A Blog Devoted to Encouraging Homeschooling Mothers

A Blog Devoted to Encouraging Homeschooling Mothers
The Burts in 2013

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

TOS Crew Product Review ~ The Easy Spanish Level I from Great Commission Languages

.The Easy Spanish Level I (from Great Commission Languages) is a whopper of a book at 414 pages and 2 Cd's. Using this foreign language program for 36 lessons, following each portion of each lesson, WILL give your student the tools they need to speak Spanish (and by that I mean they can actually communicate with those whose native tongue is Spanish).

This curriculum can be parent led, or can be done individually - which is the ideal option for homeschooling parents because it makes it easy to adapt to younger children or easy to "hand off" to older children. I'm using The Easy Spanish with my junior in high school and my 8th grader. Using The Easy Spanish through completion counts as 2 years of high school foreign language. I should also note that this curriculum has a STRONG Christian emphasis (hence the publisher's name Great Commission Languages!) and the end aim of the product is at making and equipping missionaries. Can I just say, very loudly, HOW COOL IS THAT?!?!

For the most part, everything you need is included with this curriculum, but some of the activities may require a trip to the library. And I would also suggest laminating the phonogram flash cards to help them last longer through lots of use.

The lessons in The Easy Spanish are divided into sections as follows:

~ Story ~ (told in a Spanish weave) ~ Students listen to the Story daily
~ Vocabulary ~ Students listen to vocabulary daily
~ Activity ~ (primarily for younger students) ~ many Activities have a corresponding activity sheet
~ Narration ~ (follows Charlotte Mason's theories for foreign language) ~ this section is not intended for use with independent learners
~ ¡Soy Yo! It’s Me! ~ a special activity for those using the Charlotte Mason method that makes a nice keepsake upon completion
~ CM Activity ~ primarily for the independent learner
~ Teacher Helps ~ written for the parent or the independent learner
~ Scripture Memory Work ~ suggested for use every 2 lessons
~ Cultural Note ~ provides a deeper understanding of the culture
~ Trivia ~ interesting facts about the culture
~ Notebook ~ all student work goes into the student notebook
~ Front Cover Work ~ this is only for the younger child

Well, I know that the above list may look like a whole lot of work, but take it to someone who has taught foreign language using a variety of different curriculum - this method is not at all overwhelming and it works really well. It's easy to implement once you read through the introduction and create each student notebook. And I love hearing my daughter's speak in complete Spanish conversations. As a matter of fact, just this evening my 13-year-old translated a commercial that was all in Spanish and she was kind of in shock that she completely understood everything they said!

High school students keep a journal written entirely in Spanish (my 17-year-old balked at this, but now she really enjoys it). They write about everyday life, and since it's a no-pressure assignment in regard to the quality of the writing it's a very doable activity.

Some other awesome features of The Easy Spanish are the checklists for younger and older students, the lesson planner templates, and sample CLEP tests to help students prepare to "test out" of Spanish. My girl's favorite part of the program is the Scripture memory activity. Being able to quote the Bible in Spanish means the most to them, as they take a mission trip to Ensenada, Mexico every 2 years. What a fantastic gift to give my daughters, which they in turn can "re-gift" again and again and again!

To learn about The Easy Spanish for yourself, visit their website at

The product I received (free of charge for review purposes) is priced at $139.95. Individual portions of the curriculum are available for prices ranging from $10 to $69.95. Great Commission Press also sells The Easy French ($139.95).

To read what other members of the TOS Crew had to say about The Easy Spanish, click HERE.

Seriously consider this product if you have an older student who needs a foreign language credit, or a younger student who would like to learn Spanish (or French). It's an excellent product with a Christian perspective and I'm so blessed to have been able to review The Easy Spanish from Great Commission Languages.

Lord bless you and your family this Christmas season!

Day 136 done :)

Jan L. Burt

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Advent Begins Tomorrow

Acts 15:31 (New Living Translation) reads ~ "And there was great joy throughout the church that day as they read this encouraging message."

Since the purpose behind this blog is to encourage moms who homeschool, the above verse from Acts is fitting to post today. And since tomorrow is the first Sunday of Advent, I thought it was fitting to blog about something truly encouraging - the coming of our Savior Jesus Christ.

I'm often encouraged by articles in homeschool magazines, blog posts from my fellow homeschooling moms, Sunday morning sermons, and weekly small groups. But the most encouraging thing that has ever happened for the whole of mankind was the birth of a tiny baby in a dirty stable, surrounded by animals and wrapped in swaddling clothes.

