book. Any keepsake-like bound, composition book with lines to copy memorable passages throughout the high school years can be chosen. Walmart  had many lovely, inexpensive options for these! Finally, I have a DVD player handy for the Literature DVDs and the Speech DVD.

Getting Ready for Economics and Finance

For Economics, I get 1 bound and lined composition book and label it “Economics.” If I want to remove the answer key from the back of Intro to Economics: Money, History, & Fiscal Faith, I remove it and put it in a folder. I print the Constitutional Literacy Answer Key to Workbook Questions, 3-hole punch them, and put them in a 1/2 inch three-ring binder. For Finance, I show my student how to print the activity and assessment pages from the Foundations in Personal Finance: Teacher Resources CD as it comes up in the plans. However, I do print the Fill-ins Answer Keys, the Chapter Summary Answers, and Money in Review answers. I three-hole punch these and put them in a 1″ binder. Likewise, I have folder for my student’s Finance activity pages and assessments.  We plan to have a DVD player handy for the Economics and Finance DVDs.

Getting Ready for Foreign Language

For Spanish II, I plan for my student to listen and practice with assigned Spanish CD tracks as scheduled in the Spanish II: Student Books. Likewise, I use the Spanish II: Teacher’s Guide “Audio Scripts” section to help my student write the assigned audio CD number and Track number on the blank next to each CD icon in each unit of each Student book. I might do this as it comes up in the plans, or all at the beginning of the year, whichever I prefer. For Latin/Greek, I bookmark the Internet site for Getting Started with Latin on our computer. I also plan to have a DVD player handy for the lessons from It’s Not Greek to Me DVD.

Getting Ready for Science and Math

For Astronomy/Geology/Paleontology, I get a bound and lined composition book for my student and label it “Science.” Next, if I am dong the lab, I gather all needed “Materials Not Included” in the lab kit noted in the Astronomy and Geology Lab Manual. If I want to remove the answer key from the back of the Survey of Astronomy: Teacher’s Guide, I remove it and put it in a folder or small binder. I plan to have a DVD player handy for the science DVDs as well. For Math, I gather whatever special materials are noted in the  course I chose.

Thoughts on Record Keeping

For high school, I keep my student’s completed notebooks, binders, and workbooks. I put these all in order on a shelf each year, along with the checked off Heart of Dakota guide itself. Together these create a detailed record of the work that has been done to earn credit. Using www.transcriptmaker.com, I create my student’s transcript. I also keep on file any required paperwork for my state, such as approved homeschool exemption forms and completed standardized test results. Each state can vary slightly in requirements for homeschooling, so be sure to check out your own state’s requirements at www.hslda.com.

Label Sticky Tabs to Mark Places in the U.S. History II Guide

Next, I label sticky tabs to mark places in my guide. I label the first tab “DAILY PLANS,” placing it on Unit 1, Day 1. If you are going to do things more as they come up in the plans, rather than how I’ve previously described setting up for U.S. History II, then you would also want to make sticky tabs for “TRIPLE-ENTRY JOURNAL,” “PRAYER JOURNAL,” and “DICTATION,” placing them in the USII guide’s Appendix. One final thing I liked to do is make a photocopy of the Narration Tips, Written Narration Tips, and Written Narration Skills.  Carrie does give permission to photocopy these. I keep these lists for me and for my student to reference throughout the year. However, you can just put another tab in USII’s Appendix for “NARRATION TIPS,” if you’d rather.

Shopping for Supplies

Carrie’s plans use readily available household supplies, and many options are suggested. However, to get ready to begin USI, I just stock up on usual art supplies – like colored pencils, thick and thin markers, a few permanent markers and high-lighters, glue (sticks and liquid), scissors, construction paper, tape (masking and clear), a ruler, a yardstick, sticky notes/tabs, paints/paintbrushes, cotton balls, yarn/string, etc. I also stock up on index cards and page protectors. Finally, a flashlight, paperclips, marker board with dry erase markers, and q-tips/toothpicks are also nice to have on hand.

Sorting Resources into “Things We Need Now” and “Things We Need Later” Bins or Totes

One of the last things I do is get two canvas bins.  I use one for ‘things we need now’ and the other for ‘things we need later.’ As I read through each box of my first week of U.S. History I’s plans, I put each needed resource in the bin  for ‘things we need now.’ I put the remaining items in the bin for ‘things we need later.’ Throughout the year as we finish using resources, I put them in the back of the ‘things we need later’ bin, and I move the next books or resources we need into the ‘things we need now’ bin or tub. This way, my ‘things we need now’ bin only contains what we need for each week. Another benefit is the ‘things we need now’ are always mobile! Likewise, I put many art supplies in a tool turnabout, so these are mobile too!

