save the date | john and jarrod's high school graduation


I created a quick 5 x 7 'Save the Date' card that I can email to family (or friends) with pertinent information on an upcoming graduation. With everyone's lives so busy sometimes one has to plan ahead to get an event on the calendar before it is filled with another activity. Pretty excited that the local homeschool chapter, Family Education For Christ, has a graduation ceremony for high school graduates like public and private schools - but yet, different.

Cap and Gowns ordered. Check.

Save the Date card. Check.

100-word bio for each. Done, but not submitted.

Senior pictures. Next on my list...

the state of sons of thunder academy address



Good Morning. The Sons of Thunder Academy, the little homeschool that could, six years later is almost finished. In their last semester of high school, John and Jarrod, Sons of Thunder, are attending Point University's dual-enrollment classes where they receive high school credit for each class - and college credit. The biggest blessing. It's free. Last semester they completed three of the four classes they still needed to graduate high school using GA standards for high school graduates: College Algebra (Advanced Algebra), College Biology with a Lab (Advanced Biology), and Critical Reading and Writing I. Because they still needed an economics course they are currently enrolled in Macro-Economics, and Critical Reading and Writing II because they liked their teacher last semester, and Western Civilization. 

College-level courses have been an adjustment and at times a struggle for the Sons of Thunder. We have been in some deep waters, even more so, because the Sons of Thunder have wanted me to 'be there only if I'm needed' rather than direct and guide and oversee and schedule. While I've experienced moments of fear and struggle as a homeschool mom still responsible for my sons learning experience, I am certain this, spreading of their wings, accepting responsibility for their own work, will benefit them immensely for the future.

And, although I have had to extricate myself from their college-level classes, I do however, have total involvement in their Bible lessons. After completing Beth Moore's Jesus, the One and Only over the summer we completed Living Beyond Yourself (lessons on the Fruit of the Spirit), Priscilla Shirer's Armor of God, and currently, we are back with a Beth Moore study, The Patriarchs, and actually have this Bible study almost completed. 


Our next study will be Beth Moore's study on the life and ministry of John, The Beloved Disciple

We've recently attended a mandatory pre-graduation meeting and I've since ordered their cap and gowns to check off an item on the pre-graduation checklist. I'm presently creating a 'save the date' invitation to send out to family, since, gauging by attendance at the pre-graduation meetings, it will be a large-for-an-homeschool graduation, around 25 graduates, therefore, space will be limited.  I will need to put a program bio together for each of Son of Thunder, their dad will record a 1-minute speech for each, and the Sons of Thunder will write a 1-minute speech for their graduation ceremony. Christian-based homeschool-driven graduation ceremonies are unique, personable, and inspiring. I'm looking forward to seeing the culmination of our years of homeschooling come to an end with the Sons of Thunder receiving their diploma.

sons of thunder academy | reading plans 2015-2016


Our little Sons of Thunder Academy is about to complete their 11th grade year of high school. It has, this life of homeschool, has been a wild ride. A most enjoyable, exciting, frustrating, satisfying, enormously rewarding wild ride. As I mentioned in this post, our plans for John and Jarrod's senior year, is taking a decidedly dramatic turn as they are enrolling in Point University's Dual Enrollment program. That being said, and planned, and enrollment is complete, we are patiently awaiting the beginning of fall classes: Advanced Biology, College Algebra (Algebra IV), and Advanced English Composition, plus Bible at home: Jesus, the One and Only, Believing God, The Beloved Disciple, and Breaking Free (all Beth Moore bible studies).

I realized, and so it seems have the boys, that when we finish The Lord of the Rings trilogy (which has taken us the entire school year to complete (as we are not done yet, but should be finished early May) what would we do about read a louds. For a homeschool that has prided itself on our attention to reading, and more importantly to us, reading aloud - me reading aloud to John and Jarrod - we aren't reading to stop reading aloud.

