Charlotte Mason Helps Me Keep It Simple and Alive: High School Courses

Charlotte Mason High School Grade 12 Button


Charlotte Mason Principle #11
Instead, we believe that children’s minds are capable of digesting real knowledge, so we provide a rich, generous curriculum that exposes children to many interesting, living ideas and concepts.
Ambleside Online

This principle has been foremost in my mind as we picked the very last courses Mr. B will have in our homeschool. We have less than a year to go and he is anxious to get started. I have anxiety for different reasons but that is all the more reason to stick to the principles that have worked so well in our high school years.

Note: Mr. B has taken two years to complete his senior year of high school. These have been modified “gap years” where he has explored lots of learning opportunities in real life. We are very happy with the results of slowing down his academic studies to allow time before he officially graduates to grow and mature an extra year.  Our efforts have not been wasted. (Read this entry for more of our thoughts on this topic: SAT Preparation, Transcripts, and College.)

Keep it simple, remember your goals, 
and keep the curriculum living and interesting.

Here is a snapshot of what we will be doing this year for twelfth grade.

Pre-Calculus Teaching Textbook
Teaching Textbooks Pre-Calculus:
Mr. B chose this program as an elective for this year. He actually started at the very end of last year and has been completing a few lessons even over the summer break. This program allows him to work independently and to self-check his work.

Human Anatomy:
We are moving away from the Simple Schooling’s Anatomy plans to a more traditional college level text for Mr. B (shown above). He has had the desire to go deeper and farther than the previous curriculum allowed. I think he has just matured over the past year and is seeing that he ready for a more detailed text with interactive links. We added in the DVD course from Great Courses: Human Anatomy at the end of last year as well and he will be finishing that series. He is going to be using notebook pages to record his studies as a way of written narration. I love it when he includes diagrams or sketches in his anatomy notebook so those will be encouraged this year as he reads and tells back what he is learning. ( has a complete set now for Anatomy! Thanks Debra.)

Modern History and Geography:
We are continuing to use Tapestry of Grace Year 4 as the spine of our history study of the 20th Century. I am keeping the study fairly open-ended so Mr. B has time to research topics of interest and read extra material from the internet and the library as the questions arise. He is using a notebooking approach to keeping track of his narrations. Geography is an interest of his as well so we are using lots of maps from WonderMaps and from Trail Guide to World Geography to supplement his reading.

This has been the hardest component of his year to pull together. We ended up pulling from Tapestry of Grace Year 4, Excellence in Literature-British Lit, Succeeding on the AP Literature Exam from IEW, my own poetry selections, and one Shakespeare play. We are not completing all parts of all curriculum but only those that support the books we selected.

This is going to be a tough year as far as reading level and themes but Mr. B is ready for it. He gave final approval on all books I selected. His formal writing instruction will be included as part of his literature with the help of Tapestry of Grace suggestions and the two books from Institute for Excellence in Writing. Watch for an up-coming post with our literature selections listed with the corresponding resources noted.You can read my review of the Excellence in Literature plans on The Curriculum Choice.

Update 8/16/12: Here is the post which lists all Mr. B’s 12th Grade Literature Choices.

Notebooking Publisher Modern Art Cover
Fine Arts (Note: We finished HFA Grade 12 plans last year so this is a bonus year!)
Art: Custom plans that will include a variety of artists and media. I am hoping to pull it together and offer it as a free download at the end of the year for any families that want to give it a try. It is rich and full and we are going to use this as our last formal opportunity to create art together.

Music: Mr. B has requested a potpourri of composers. He has been through the list forwards and backwards as my little guinea pig for Harmony Fine Arts. He knows his composers but is not ready to let go of his formal study yet. I am going to make this a year to remember for him and hopefully we will be able to attend some live performances together to give our study more richness.

We will continue our morning routine of Bible reading and scripture memorization. Our nature study will follow the Outdoor Hour Challenge in a more informal way than last year, and he will be taking computer and fitness classes at the community college. He completed his government, economics, and shop classes last year.

You can follow along with our year by reading our Weekly Wrap-Up posts that I usually post on Fridays.

Please visit and share with us at the CM blog carnival! We'd love to have you!I am submitting this entry to the Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival and if you have any entries you would like to submit, you can send them to this email address: [email protected].

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