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11th Grade English – What is Required?

July 17, 2009

What do you need to cover in 11th grade English?  Whatever it takes to read and write reasonably well, and score well on the college admission tests!

“Hi Lee.  I enjoy reading your blog via The HomeScholar.  I have a question for you — I’m concerned about whether I’m covering all that I need to for 11th grade English and wondering what I missed in the  10th grade.  We used BJU for 9th grade English/Lit and the course was very thorough.  This year we used Beautiful Feet American and World History and will finish the curriculum next year (it is a 2 year course).  I used this curriculum for both history and literature along with some IEW writing and DVDs.  Thanks for your  time!”
~Cynthia in Raleigh, NC.

If you are trying to decide what to cover in high school English, it can vary SO much for each child, it’s hardly worth listing the important skills.  Some kids are still struggling with spelling or grammar or writing skills.  Other kids are doing very well, but simply need more information on how to write well.  Other kids are good writers with a good vocabulary, and they need to just maintain and expand their skills.  That’s why I can’t really tell you exactly what to cover, because it will vary at this stage.

Instead, think about a good general strategy.  As long as your children are reading and writing at their level for a minimum of one hour per day, 5 days a week, for almost the whole school year, then you are providing a class that is a high school credit.  English includes reading many kinds of things, writing many kinds of things, literature, composition, grammar, spelling, penmanship.  I’m telling you that so you don’t do a whole HOUR of spelling plus a whole HOUR of reading plus a whole HOUR of grammar.

From your question, it looks like you are covering all the bases, and using some curriculum choices that match the needs of your children.  If you identify a weakness, then cover it.  At the same time, if they are reading and writing well, then it’s also effective to keep teaching at their level, providing practice throughout the whole year, for at least an hour a day.

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“Thanks so much Lee. This is helpful and gives me peace to go on trying to meet the needs of our son/student, versus worrying about whether or not we are covering what the public highschool would cover. :)  I enjoy your website and have found some helpful things in your blog also. Thanks for taking the time to answer my question!”

~Cynthia

1 Comment »

  1. Linda Aragoni says:

    I totally agree that what a teacher (home-school or other) should teach depends entirely on what the student needs to learn. I’m not sure I’d totally agree with how to define what the student needs to learn.

    Research published this year reveals what most college instructors knew: English skills necessary to get into college may not be good enough for staying in college. The work that the typical high school covers are often not the kinds of reading and writing tasks students will have to do in college.

    College students I’ve taught are often flabbergasted to learn that the kinds of writing that won praise in high school are not particularly valued in college.

    A good reality check for parents is to look at college writing standards. Some college websites have lists of what they expect of incoming students. If a college has a writing lab, its online site is usually another good source for information about what students are expected to be able to do their first semester.

    July 17th, 2009 at 12:57 pm

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