How To Use the Manuals
Over the years, I have found that having the student research the week's topic and then at the end of the week the parent should sit down with the student to discuss what was discovered. Which days of the week this is done truly is what ever works out best for the family. Such are the benefits of homeschooling, so thankful we can be flexible! For instance the student could research Monday through Thursday. Then on Friday, the student would sit down with a parent. The parent would ask what they found out about each question. As the student talks, the parent refers to the Parent Manual to make sure the student found the correct answer; it has the bare minimum amount of information (the answer is there if the student could not find any information, and the parent knows he/she really tried). My goal is for the student to tell the parent much more information than what is written in the Parent Manual, for then the student would have gotten really interested in the subject and learned much more than the average high school student!
How much information the student gives depends upon his/her interest. Some of the questions are straight-forward: "How many types of muscles are there?" The student can answer in a simple list, or the student can give a written page about each type of muscle. Some questions are intentionally vague. It is to see if the student will become interested and fascinated by the topic. One such question is "what is the life cycle of the red blood cell?" The student can give a simple '120 days life cycle', or the student can go into great detail about how long the red blood cell remains in the bone marrow, the stages it goes through in the marrow and within the blood stream, and how it is broken down when the red blood cell breaks apart, the 'end of its life'.
After the student discusses the week's research, the student does the lab/dissections for that week. The parent can perform the lab with the student, but it is not necessary. The student needs to make sure to follow directions and to answer all the questions or, for biology, to draw and label as much as he/she can.
There is a quiz for each week of research. I would recommend the quizzes be given the week after the topic is researched and lab is done. For example, Week 1 Quiz is given right before Week 2's discussion. This exposes the student to the information several times: reading in research, processing the information and writing the answers down, verbalizing the answers in discussion time, hands-on labwork, and then studying for the quiz while researching the next week's questions.
High school is a time to prepare for college, so I encourage the students to learn how to study for quizzes, and for end-of-semester final exams.