In Christ,
Julie

 

Setting Up for U.S. History I

From Our House to Yours

Setting Up for U.S. History I

So, I’ve placed my children, had my Heart of Dakota  ‘box day,’ and am setting up for high school U.S. History I (USI). My first step is to read through USI’s Introduction/Overview, Appendix, and first week or month of plans. This helps me envision my year and understand what my guide covers. Each high school credit includes its own specific course description, required resources, course materials, and suggested grading. So, taking time to read through these is time well spent.

Setting Up the Front of My U.S. History I Binder

First, I slide the preprinted full color U.S History I Journal cover in the front of my 1  1/2 inch 3-ring binder. Second, I print the Overview of the guide off the Internet (click here). I use the Table of Contents as my attendance record, noting the dates we completed each unit (i.e. Unit 1:  Sept. 2-6, 2019). Likewise, I include the Earning Credits and Possible Grading Scale in my binder to show how credit was earned.  Third, I print the first week of plans (click here), which is a nice overview. Some states require a completed portfolio for meeting with a principal or umbrella school. The Introduction and first week of plans give an excellent overview for this. (Carrie gives permission for the Introduction and First Week of Plans to be printed or copied for portfolio compilation. However, any other photocopies or retyping of plans would be a copyright infringement.)

Setting Up the Rest of My U.S. History I Binder

I continue setting up the rest of my U.S. History I binder. Behind the First Week of Plans, I place USI’s notebook pages inside clear page protectors. Throughout the homeschool year, my student takes out each notebook page he is using for the week. Then, when he is done with each page, he simply puts it back in a page protector for safe keeping. This makes a beautiful keepsake of our year of spent doing U.S. History I!

Preparing for the Living Library Extra Credit Work

If my student is doing the U.S. History I Living Library 10% extra credit option (which is an option I personally love for my children to do), from the USI Appendix, I photocopy the “Double-Entry Journal Assignment” sheet. I have my student glue it in the front of a bound and lined composition book of his choice. This way, he can refer to the example to know the format expected for his journal assignments. I simply keep the notebook with his completed double-entry journal assignments on hand as a record of his extra credit work for the year.

Setting Up the Book of Centuries’ Binder

For the Book of Centuries (BOC), the USI Introduction suggests using a 1 inch 3-ring binder. This already comes preprinted and 3-hole punched.  So, I just slide the preprinted full color BOC Notebook cover in the front of my binder. Then, I place the 3-hole punched BOC pages in the binder. (If you used World Geography or World History the years before, you’ve already done this step). Then, I add the extra pages needed for the 17th-19th A.D. Centuries. As many different BOC pages are used at a time and there is gluing involved, I don’t put these in clear page protectors.  Next, following the “Course Materials” section in the USI Introduction, I print the History Through the Ages: U.S. History I Timeline Figures from the Timeline Figures CD. I put these in a pile in order and staple the top left corner to keep them together. Last, I slide the stapled together timeline pages inside the front of my BOC binder’s pocket.

A Few Other Noteworthy Things About Setting Up for the U.S History I Course

Throughout the year, my student follows the USI daily plans to make photocopies for U.S. History Map Activities and from Great Documents from U.S. History. I help with making these copies the first time they come up in the plans. Then, my student follows the directions to do this on his own. We file his completed maps in the back of his U.S History I journal. I also let my student know he will need a DVD player for The American Testimony DVD Set. He will also need about thirty-seven (I like a few extra) 3″ x 5″ index cards for the Day 3 Talking Points assignments.  Likewise, he will need a yellow highlighter and a pink or green highlighter (or small yellow and pink or green sticky notes) for his key word narrations.

Setting Up for the Government/Civics Course in U.S History I

For the Government/Civics Course, U.S. History I’s Introduction suggests using a 1 inch 3-ring binder. Following the directions in U.S. History I’s Introduction, I print the video transcripts, answer keys for quizzes/tests, and the “Grade Book” on p. xxi-xxii from the A Noble Experiment: Teacher Resource CD. I also use a folder to hold any loose pages. Next, I decide whether to remove the quiz and test pages from the back of the A Noble Experiment: Student Activity Book. Or, I just leave them intact and remove them as needed throughout the year. Finally, I make sure to have a DVD player on hand for my student to watch the A Noble Experiment DVD lessons, as well as the DVD Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (which can be rented when it is assigned in Lesson 41 of A Noble Experiment).

