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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!

”Homeschooling

North Star Geography Online Course

One of the best programs that we used last year was North Star Geography. We were just venturing into the world of homeschooling high school and hands-down it was Laurianna’s favorite class of the year. This wonderful class is now available as an online class as well, so if you have a child that needs to earn a high school geography credit, you can take advantage of this new format!

North Star Geography Online Course

 

Course Content

North Star Geography is a one-year class that offers a full high school credit upon completion. It’s more than just maps and remembering where places in the world are, but looks at how geography impacts us every day. The 16 lessons include:

  • Downloadable lessons in ebook format – students can read the lessons, and an audiobook version of the Student Reader is also included.
  • Hands-on activities and projects (this was one of our favorite parts) – each lesson has various ideas and activities to go-along with the learning. Choose what projects you would like to complete.
  • Map work, memorization, and research questions (don’t worry – they have the answers too!). We created an atlas with all of reference maps created over the course of the year.
  • Notetaking pages & graphic organizers – all the visual organizers and help you need is included in the program

    Online Course Benefits

    While the format of the physical version is wonderful, there are some added benefits to using the online course:

    • Learn at your own pace – although there is a suggested schedule for the class, you are free to work through the class at your own pace.
    • Tests and quizzes are graded for you – yes, please. It’s one less thing you have to do. Amen.
    • Support from the author – Tyler Hogan is available if you get stuck and need help. Consider him your personal helpline.
    • Immediate feedback – as soon as you take the quizzes and tests, you’ll know the results!

    If thinking of teaching a high school class scares you, the online version of North Star Geography is a wonderful way to put those fears to rest. We used the physical version of the program last year and cannot recommend it highly enough. Hands down, it is a class that your kids (and you) will enjoy because it is extremely organized and well thought out (which makes a mom like me very happy). There truly is a little something for children with different learning styles as well, from hands-on projects to auditory learners.

    Find out more HERE.

    North Star Geography Online Course

    Middle and High School Planner Printables for Homeschool

    Middle and high school planning printables



    Now I don’t know about you, but despite my best intentions, I seem to always forget something that has already been purchased, curriculum ideas for upcoming years, or what may already be on our bookshelves to use for our younger children. Sticky notes and random sheets of paper just don’t cut it, so the Middle and High School Planner pages were put together to make life a little easier for myself overall. (And let’s face it, these are a lot prettier than the random sheets of notebook paper that were accumulating in my binder).

    I’m printing off a copy for each of our children and it gives me a central location to jot down notes, ideas, and what we’re doing as we go along. Overall, there are sixteen pages in the Middle and High School Planner pages (plus one that you don’t have to print at the end), and two different versions – a blue/green color-themed set and a rainbow color-themed set. Laurianna saw me working on them and said she thought hers should have more color, so I had to readjust them. (grins)

    If you’d like to see what we’ve been planning for homeschool high school so far, don’t miss our Homeschool High School Plan post that was shared earlier. In addition to walking through our overall plans I share how overwhelmed I was to begin with and some tips on laying the foundation for the upcoming years. There is also a link to a simple overview printable that you may prefer to this more in-depth one.

    A Quick Look & Overview Planning

    Overview planning pages for middle and high school

    Use the first two pages to plan out subjects and curriculum for each year. In the left side column there is room to track the subjects and then plan out what you will use from 6th grade through 12th grade. Be sure to keep track of what you already have on hand – and don’t need to purchase!

    High School Outline, Requirements, and Schedules

    high school daily schedule and requirements

    This section allows you to plug in all the information that your state may require for graduation, AP placement, decide your grading scale, and brainstorm elective ideas for your child. There is also a sheet that can be printed off yearly to create a weekly schedule for your child.

    Tracking High School Credits

    credit and class tracking for high school

    Keep track of the credits your child is earning, books read, extra curricular activities and other important information you might need for high school transcripts. There are five pages for this section: one for early credits (prior to 9th grade if your state allows it) and four pages, one for each year of high school.

    Course Descriptions

    Early and high school course description tracking

    This section allows you write a short course description of each class that your child takes for credit (may come in handy for college admission later).

    –> Download the Middle School and High School Class Planning (blue/green)  <–

    –> Download the Middle and High School Planning Pages (rainbow)  <–

    Questions about Homeschooling in High School?

    Homeschooling in High School

    There’s nothing that can strike fear in the heart of a veteran homeschooling parent like the thought of homeschooling high school. Despite what may be years of successful homeschooling, thinking of high school can bring all the fears and doubts of the early years resurging in a homeschool parent’s heart. Read the post Homeschooling in High School for tips and resources from a veteran homeschool mom who has homeschooled and graduated a high schooler.

    Have a Student in Need of Organization Help?

    Student-Planner-collage.png

    If you have a child in middle or high school that needs some organizational help, be sure to check out our Weekly Student Planner! The planner is undated and can be used year after year and has plenty of room for writing down daily assignments, goals, and accomplishments. Learn more HERE.

