"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.
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.