Through our homeschool years, we have read a bunch of books aloud that have been on those 'classic' reading lists, those must-read lists compiled by libraries, and literary experts, but through my research in compiling a list of possible reading material for their 12th grade year, I have found there are still many classics that we haven't read that seem to find themselves on almost every list of must-reads in high school.

So, I too have compiled a list of 18 books for the Sons of Thunder Academy to read aloud (by me) for their 2015-2016 school year. Actually, we will begin reading when we have completed the Literary Lesson of the Lord of the Rings. The following is the tentative list I have compiled, not in any order of reading:

 The Catcher on the Rye by J.D. Salinger

 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling

 All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

The Raven and other Poems by Edgar Allen Poe

Night by Elie Wiesel

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin

The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom

Catch 22 by Joseph Keller

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

The Book Thief by Markus Zusaf

The Life of Pi by Yann Martel

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

Animal Farm by George Orwell

The Kite Runner by Khalid Hosseini

Enders Game by Orson Scott Carol

If we enjoy Night and are intrigued enough we may read the trilogy. If we have time, and all is going well, we may also read more of the Harry Potter books. We might also be able to read The Help, The Diary of Anne Frank, and possibly Maus by Art Spiegelman

Honestly, with me moving to day shift we may have to shift our reading time to dinner, or while they are doing the dishes, but I doubt no one will be complaining.


sons of thunder academy | 2015 - 2016 School Year


Our little homeschool, Sons of Thunder Academy, is in our final year of high school. John and Jarrod will be Seniors in the Fall. And the Sons of Thunder are heading to Point University for their senior year in high school. Although we will miss Kingdom Builders Co-op immensely, such a bittersweet parting, our little academy of students are moving forward, onto new and exciting endeavors.

We have enrolled the boys into Point Universities' Dual-Enrollment program at the Savannah campus, which happens to be located at our own church. They will take a Math, English, and Science in the Fall.

College Algebra equates to an Algebra IV. The boys just completed Algebra III this year, thus, perfect timing!

English Composition equates to an AP, or advanced English composition and will fulfill the boys' 4th English requirement, while obtaining college credit.

College Biology I equates to an Advanced Biology and will be taken online, while the other two classes this coming Fall will be taken in the morning on campus (at SCC/Point University). They are not in need of a class with the LAB but I think they have to take the LAB with the Biology class, which will be online as well.

We will continue our Bible lessons at home through Beth Moore bible studies. This year we have taken Daniel, James, Esther, and David. Following David we will do Jesus, the One and Only which will take us into the summer. Our summer course will probably be either Believing God, The Beloved Disciple, or Breaking Free. At some point this school year, their 12th grade year we will complete all three of those studies.

Their winter classes for 2016 will, at a minimum, be an Economics class, probably Macro-Economics, whether they take it at Point University or Savannah Tech, we aren't sure. We may need to transfer dual enrollment to Savannah Tech so Jarrod will be set up for college enrollment in Criminal Justice. He wants to be a Police Officer. We aren't sure what is in store for John, yet. As long as he has a job following high school he doesn't have to go to college, so we will see where his heart lies.

And that is ok. 

All this to say, also, life is changing. Transitioning to a new season. We have been amazingly blessed through Kingdom Builders Co-op through the friendships forged, the unbelievably talented teachers the boys have had, and an opportunity to teach Meteorology - oh my - that has been the best!

So, finishing up our last couple of months April and May and onto bigger opportunities.

sons of thunder academy | bible

Sons of thunder

It is no secret how we value the importance of the Word of God into the Sons of Thunder's high school curriculum. After this past years homeschool co-op Bible lessons on Paul and David and their extensive memorization of Psalm 51, Psalm 91, and the Sermon on the Mount I knew we had to continue, not just Bible reading, but Bible study. Their homeschool co-op teacher from this past year is not returning to our co-op and no other mom opted to teach a Bible class for the next school year so that meant it was going to be up to me to teach it. I've taught Bible studies for many years so I think I can handle the challenge of teaching my sons.