Getting Ready for Bible

For Bible, students keep a prayer journal. Any bound book with lined pages can be used. We found some beautiful options at our local Christian bookstore! Next, I photocopy “Preparing Your Heart for Prayer” from the Appendix of the U.S. History I guide. I have my student fold this and put it inside his Prayer Journal cover to highlight as he uses it for his daily Bible Quiet Time. Students also need their own Bible  to look up Scriptures each day. So, enjoy choosing whichever Bible you and your student would like best. Likewise, make sure your student has a CD player handy to listen to When Morning Guilds the Skies. Finally, we choose a Common Place Book. Any keepsake-like bound, composition book with lines to copy memorable passages throughout the high school years can be chosen. Walmart  had many lovely, inexpensive options!

Getting Ready for English III

For English III, I use either 3 bound and lined composition books (1 for English Grammar, 1 for Literature, and 1 for Composition), OR I use 1 large bound and lined composition book with 3 section dividers (1 for English Grammar, 1 for Literature, and 1 for Composition). If my student is still completing his dictation levels, I use 4 composition books, OR 1  large book with 4 section dividers. I label this “English III.” Likewise, I make photocopies (one for each novel and a few extras to have on hand) of the “Literary Synthesis Sheet” from USI’s Appendix.  Then, I photocopy a handful of the “Word and Idea Helper” sheets from the Appendix as well. I 3-hole punch all of these and keep them in my student’s binder, or put them in a folder if I didn’t choose to use a binder. The Common Place Book already mentioned in the above Bible section is also used for English III.

Getting Ready for Constitutional Literacy, Spanish II, Chemistry, and Math

For Constitutional Literacy, I get 1 bound and lined composition book for my student to record his “Probe” research question responses. I print the Constitutional Literacy Answer Key to Workbook Questions, 3-hole punch them, and put them in a 1/2 inch three-ring binder. We plan to have a DVD player handy for my student to watch the Constitutional Literacy DVD lessons. For Spanish II, I plan for my student to listen and practice with assigned Spanish CD tracks as scheduled in the Spanish II: Student Books. Likewise, I use the Spanish II: Teacher’s Guide “Audio Scripts” section to help my student write the assigned audio CD number and Track number on the blank next to each CD icon in each unit of each Student book. I might do this as it comes up in the plans, or all at the beginning of the year, whichever I prefer.

For Chemistry, I get a bound and lined composition book for my student and label it “Chemistry.” Next, if I am dong the lab, I gather all needed “Experiment Supplies” noted on p. v-ix of Discovering Design with Chemistry. If I am choosing to give the chapter tests, I copy each chapter test from the Answer Key and Tests for Discovering Design with Chemistry. I place these in a folder. For Math: Algebra II, I gather whatever special materials are noted in the Algebra II course I chose. Or, if my student is doing Geometry instead, I refer to the World History Geometry course materials section to gather materials.

Thoughts on Record Keeping

For high school, I keep my student’s completed notebooks, binders, and workbooks. I put these all in order on a shelf each year, along with the checked off Heart of Dakota guide itself. Together these create a detailed record of the work that has been done to earn credit. Using www.transcriptmaker.com, I create my student’s transcript. I also keep on file any required paperwork for my state, such as approved homeschool exemption forms and completed standardized test results. Each state can vary slightly in requirements for homeschooling, so be sure to check out your own state’s requirements at www.hslda.com.

Label Sticky Tabs to Mark Places in the U.S. History I Guide

Next, I label sticky tabs to mark places in my guide. I label the first tab “DAILY PLANS,” placing it on Unit 1, Day 1. If you are going to do things more as they come up in the plans, rather than how I’ve previously described setting up for U.S. History I, then you would also want to make sticky tabs for “LITERARY SYNTHESIS,” “WORD AND IDEA HELPER SHEET,” and “DICTATION,” placing them in the WH guide’s Appendix. One final thing I liked to do is make a photocopy of the Narration Tips, Written Narration Tips, and Written Narration Skills.  Carrie does give permission to photocopy these. I keep these lists for me and for my student to reference throughout the year. However, you can just put another tab in USI’s Appendix for “NARRATION TIPS,” if you’d rather.

Shopping for Supplies

Carrie’s plans use readily available household supplies, and many options are suggested. However, to get ready to begin USI, I just stock up on usual art supplies – like colored pencils, thick and thin markers, a few permanent markers and high-lighters, glue (sticks and liquid), scissors, construction paper, tape (masking and clear), a ruler, a yardstick, sticky notes/tabs, paints/paintbrushes, cotton balls, yarn/string, etc. I also stock up on index cards and page protectors. Finally, a flashlight, paperclips, marker board with dry erase markers, and q-tips/toothpicks are also nice to have on hand.