My prayer for you this Christmas season is that your homeschool days, and every moment you spend with family and friends, will be filled to the brim with understanding of the Lord's great love. The encouraging message, that Christ was born to save us from our sins, is indeed cause for great joy. It's not a gift you'll find in any store, and it cannot be wrapped and placed beneath the tree. But it is the only gift that really matters, and it's the greatest gift mankind has ever received.

Remember to celebrate Advent tomorrow, and praise the Lord for His willingness to born among the lowly to bring salvation to all mankind. He is the One True God, and He alone is worthy of our praise.

Day 135 done :)

Jan L. Burt

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Living Life as the Body of Christ

I've been reading in Ezra, and the Lord has been speaking to my heart about being open not only before Him but also before my brothers and sisters in the local church. I know you may be wondering how I got that from the book of Ezra..hang on, I'll connect the dots.

I think there might be a "trend" in the church today, and maybe it's primarily a trend within the church in America, but the tendency toward "handling things on our own" seems to be increasing.

Now, I'm in total agreement with the practice of total reliance upon God as a demonstration of His faithfulness (as demonstrated in the lives of George and Mary Mueller). I hope I can phrase this in a way that doesn't sound as if I don't believe in total reliance upon God alone. Here goes nothing...

In the Old Testament book of Ezra, we read about the Israelites returning to to Jerusalem following a terrible time of exile. They began the work of rebuilding the Temple, and faced strong opposition while they went about their work. It took a long time, and a lot of prayer and patience, to complete the task. But they would not have gotten much done if they had each worked on their own, gone solo, done their own thing, kept their burdens and their work load private and to themselves. They needed each other as a community, as God's children, to accomplish God's will in the rebuilding of His Temple.

Today we often keep too much to ourselves - although some people share too much, too often, with too many. (That's another blog post altogether!). And maybe this isn't a problem women face as much as men, being they are hard wired to man up and lead the charge. But it is an honest-to-goodness problem within the church today. For example, it can be hard to ask a couple of other believers, who are mature in their faith, to pray for you regarding a specific situation. Yet that may be what needs to happen for God to do His work in that situation. It requires humility and interdependence in the church to pray in this way. Some of us are just too proud to ask for this type of prayer. We may not want anyone to speak into our lives, or we may wish to handle things privately.

Some people, some families, live in a constant state of spiritual defeat. One reason may be because they fail to have others pray for them in an open and honest manner. God is glorified when His church functions as a healthy Body, and Jesus taught us to gather in groups of two or more when we pray, giving us the promise that what we ask will be done. Lone Rangers and Armies of one cannot coexist within the Body of Christ.

In the end, Ezra recorded the completion of the Temple. What will the end of our record say? Will we be able to say the work was completed, we were united with our brethren in the Lord, we humbled ourselves before others and allowed them to pray for us in an open and honest way? Do others speak into your life, or do you live your life as a Lone Ranger Christian?

Have a blessed Thanksgiving, and be sure to tell the Lord how thankful you are for His blessings on you as a homeschooling mother!

Day 134 done :)

Jan L. Burt

Friday, November 18, 2011

TOS Crew Product Review ~ Read Naturally - Read Live!

Read Live (from Read Naturally) is a comprehensive set of research-based programs that assess reading while engaging students. It is a motivating curriculum that supports fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, and phonics.

The above words can be found online at Read Naturally's description of Read Live, and I must say, the above words are accurate and true. Read Live is a web based reading program that improves students reading ability along with their self-confidence. Yes, it's hard work, but most anything worth doing is.

When I first logged onto the Read Naturally website to set up our family's Read Live account, I thought the set-up process to be a little confusing. It is a multi-step process that is probably better suited to an administrator in a public or private school setting than the average homeschool mom. But I understand why Read Live operates the way that it does; it allows for multiple teachers and students to access the program, and keeps cheating at a low and accountability at a high. And overall, the set up process isn't that difficult - just a bit more time consuming than I'm used to.

The program itself is very thorough. VERY thorough. The placement method is solid and works well, but the option is given to place the student in any chosen level by bypassing the placement testing.

Each lesson is, again, VERY thorough. At first it seemed a bit repetitive to me (listening to the piece being read as many as 10 times!)but the continual improvement the student makes is worth the time spent on each lesson. And the beauty of the repetition is that the student is able to see instant progress. It's very encouraging for the reader, which in turn encourages the homeschool mom, which makes me smile because I'm all about encouraging moms who homeschool!