Having been schooled myself under the expert tutelage of Beth Moore and having completed several amazing studies that could very easily be 'boy' related I knew I wanted to use Beth's studies in our own Bible class. I've chosen Daniel and James. If we have time we'll do Jesus, the One and Only.


I'm positive the boys will eat up the stories within the book of Daniel, some very familiar but they will be able to see them with fresh eyes.


Then there is James. I am so thrilled to have recently done this study myself - but this time I'm diving in to the memorization of the entire book of James, along with John and Jarrod. This book is filled with 'boy' applicable goodness.

Jesus the One and Only

Basically, 1) we'll each have our own copy of the current Bible study, 2) 5 days a week we'll each complete our 'homework' individually (although John and Jarrod often 'collaborate' and bounce answers off each other), 3) we'll listen to the audio lesson at the beginning of each weeks work, and 4) once a week we'll come together and discuss the weeks lesson.

In addition, for Daniel, we will all memorize Daniel 1. And for James, we'll actually attempt memorizing the book of James (just as Beth Moore did). After seeing how the boys tackled memorization this past year I really don't have any qualms about our memorization plans for this year.

I'm really excited about our upcoming Bible study homeschool endeavors. The idea of using Beth Moore's studies for teenagers sounds like a good idea. Beth is a strong, vibrant speaker who can command an audiences attention - I have no doubt my boys will love her humor and lessons.

sons of thunder academy | state of our homeschool address

  Sons of thunder

The State of our Homeschool Address   |

On the backstretch:

The Sons of Thunder are on the backstretch of their 10th grade year. They have tackled American History, American Literature, Spanish III, Biology, Art 3D, Bible, and Algebra II. As we finish homeschool co-op in the beginning of May, American History, Biology, Art 3D, and Bible will be completed for the year.

They should be finishing strong in all four of those classes. Through Bible, they will have memorized multiple scriptures, to include the Sermon on the Mount. American History was tough, but a well-taught and in-depth class. I am thrilled with what they've learned. Because they both love art I was not concerned for the outcome of this class. Their teacher sings their praise for their creativeness and class efforts.

We'll still have about a month of Algebra II and we'll need to continue working through our American Literature selections with appropriate study guides. I am not sure when this class will finish. We'll proceed until we're done. That is one of the beauties of homeschooling. Spanish III is almost complete but they'll continue that into June. With no co-op classes we can concentrate on finishing the year strong.

High school credits

What is next?

Because we have already laid out their entire high school years (with only minor tweeking necessary), planning upcoming years is fairly simple. I have been pretty good about not overwhelming myself - or the Sons of Thunder - by buying too much curriculum (because curriculum is like an attraction to hoarding office supplies), but have, instead, selected a good, solid, well-reviewed curriculum and then followed through. We have been blessed that most curriculum has worked for us over these past few years and have only had to abandon a couple selections (i.e. Lifepak Science - our first year of homeschooling and a John Bunyan Pilgrim's Progress curriculum which we just never started), instead moving on with something else.

On tap for their 11th grade year:

Science: Meteorology with LAB

Math: Saxon Advanced Mathematics

Literature: British Literature (Lord of the Rings Literary Lessons)

Social Studies: US Government plus an at-home US Presidents Unit Study

Driver's Education: Georgia Online Drivers Education

Bible: Beth Moore's Daniel and James

Physical Education: PE through Homeschool Co-op

I was thrilled when a homeschool mom suggested a swap of curriculum, our Exploring American History curriculum (which her son will take next year) for her Exploring Government that her son completed this year and the Sons of Thunder will complete next year. Therefore, we are only left with purchasing Bible curriculum and Drivers Education.

I was also thrilled when I was able to sell to another homeschool mom two-years of Saxon Math curriculum, plus the Biology curriculum to another mom.  God is good!