Sorting Resources into “Things We Need Now” and “Things We Need Later” Bins or Totes

One of the last things I do is get two canvas bins.  I use one for ‘things we need now’ and the other for ‘things we need later.’ As I read through each box of my first week of U.S. History I’s plans, I put each needed resource in the bin  for ‘things we need now.’ I put the remaining items in the bin for ‘things we need later.’ Throughout the year as we finish using resources, I put them in the back of the ‘things we need later’ bin, and I move the next books or resources we need into the ‘things we need now’ bin or tub. This way, my ‘things we need now’ bin only contains what we need for each week. Another benefit is the ‘things we need now’ are always mobile! Likewise, I put many art supplies in a tool turnabout, so these are mobile too!

In Christ,
Julie

 

Setting Up for World History

From Our House to Yours

Setting Up for World History

So, I’ve placed my children, had my Heart of Dakota  ‘box day,’ and am setting up for high school World History (WH). My first step is to read through WH’s Introduction/Overview, Appendix, and first week or month of plans. This helps me envision my year and understand what my guide covers. Each high school credit includes its own specific course description, required resources, course materials, and suggested grading. So, taking time to read through these is time well spent. As I read, I make notes of supplies I need and don’t have on hand in the introduction’s margins. This way, I can easily make my shopping list later based on my notes.

Setting Up the Front of My World History Binder

First, I slide the preprinted full color World History Journal cover in the front of my 1  1/2 inch 3-ring binder. Second, I print the Overview of the guide off the Internet (click here). I use the Table of Contents as my attendance record, noting the dates we completed each unit (i.e. Unit 1:  Sept. 2-6, 2019). Likewise, I include the Earning Credits and Possible Grading Scale in my binder to show how credit was earned.  Third, I print the first week of plans (click here), which is a nice overview. Some states require a completed portfolio for meeting with a principal or umbrella school. The Introduction and first week of plans give an excellent overview for this. (Carrie gives permission for the Introduction and First Week of Plans to be printed or copied for portfolio compilation. However, any other photocopies or retyping of plans would be a copyright infringement.)

Label World History and Living Library Tab Dividers 

Next, I label tab dividers for my WH binder. My goals are to show what my student did to earn his credit and how he progressed in skills. So, I label my first tab “WORLD HISTORY.” Behind this tab, I place WH’s history notebook pages inside clear page protectors. Throughout the homeschool year, my student takes out each notebook page he is using for the week. Then, when he is done with each page, he simply puts it back in a page protector for safe keeping.

If my student is doing the World History Living Library 10% extra credit option (which is an option I personally love for my children to do), I label my second tab “LIVING LIBRARY.” From the WH Appendix, I photocopy about 22 (I like a few extra) “Literary Synthesis” sheets and about 10 “Word and Idea Helper” sheets.  These will be used alongside the Living Library resources.  I 3-hole punch these and put them behind the Living Library tab. Then, my sons take these out one at a time to use. When the pages are completed, they put them back. I don’t put these in clear page protectors, but you certainly can if you like.

Setting Up the Book of Centuries’ Binder

For the Book of Centuries (BOC), the WH Introduction suggests using a 1 inch 3-ring binder. This already comes preprinted and 3-hole punched.  So, I just slide the preprinted full color BOC Notebook cover in the front of my binder. Then, I place the 3-hole punched BOC pages in the binder. As many different BOC pages are used at a time and there is gluing involved, I don’t put these in clear page protectors. (If you used World Geography the year before, just keep using your BOC from last year). Next, following the “Course Materials” section in the WH Introduction, I print the History Through the Ages: World Timeline Figures from the Timeline Figures CD. I put these in a pile in order and staple the top left corner to keep them together. Last, I slide the stapled together timeline pages inside the front of my BOC binder’s pocket.

A Few Other Noteworthy Things About Setting Up for the World History Course

Throughout the year, my student follows the WH daily plans to make photocopies for Critical Thinking Using Primary Source Documents. If you have more than one student, your extra student will also need to make photocopies from Short Lessons in World History. I help with this the first time it comes up in the plans. Then, my student follows the directions to do this on his own. I also let my student know he will need a computer CD drive, a DVD player, or an MP3 compatible CD player to listen to You Are There! World History Collection. My sons enjoy using earbuds for this, as they can hear it better. I enjoy them using earbuds as well, as my other children can’t hear it and be distracted!

Setting Up for the Fine Arts: Art History/Appreciation Course

For the Fine Arts: Art History/Appreciation Course, World History’s (WH) Introduction suggests using a 1 inch 3-ring binder. The Fine Arts Notebook already comes preprinted and 3-hole punched.  So, I just slide the preprinted full color Fine Arts Notebook cover in the front of my 1 inch binder. Then, I place each notebook page in a clear page protector. Throughout the homeschool year, my child takes out the notebook page he is using for the week. Then, he simply puts it back in the page protector for safe keeping when he is done.

