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American Literature High School Reading List

American Literature high school reading list

Our American Literature reading list was compiled from two sources: our history program Exploring America from Notgrass and also American Lit program from Excellence in Literature. The last two years we have used the literature guides from Excellence in Literature and love the format of the program, but we also wanted to intertwine some of the recommended novels from the Notgrass history list. Let’s face it – there are so many wonderful books that tie into American culture and history, so there are many to choose. Overall the class will provide Laurianna with 1 high school credit. 

The typical pace is for reading (to stay on top of things) will be one book per month, which honestly will not be too difficult for her to work through. We are also adding a few books by C.S. Lewis to her pile and trying to squeeze in more ‘downtime’ reading, to balance out her workload. 

Our American Literature High School Reading List

American Literature high school reading list 2016_edited-1


 


For each of the above books, Laurianna will have a variety of papers to write (at least three per book). Papers and essays vary from author profiles (learning about the life of the author), approach papers (quick summary, discussion questions, and character profiles), and some lovely essays based on questions from both the American Lit program from Excellence in Literature and ones I have pulled together for the books we added in to our list. The books with an asterisk next to them are ones included in the EIL program, while the other three books tie in with the historical period we are studying in American History.


Several of the above books also have a movie to go along, so we are planning a monthly movie time together to compare the book with the movie version. In past years this has proven to be rather…interesting and prompted some great discussions with the kids as well. There are also a few we won’t be watching movies for, but plan to find a movie or documentary set in a similar time period.

The “Just for Fun” Additions

Much of Laurianna’s spare time will be taken up with her school reading and other fun hobbies, but we did want to add in a few books to read together – which we’ve already finished and loved! She does love to read though, so hopefully we’ll add a few more fun books in as the catch her attention.


This list also doesn’t include any of the family read-alouds or audio books we will be reading together. Overall not a huge list for the year, but several of the books are fairly hefty and will involve a lot of essay writing and discussion, so definitely enough to keep her busy for the year!

Homeschool Reading Lists for our Other Children

Check out our reading choices for this and past years by clicking on the links below. Stay tuned for our 4th, 6th, and 8th grade reading choices!

8th reading list 2016

10th grade homeschool curriculum choices from Homeschool Creations 2016

See all of our curriculum choices for this school year in our 10th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices post. It includes our lit program and several other wonderful programs we are loving!

What books are in your kid’s reading stack for this year?

 

10th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices

10th grade homeschool curriculum choices from Homeschool Creations 2016

Our poor girl may not have found it humorous when I texted her a picture of her HUGE curriculum pile. Granted the textbooks seem to grow astronomically each year the kids progress in school, but it definitely can seem a little daunting – especially when there is no way she’d be able to fit them all into one backpack without tipping over backwards. I honestly think the pile of books might weigh about half as much as she does. (gulp)

Laurianna has matured so much this last year, especially over the summer as she took on her first real job as a lifeguard and swim coach, also teaching swim lessons and participating in swim team. Overall, she was rather busy, but it was wonderful to see her really step up to what was asked of her and step in when something needed to be done. She is anxiously waiting for the day in September when she will be able to start driving. Please pray for me. (deep breaths)

10th Grade Curriculum Choices

Credits to earn: 7

American Literature high school reading list 2016_edited-1

So far, Laurianna has earned a total of 13.5 credits, so at the end of her 10th grade year she will have completed a total of 20.5 credits toward her diploma – meaning a somewhat lighter year for her 11th grade year and the option of dual enrollment classes. 

Laurianna did a great job figuring out her own routine last year (it may not have always been the way I liked it, but it worked for her). Learning to let go (on my part) is probably the hardest aspect of this, but we are encouraging her to take as much responsibility as possible to prepare her for dual credit classes in the upcoming future. 

Her dad and I are planning to sit down and go through the Constitutional Literacy class along with her. While we had considered putting that class off for another year, with her working through American History this year and also the election process, we figured it was the perfect time to jump in. 

Co-op Learning

We have a small group of high schoolers that will be meeting weekly to work on literature and American history this year. She will also be getting together once a week with a friend to go over Chemistry labs and assignments. 

In addition, one of the moms and I are planning some ‘girls only’ and family trips to a few historic places that will tie in with our history learning: Williamsburg, Biltmore (girls only), Washington, DC, and Philadelphia to name a few. We’ll see if we can squeeze in any more (maybe a trip to NYC??) but otherwise, those four will keep us plenty busy. 