And here stands our 'state of our homeschool'.


a day in the life of our homeschool.

Sons of thunder

Monday - Thursday we are doing school at home. Friday's are Kingdom Builders Co-op day, in which my Sons of Thunder attend three morning classes and an afternoon science class. Lunch is in there too. Our home school looks something like this on any given day:

7:00 am - I get up between 7:00 and 9:00 am depending on what shift I've worked and depending on what needs to be accomplished in the morning. The Sons of Thunder are already up and out completing their morning walk. Coffee is usually already on or I start the pot grabbing a cup as soon as the coffee pot makes enough. I head into the office for emails and checking out my favorite blogs.

7:30 am - The boys have breakfast and always have a book they've chosen to read propped up in front of their plate. Breakfast varies between an omelette, breakfast burrito, homemade waffles or pancakes from dinner earlier in the week, or grits and toast and usually a banana. If I eat it is usually scrambled eggs or omelette, leftover waffles/pancakes, grits, or oatmeal.

8:00 am - School begins. If it is a Monday, and I haven't done it over the weekend (which happens often), I'll write the boys' schedule for the week. I use a template that looks like this:

This can take up to 30 minutes or so depending on assignments that are included into the week. At some point during the end of each month I write a monthly syllabus for their Spanish III, which I then just assign as (See Syllabus).

While I am doing this the boys are listening to Uncle Tom's Cabin on audio for the next couple weeks. They knock this out along with their Adventures in Oydessey series for American History (Wednesday's).

9:00 am - The boys either begin working on American History or we go ahead and read our read-a-louds for American History. This week we are still reading another American Literature selection, Co. Aytc,h so I read that out loud while they snuggle up in blankets sprawled somewhere in the living room. If I am reading a couple of books at once I could read up to an hour.

Around 9:45 - 10:00 am - American History assignments, Biology assignments, and Bible begin here. Every other week in Biology are either assignments or studying for a test, and usually Pre- or Post- Biology Labs. American History is pretty much the same but studying for a test may be every third week depending on how many lessons are included. We have found that if they accomplish all of the assignments earlier and leave a week before the test for study time they do so much better on their tests.

They are in a Bible class at co-op and have been memorizing the Sermon on the Mount with a written recitation when they are done. Each week they are adding a couple more verses, so I make sure each week they are beginning with Matthew 5:1 up through where they've left off, so they don't forget anything. On Thursday's they'll recite verbally their verses (and because they have to write their verses they have to do this sometime during the week too).

If I'm not needed during this time I am either blogging, preparing posts, scrapbooking, working on projects around the house, and/or prepping dinner for the boys.

Around 11:00 - 11:30 - By now, the boys are usually ready to go over Biology and/or American History. Each day of the week of the test we review aloud. I read the questions and they give me, verbally, the answers - no multiple choice - but, give me short answers, and we discuss the questions.

12:00 pm - The boys get their lunch and I get ready for work (shower, dress, pack my bag/lunch). The boys will inevitably pull the books they've been reading out and enjoy it while they are eating. Sometimes they'll draw after they get done eating too.

Around 12:30 - 12:45 pm - The boys commondeer the office chairs and computer for their Spanish III lessons and Algebra II DVD lessons. They are usually engrossed in one or the other through the 1:15 pm hour when I leave for work so at this point the remainder of the afternoon is up to the boys to schedule.

1:15 - 3:30 pm or so - I leave for work and the boys work on the remainder of their lessons. Usually, completing Algebra II assignments, and remaining history assignments that I assign, and Merit Badges (or work on their Eagle Scout projects).

It's pretty obvious that the Sons of Thunder are mostly responsible for their own learning - as it should be for 10th graders. We read aloud because we have found all of us enjoy this the most. And we review for tests together out of necessity - I can make sure they know the material.