Per the ‘Course Materials’ section of Fine Arts in the WH Introduction, I also plan for my student to have a DVD player to watch the lessons for God and the History of Art. Likewise, if my student is doing the 1 full credit option, I plan on him having a DVD player to watch the Art Project DVDs. My sons enjoyed using our laptop computer attachable DVD drive to do this, as they could put it on the table and do each step of their project as they watched it at the table. Finally, I look at the back of each Art Project DVD’s “Materials Needed to Complete Project” section to gather all the materials. I like to do this prior to the start of school and put them all in a tub or tote, so they are gathered and ready for my student as the projects are assigned.

Getting Ready for Bible

For Bible, students keep a prayer journal. Any bound book with lined pages can be used. We found some beautiful, inexpensive journals at Walmart. They had Scripture verses on the cover and were so lovely I bought one for myself! Students use their Bible to look up Scriptures each day; it truly becomes personal and special to them throughout high school!  So, enjoy choosing whichever Bible you and your student would like best. Students also need to have a CD player to listen to their Selah: Greatest Hymn’s CD. I like to have my sons do their Bible Quiet Time in their bedrooms, first thing in the morning if possible. This helps them develop the habit of doing their Bible Quiet Time first thing each day, in a private setting that is quiet. They each have a small CD player on their nightstand.

They can also use their CD player if you are choosing for them to use the Piligrim’s Progress audio. Finally, if you have more than one student using Pilgrim’s Progress and/or if you don’t want your students to write in their hardcover Pilgrim’s Progress book, follow the plans to print assigned questions from the Student Resources for the Pilgrim’s Progress CD, as they come up in the plans. I help with this the first time, but then my sons follow the plans to do this on their own throughout the year.

 

Getting Ready for English II

For English II, I use either 3 bound and lined composition books (1 for English Grammar, 1 for Literature, and 1 for Composition), OR I use 1 large bound and lined composition book with 3 section dividers (1 for English Grammar, 1 for Literature, and 1 for Composition). If my student is still completing his dictation levels, I use 4 composition books, OR 1  large book with 4 section dividers. I also make sure to have index cards on hand for Essentials in Writing’s research paper.

Likewise, I make sure I photocopy 12 copies (I like a few extra) of the “Plot Diagram” from WH’s Appendix. I 3-hole punch these and keep them in my student’s binder, or put them in a folder if I didn’t choose to use a binder. Finally, I have fun choosing a Common Place Book with my student. Any keepsake-like bound, composition book with lines to copy memorable passages throughout the high school years can be chosen. We found some beautiful cloth bound and hardback options at our local Christian bookstore, and my sons each had fun choosing one!

Getting Ready for Health, Spanish, Biology, and Math

For Health, I get 1 bound and lined composition book for the “Chapter Review” and “Explain” portion of the WH plans. I either plan to have my students write directly on the tests or quizzes from the Total Health: Test and Quiz Master Book or have them write directly on loose-leaf paper instead. Tests and quizzes are not reproducible. For Spanish, I plan for my student to listen and practice with assigned Spanish CD tracks as scheduled in the Spanish I: Student Books. Likewise, I use the Spanish I: Teacher’s Guide “Audio Scripts” section to help my student write the assigned audio CD number and Track number on the blank next to each CD icon in each unit of each Student book. I might do this as it comes up in the plans, or all at the beginning of the year, whichever I prefer.

For Biology, I have a DVD player for the labs. I also let my student know that the lab sheets can be found in the middle of each activity book as a tear out section. If I have decided for my student to do some of the labs alongside watching the DVD, I gather the necessary lab materials. However, keep in mind, students can earn lab credit by simply watching the lab DVD, so there is no need to do the labs unless you prefer to do so.  For Math: Geometry, I gather whatever special materials are noted in the Geometry I chose. In general, I have on hand a compass, a protractor, a rule, a bound lined notebook that lays flat easily, and a graph paper.

Thoughts on Record Keeping

For high school, I keep my student’s completed notebooks, binders, and workbooks. I put these all in order on a shelf each year, along with the checked off Heart of Dakota guide itself. Together these create a detailed record of the work that has been done to earn credit. Using www.transcriptmaker.com, I create my student’s transcript. I also keep on file any required paperwork for my state, such as approved homeschool exemption forms and completed standardized test results. Each state can vary slightly in requirements for homeschooling, so be sure to check out your own state’s requirements at www.hslda.com.