    If you would like to share, please share a link to my blog or to the page that hosts these files. Please do not link directly to just the PDF files, but directly to this post. Please feel free to print this pdf file for your own personal use. They were created for private and non-profit use. Please do not sell or host these files anywhere else.

     

    ”Homeschooling
     

    Our 9th Grade Homeschool Reading List

    9th grade reading list

    While our daughter is actually in the 8th grade, the literature class she is taking is for high school credit. So – I’m not sure if you would term this our 8th or 9th grade reading list (grins). Many of the books on Laurianna’s reading list include ones that are a part of her literature class, but there are also a few added we’d really like for her to read because they go along with the era of history that we’re studying (early America to modern times) or we want her to read a book before seeing the movie (The Hobbit). The typical pace is at least one book per month for her lit class, and another one when that book is finished.

    Remember, this list doesn’t include any the books that she decides to read over the course of the year just for fun. She has her eye on a few books and definitely takes advantage of our library system! Keeping up with our 8th’s graders voracious reading can be difficult. She is constantly borrowing books from the library or friends, but not all of them are ones that we would call ‘school worthy’. This also doesn’t include the list of family read alouds for the year – and we’ve already worked on a few of those!

    A peek at her reading list for the year:

    A Few Extras on the List for 8th Grade:

    Since many of the books also have a video version, we’re hoping to watch them together (after we read the books, of course) and compare the book to the movie version. It’ll be a little something fun we can do 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!

    What books are in your kid’s reading stack for this 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 year by clicking on the images below. Stay tuned for our 2nd grade reading choices!

    6th grade homeschool reading list

    4th grade homeschool reading list

    The First Six Weeks for Our 8th Grader

    Laurianna is working on her 8th grade homeschool year this year, which has meant a larger workload for her, especially as she is working on six high school credits in addition to a few other subjects. Over the past six weeks it has been so incredibly amazing to watch her step up and take on the workload (with hardly a complaint other than typical teen emotions at times).

    This has really been such a new area for us both. Remember preschool and early childhood are my specialties and where much of my focus has been for many, many years. Making the switch to actual brain work has been – umm…interesting at times! (But it’s all good!)

    Here’s a peek at what Laurianna has been working on. For high school credit she is working on Algebra 1 (1 credit), Geography (I credit), Spanish (1 credit), Literature (1 credit), Physical Science (1 credit), Greek Mythology (1/2 credit), and an extra science class (1/2 credit). You can get a peek at our overall high school plan here.

    Here are a few highlights of the last six weeks…

    North Star Geography

    North Star Geography Experiments

    Geography has been one of Laurianna’s favorite ‘new’ subjects this year. We’re using North Star Geography, a new program from Bright Ideas Press, and she has been LOVING it. She literally has some new little tidbit she is telling me about daily, between her country fact sheets, what she is learning in her mapping time, or as a part of the hands-on projects.

    Email subscriber can click here to watch the video clip.

    The hands-on activities are probably her favorite part of the lessons (see the above project), and although it is one of her more intense classes, it is FUN. To me that speaks volumes alone! She’s also been pulling out our GeoPuzzles to work on and help her remember the various country placements.

    Not only do I love hearing about all that she is learning, but I recently discovered the Excel spreadsheet grading sheet Bright Ideas Press provides as a part of the program and am 100% in love with that. With all the lovely quizzes and mapping projects, my life just got a lot easier (and my brain has to think a whole lot less!). Amen.

    Physical Science

    Glider from Everday Exploration

    Even though she does most of the work during the week, Laurianna meets with a small group of homeschoolers (four total) to review the labs and other work in her physical science class. Everyone in the house has enjoyed watching her glider progress over the last few weeks as well. It’s a little bigger than we expected – but oh so fun! Keeping two certain boys away from it has been difficult!

    Literature and Writing

    All of her other classes have been going along well too, including her Lit class (another one we are working on as a small co-op). One thing that I have to say – I am SO very thankful for our using WriteShop 1 & 2 the last two years with Laurianna. That program gave her such a great headstart in becoming a great writer – which shows in her literature papers.

    And there have been a lot of papers – even with only four kids. Enough that as the teacher I am remembering one of the main reasons I did not pursue that last semester of my English education degree. (grins)

    The kids are taking it all in stride and very excited because many of the books and short stories we are reading this year are also movies, so we get to spend time together comparing the book to the movie as well. It’s the little things that make life fun, right? Personally, I can’t wait for the boys to sit through Jane Eyre (hee hee).

    Saxon Algebra 1

    And Algebra 1 – our switch to Saxon was mainly because a friend of Laurianna’s was using it, so she wanted to as well. Despite her misgivings about Algebra and her belief that it wouldn’t click with her, she doing great, and I’m remembering how much I absolutely love this realm of math (no, seriously I do!).

    In other subjects (Greek Mythology, History, Spanish, etc…) she is working along and doing great! That pretty much wraps up our first six weeks of school for 8th grade. How are your middle and high school adventures going?

    Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years


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