I’ve mentioned a few times now that I’ll be combining my older three children into Level 7 – Exploring Your World, and several people have asked me what I’m adding to it to make it high school level for my oldest. So I thought I’d go ahead and write a blog post to explain how we will be supplementing this program.
One caveat – I tend to over plan. I always have more on the schedule than we’ll ever get to, and that’s OK. As we actually live out the school year and see how things flow, we’ll drop the excess. So, with that being said, here’s what I’ve got planned for my rising 10th grader this year.
The first thing I added for her was the Glencoe World Geography textbook along with Oak Meadow’s syllabus. I already had the textbook (I found it at a used bookstore for $1 a few years ago and thought it might come in handy someday), so I just added in the syllabus to round it out. There are a variety of different assignments and projects to choose from, and she’ll also be able to choose from the project list in the Exploring Your World instructor’s guide as well. Between the two she should have plenty to work with. I think this program would still work at the high school level without the textbook, but since we already had it I decided to try and use it.
That will cover the Social Studies credit. But I also want to make sure we cover the Literature and Composition end of things. Sarah will still be listening in on all of the read alouds, since we do those over lunch. But many of those readers are going to be too easy for her. She’s welcome to read them anyway of course — she’s a voracious reader so having extra books is a good thing — but I’m also adding in some extras to beef it up a bit. I’ll share the book list I’ve created for her below. She doesn’t have to read everything on this list — I plan to let her choose which ones she’ll read. I tried to fit plenty of classics, but also several modern YA books. I’ll also note that I tend to choose books that I think she’ll be particularly interested in reading.
With all of that said, here is her suggested reading list:
A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Queen of Water
How the Irish Saved Civilization: The Untold Story of Ireland’s Heroic Role From the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe
Macbeth (Folger Shakespeare Library)
The Zookeeper’s Wife: A War Story
The Importance of Being Earnest
The Endless Steppe: Growing Up in Siberia
Between Shades of Gray
The Complete Persepolis
Under the Persimmon Tree
The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East
Q & A: A Novel
The Ramayana: A Modern Retelling of the Great Indian Epic
The Good Earth
Red Scarf Girl: A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan: A Novel
The Street of a Thousand Blossoms
Children of the River
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
Cry, the Beloved Country
Aya: Life in Yop City
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope
In a Sunburned Country
Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence
Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage
Troubling a Star: The Austin Family Chronicles, Book 5
A Book of Luminous Things: An International Anthology of Poetry – this is the poetry book Sarah will be reading from this year. She’s read Favorite Poems Old and New several times through, so this will give her something more mature.
The Years of Rice and Salt – this was recommended in the Oak Meadow syllabus and it sounds fascinating – we’ll likely read this together as a Mother-Daughter book discussion project. It’s revisionist history/fantasy re-imagining the last 700 years – what if the Black Death wiped out 99% of Europe’s population? How would this change history? That’s the question this book seeks to answer.
The Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey– My husband and I saw a documentary by Spencer Wells a few years ago called Human Family Tree about how we all have a common ancestor. I plan on having the kids watch it at the beginning of the school year, and Sarah and I will read this book.
I plan on covering composition by having her write about one book per month. We’ll rotate through the four types of essays:
If you’ve never listened to the Susan Wise Bauer talks about literary analysis and teaching writing for high school then you should definitely give those a listen. She really takes the fear out of teaching writing and literature at the high school level.
And that’s it — I’m keeping it pretty simple and flexible. She’ll join us for the read alouds and she’ll complete many of the geography and art projects and mapwork that I’ve already assigned within Exploring Your World and the additional geography reading and assignments PLUS the additional literature and essay writing will make this worth 2 credits.
Sometimes it can be a little trickier to combine when you have older children — I originally had not intended for Sarah to join in with her siblings this year. But she really wanted to take a year to focus on World Geography (something she hasn’t done for a long time) and so I had to find a way to make it work. And in the end, this makes my life that much easier. I only have to teach geography once – I don’t have to do separate lessons. Even my youngest will get in on the fun, as she’s going to be studying Level 0 – Around the World. This is the beauty of homeschooling. Everyone gets to join in with everyone’s lessons and we all get to learn together as a family.
Related Article(s): Can I Combine My Children in One Program?
Level 0 – Level 1 – Level 2 – Level 3 – Level 4 – Level 5 – Level 6 – Level 7 – Level 8 – Level 9 – Level 10 – (See Levels vs. Grades vs. Ages)
Emily Cook is the author and creator of the secular homeschool curriculum Build Your Library, a literature-based K-12 program infused with the teachings of Charlotte Mason. She writes full year lesson plans as well as shorter topical unit studies. Emily has been homeschooling her four children in Southern NH for 18 years. She is passionate about reading aloud to children of all ages and loves to share her love of literature with others. She and her family also makes incredibly dorky videos about homeschooling, books and more on Youtube at ARRRGH! Schooling. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
6 Replies to “Multi-Grade Teaching – An Example”
So happy I came to your site! We are planning to all study geography this upcoming year and you have made it so easy for me! I’ll have a 4th, 7th, and 9th grader. I’ll have to check out SWB’s talk on high school writing. Thank you for all your hard work!
Thank you so much for sharing how you beef things up for your high schooler! I love your choices in books and plan to use many OM resources for my 9th graders next year. I hope you continue to share your high schoolers plans! 🙂
This is soooo helpful! I keep going around in circles in my head and you’ve just been here all along, making it so simple.
Right now I’m doing level 0 with my 5yo and my 3.5yo. We’re loving it, but I’m already trying to plan for next year. In August my oldest will turn 6 and my second one will be 4.5. I want to keep them together but level 1 is way too much for my second. I don’t know if I should wait another year before doing level 1 and do all the extensions from level 0 plus prehistory and some other stuff until they’re 7 and 5.5, or if I should just start and let the 4.5yo not do much. I don’t want her to miss out on all the great things, but I don’t want to hold the oldest back and make her miss a full year of curriculum later on. Yes, I’m already planning on buying all your levels, I just need to pace myself. Once the baby is old enough, I’ll have to see how to fit him in, but I didn’t want to have either of the oldest ones miss out on anything. Any suggestions?
With them being so young, I think you could do one of two things. You could just focus on your older child and then repeat Level 1 later when they are older, or stretch Level 0 (easy to do with the library list and following your child’s interests) and then do the Prehistory unit before jumping into Level 1. The second option gives your oldest a chance to mature a bit before diving into world history as well. I think if it were me, I’d go with option 2, with the caveat that your youngest doesn’t NEED to learn history yet, so if your older child is ready to move on, let them. Your youngest will come to the material later when they are ready.
I hope that helps!
Thank you! Option 2 was what I was thinking would be a better option, so I’ll do that for sure. I’ve been looking at recommendations from others and at the books that were used in level 0 before the update, and I’ll just add all of those as well. My girls are loving going around the world, and we’ve been taking our time to really enjoy everything, so I’m sure they won’t mind continuing on this adventure a while longer. Level 1 is just too rich to waste when they’re not ready to fully enjoy it. Thank you so much!