The vocabulary games are really good and the subject matter for each reading piece is interesting and engaging. Many topics we read could be considered cross-curricular, covering history or science in addition to language arts.

Overall Read Live is an excellent program. It's value is tremendous. The program is not likely to work wonders for your child if you don't use it regularly (just like any other curriculum), but if you and your reader(s) will take the time to complete the lessons you will see results. Second to teaching our children God's Word, their reading ability is the hinge on which the door of all future educational success hangs. Read Live will increase your child's reading ability and comprehension, along with their fluency and self-confidence. It's worth the financial and time investment. A top-notch, five-star program in my book.

As it is an online program, users need to have regular access to a computer. And as a disclaimer to Christian homeschoolers, much of the reading material that is scientifically related mentions evolution. The child is being timed while they read, and each piece is read multiple times, so they will hear evolutionary spiels over and over again. We have some set methods in place when it comes to evolutionary content in our home, and it has worked fine to discuss content from a Biblical perspective with this program. However, each family is cautioned to make the best choice for their family and I would be remiss to fail to mention this aspect of the program.

At the website you can learn more about all the products available. You can also find a tab for a free 60-day trial of Read Live on the main page.

A 12-month subscription to Read Live costs $149.00. The recommended ages for students is 1st through 8th grade, although it can be used as an intervention program from 1st grade through adulthood. For more information, you can email them at

Since it is an administrator controlled program, the primary homeschooling parent (usually mom!) needs to set aside time to work with the child as they complete their Read Live lessons. This is probably given, since it would be nearly impossible to assess reading progress if you aren't actually there to hear the student read...but I thought I'd mention it anyway :)

As always, I received this product free of charge for review purposes.

To read what other TOS Crew members had to say about Read Live and other Read Naturally products, click HERE.

Thank you for taking the time to read this product review and may the Lord richly bless you as you homeschool!

Day 133 done :)

Jan L. Burt

Don't Over Do It This Thanksgiving

My advice for all homeschooling moms this Thanksgiving is simple: DO NOT FALL INTO THE DO-IT-ALL TRAP!!

It is a trap lying in wait for all homeschoolers. We set our sights too high, plan too much, work ourselves to the point of exhaustion, get snippy with our husbands and children, and end up frustrated and worn out. Wondering how I know this? Or have you already figured out I am a born over-achiever and I've had to learn a few things the hard way?!

This Thanksgiving, take it easy. Slow down and make time for what really matters. Instead of adding an enormous unit study on Thanksgiving to your typical homeschool schedule, why not set aside your current history program and study about the history of this holiday in America? Swap out handwriting workbooks for Bible verses about thankfulness. Keep your Thanksgiving Day menu as simple as possible, and do some of your baking a little early as part of homeschool Home Ec. Don't try and do everything you normally do and host the perfect Thanksgiving dinner and add a ton more work to your family's homeschool agenda. I'm not saying that you should do nothing - that would be as bad as doing too much. Just don't do too much. I have a feeling each of you knows what "too much" is for your particular family.

It's hard to be thankful when we're stressed out, worn out, and put out. It's hard to enjoy the family we're blessed to be a part of. It's hard to relax if our to-do lists are several pages long. It defeats the purpose of the holiday - and how much sense does that make??

So, what am I doing to keep my Thanksgiving simple this year? Well, we aren't traveling anywhere because that would be pretty tough to manage since our son only has a short amount of time home from college. I'm cleaning the house pretty thoroughly, but I'm not going to deep clean the areas that aren't "vital" (i.e. the basement, the garage, the closets...). I'm only baking the desserts my family really loves - and I'm not trying any new recipes this year. And we're doing our normal Black Friday traditions ~ shopping just for the fun of it (it's a fun time for my family as they goof off in line and have a relaxed attitude as they shop) and play some serious paintball in the afternoon with our church youth group (a lot of adult church members join us - it has become a fabulous tradition!).

Other than that, we'll be hanging out while my son is home. We'll eat family dinners that are "non-cafeteria-style" but easy for me to prepare. Our homeschool schedule will be adjusted so that we aren't stressed to the nines next week. On Monday evening, we will watch the Patriots vs. Chiefs game just for fun (my son's a huge Pats fan and the NFL season hasn't been the same with him away from home). Simple stuff, relaxing stuff, fun stuff. Plenty of time to make memories and a relaxed attitude in keeping with a thankful heart. Sounds like a great Thanksgiving to me.

