Year By Year: Sophomore

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  1. Sharonda Smith

    I have a sophmore. I feel terrible! We are not getting what I think we should get done. I don’t seem to be good at holding myself accountable to make sure everything is getting done daily. I need help and advise! We have the Apologia Biology, which she reads but I’m not testing her. I need a good math curriculum, and foreign language. I have 2 others that I hs also, and I make sure work is being done, but grading gets lost! What can I do? How can I make sure all the subjects get done daily, and have grading and testing done too? I know God has called me to do this, but I’m failing at my part.
    We have just relocated out of state, and I have got to get connected with some Christian groups that will possibly help me…
    Oh, how do I see the responses to this? Will they come to my email address?

    Hopeful but lost right now:)

  2. Malia

    Dear Sharonda:
    The last thing I want you to feel when you leave my site is terrible. I want you to leave here INSPIRED. Let’s talk about your Sophomore first, then I would love to hear the ages of your other children to see what is reasonable for their ages.

    Covering all the bases can be hard, especially with so many other responsibilities. What I generally do is sit down at the beginning of the school year and decide when we want to be “finished” for the year. Then I take each text book and break it down by months, then by weeks to decide what actually must be done in order to finish by the end of the year. By high school, your child should become more and more independent, but you will still need to follow through to make sure they really are getting through it.

    For Biology, if she is seriously interested in science and is considering it (or a medical field) as a major, you may want to slow down the reading, go back to the beginning of the book. Do the tests, every problem, every question, every experiment. If she is already going in another direction, I suggest you make sure she at least works all the problems and experiments from the book. You can also give the tests in an “open book” fashion. In order to stay on track high school science, we invited several other girls to our house for a co-op. The girls were supposed to read all the material at home, do the questions at home, then just come here to do the experiments. This kept us on schedule because every two weeks we had a group of girls coming over to work with us.

    The labs are important, because if she goes to college, they will expect that she is capable of doing these. It is difficult to get through things like disections on the college level if you have never done it on the high school level. If she is not planning on college, there are places online where you can see diagrams or watch dissections. That would be good enough.

    As far as math goes, we discovered about half way through our daughter’s sophomore year that she was not retaining the math she had been taught through a (different) program we were using. We had her tested and moved her to Saxon Math, dropping her back two whole grade levels in math. She was very upset at first, but now as a Senior she is taking Algebra 2. It is still not easy for her, but she is getting a B and her ACT scores were high enough to qualify for a scholarship at the University of Louisville. She also struggled a lot with chemistry because she was taking Algebra 1 as she took chemistry and you really need to have more math under your belt first. That was our mistake. We wanted to keep her in her science co-op group and the other girls were ready for chemistry mathematically, so we forged ahead. If you are not sure about your daughter’s math abilities, has tests you can download to see where you can place her most appropriately. I now HIGHLY recommend Saxon and will probably stick with it for all my children.

    As far as finding time to grade, try “attaching” it to another activity. For example, some things happen every day. Meal times are good to attach things to, so decide that before lunch or after lunch or right after breakfast will be your grading time. Or you can designate one day per week to grade it all and have your oldest child file it all. Attach it to the day you do your meal planning, and bill paying and other paperwork.

    You can also decide that some things are not worth grading, you can put a check mark or sticker on it and move on (especially for younger kids).

    For foreign language, we sent Christina to the Christian Educational Consortium here in town. She took French, which I do not know. That was the best choice for us. Rosetta Stone is a computer based curriculum and I have heard great reviews, but the price tag always kept me away. You can also consider a less expensive curriculum and higher a college student or native speaker to tutor once a month as you can afford it.

    Where do you live? Have you found a support group in town?

    Let me know your other children’s ages. That will give me a better perspective on some ideas for you for them.

    Be encouraged sister! There is so much time left to get the high school credits covered. We front loaded our high school curriculum so that her Senior Year would be easier and she could concentrate on some internship experiences. You have plenty of time left to get busy and get this done. I know there are times that we fell behind, and we just kept adjusting and picking up the pieces. I am almost giddy with excitement to see the end of high school coming for us in just two months. Then, I should have a couple of years of just doing grade school and middle school. Whew! I think it will be easier the next time around because I will be more confident and less worried about everything.

    God bless you, and write back anytime!

  3. Jeri Lynn

    Thank you for your response her, Malia! This was encouraging to me! I have a sophomore this year, as well as others. I’m so thankful to have found your site.

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