Today I took David to lunch at McDonald's (his choice) to discuss his high school curriculum. I thought it wise to include him in the planning rather than just telling him what I want him to do.
So, here's what we ended up deciding for his 9th grade year and some ideas beyond that.
MATH - He is doing Algebra I already and should finish before the end of his first semester of 9th grade. He will begin Geometry in the fall and will do two math courses in his ninth grade year. As soon as he finishes Algebra I, he'll begin Algebra II. He should finish Alg2 by December of his 10th grade year, giving him 3 math credits in those two years. I want him to have as much time as possible to do Trigonometry and Calculus. He likes Math-U-See and so we'll continue with that curriculum at least through Algebra 2. Four credits are required.
LANGUAGE ARTS - He likes IEW well enough and so he'll do SICC-B for the composition segment of his 9th Grade English. We'll also get an ACT/SAT prep book and choose vocabulary out of that. For literature, he wants to read The Silmarillion and I suggested Beowulf as a companion piece of literature, since Tolkien wrote the Sil and translated Beowulf. We'll fill in this study with short stories and poetry if necessary. (I was impressed he picked The Silmarillion, even though he knows it is challenging!) We'll plan the rest of his Language Arts at a later time. Four credits are required.
SCIENCE - David was quite satisfied to follow the suggested course of study from Apologia. He likes the Apologia textbook he is using now and so he'll be doing Biology in the fall. 10th grade will be Chemistry, 11th grade Physics, and 12th grade Advanced Physics, since he likes to understand how things work and move and this will help him in his career goals, possibly computer programming or engineering. Three credits are required, but we'll do four.
SOCIAL STUDIES - David is completing a 9th grade level survey of American history right now (Sonlight 100). He'll finish that up next fall, thus earning his 1 required American history credit. He plans to take a World War II class at co-op next year and we'll flesh that out into a half-credit study. A Career Explorations class is also planned for co-op and we'll also work that into a half-credit for social studies. In 10th grade, he'll do World History (required) and in either 11th or 12th, he'll do Civics and Economics (also required). History is one of his least favorite subjects, but he will end up with four credits rather than the required three.
PHYSICAL EDUCATION & HEALTH - This is the sticking point. David is going to give it some thought and come up with a plan. He thinks he could run several days a week and come up with some other activities to include in a PE class to equal the necessary 150 hours for his one required credit. I've asked him to have that planned by the end of the month.
VISUAL, PERFORMING & APPLIED ARTS - David has already planned to learn stop-motion animation, so he will plan out a year-long course in this. I'm looking at a couple different resources to buy. He won't be taking the monthly drawing class next year, so I'll use that money to invest in what he needs. He will be keeping a log of what he does to earn his credit and will have one or more stop-motion videos at the end of the class. 1 credit is required and this will fulfill it. However, I'd like him to continue studying visual and applied arts since his career path will likely go that direction.
FOREIGN LANGUAGE - We are deciding between Japanese and Danish, with Spanish as a back-up plan. Japanese because it is one of the top 10 languages in the world and with David's interest in computer programming and animation, it could come in handy. Danish would be a possibility since he'd love to work for Lego and all Lego development happens in Denmark. Spanish is the second most widely-spoken language in the world (far behind Mandarin Chinese) and thus another wise choice. He considered Chinese and also thought briefly about German. We are going to do a short exploration of Japanese using a resource at our library, to see how it clicks with him. We'll probably buy Rosetta Stone. Two credits are required. (Well, they will be eventually.)