Label Sticky Tabs to Mark Places in the WH Guide

Next, I label sticky tabs to mark places in my guide. I label the first tab “DAILY PLANS,” placing it on Unit 1, Day 1. If you are going to do things more as they come up in the plans, rather than how I’ve previously described setting up for WH, then you would also want to make sticky tabs for “LITERARY SYNTHESIS,” “WORD AND IDEA HELPER SHEET,” and “DICTATION,” placing them in the WH guide’s Appendix. One final thing I liked to do is make a photocopy of the Narration Tips, Written Narration Tips, and Written Narration Skills.  Carrie does give permission to photocopy these. I keep these lists for me and for my student to reference throughout the year. However, you can just put another tab in WH’s Appendix for “NARRATION TIPS,” if you’d rather.

Shopping for Supplies

Carrie’s plans use readily available household supplies, and many options are suggested. However, to get ready to begin WH, I just stock up on usual art supplies – like colored pencils, thick and thin markers, a few permanent markers and high-lighters, glue (sticks and liquid), scissors, construction paper, tissue paper (colored), tape (masking and clear), a ruler, a yardstick, sticky notes/tabs, paints/paintbrushes, cotton balls, yarn/string, etc. I also stock up on index cards and page protectors. Finally, a flashlight, paperclips, paper plates, food coloring, marker board with dry erase markers, and q-tips/toothpicks are also nice to have on hand.

Sorting Resources into “Things We Need Now” and “Things We Need Later” Bins or Totes

One of the last things I do is get two canvas bins.  I use one for ‘things we need now’ and the other for ‘things we need later.’ As I read through each box of my first week of WH’s plans, I put each needed resource in the bin  for ‘things we need now.’ I put the remaining items in the bin for ‘things we need later.’ Throughout the year as we finish using resources, I put them in the back of the ‘things we need later’ bin, and I move the next books or resources we need into the ‘things we need now’ bin or tub. This way, my ‘things we need now’ bin only contains what we need for each week. Another benefit is the ‘things we need now’ are always mobile! Likewise, I put many art supplies in a tool turnabout, so these are mobile too!

In Christ,
Julie

 

Setting Up for World Geography

From Our House to Yours

Setting Up for World Geography 

So, I’ve placed my children, had my Heart of Dakota  ‘box day,’ and am setting up for high school World Geography (WG). My first step is to read through WG’s Introduction/Overview, Appendix, and first week or month of plans. This helps me envision my year and understand what my guide covers. Each high school credit includes its own specific course description, required resources, course materials, and suggested grading. So, taking time to read through these is time well spent. As I read, I make notes of supplies I need and don’t have on hand in the introduction’s margins. This way, I can easily make my shopping list later based on my notes.

Setting Up the Front of My World Geography Binder

First, I slide the preprinted full color World Geography Expedition Journal cover in the front of my 1 inch 3-ring binder. Second, I print the Overview of the guide off the Internet (click here). I use the Table of Contents as my attendance record, noting the dates we completed each unit (i.e. Unit 1:  Sept. 2-6, 2019). Likewise, I include the Earning Credits and Possible Grading Scale in my binder to show how credit was earned.  Third, I print the first week of plans (click here), which is a nice overview. If your state requires a completed portfolio for meeting with a principal or umbrella school, the Introduction and first week of plans give an excellent overview. (Carrie gives permission for the Introduction and First Week of Plans to be printed or copied for portfolio compilation. However, any other photocopies or retyping of plans would be a copyright infringement.)

Label World Geography and Living Library Tab Dividers 

Next, I label tab dividers for my WG binder. My goals are to show what my student did to earn his credit and how he progressed in skills. So, I label my first tab “WORLD GEOGRAPHY.” Behind this tab, I place WG’s history notebook pages inside clear page protectors. Throughout the homeschool year, my student takes out each notebook page he is using for the week. Then, when he is done with each page, he simply puts it back in a page protector for safe keeping.

If my student is doing the World Geography Living Library 10% extra credit option (which is an option I personally love for my children to do), I label my second tab “LIVING LIBRARY.” From the WG Appendix, I photocopy about 12-14 two-sided “Summary” pages or about 24-28 single-sided “Summary” pages (I like to have some extra on hand). I 3-hole punch these and put them behind the Living Library tab for my student to take out one at a time to use and put back as each page is completed. I don’t put these in clear page protectors, but you certainly can if you like.

Using Mapping the World with Art

To use Mapping the World with Art, I simply read through its first pages. The Introduction is short and sweet, and the “Tools and Materials You Need” section notes everything I need to have on hand. I usually just make sure I have the drawing tools, types of paper, general supplies, and extra art supplies on hand. As the “Course Materials” section in the WG Introduction notes, I just print pages as scheduled throughout the year from the “PDF Curriculum” CD of Mapping the World with Art. Likewise, I photocopy the “Activity Section” pages as they are scheduled throughout the year. (Actually, my sons printed and photocopied these themselves after I helped them a few times.) Next, I make sure to have a DVD player on hand. (My sons just used our laptop’s DVD/CD-ROM player for this.) Finally, I keep completed maps in order in a folder.