Curriculum in Year’s Past

In case you are interested in seeing the curriculum that brought us to this point, here’s a peek at what we’ve used with Laurianna the past few years:

 

Does High School Have You Scared?

If homeschooling high school is worrying you, don’t miss the free middle and high school planning printables and map out your middle and high school years!

Homeschooling in High School Middle and High School Planning How to Choose Homeschool Curriculum

If you are new to homeschooling and aren’t sure where to begin in choosing homeschool curriculum, please don’t let this post overwhelm you! Here are a few posts that you might find helpful as you discover what is best for your family. Be sure to check out the entire Homeschool Basics series for answers to more frequently asked homeschool questions.

See What the Other Kids Are Up To…

Click any of the images below to see our homeschool picks for the current school year. You’ll also find links to past years choices in each post. 

4th grade homeschool curriculum choices - from Homeschool Creations 6th grade homeschool curriculum choices 2016 from Homeschool Creations 8th grade homeschool curriculum choices 2016 10th grade homeschool curriculum choices from Homeschool Creations 2016

Student Planner PDF Download – TWO Choices! (and a SALE!)

Two choices of student planners from Homeschool Creations - help get your student on track_edited-4

Last fall I shared the student planner I had created for our daughters and after a full year of using it, both she and her sister decided they love it! It has been a perfect fit for our family, but several of you emailed and asked if there was another graphic option available – because a few sons felt it wasn’t quite for them. 

After some digging, we found one that our family loved, so another graphic choice for the Student Planner is now available – yay! To celebrate, be sure to read through to the bottom of the post because we are having a sale for one week only! 

About the Student Planners

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The planners are undated, so you can save the file to your computer and reprint them year after year. At the back of the planner you’ll even find a link to a ‘secret’ page where you can download bonus pages to go along with the planner (and if you have a suggestion, feel free to email me and ask!). 

Want a peek inside? I promise it’s super simple – because we found we really didn’t need so much extra stuff, full of color, and ready to download and print. This is a look at our planner from last year (the circle graphic version). 

Email subscribers can watch the video here.

A quick note: I figured out that our printer will print BORDERLESS. It was one of the paper choices in settings. In the video you’ll see some of the pages that we experiments with (ones that were or weren’t printed all the way to the edge). Our front and back covers were printed onto cardstock and then laminated for extra durability. We use a heavy weight paper (24 lb.) to print the planner and make the pages a little thicker.

The Student Planner contains:

Weekly Student Planner layout from Homeschool Creations

  • 8 1/2” x 11” undated pages – use it year after year!
  • year at a glance dates
  • student information and schedule page
  • 12 blank monthly planning pages
  • weekly planning pages for 8 subjects
  • planning for every day of the week (smaller spaces for Saturday/Sunday)
  • goals, notes, and ‘what I learned’ section
  • tracking for books read
  • 2 layouts: August through July or January through December
  • link to a password protected page where you can download updated calendars and bonus pages for the planners

Two Great Designs

Choose the student planner that best fits your family’s needs – or choose both (there’s a special bundle price for purchasing two).

Student Planner collage_edited-1

The abstract circle graphic student planner features the colors green, dark blue, and a turquoise blue color for the monthly layouts. 

Student Planner collage hexagon_edited-1

The hexagon graphic student planner features the same inside layout with the colors green, orange, and a medium blue for the weekly layouts. 

Purchase a Student Planner

Each student planner is undated so you have the option of printing off a new copy each year. Each planner is available for $10 and you are more than welcome to print off copies for each of your children – this year and in years to come. Purchase both planners together in a bundle and save even more! There are THREE different purchase options.

Student Planner PDF Download – Now Available!

Student Planner full year || Homeschool Creations



I am SO excited to share two printable student planners with you all today! Half-sized planners weren’t cutting it for our girls, so we worked together to create a larger planner for each of them. 

McKenna’s words after seeing it completely bound and put together were, “Mom, it doesn’t even look like you made it! No offense!” She is so happy with it! It is full of color, plenty of space, and undated, so we can print off a new copy each year and bind it however we please. We initially thought about putting it in a 1/2” binder, but ended up deciding to have it spiral bound and it turned out great! (Staples charge $4.50 for binding and I recommend a size 12 coil binding so the pages can be turned easily). 

We chose not to date the planner because the girls are able to personalize it more to their liking – and it also saves me the hassle of having to rework the entire thing each year. They’ve actually enjoyed taking the time to get it set up, so it’s a win-win for us!

Inside Our Student Planner

Want a peek inside? I promise it’s super simple – because we found we really didn’t need so much extra stuff, full of color, and ready to download and print. This is a peek inside the ‘circle’ version of the student planner. 

