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High School Binder: Weekly Wrap Ups

It is that time of year, not quite spring but close enough to start thinking about homeschooling housekeeping issues.  For me that means tidying up the 9th grade binder.  Over the next few weeks, I will share where we are with Grace’s 9th grade binder.

Her binder helps me stay on track of several items but today I will profile only one...

Weekly Wrap Ups:

I still do them even though I don’t print them on the blog anymore.  I print out the table depicting the work we accomplish during the week.  These are kept in the front section of the binder and become a compilation of our efforts over the year.  It is worth the effort every day to jot down what we do.  This would be impossible to recreate and it is comforting to know that I can be held accountable for documenting their educational journey.  

It’s an interesting transition, homeschooling elementary to homeschooling middle/high school.  I am not the only one who asks, “Is this hard enough?” “Is this thorough?” “Will they have what they need to do what they want?”  and yes even, “Will this be enough to get them into college?”

I dislike the assumption that if you unschool you have no aspirations of college.  This is simply untrue.  I don’t make my girls memorize tons of factual information.  I don’t make them spit it back out to me for a grade.  We don’t do random workbooks, or texts, and we don’t spend hours cramming for tests.  That does not mean they don’t want to go to college, nor does it mean that they will not be prepared for college as is mentioned in this Smithsonian Magazine article.  

Our goal is not homeschool to Ivy, nor is it even homeschool to a $60,000 private university.  To me this is not sound financial decision making.  Our plan is and has always been the 2+2 model.  Two years of community college first  followed by two years at a college or university.  We choose to ignore any snide remarks or condescending attitudes from academic elitists.

Their binder is their collection of work accumulated over the course of a year.  It is full of essays, notebook pages, book projects, certificates,  awards, performance records, teacher evaluations, internship hours and more.  They may not memorize the capitals of every European nation, but they memorize pages and pages of sheet music.  They have read works by C.S. Lewis, Jules Verne, Lois Lowry, and Charles Dickens, yet they still love Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Trixie Belden.  Their education is perfectly eclectic and definitely not traditional.  Their binder and ultimately, their portfolio and transcript will reflect this. 

Week of February 15 - 21, 2015
Grace: LOF lessons 1 through 4
Key To Algebra Workbook 1 - half the workbook completed this week.
Lilah who wanted to pick back up LOF for fun, resumed with Intermediate Series: Kidneys lessons 1through 9
language arts
Printed off list of literary terms.  Used teachable moment in LOF of idioms to introduce this list. 
Both girls completed their Cinderella stories. 

Writing Group - both girls shared their stories and received feedback from their peers.  We found examples of the literary terms in each other’s stories. 

Finished Like the Willow Tree (Dear America) by Lois Lowry
First great cities:
A History of the World in 100 Objects #11 King Den’s Sandal Label 
Found a site that breaks down the inscriptions on the label and explains each picture of hieroglyph.  Girls put this into their notebooks.
Geology Lesson 3 - Galapagos
Watched a bit about Galapagos Aquatic Lizards on a NatGeo documentary.  Girls took excellent notes independently in their notebooks without pausing the video.  This was the first time they have done this kind of note taking.  
Copied map of Galapagos Islands and added a map of where the islands are on the globe to their notebooks.  
Lilah watched a Magic School Bus video about undersea volcanos and subduction.
The barn was c-o-l-d!  Lilah worked on cantering and Grace on jumping. Grace is getting used to a new saddle that she will have to use to compete in the rated shows this spring.
Grace was given the task of taking Pachabel’s Cannon and using her new understanding of chords and improvisational playing to come up with a version to her liking.  She is also creating Amazing Grace with no sheet music.  

I spoke with her teacher regarding her transcript.  He does not level, but said she is solidly an intermediate player.  I think we will list Intermediate Piano 9 on her transcript.

Lilah is working on her Clementi piece and it is coming along nicely.
photography #3 - faces and places: Using the best lens to take portraits and how to make those portraits unusual.
Grace edited and uploaded her newest GoPro movie to YouTube using GoPro studio which she likes much more than iMovie.
Girls had their weekly lesson Chapter #6.
Grace is still volunteering 3 hours at the kennel (she has 120 hours since July) and in exchange for her work, Crosby has been attending doggy day care.  She loves that she gets to bring her dog to work.

Grace also volunteers 2 hours a week at Church helping me with my Faith Formation Class (6th grade).  Total time will be 20 weeks at 2 hours = 40 hours.  Not sure if this will factor into credits, but she will receive a letter to add to her portfolio for her service.


  1. This is so awesome. I loved the idea of keeping up each week. I did it about 2 weeks. The book need is beautiful.


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