Because of their taking responsibility for their school work, I have been able to go back to work full time while still homeschooling, which in turn has afforded us many advantages, with few negatives. In other words, it's working for us.

On Fridays, the boys and I attend homeschool co-op all day (until 2:30 pm). The boys are in American History, Bible, and Art 3D in the morning, lunch at 12:30 pm, and Biology from 1:00 - 2:30 pm. I stamp Elementary students notebooks until 10-ish am, then I am in the teacher's lounge grading my own classes papers or chatting with other mom's. My Meteorology science class begins at 1:00 - 2:30 pm. We almost always go to the library after school on Friday.

I'm positive our week of homeschool looks nothing like others'. That is one of the beauties of homeschooling - none of them have to look alike.



homeschool begins | sons of thunder academy update

Homeschool has begun for another year here at the Sons of Thunder Academy.  We began our little school of two + one really cool mom at the beginning of the month for a couple of reasons: 1) we wanted to ease into studies before our homeschool co-op begins in a couple weeks and we have to add four more classes of coursework to the mix, 2) beginning early means we can end in May since the boys plan on being camp counselors at Boy Scout camp next summer followed by a trip to San Antonio for a month with their sister, brother-in-law, and nephews, and 3) I was chomping at the bit to get started.

For the first couple of weeks our academia looks like this:

Bible + Memory Verses - I found a one-year Bible reading plan online which I printed out for them to use. Their memory verses begin in the book of James.

Spanish III - Their Spanish I & II teacher at homeschool co-op will only be teaching Spanish I this year and John and Jarrod are in Spanish III. Their teacher found a new curriculum that she'll be using for her first year students and highly recommended the curriculum for John and Jarrod if they wanted to continue on into Spanish III. Yes! Visual Link Spanish was extremely cheap (they offer a huge homeschool discount), yet high quality, and highly esteemed curriculum, originally designed for missionaries going onto the international mission field. The boys LOVE this curriculum.

Algebra II - From the beginning of homeschooling we have used Saxon Math with a DIVE DVD. The boys love the curriculum and after the results of their 9th grade Stanford exams came back with exceptional scores in Math, I am pleased at their learning level with Saxon.

Money Matters for Teens - This is a gently exposed curriculum, maybe once a week worth of work, written by the brilliant financial wizard Larry Burkett, it teaches practical application money matters such as budgeting, check writing, saving, investing, etc.. We have been teaching the boys money matters for years, slowly adding more elements of finances into the mix and with them 'running' their part time small business they've already learned alot about overhead, budgeting, saving, paying employees, and most importantly tithing.

World Geography (2nd half) - Last year we completed our studies on Africa, Australia, and the amazing Antarctica. This year we'll study Asia, South America, Europe, and North America.

American Literature - Through Notgrass' Exploring American Literature we'll read a quality list of works such as The Scarlet Letter, Calico Bush, A Narrative of the Life of David Crockett, Co. Aytch, A Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglass, The Giver, To Kill a Mockingbird, Christy, Little Women, In His Steps, Carry On Mr. Bowditch, Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Mama's Bank Account, Humorous Stories and Sketches (Mark Twain), Up From Slavery, Across Five Aprils, and a James Fenimore Cooper novel (probably the Deerslayer).

The entire selection will be read-a-louds. We adore our reading time when I read aloud and they listen intently. Plus, I get the benefit of asking them questions while we're reading. If they didn't read on their own I might not do this but they both have no problem picking up books and reading away an afternoon. Almost all of the selections will have an associated assignment such as a study guide, or written assignment.

Beginning the week before August 23rd we'll add the following courses into our schedule:

Biology - Through our co-op we always have enough science teachers, amazingly, for a wide range of science courses. We have utilized our homeschool co-op from the beginning and have felt relieved and grateful for all the moms willing to teach a science. When high school is said and done they'll have completed Physical Science with a Lab, Biology with Lab, Meteorology with Lab, and either Chemistry with Lab or Advanced Biology/Anatomy with Lab, depending on which class is offered their senior year.