Email subscribers can watch the video here.

A quick note: I figured out that our printer will print FULL BLEED. It was one of the paper choices in settings. In the video you’ll see some of the pages that we experiments with (ones that were or weren’t printed all the way to the edge). Our front and back covers were printed onto cardstock and then laminated for extra durability. We use a heavy weight paper (24 lb.) to print the planner and make the pages a little thicker.

Weekly Student Planner layout from Homeschool Creations

The Student Planner contains:

  • 8 1/2” x 11” undated pages – use it year after year!
  • Year at a glance dates
  • Student information and schedule page
  • 12 blank monthly planning pages
  • Weekly planning pages for 8 subjects
  • Planning for every day of the week (smaller spaces for Saturday/Sunday)
  • Goals, notes, and ‘what I learned’ section
  • Tracking for books read
  • 2 layouts: August through July or January through December

Purchase a Student Planner

This student planner is undated so you have the option of printing off a new copy each year. Each planner version is available for $10 and you are more than welcome to print off copies for each of your children – this year and in years to come. You may also purchase a bundle option which includes a copy of BOTH student planner designs, in case your kids are picky like mine!

Your purchase also allows access to a ‘buyers only’ page where optional pages will be added including additional dated covers, as well as a additional bonus pages in both designs.

The Student Planner is only available as a pdf download, and prints off double-sided. 

student planner buy now

$10.00

Add to Cart

Our 10th Grade Homeschool Reading List

10th grade homeschool reading list 2015 - Homeschool Creations

Our 10th grade homeschool reading list is largely based on the required reading for Literature and Composition by Janice Campbell. We added in four books to read together just because they were several we both wanted to read, and I wanted to have a grasp on what she was actually reading. You may remember that Laurianna is technically only in the 9th grade, but I suppose we could count this as one of the beautiful things about homeschooling! We can adjust our grade level and/or class load as it fits. Last year she completed the first literature class in the series we are working through from Janice Campell and earned a high school credit. This year’s Literature and Composition class will also earn her 1 high school credit.

The typical pace is for reading (to stay on top of things) is one book per month, but I have a feeling one of the books on her list may cause a little bit of angst (it’s causing me angst because I’m the teacher of the co-op class and I’m trying to figure out how to wiggle my way out of reading it again – I’m not afraid to admit that!).

10th grade homeschool reading and literature list - Homeschool Creations



Our 10th Grade Homeschool Reading List

For each of the above books, Laurianna will have a variety of papers to write (at least three per book). Papers and essays vary from author profiles (learning about the life of the author), approach papers (quick summary, discussion questions, and character profiles), and some lovely essays based on questions presented in the Literature and Composition text.

A few of these do have a video version, so we’ll be having fun comparing the text to the movie version. We also have plans to attend a local Shakespeare center and see Julius Caesar or The Importance of Being Earnest (leaning toward the latter).

The “Just for Fun” Additions

Sadly, much of Laurianna’s spare time will be taken up with her school reading and other fun hobbies, but we did want to add in a few books to read together – which we’ve already finished and loved! She does love to read though, so hopefully we’ll add a few more fun books in as the catch her attention.

This list also doesn’t include any of the family read-alouds that we will be working on together. Overall not a huge list for the year, but several of the books are fairly hefty and will involve a lot of essay writing and discussion, so definitely enough to keep her busy for the year!

Homeschool Reading Lists for our Other Children

Interested in seeing reading lists for our other kids as well? Check out our reading choices for this and past years by clicking on the links below. Stay tuned for our 3rd, 5th, and 7th grade reading choices!

9th-Grade-Homeschool-Curriculum-Choices.jpg

See all of our curriculum choices for this school year in our 9th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices post. It includes our lit program and several other wonderful programs we are loving!

What books are in your kid’s reading stack for this year?

Home Hydroponics Experiments

Several months ago our oldest worked on a fun project to go along with one of the chapters in her  North Star Geography curriculum. We’ve mentioned several times that this class was one of her favorite classes last year, particularly because it included many hands-on activities as a part of the curriculum.

simple home hydroponics experiements using plastic bins, plastic bottles, and yarn to feed plants



The second part of the year  involved learning about agriculture and building a home hydroponics system (lesson 12). Laurianna decided to build two different types of hydroponic systems as part of her hands-on projects, one fairly simple system that used an empty soda bottle with yarn (to absorb the water from the bottom of the bottle) and another more elaborate system that involved some help for her dad to cut the lid of the bin she used. You can see the various ideas for home hydroponics systems here that she gathered while looking for systems to build.