I encourage you to evaluate why you do what you do, keep in step with the Holy Spirit, and enjoy your blessings this Thanksgiving. And if you're brave enough, join in an intense 4-hour paintball session on Black Friday!!

I'll leave you with a few words from the Greatest Book ever written, and my hope that you are blessed beyond measure this Thanksgiving.

Psalm 62:1,5 ~ "My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him...Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him."

Day 132 done :)

Jan L. Burt

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

TOS Crew Product Review ~ College Prep Genius

Here I sit, typing away, drinking coffee from a bright orange mug with the words "Wheaton College MOM" emblazoned on the side. With my oldest in an excellent college, I must say I feel pretty confident about the future of my four younger children. During my son's last two years of high school, I thought I'd learned pretty much all there was to know about the college testing process. As a homeschooler, there are often extra hoops to jump through when filling out college applications - and since my son chose to apply at academically strong schools that don't accept a high number of homeschooled students, I found myself working over time in the position of guidance counselor.

I know a lot about standardized tests and understand the application process pretty well. And it's all fresh in my mind, since Gage graduated in May of this year. But I must say, I have learned a TON from College Prep Genius and I truly wish I'd discovered this product earlier. There are a few things in the life of a homeschooler that are worth their weight in gold; College Prep Genius is one of them. (The items I received free of charge for review purposes weigh about 16 oz and gold is currently valued at $1782/troy ounce - College Prep Genius is worth $28,512...)

I received the DVD set, which includes 4 DVDs with a total of 12 video lessons, a 326-page textbook, and an 80-page workbook. My 11th grade daughter and I have been using the program together over the last several weeks and I can honestly tell you that she is NOT a standardized test-taking fanatic! But she has grown in her confidence and skill level by using the textbook and workbook and watching the DVD lessons (presented by the author, Jean Burk).

We began with the "How to Use This Book" section, which lays out a clear plan of action for the student. Step one is for the student to take a practice SAT or PSAT. There are many options available, but the best ones can be found online at The College Board website ( (As a side note, each high school student in your family's homeschool needs to have their own College Board account. This site has more tools and resources available than I can make mention of here, but if your child is "thinkin' 'bout college", you need to be a user on this site!) Jean Burk's wise advice to set up an account at The College Board is a key component in your child's college application process.

After finding your student a good practice test and registering at The College Board, jump right in with this curriculum. The "Motivational Trait Evaluation" is a good next step, and it's actually a whole lot of fun! My 17-year-old daughter thought it was very informative and helped her nail down some of her strengths and weaknesses. In homeschooling families, it's important to identify each child's individual gifting so that they don't live in the shadow of older siblings. She was very comfortable using this curriculum, and recently had a lengthy phone conversation with her older brother about preparing for college. Her attitude has improved and her fears have diminished as she has used College Prep Genius. It's clearly laid out plan to help her achieve a higher SAT score has given her the boost in confidence she needed to chart her path toward higher learning.

Information contained in College Prep Genius about standardized tests - from general test info, to how to register for the tests, how to cancel your test scores should you be displeased with them, to accurate websites and thorough explanations of the purposes and benefits of these tests- is simply terrific and invaluable. Is the process overwhelming? Sure, it can be. But it doesn't have to be. College Prep Genius is one way to keep the process manageable.

3 Key Ingredients to a Successful & Low-Stress Path to College:

1. Start Early
2. Work Steadily
3. Keep a Calendar Just for the High School Student's College Application Process

If you do the three things mentioned above, and use College Prep Genius as your guide, you and your student can have a positive experience.

College Prep Genius offers a 100% money-back guarantee for 30 days after purchase. You really don't have anything to lose! To purchase College Prep Genius, or to learn more about the college admissions process, visit

The DVD set I reviewed sells for $99.95 (but would cost $129.85 if each item were purchased separately). The books without the DVDs sell for $69.90 (but there is a current Co-Op special for $50). Additional student workbooks cost $19.95. They also have an e-book titled "15 Secrets to FREE College" available for $9.95. Their VocabCafe series of books sells for $38.95.

To see what other TOS Crew members had to say, click HERE.

To sum up my feelings about College Prep Genius, I would say that it seems to answer the age-old question of how to eat an elephant. (One bite at a time.)

God bless you on your homeschool journey and may you be encouraged today as you fulfill your high calling as a mother!

