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7th Grade College-bound Homeschooler

2015 became the second year living in a log cabin on a mountain. Krystal did ballet in Carlisle an hour away seven nights a week. She happily spent about 30 hours a week dancing with her friends.

They were quite a pack. Seven of them. (This picture is close, but not all of them.) All new to CPYB except one who had been there for many years already by age 12.

For school Krystal began Challenge A with Classical Conversations. (That’s Krystal with her tutor, Hannah below!) Challenge is the middle and high school part of the CC program. Big excitement to be one of the big kids on campus and to have her own class to discuss great books, math problems, anatomy, and logical fallacies with all year.

I’ll elaborate a little on each subject. Italics is from the CC website.

LATIN: Krystal had studied Latina Christiana in 5th grade and First Form Latin in 6th grade. So this would be her third year studying Latin. Students start at the beginning of Henle First Year Latin. Seminar usually begins with a review of an English grammar concept, and then students discover how that concept is treated in Latin. Together, students and the director practice translating sentences that contain the day’s concept. There is an emphasis on memorization of vocabulary and word endings. Students gain skills for learning any language through this systematic approach.

NEWBERY LITERATURE AND PERSUASIVE WRITING: Students read inspirational novels of heroes who overcome obstacles and follow Christ such as Amos Fortune, Free Man; The Bronze Bow; and Carry On, Mr. Bowditch. If students have not discovered a love of literature by now, they may discover it this year! Students enjoy lively discussions during seminar time and use their notes to compose persuasive essays at home. They begin to use a composition program called The Lost Tools of Writing, which lays the foundation for higher level thinking, writing, and speaking skills.

CARTOGRAPHY: Draw the WORLD! Come along on a thrilling adventure aboard one of CC’s new resources, Exploring the World Through Cartography, which will ignite the imagination of the entire family, while integrating material from Foundations through Challenge IV. Challenge A will use this in the Debate strand to draw a map of the world, compare a variety of maps from ancient times to the present, navigate a user-friendly index and read insightful stories from around the globe. This non-consumable, flat-lying resource will allow families to travel throughout time, terrain and tales from the comfort of their own home.

NATURAL SCIENCE and BIOLOGY: Instead of giving students a textbook to read, in this seminar we give them a blank book to fill. Following the director’s guidance, each student researches one sub-category of a topic and presents it in seminar with illustrations. Topics range from fungi to aquatic mammals. In the final quarter, students do an intensive study of human biology, drawing body systems daily until memorized.

LOGIC: Two general topics are discussed during the year: thinking and speaking truthfully and a comparison of evolution vs. intelligent design.  Both courses set the foundational premise upon which other Challenges build.  Students will be assigned weekly reading, outlining, and summarizing of key ideas and arguments and will be asked to memorize a series of catechism-style questions and answers about science and Creation.  In seminar, directors lead discussion on the material studied, challenging students to defend their views.

MATHEMATICS: Students discuss math in class by working problems together and describing the problem solving process to the director and other students. Saxon 8/7 is used as a guide for seminar practice and is recommended (but not required) for use at home. Mathematics has its own language, and seminar time is used for practicing “speaking the language” of math. 

Krystal’s math journey has leveled out by 7th grade. In 5th when she started homeschooling she did both the Singapore 3 and 4 books. Then in 6th grade she completed the Singapore 5 books. Going into 7th grade she was finally at the recommended grade level but she switched to Saxon curriculum level 8/7. She was super proud of herself! The hard work was starting to pay off.

We did a lot of CC and ballet this year, but we also did some field trips and volunteer work. The girls and I volunteered for the Audubon Society for a few hours in the Spring for their Stream Team where they teach school children about the environmental effects on the local streams when they’re polluted. One big field trip we did was the Homeschool Days at the Hershey Story, where we learned about Mr. Milton Hershey. We were having so much fun and making progress as well.

This summer we would move to Carlisle from the mountain, selling our beloved mountain home to get the kids in closer to their activities. Their dad still telecommuted for Microsoft and was working mostly from home with some travel to his DOD contract work. We were blessed to have location be this flexible.

This had been a very good year!

Go back and read our 5th Grade Adventure!

6th Grade Adventure!

Jennifer Claire on Email
Jennifer Claire
Curriculum Author at Log Cabin Schoolhouse
Engineer, Homeschool Mom, and creator of Algebra Club. Blogging is one of my current passions along with writing a novel that I hope to publish someday soon. Do hard things always.