Soda Bottle Hydroponic System

soda bottle hydroponics system using inverted soda bottle with yarn to absorb water and feed the growing plant-1

After looking through the different ideas online, Laurianna started with a simple soda bottle hydroponic system based on this pin. The pieces needed to get started were very easy to find:

  • an empty soda bottle
  • yarn
  • potting soil
  • seed or seedling
  • water

Laurianna cut the small soda bottle and inverted the top section into the lower section. She poked several holes through the cap of the bottle and threaded yarn through the holes, making sure they were long enough to be immersed in the water. The top part of the bottle was filled with potting soil and her seedling.

On the side of the bottle you may notice a blue line. This was her water gauge line to make sure the water was at a high enough level for the yarn to absorb the water. If it was below the line too much, the yarn had difficulty feeding the plant.

This was a super-easy system to implement and she was able to work on it independently and complete in a fairly short time frame as well. The hardest part for us was finding a good window with light to keep the plant growing well because many of our window sills are not quite wide enough to perch the bottle without the danger of someone knocking it off and making a huge mess.

Plastic Bin Home Hydroponic System

plastic bin hydroponics system using inverted soda bottles with yarn to absorb water and feed the growing plant-1

Based on an idea from this pin, Laurianna built a larger hydroponics system in a plastic bin using the following items:

  • a 10 gallon plastic bin with lid
  • 3 empty soda bottles (cut in half)
  • yarn
  • potting soil
  • 6 pepper plants
  • air filter our old fish tank
  • water

example of inverted soda bottle hydroponics system - bottle drops into lid of plastic bin-1

above you can see the yarn that she fed out through holes in the lid

My husband, Rick, helped Laurianna cut the holes in the plastic lid of the bin because it was a little tricky (and we also wanted to be sure all of her fingers and appendages were still in place at the end of the project. Laurianna then cut each soda bottle in half and poked holes in the caps of the tops of the bottle or holes in the bottoms of the bottles to thread yarn through (similar to this idea here). Once the yarn was threaded through, she filled the bottle half with potting soil and planted a seedling in the bottle.

plastic bin home hydroponics project - soda bottles are dropped into the top of plastic bin and fed with water from the bin-1

Water was added to the base of the bin and plant bottles were placed into the six holes of the bin lid. Laurianna measure to see how high the water needed to be in the bin so the yarn coming from the bottle bases would touch and absorb the water. At least half of the yarn needed to be in the water or it wouldn’t absorb well.

home hydroponics project using plastic bin and soda bottles - North Star Geography activity-1

The fish tank filter was added about a week after she started the experiment because the yarn wasn’t being oxygenated enough. To add the filter, she cut a small hole in the side of the bin and fed the filter through the side of the bin. That helped tremendously (she was hoping to get by without needing it).

The plastic bin hydroponics system was definitely more complicated to put together (although complicated is fine in her book), and it yielded some great a results. All six of the plants began to thrive once the water filter was added to the bin and were later transferred to our garden when they were budding and large enough to grow peppers. Since their transfer to the garden they have been producing like crazy and Laurianna is now in habanero and cayenne pepper heaven. (grins)

Hydroponic System Results

The soda bottle hydroponics system was simple to make and  overall worked well for the one plant that she grew using this method. Unfortunately someone (namely a high schooler) forgot to put water in the base of the bottle when we left for vacation, and the plant dried up and died while we were gone. The water in the bottle base needed to remain at a certain level or the yarn wouldn’t absorb the water correctly, so no water = a not happy plant that shriveled up to nothing.

The plastic bin hydroponics system was by far the favorite method of growing plants although it did require a bit more work (and cleanup – especially because salamanders seemed to think it was a fabulous place to crawl into and die). Most likely results were skewed based on the massive amounts of spicy peppers that were produced as well, but Laurianna was definitely proud of the work she put into it.

Overall the projects were both successful and now other children in the house are now anxious to have their turn at North Star Geography – and you have to love that! Quite honestly, it has me thinking about ways that we can better grow some of our favorite plants (or continue growing) through the winter months with a little less care on our part – so maybe it was good for everyone in the family.

Have you tried hydroponics at home and found a method that works well for you?

Find out more about North Star Geography HERE.

North Star Geography Online Course

We used the hardcover version of North Star Geography and are thrilled to see it is now also available as an online course from Bright Ideas Press! The new self-paced option also includes audiobook and instructor help!

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