My son officially starts high school this fall, and I’ve been developing a curriculum plan of sorts. He and I agreed we will need a lot more structure since he plans to attend a university. Since we’re a family of nerds, For Freshman English I proposed overlapping units on Science Fiction and Fantasy and Dystopian Literature/Film, complemented by Ancient/Medieval History for a social studies credit. My tentative plan, which James has agreed to …
1. Computer — His career goal is to be a video game creator, and he has set a goal for himself to learn Java and create an indie game. My role is just to offer encouragement and support, including books or a tutor if he decides he needs it.
2. Math — Resource: Khan Academy —
3. Science: Biology — Resource: Khan Academy Biology
4. English: To include books, movies, and other media and weekly writing assignments.
First Semester: Science Fiction/Fantasy — Possible Resources:
- The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
- Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
- The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
- The Once and Future King by T.H. White
- “The Martian Chronicles” by Ray Bradbury
- “I, Robot” by Isaac Asimov and its film adaptation directed by Alex Proyas
- something by Robert Heinlein
- The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (and movie adaptations, as they’re released)
- A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
- Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jone
- The “Earthsea” Trilogy by Ursula LeGuin
- The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemison — and other fantasy based on non-European cultures???
- The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
- “The Game of Thrones” HBO Series
Second Semester: Dystopian Literature and Film — Possible Resources:
- Animal Farm by George Orwell
- 1984 by George Orwell
- The Giver by Lois Lowry
- The Hunger Games and sequels by Suzanne Collins
- “The Minority Report” by Philip K. Dick and film adaptation directed by Steven Spielberg
- Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick and its “neo noir” film adaptation, Blade Runner directed by Ridley Scott
- “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut
- The Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess; would the film adaptation by Stanley Kubrick be too brutal for a 15-year-old?
- The Last Book in the Universe (2000) by Rodman Philbrick (cyberpunk dystopia)
- Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
- The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
- Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro and its movie adaptation directed by Mark Romanek
- The Maze Runner by James Dashner
First Semester: Ancient and Medieval History (c 6000 A.D. – 1492) — Resources: TBD
Second Semester: Early American History (1492 – 1849) — Resource: The Great Courses — Early American History
6. German: Resource: Rosetta Stone
7. Art: TBD
Which of the books, movies, and other resources above do you like best? Any other suggestions?