Art 3D - This elective serves to fulfill an elective requirement and fulfill their creative tendencies.

Bible - They are taking a Bible class in homeschool co-op this year (mostly because I adore the teacher, having sat under her myself in study and I wanted my sons to benefit also, and I love the topics she'll be covering: David, Paul, John, and James). And they'll be memorizing the book of James.

American History - The boys are taking American History through our co-op but I am 'supplimenting'. Their curriculum is Notgrass' Exploring America, which on its own is a wonderful curriculum but I wanted to add side learning at home through copywork from the book, The Signers, lessons on Spotlight on America series, studies on the presidents through Encyclopedia of the Presidents, Drive thru American History, and Adventures in Odyssey America series, plus a large stack of American historical fiction read-a-louds.

Super excited about this year. The boys have begun with a bang too. While they might not have been completely thrilled about beginning school early they have been great about staying on task and accomplishing their assignments, while preparing dinner 4 nights a week, and running/working their small lawn moving business.

sons of thunder academy | exploring american literature

Sons of thunder
We will be using the Exploring American Literature curriculum from Notgrass Publishing that accompanies the Exploring American History (EAH) curriculum from the same. Originally we were going to complete a British Literature package, the Lord of the Rings literary lessons and even purchased the curriculum, but once we signed the boys up for EAH (for high school students) at Kingdom Builders Co-op it seemed wiser to use the available curriculum for a year of American Literature while also studying American History.

The literature package includes 13 works of American Literature covered at various times during their study of EAH. There are suggested alternative readings should one want to replace a particular piece but rather than replace pieces I've decided to add those pieces in to our literature plans. When we are in Unit 2-3 of EAH we will read and explore the first piece of literature, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. All the literature will become read-a-louds because it is our most favorite time of homeschool: when I read to my 16-year old twin boys. They read many books on their own so I have no issues making this our time.

The following is the order we will complete our literature pieces and what if any will accompany the reading:

The Scarlet Letter (Nathanial Hawthorne) - During EAH Unit 2-3

     The Glencoe Library has quite a few study guides available for free download. We will take advantage of these for The Scarlet Letter

Calico Bush - During EAH Unit 4-5

     I found a Unit Study on line that I will incorporate into our studies when we read Calico Bush

Narrative of the Life of David Crocket (David Crocket) - During EAH Unit 6-7

     During this reading I'll use pieces of the National Endowment for Humanities website to provide a more substantial study.

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (Frederick Douglass) - During EAH Unit 8

     The Signet Classics has a Teacher's Guide that I will use to create a Study Guide for John and Jarrod during this reading. While we will just read some of the selections I disagree with the Notgrasses recommendation to just read the selections without interrogating or discussing what they've read.

A James Fenimore Cooper selection - During EAH Unit 9

     We have already read The Last of the Mohicans, which might be an obvious selection but more than likely we'll pick The Deerslayer. We will read to enjoy.

Uncle Tom's Cabin (Harriet Beecher Stowe) - During EAH Unit 10-11

     I will purchase a Study Guide from Progeny Press for this selection.   

Co. Aytch (Sam Watkins) - During EAH Unit 12-13

     We will read to enjoy.

Carry on Mr. Bowditch - During EAH Unit 12-13

     I will purchase a study guide from Progeny Press for this selection.

Little Women (Louisa May Alcott) - During EAH Unit 14-15

     I will purchase a study guide for this selection.

Across Five Aprils - During EAH Unit 14-15

     We will use the study guide available for free through the Glencoe Library.

Humorous Stories and Sketches (Mark Twain) - During EAH Unit 16

     We will read to enjoy.

In His Steps (Charles Sheldon) - During EAH Unit 17

     We will read to enjoy but we will definitely discuss each chapter together.

Up From Slavery (Booker T. Washington) - During EAH Unit 18

     I will put together a study guide for this selection.

