Jenn in NC wrote: -- would it not work to finish out the five year cycle -- maybe beef it up a bit -- and then pick up hs when they are finished? Say in 10th grade, maybe?
I’m always wanting to chime in on this stuff because I feel like I’m just in the learning stages of high school and it’s more fun to chit chat back and forth with some ideas in this learning stage. It helps me to think out loud with a discussion topic. Here’s my long winded opinion as someone who is currently using 1850-MOD (aka year 5) with a 6th grader and 3rd grader.
There is always the balance between "we can do whatever we want in our own homeschools to establish graduation requirements" and "this is the design of the program I'm using to accomplish those goals for my child". There are different types of diplomas to fit for different needs. And in all of those, there is the need for integrity in the descriptions of the course work.
Can a student study US history in 9th grade (as one of many subjects covered in 9th grade, of course) and then begin to use MFW’s high school in 10th grade? Yeah, probably. But
I don't think you'd want to use 1850-Modern Times and just “beef it up” and call it high school US history. It would be a lot of work on you to get 1850-MOD to a full year of US history. 1850-MOD, aka year 5 of MFW “family cycle”, is not just US history. It is US history in the context of World History. It is not an in depth study that is of the same caliber that my state Standards of Learning calls US history for high school level. (it is meeting standards at 2nd-8th grade, but that's a rabbit trail on this discussion.) You would still most likely eventually need to have Government and/or Economics as well as an indepth study of US history. And the spines used in 1850-MOD are not easily used that way.
Sounds like a lot of work to me to make it work. So, let's rethink the approach on this. I think it would be more beneficial to just get a high school level US history text for that subject for that student and then use some fun parts from year 5 as "dessert" --- but not the main course.
Your 9th grader does not have to be fully isolated from the rest of the family while working independently. It’s similar in nature to how MFW recommends using K and 1st with K and 1st grade age students and let them join in the family activities from the 5 year program. A 9th grader, in my opinion, could join in some family activities from 1850-MOD so that your 9th grader isn’t off in isolation. That would be the case no matter what high school program the 9th grader is in (MFW's AH&L or make your own or whatever).
Some quick off the top of my head examples where a high schooler could be invited to join in with the rest of the family include: any and all of the cooking projects from the US history Cookbook that is part of 1850-MOD. Your high schooler probably should be included in the family prayer time and family style devotions that are part of 1850-MOD. And if you are anything like me, you’d want your 9th grader to finish up the state sheets and at least read the President’s cards that were started in EX1850. But, if you're anything like me, you'd make the high schooler work at a quicker pace and not be waiting until the younger kids did those state sheets/presidents sheets.
Another issue would be which high school year would you “leave out” in the case that your 9th grader doesn’t start with MFW high school. Just make sure as you plan for it that you are looking to provide the credits they need for graduation and college entrance requirements as a more priority issue rather than using chronological history as the driving issue in the decision.
Just one opinion.