Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Four Year High School Plan in Retrospect....

I'm officially in full planning mode here on Drywood Creek!  Planning just happens to be one of my favorite things :)  I will only have two students this fall after graduating our second child, the first through homeschool, in May.  After seven years of high school between two kids, it seems a bit strange not planning high school this summer. 

A while back, in this post, I talked about creating a four year plan when starting high school.  Recently on the SCM Forum, a question was asked regarding sharing of middle and high school plans.   This prompted me to reflect on our homeschool high school, which I thought I would share here in the hope of helping others in the high school planning mode. 

As mentioned in that former post, this was a fluid document that changed annually until graduation.  Here is the final version showing what curricula we used each step of the way...

 Drywood Creek Academy
Four-Year High School Plan

Required Number of Credits




English including                    Grammar, Composition,     Literature, Speech, & Vocabulary

MFW English
Queen Language Lessons
Wordly Wise 8 (1)
MFW English
Beautiful Feet
Language Lessons (1)
Lightning Lit & Comp
Beautiful Feet
Spelling Wisdom (1)
Beautiful Feet
Commas are our Friends
MFW Speech (partial) (1)

Math –U-See Pre-Algebra (1)

Algebra 1
Keys to Algebra (1)
Math-U- See Geometry (1)
MFW Personal Finance (.5)
Social Studies including                      Geography
   Ancient Civilizations
   World History
   U.S. History

MFW Ancient History (1)
MFW World History
Beautiful Feet (1)
Beautiful Feet U.S. History (1)
Notgrass Government  Never Before in History Under God (1)

Beautiful Feet U.S. History
TruthQuest AOR III  (1)
A Beka Economics  Uncle Eric books (1)

   Physical Science
   Chemistry, Astronomy,
   Physics, Anatomy,
   Marine Biology

Apologia Physical Science w/lab (1)
Apologia Biology w/lab (1)
Chemistry 101 DVDs
TOPS Solutions 12 – labs
The Great Course Chemistry – lecture DVDs
Exploring the World of Chemistry + Misc. Books (1)
Master Books Pre- Med Studies (Anatomy) (1)
    Old Testament
    New Testament

MFW Old Testament (1)
MFW New Testament (1)
MFW Biblical Worldview (1)
MFW Spiritual Disciplines
Starting Points (1)
Physical Education
Physical Education (.5)
Personal Fitness (.5)
Personal Fitness (.5)


Total Health (.5)
Electives – Music; Art; Logic; Ag; Life Skills, Computer, Foreign Language, Culture, etc.
Animal Science (.5)
Typing for Christian Service (.5)
Ag Processing (.5)
Choir & Music Appreciation (1)
Introductory Logic (.5)
Natural History & Outdoor Recreation (.5)

Life Skills (.5)
Art History (1)
Intro to World Cultures(1)

**Please don't get hung up on credit assignment.  There are many ways to go about it.  This just happens to be the way it worked for our family. 


  1. I am curious as to what you used for your 'animal science' credit in her freshman year? my daughter is headed to a career with animals, but not veterinary studies...any thoughts would be lovely.

  2. If you click on "high school" on the right side of the blog under "Labels", you will find all posts related to our high school studies. Within those posts is one titled "high school electives"; or you could type that into the search bar and the post should come up. This post describes how I put together a couple of non traditional electives. It also shows some of the resources used.

    Hope this helps,

  3. Hi Melissa, thank you for this post! I have been following your blog for a while now and have enjoyed your CM approach, especially for high school. Since you have used MFW high school and BF high school, I would like to know how you adjusted from MFW to BF? We have used MFW for the past few years and are accustomed to using this type of TM, with all of the guidance and direction in it. Is it a big learning curve to switch to BFB? If you'd rather send me an email to discuss, that would be great. My email is thebetancourt6 {at} gmail {dot} com. Thank you!

  4. Hey Jackie,

    This is a great question! I would not say it's a "big learning curve", but there are some differences. As you know, MFW is broke down day by day for 36 weeks. The MFW TM tells you exactly what to do each day and has rubrics for scoring and credits. BF is broke down by lessons. It's been a couple of years since we used the high school levels, but if I remember correctly, BF is set up to complete approx. 2-3 lessons per week, depending on which guide you use. There are no scoring rubrics, however, if you check out the Q&A section of the BF website, they give you options for credit assignment.

    The high school levels of MFW teach Bible, History, and English, in which you will need to add a grammar supplement. BF is strictly History and some English if you add in a writing component and grammar. We continued with written narration at the high school level using the BF guide questions as writing prompts. Though BF is biblically based, there is not enough material to a lot a Bible credit.