Setting Up the Book of Centuries’ Binder

For the Book of Centuries‘ portion of the World Geography credit, the WG Introduction suggests using a 1 inch 3-ring binder. The Book of Centuries (BOC) already comes preprinted and 3-hole punched.  So, I just slide the preprinted full color BOC Notebook cover in the front of my 1 inch binder. Then, I place the 3-hole punched BOC pages in the binder. As many different BOC pages are used at a time and there is gluing involved, I don’t put these in clear page protectors. Next, following the “Course Materials” section in the WG Introduction, I print the History Through the Ages: World Timeline Figures from the Timeline Figures CD. I put these in a pile in order and staple the top left corner to keep them together. Last, I slide the stapled together timeline pages inside the front of my BOC binder’s pocket.

Setting Up the World Religion and Culture’s Binder

For the World Religion and Culture‘s (WRC) course, World Geography’s (WG) Introduction suggests using a 1/2 inch 3-ring binder. The WRC Notebook already comes preprinted and 3-hole punched.  So, I just slide the preprinted full color WRC Notebook cover in the front of my 1/2 inch binder. Then, I place each notebook page in a clear page protector. Throughout the homeschool year, my child takes out the notebook page he is using for the week. Then, he simply puts it back in the page protector for safe keeping when he is done.

Per the ‘Course Materials’ section of WRC in the WG Introduction, I also photocopy the two “Bookmark” pages from WG’s Appendix. Then, I follow the directions on Unit 4, Day 4’s WRC’s box of plans in the WG guide to assemble 6-7 bookmarks (I like to have a few extra on hand). I put these in the front or back pocket of the WRC binder. Of course, you can always wait to assemble the bookmarks when they come up in the plans if you’d rather. Either way, as each bookmark is completed throughout the year, I 3-hole punch it and place it in the WRC binder in order after the notebook pages.

Getting Ready for Bible

To get ready for Bible, I make one or two photocopies of “Preparing Your Heart for Prayer” from the WG Appendix. Students keep a special prayer journal throughout their Bible course, and the photocopy of “Preparing Your Heart for Prayer” sheet is folded and kept inside the cover of the journal. A special bound book with lined pages should be chosen for this prayer journal. We found some beautiful, inexpensive journals at Walmart, and they had Scripture verses on the cover. These made such lovely prayer journals that I bought one for myself (which is why I made two photocopies of “Preparing Your Heart for Prayer” – I wanted my own copy for my prayer journal”)! Students use their Bible to look up Scriptures each day; it truly becomes personal and special to them throughout high school!  So, enjoy choosing whichever Bible you and your student would like best.

 

Getting Ready for English I

For English I, I use either 3 bound and lined composition books (1 for English Grammar, 1 for Literature, and 1 for Composition), OR I use 1 large bound and lined composition book with 3 section dividers (1 for English Grammar, 1 for Literature, and 1 for Composition). If my student is still completing his dictation levels, I use 4 composition books, OR 1  large book with 4 section dividers. I also make sure to have index cards on hand for Essentials in Writing’s research paper. Finally, I have fun choosing a Common Place Book with my student. Any keepsake-like bound, composition book with lines to copy memorable passages throughout the high school years can be chosen. We found some beautiful cloth bound and hardback options at our local Christian bookstore, and my sons each had fun choosing one!

Getting Ready for Logic, Spanish, Integrated Physics and Chemistry, and Math

For Logic, I have my student photocopy the Chapter Tests, Unit Tests, and Final Exams as they come up in the plans. Getting Started with Spanish is a workbook, so all I do to get ready for Spanish is bookmark on our computer the link for the free pronunciation recordings.  This just makes it easier for my student to find the site each time he needs to use it. For Integrated Physics and Chemistry, I use the ‘Course Materials’ notes in the WG guide’s introduction to gather the supplies not included in the IPC kit. Finally, I get ready for math using the notes in the WG Introduction and the notes in the math program I chose.

Thoughts on Record Keeping

For high school, I keep my student’s completed notebooks, binders, and workbooks. I put these all in order on a shelf each year, along with the checked off Heart of Dakota guide itself. Together these create a detailed record of the work that has been done to earn credit. Using www.transcriptmaker.com, I create my student’s transcript. I also keep on file any required paperwork for my state, such as approved homeschool exemption forms and completed standardized test results. Each state can vary slightly in requirements for homeschooling, so be sure to check out your own state’s requirements at www.hslda.com.

