View Full Version : Supplementing Public High School

02-07-2014, 06:12 PM
My son and I have some to the conclusion we need to supplement his education at home. I wanted to know, if anyone here does this with your kid(s) and what supplements do you utilize? He has agreed study after school on days where he doesn't have soccer practice, weekends and the summer months... Someone recommend Test Prep material? I'm just not sure that's what we are looking for?

Here is a list of subjects we'd like to focus on for 11th grade ;


Algebra II


United States History

Reading & Writing

Much appreciated!

02-07-2014, 06:26 PM
Thats a lot on top of high school - doesnt he have homework?

Khan Academy is a great resource for math, and they probably also have physics. You could look at MOOCs like coursera. My son is taking a 'college algebra' class through Udacity, which is mostly algebra 2. All of these are free.

US history - does he have a basic understanding of US history? If so, Zinn is a good supplement, as is Lies your teacher told you.

Reading and writing is pretty vague - he could just read books and write about them? there are free guides on the cliff notes website. and for vocab i'd look at the SAT website

02-07-2014, 09:45 PM
Right on, Cara! Thank you. He says they have a study period mixed into their day for homework? He has brought some Geometry worksheets home once or twice, that I know about? Thanks for the recommendations, we'll check those out.

02-08-2014, 07:34 AM
The Physics Classroom (The Physics Classroom (http://www.physicsclassroom.com/)) has a ton of materials.

02-08-2014, 12:53 PM
Thank you, Carol. We'll check that site out.

02-08-2014, 01:44 PM
What is your objective with the supplementation? Is it to help him with the material he's learning at school (maybe to improve his grades or prepare for exams), or is it to broaden or deepen his education in general?

Is he struggling in the subjects that you mentioned?

If he needs to learn & understand the school material better, I would look at things like Khan Academy or ask the teachers for extra resources & book suggestions. For physics & algebra, find extra problems to work through.

If you're looking to improve his education overall, you could do LOTS of interesting things.

02-08-2014, 03:12 PM
I would like to improve his education. No, he's not struggling. He's taking Geometry & Chemistry honors, and his current grades are all A's and B's. We need interesting things, please!! :)

02-08-2014, 03:38 PM
If he's not struggling I think I would move away from more traditional course work and look into interesting opportunities in the community. Do you have a science center or museum that offers high school level programs, internships, summer camps etc? Does your local library do a writer's workshop, or is there a teen writing group in your community? Do you have a local newspaper that has a community editorial board that would welcome teens or can he volunteer to write newsletters for the library or other local groups? For writing what about http://nanowrimo.org/ or the teen version of that?

What about setting up a book club to read books on one of the topics you want to focus on (ie historical fiction/biographies touching on different times through US history, or read Feynman or Sagan and watch Nova together)

What about physics kits like this one? http://www.chemistrysetsandmore.com/physics-science-kits-physics-pro-advanced-physics-kit-p-72.html
Or getting a book of fun physics projects and building them, or subscribing to Make magazine? Is there a hacker's space near you?

Are you near a university? We live near a couple and they have some great programs for high school students including Math Circles, robotics competitions, science clubs, campus tours, lectures.

The crash course series of videos on youtube is fun, and a bit irreverent and would cover some of your topics. There are some great (free) Coursera courses on just about every topic under the sun. There is on running right now on Mathematical Thinking that looks amazing.

If he's covering these topics in class and is bored in school, perhaps you could talk to the teacher about other resources available through your school board or community. Are there math and science odessey programs, history fairs, trips offered through the history department, writing competitions, first robotics programs?

For vocabulary you could play that rice game, http://freerice.com/#/english-vocabulary/1441
do the NYTs crosswords, grab a couple of word a day calendars or play 10 minutes of dictionary/word games after dinner.

Education is about so much more than cramming facts, and if he's not getting enough from his high school I don't know that increasing volume alone is going to serve him well educationally or holistically.

02-08-2014, 05:20 PM
Thank You, Crunchymum!! Your are absolutely right, get him out into the world to experience...he's also taking Robotics. I'll have to look into what's available in our city.

02-08-2014, 11:32 PM
I agree if he/you are looking more for expansion then community colleges and universities are a great option. Even if not for classes offered through them they tend to have pretty comprehensive lists of community growth options like clubs, seminaries, and the like. Some are listed on their websites, but the best place is the commons area. Things get posted on the bulletin boards that never make it to the site. The professors can also be a great resource if you don't mind approaching them.

02-09-2014, 11:25 AM
There's a lot you can do if you're looking to broaden his mind at home. You could choose a decent national newspaper (or news magazine) to read once a week. It can be a good jumping off point for learning about the world (history, geography, politics, religion, economics, environment...), and it could provide a lot of new vocabulary, too. You could also watch the news from other countries, maybe BBC World to start with.

If he's interested in science, there are many interesting, readable books out these days. Pick one per month. He could also do career investigations in various science fields. Talk to friends and relatives and find people he could interview about their career choices.

It never hurts to read a few more classics, so he could read one of those per month, too (or alternate between science & classics). It's easy to find study guides or lesson plans online to provide discussion questions or essay topics.