Notes from the High School: Week 10

atlanta secular homeschool high school

We’re winding into the home stretch of the semester — which means you guys are getting ready for summer, but we’re busy planning for next year. If you’re interested in AP classes, dual enrollment, special programs, independent study, or other activities for next year, stop by our meeting on Tuesday, April 9 at 6:30 p.m. If you want to schedule a follow-up planning meeting with Amy, just shoot an email, and we’ll get you on the calendar.

This week, we finished up Good Omens (and yes, we couldn’t resist playing “It’s the End of the World as We Know It” for the last class because we’re only human and that’s thematically in keeping with the book’s conclusion). It rated between a 7 and an 8 on our very official Twilight (1) to Buffy (10) scale of worthy literature, just about tying The Hate U Give, which we read earlier this term. We’re trying to plan a back-to-school binge of the series sometime in August. The final project for Good Omens is due on Tuesday, and we can’t wait to see what you guys come up with. Across the hall, students wrapped up No Logo, which has generated some interesting conversations over the past three weeks, and shared their final projects.

In literature, we wrapped up Victorian poetry with Robert Browning, who turns out to be a little creepy. Amy demonstrated how to do a super-close reading of the text with “My Last Duchess,” and students put their own close-reading skills to work with “Andrea del Sarto” and “Porphyria’s Lover.” Dramatic monologues are due Tuesday! Feminism finished up with John Stuart Mill’s “The Subjection of Women,” and final essays are due on Tuesday.

This week, students on the history track started Class in the Victorian World. We kicked things off with an introduction to the middle class, who were arguably the most important voice in the Victorian world. We also checked out some photos and maps from Britain’s National Archives to get a first-hand look at what housing was like for different classes. This weekend, we’re watching “The Supersizers Go Victorian” (If you haven’t seen this, it’s lots of fun!) and reading some related selections from the Victorian Martha Stewart, Isabella Beeton. Debate got off to a rousing start with very passionate arguments about what to do with Confederate monuments and flags. Students had to take the side that disagreed with their personal opinion on the issue, which ended up leading to some creative, interesting compromises.

Students in Latin I are in review mode, and it may be a little surprising to realize how much we’ve actually covered this year. Going into the final, grammar and vocabulary are key, so students will want to spend a little time every day working on those things. (It’s better to spend 10 minutes six days a week than to spend an hour on Monday night.) In Latin II, we tackled the shiny new dative case, which is used for indirect objects, so we also got to review a little English grammar. 

In math, we worked on simplifying monomial fractions with positive and negative exponents, solving binomial proportion problems, graphing lines and circles, factoring polynomials, and mastery of sector areas, surface area of a cylinder, elimination and substitution, and numerous triangle problems. I love seeing everyone sprawled out on the floor laughing at the end of the day — I do not remember my own math classes being that much fun.

In Spanish, people are working on lots of different tasks to meet their goals for the semester. One student is reading The Wizard of Oz in Spanish, and other students are writing essays on the poetry of Ruben Dario. In class, we worked on prepositions and verbs: present tenses versus preterite, ser versus estar, saber versus conocer, and first person versus second person. Everyone’s going a great job rocking through their Spanish packets.

These last few weeks seems awfully close to summer, but there’s still a lot of learning to do. We encourage you to stay focused and continue to work hard — even if you’re working right up until the last week, you still end up with two more months of vacation than everybody else!