    I've always used BF as an add on. However, this fall, we're planning to use their new Modern American and World History study with 5th and 6th graders as well as the History of Science as our main curricula. I will be adding books and commentary from TQ History, but BF is going to be our main go to, which is slightly opposite of what we've done in the past.

    Hope this helps...

  5. Hi Melissa,

    I'm here from the SCM forum. I'm curious about the MFW bible component. I am not finding it on their site as a separate thing. Could you point me in the right direction, please?

    My 6th grade son will also be using BF Modern American and World History, though we may take two years to do it. I added up the page count and it was ~ 3,800 which is near Charlotte's recommended limit for this age group. Since I have other books I want him to read and he isn't my big reader, I'm going to do the study over 2 years, I think.

    DD8 will finish the BF Early American Study and begin the geography study for 3rd grade. She'll also use SCM's new Pond & Stream Companion with ds5.

    DD14 is entering 9th and I've changed my mind a dozen times already. My original plan - EpiKardia American History I - is quite a heavy reading load and while the page count is ok, there are no simple books mixed in, which I think I want. I considered using SCM module 3 and supplementing for American. I've considered having her do BF Ancients (only the 1/3 or so she hasn't read) along side BF Early American (the 1/2 or so she hasn't read). I "think" the front runner is something from BF with one or two sources from EK mixed in for essay practice. Oh, I also have the tentative booklist for the new BF US & World for high school. It's going from a 2 year to a 1 year study. Not to mention, I have all of the high school info. that was on the Charlotte Mason Help site before it was removed. Information overload.

    I want more for my kids than my paltry history education, but we've surpassed that already. I'm just not sure I want super duper heavy. Something appeals to me about making it lighter than AO or CMH and allowing more free reads from a select list. If I used BF, perhaps it might be something like:

    9th - BF Anicients and BF Early American and World - parts not previously covered (covering Europe w/ Visits to Europe in co-op)
    10th - BF Middle Ages (visits to ___ in co-op)
    11th - New BF US and World (modern) in one year (visits to __ in co-op)
    12th - Personal choice (visits to __ in co-op)

    We'd mix in government and economics along the way. I would add free reading selections to choose from taken from SCM, CMH, etc. to all of the above. I'm thinking this might be my best option right now. I love the SCM framework, too, we used it until dd was in 8th. However, I really want all of the kids to finish in modern times since that is the world I will launch them into. Using SCM, my girls would finish in module 6, but the boys would not.


    Thanks for sharing, it does help to see what others are doing.


    Christie (missceegee)

  6. Welcome Christie, (I recognize you :)

    I'm afraid I don't have a great answer for you regarding the MFW Bible component. Their lesson plan includes Bible, History, and English so you would have to buy or borrow the Daily Lesson Plans to get any part of their program. We used MFW Ancient as written in 9th grade and with supplementation in 10th grade so I owned those plans. I wasn't crazy about their American history study so I borrowed the 11th/12th grade guides from a friend and built my own thing. I really liked the MFW bible/worldview study for this particular child and since I had access to the plans, it was easy scheduling on my part. I did add and pull from David Quine's Starting Points in 12th grade as well.

    I too will be using BF Modern American and World History study this fall with a 5th and 6th grader. If splitting it in two years is beneficial for your son, I say, by all means, go for it. The guide looks quite meaty and the Civil War is a lot of history in and of itself. Actually, we're doing some pre-Civil War stuff this summer, like finishing up Abraham Lincoln by Daugherty and reading some books on the Underground Railroad. So technically, we'll be covering this period over a 1 1/2 years.

    I think your 8 year old will love the BF Geography study. We read three of the Holling C. Holling books this past year and intend to finish the study this fall with Minn. This is definitely a keeper that I plan to go through again with our youngest when he's ready. One other geography resource we enjoyed at that 3rd/4th grade level is A Child's Geography of the World by Hillyer.

    I haven't spent a lot of time looking at EpiKardia so I'm unable to comment on it, but we've used BF extensively at the high school level. Our dd actually LOVED BF! She continually commented on the "thought provoking" questions within the guides. She used the questions as writing prompts and the basis for some of her written narrations. I'm anxious to see the new BF US and World. We used the original over a 2 year period. I agree with finishing in Modern Times, particularly with Biblical Worldview!! I own a few of the SCM history modules, but haven't used them faithfully enough to comment either.

    There are a ton of decisions to be made in homeschooling and plans do change as time goes on, but keep in mind the big picture, the kind of people we're turning out is more important than the actual text used. Seek God's wisdom and in the end it will all come together.