Mama's Bank Account (Kathryn Forbes) - During EAH Unit 19

     I will put together a study guide for this literary work (unless I can find one online).

Christy (Catherine Marshall) - During EAH Unit 20-21

     We will read to enjoy.

To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee) - During EAH Unit 22-23

     We will complete the study guide available as a free download from the Glencoe Library.

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry - During EAH Unit 24

     We will complete a study guide for this selection.

The Giver (Lois Lowry) - During EAH Unit 27

     I found a Progeny Press study guide that I will most definitely incorporate into this last literary selection.

I am crazy excited for our next school year and all wewill learn about American Literatue and American History for that matter.




homeschool 101...building a portfolio (part IV)

Building a Portfolio (Part IV) – Course Descriptions

I’ve noticed through my research that many colleges are requesting full descriptions of high school courses completed. I imagine it is to ensure that specific concepts are covered in each course that meets requirements or standards. I’ve also figured out that writing the course descriptions is my least favorite part of the portfolio and probably one of the biggest tasks. However, I would prefer to be prepared should the need arise for course descriptions to be included in a college admissions packet.

The boys and I are apart of a homeschool cooperative, or co-op, that routinely includes course descriptions for each class the co-op is offering for the following year. It allows parents and students to see what the course will entail throughout the year. For instance, this coming year, their 10th grade year, John and Jarrod will take Biology. The following is the course description our co-op used in their Course Descriptions document:

This course is a college-prep biology course that provides a detailed introduction to the methods and concepts of general biology. Heavily emphasizing the vocabulary of biology, it provides the student with a strong background in the scientific method, the five-kingdom classification scheme, microscopy, biochemistry, cellular biology, molecular and Mendelian genetics, evolution, dissection, and ecosystems. It also provides a complete survey of the five kingdoms in Creation. (Apologia: Creation in Science, Biology); 1 Credit.

And their Algebra I course that they just completed this past year looks like this (which I created, erring on the side of caution, and including all the concepts learned):

Algebra 1: Made up of five instructional components: Introduction of the New Increment, Examples with Complete Solutions, Practice of the Increment, Daily Problem Sets, and Cumulative Tests. Algebra 1 covers topics typically treated in a first-year algebra course and includes • arithmetic and evaluation of expressions involving signed numbers, exponents, and roots • properties of real numbers • absolute value • equations and inequalities involving absolute value • scientific notation, unit conversions • solution of equations in one unknown • solution of simultaneous equations • the algebra of polynomials and rational expressions • word problems requiring algebra for the solution (such as uniform motion and coin problems) • graphical solution of simultaneous equations • graphs of a variety of functions: linear, quadratic, cubic, square root, absolute value, etc. • translations and reflections of graphs • factoring • Pythagorean theorem • algebraic proofs • functional notation and functions • solution of quadratic equations by factoring, completing the square, and quadratic formula • direct and inverse variation • exponential growth • computation of the perimeter and area of two-dimensional regions • computation of the surface area and volume of a wide variety of geometric solids • statistics • probability (Saxon Math Algebra 1): 1 credit.

I realize some descriptions will be harder to put together, especially if it isn’t a ‘defined’ curriculum that might include a textbook, but something one has put together. For instance, this past year John and Jarrod completed for their English/Literature credit using a ‘put together’ curriculum: Easy Grammar 9 (a defined workbook), Wordly Wise Vocabulary 9 (a defined workbook), a multitude of historical fiction and fiction novels with literary study guides, or literary analysis. I’ve kept all of their literary assignments in one binder and assessed each for a grade. This course description will be harder to define as I’ll need to include the descriptions for the grammar, the vocabulary, and the literary portion.

I am encouraged by having already a good beginning on their portfolio. I do however need to create a specific binder for their portfolio to store the hard copies in. Right now I only have the documents on my computers. Not that that isn’t an ok spot but I like to see the final product too.