Day 131 done :)

Jan L. Burt

Friday, November 11, 2011

11-11-11 = A Day to Be Thankful

Today is Veteran's Day; it was previously known as Armistice Day. On November 11th, 1918 at 11am a cease fire fell into place, thus ending the First World War. One year later, President Woodrow Wilson signed into law the federal holiday of Armistice Day, and all business commerce stopped for 2 minutes at 11am. In later years, following World War II, the federal holiday became known as Veteran's Day. It's an excellent thing for a country to honor those who have died to ensure freedom for it's citizens. It's also a good thing to remember the origin of this national holiday. By all means, as the wife of an Army officer, I am thankful that his service is remembered on this day. But as a homeschool mom who loves history, it's also important to me that we remember those who fought in the Great War, and who most immediately benefited at 11am on November 11, 1918.

All who have served in the defense of our country, since the days preceding the Revolutionary War through the long days and nights spent in the mountains of Afghanistan as of late, are to be honored today above all other days. They are heroes, and we are a grateful nation.

Having experienced the unique circumstances a family endures during a deployment, and having dealt first-hand with the negligent treatment wounded soldiers often receive when they sustain injuries, I would also like to say a few words about some other people who serve their country. Those who go are often unrecognized, and usually not thought of. The spouses and the children of deployed soldiers. (Let me add that I am sure siblings, fathers and mothers are probably also left feeling "unsupported" during deployments, but I have not been in the position of being mother to a soldier - I can't say exactly what that experience entails and so I've chosen not to talk about it in this post).

If my children could share one piece of wisdom with the "civilian world", it would be this: don't just ask them how their deployed parent is doing. Ask them how they are doing! In my husband's case, he received care packages, letters and emails almost daily that encouraged him while he was away. He knew he was being prayed for, and trust me, that is an invaluable ministry that means more than I could ever say. However, my children endured the lack of their father in our home (for the most part) from March 2005 until November 2007. (Due to a rear det job, followed by a 40 day deployment post Katrina, followed by a deployment as part of OIF/OEF, followed by a non-combat injury that nearly claimed my husband's life). During all that time, they were regularly asked how their dad was doing - and I don't think they can recall ever being asked if they were doing okay or if they would like someone to pray for them. Their advice is simple - if you know kids who have a deployed parent, please ask them how they are doing. Take an interest in their lives, too, and let them know that you understand it is a very difficult time for them.

The family of a soldier serves their country right along with the service member. But they do it in a much quieter, often forgotten manner. This Veteran's Day, thank a vet for serving our country. And thank their family, too - because when a soldier is deployed, the entire family is deployed.

And my personal thanks go out to my husband for his service (22+ years in the Army) - to all our dear friends who have served and continue to serve - to my grandfather for his service - and to my father for his time spent in the U.S. Army (he is buried at Black Hills National Memorial Cemetery, located near Sturgis, South Dakota).

Celebrate freedom today & remember our greatest freedom is in Christ Jesus, our Lord!

Day 130 done :)

Jan L. Burt

Thursday, November 3, 2011

TOS Crew Product Review ~ First Form Latin from Memoria Press

First impression upon opening the package I received from Memoria Press: WOW!! They sent me the whole shebang!

Second impression upon opening the package I received from Memoria Press: WOW!! They must not know how un-confident I feel about teaching - gulp - Latin!

The set I received from Memoria Press was First Form Latin Plus DVDs and Flashcards (sent to me free of charge for review purposes). This set contains the Teacher Manual, Student Text, Student Workbook, Quizzes & Tests, Pronunciation CD, Flashcards and DVDs. It is a very thorough set, and it does it's job of allowing moms like me to teach Latin to their children :) It's a quality program and provided me with the tools I needed to conquer a foreign language that I did not feel confident about teaching. The only items I needed in addition to the materials included with First Form Latin were a student notebook and a dictionary containing word etymology. (And just in case you happen to be a whiz when it comes to Latin, no worries - it's designed for teachers with or without a Latin background.)

Memoria Press encourages the study of Latin grammar to take place using four books (First, Second, Third, and Fourth Forms). Each text is a small book of about 100 pages with 30-35 concise two-page lessons. Each text has a corresponding workbook (4-6 pages of exercises per lesson). First Form Latin provides plenty of resources to aid in student success, which makes it a favorite subject for my daughter. This curriculum can be used from 3rd through 12th grades (and remember, any time you spend a year teaching a foreign language counts as one year of foreign language on your child's high school transcript, no matter what year the material is taught).