Label Sticky Tabs to Mark Places in the WG Guide

Next, I label sticky tabs to mark places in my guide. I label the first tab “DAILY PLANS,” placing it on Unit 1, Day 1. If you are going to do things more as they come up in the plans, rather than how I’ve previously described setting up for WG, then you would also want to make sticky tabs for “DICTATION,” “BOOKMARKS,” and “SUMMARY,” placing them in the WG guide’s Appendix. One final thing I liked to do is make a photocopy of the Narration Tips, Written Narration Tips, and Written Narration Skills.  Carrie does give permission to photocopy these. I keep these lists for me and for my student to reference throughout the year. However, you can just put another tab in WG’s Appendix for “NARRATION TIPS,” if you’d rather.

Shopping for Supplies

Carrie’s plans use readily available household supplies, and many options are suggested. However, to get ready to begin WG, I just stock up on usual art supplies – like colored pencils, thick and thin markers, a few permanent markers and high-lighters, glue (sticks and liquid), scissors, construction paper, tissue paper (colored), tape (masking and clear), a ruler, a yardstick, sticky notes/tabs, paints/paintbrushes, cotton balls, yarn/string, etc. I also stock up on index cards and page protectors. Finally, a flashlight, paperclips, paper plates, food coloring, marker board with dry erase markers, and q-tips/toothpicks are also nice to have on hand.

Sorting Resources into “Things We Need Now” and “Things We Need Later” Bins or Totes

One of the last things I do is get two canvas bins.  I use one for ‘things we need now’ and the other for ‘things we need later.’ As I read through each box of my first week of WG’s plans, I put each needed resource in the bin  for ‘things we need now.’ I put the remaining items in the bin for ‘things we need later.’ Throughout the year as we finish using resources, I put them in the back of the ‘things we need later’ bin, and I move the next books or resources we need into the ‘things we need now’ bin or tub. This way, my ‘things we need now’ bin only contains what we need for each week. Another benefit is the ‘things we need now’ are always mobile! Likewise, I put many art supplies in a tool turnabout, so these are mobile too!

In Christ,
Julie

 

Grading, Making a Transcript, and Discounts on Car Insurance

Dear Carrie

How should I handle grading and making a transcript for a discount on my son’s car insurance?

I need help with guidelines that I could follow to know how to handle grading with my son. We are using Heart of Dakota‘s Revival to Revolution. He is in 10th grade. We can get a discount on car insurance if he makes a certain letter grade. I THINK I’d grade him no lower than a ‘B-,’ but I will have to ask my husband for sure on that. I want to be fair to him. OR, would you not try to take the discount and just pay the full cost of having him on our insurance when he gets his driver’s license? What would you do in this situation? Thanks in advance!

Sincerely,
“Ms. Please Help Me with Grading, Transcripts, and Discounted Car Insurance”

Dear “Ms. Please Help Me with Grading, Transcripts, and Discounted Car Insurance,”

Our car insurance company accepted transcripts that I made for my sons through www.transcriptmaker.com. I just listed the courses for each year of his high school and listed the grade that they received. If your son has only completed ninth grade, you would only list ninth grade course titles. This is a professional and inexpensive way to create an accurate transcript. That is what we submitted to our insurance.

Helpful Details About the Transcript

The website saves your transcript, so you can return to it and add to it each year if desired. I also used this for my two oldest sons’ college requirements for high school transcripts when they graduated. The transcript has a place for standardized test scores if you decide to list those. Any field that you leave blank as you create the transcript will not print on your actual transcript.

Receiving a Discount for Car Insurance

In place of the school name, I just put “High School Transcript.” That way it said that at the top of the transcript. We haven’t had any problems getting the discount for car insurance when I submitted these transcripts. So, that may possibly work for you. I would try it, and then if they do not accept it you can worry about doing a standardized test. It is common here to only do standardized testing in grade 11 in high school.

Information About Receiving Standardized Tests Through BJU

If you do go the standardized test route, you can get the Iowa Basics Skills Test or the Stanford Achievement Test through BJU, but you have to be approved as a tester first. I believe you must have proof of a college degree to be approved as a Stanford tester. I believe that you need a high school diploma to be an Iowa Basic Skills tester. We did the Iowa Test for years and years this way with our boys.

Information About Receiving Standardized Tests Through Seton

You can get the CAT, the Iowa, or the Stanford Tests through Seton Homeschool. The CAT does not require you to be approved as a tester. Seton also offers an online version of the Stanford Test, where they administer the test for you as your child takes it on their own computer at home. The Stanford10 test was going to be retired, but it sounds like the retirement date has been moved. So, for now the Stanford10 is still available. We have done the CAT test through Seton as well with our boys. Hope that helps!

Blessings,

Carrie