The "Teaching Guidelines" are very thorough, and I truly appreciated that I did not feel like I was drowning under the weight of them. Clearly broken into numbered segments, it's easy to go back and review any portion as needed. Once we dug into the program, it became pretty easy to use and the time investment isn't as great as I expected.

The more we use First Form Latin, the less intimidating Latin becomes. This really is a user-friendly program that anyone can use with no prior exposure to Latin. Teaching a foreign language seems overwhelming at times, and it can seem simpler to hand the entire process over to someone more skilled. But as homeschoolers, we must daily rise to the challenge of teaching subject matter that seems intimidating. Latin is really no different, and if you've considered it but been afraid to teach it, First Form Latin from Memoria Press - combined with your own dedication - is a great place to begin!

My daughter, who previously disliked any foreign language assignment, said this, "There are multiple ways to learn each part of a lesson. A variety of different ways to incorporate learning made me feel like I could 'get it', if not one way than another. First Form Latin explains it well, even in the confusing moments. When I do feel confused, I just keep looking and I always find the answer I need somewhere in the curriculum. The vocabulary is probably my favorite portion of Latin. And I really like the way each lesson builds upon the last. If you want to learn Latin, Memoria Press is the way to go!"

To explore First Form Latin for yourself, visit

To read what other reviewers had to say about products offered by Memoria Press, click HERE.

Other items available from Memoria Press include K-6 curriculum packages, an Online Academy, Logic & Rhetoric materials, Geography, Christian Studies, Greek plus a whole lot more.

First Form Latin sells for $55 for the basic set, and $115 for the complete set that I received.

Thanks for reading my review of First Form Latin from Memoria Press - and remember, don't be afraid to jump in with both feet to teach foreign language. You can do it!

Day 129 done :)

Jan L. Burt

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Will I REALLY Be Able to Homeschool Through High School?!

Today's post is simply a dose of encouragement for homeschooling mothers considering the looming future idea of homeschooling "all the way through". (Key creepy music and girly shrieks and screams)

Yea, it's a scary concept. But if you take a moment and remember when you first began to considering homeschooling, you'll recognize the same emotions. Remember how you felt about teaching your child to read? Or teaching them to write in cursive? How to form a complete sentence or perhaps a paragraph? The scientific method? How to type and use the Dewey decimal system and the history of Ancient Egypt? All those concepts seemed pretty daunting, and yet you were able to keep your head and teach your children. High school is much the same - I promise!

My oldest graduated last May and is now in college (yes, your homeschooled child can actually get accepted to a college ~ but that's another post altogether!). I have two daughters in high school this year (9th and 11th grades) and two daughters in middle school (6th and 8th grades). These are busy years and the school day tends to be l-o-n-g. However, it isn't really any more challenging than it was to teach a couple of my kids to read and write and all that jazz with a baby, toddler and preschooler to care for.

My first piece of advice to any mom wondering if she can homeschool through high school would be to seek the Lord. He is able to provide all the grace and wisdom you need for this endeavor, and only He can bless you with an abundance of peace.

My second piece of advice would be to plan ahead and start planning well in advance. Before you reach the middle school years, consider which subjects you will teach during 6th - 8th grade that can count as high school credit. For example, if your child is advanced in math you might consider placing them a grade or so higher in math. They might complete Algebra I in 8th grade, and Algebra I is Algebra I no matter what year it's taught - so it counts as on year's credit in higher math on the student's transcript. If your child is a history buff, maybe you could search amazon or The Great Courses for curriculum that is a little more difficult than the typical middle school coursework. Upon completion of the text, the student receives credit for high school level work on their transcript. And remember, according to the public school model "completion" is reached when 80% of the text has been finished.

And my last piece of advice would be to stay relaxed and remember that homeschooling through high school is a marathon, not a sprint. Don't try and cover too much subject matter during the child's freshman year or they will end up overwhelmed and you will end up irritated and weary. Pace yourself. Use resources that show you what a typical 9th grade academic year looks like. Pray and pray some more. And let your child choose one subject they want to study that isn't on your "must do before graduation" list. Believe me, that makes a huge impact on the student's attitude during the high school years. And a good attitude in your teenager is a very good thing!!

Trust in the Lord and rely on Him alone, and you will find that homeschooling your high schooler is no more difficult than teaching your 5-year-old to read.

Happy homeschooling!

Day 128 done :)

Jan L. Burt