I’m not sure which is more alarming for me right now: the fact that my big kid is taller than me when he steps on his tiptoes or the realization that I’m finished gathering curriculum for his last year of middle school. Both are equally representative of his growing up, but I suppose the fact that we’re homeschooling 8th grade next year is a bit more significant, huh?
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As much as I’d like to be nostalgic right now and sift through photos of his preschool years at home, this 8th grade thing is happening and I’m really happy with the direction we’re taking for him.
Homeschooling 8th Grade
My goal for this year is to streamline our subjects as much as possible so that he can continue to build a solid foundation for his high school years without crowding out his love for learning.
Because of that, our curriculum plans this year look pretty similar to our 7th grade choices in most areas. Here’s what’s in store for us:
8th Grade Curriculum Choices
This kid is no stranger to math curriculum. He’s tried lots of them throughout our homeschool years, but he’s locked in on Life of Fred now. Over the last year, he completed Kidneys, Liver, Mineshaft, Fractions, and Decimals and Percents. He’s been busy this year!
Now that he’s worked through these, he’s moving into Life of Fred Pre-Algebra 0 with Physics. Due to the subject matter and length of this book, he’ll probably need most of the year to work through it. If he finishes it earlier than expected, he’ll move on to one of the other pre-algebra books.
This is one area we’re changing. After spending the last couple of years using a variety of fantastic language arts options like Writers in Residence, Readers in Residence, and Pathways Language Arts, we discussed what we liked about all of these and decided to go a different direction altogether.
For 8th grade, we’re returning to Learning Language Arts Through Literature. We used this for some of our elementary years and found it to be a gentle, but effective program. And, although the resources we’ve used over the last few years are legitimately great, LLATL provides something important that none of these do: consistency.
You see, none of these other programs we’ve enjoyed in recent years have options for high school. Since he’s entering his last year of middle school, that’s important to us. We want to do less searching for a great curriculum and more using the great one we found years ago. Learning Language Arts Through Literature can offer that to us.
This will give us an opportunity to build study skills, review grammar and spelling, continue developing his writing skills, and work through four book studies:
- Eric Liddell by Catherine Swift
- God’s Smuggler by Brother Andrew
- A Lantern in Her Hand by Bess Streeter Aldrich
- Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt
We’re excited to dig into LLATL again and feel confident that it’s the best fit for our homeschool goals for 8th grade and onward!
We had to do a mid-year switch for science back in January after a rough start to 7th grade science. The curriculum we used for the first half of the year is legitimately good, but not good for us. When we switched, we started using All-in-One Homeschool’s Chemistry and Physics course. That was a good temporary fix, but now we’re on to something completely new for him.
We looked at quite a few new curriculum options for science, but in the end we decided to go against standard curriculum for now. Considering his math focus for 8th grade already has a heavy dose of physics, it just doesn’t seem necessary to pile on much more.
In addition to physics with Life of Fred, he asked to used a purely Charlotte Mason-inspired approach for science for a while, so that’s exactly what he’ll do. I found Simply Charlotte Mason’s list of living science books, so he’ll be working through those, narrating, and sometimes using notebooking pages to document what he learns.
It’s bittersweet for us, but we’re homeschooling 8th grade without The Mystery of History. Since we covered the last MOH volume in 7th grade, it’s time for us to camp out in American history for a couple of years. That’s where All American History comes into the picture.
Choosing All American History was a no-brainer for us. We’ve loved our years working through The Mystery of History from Bright Ideas Press, so we knew we could trust Bright Ideas Press’ offering for American history the same way.
Art & Music
As for art and music in our 8th grade homeschool plans, there’s nothing new. For music, my kiddo will continue working through our SQUILT volumes. For art, we may sprinkle in our own projects here and there, but for the most part, we’ll stick to our resources from Masterpiece Society.
We’ll use Masterpiece Society Art Appreciation to help us with artist study. Beyond that, we’ll work through more mixed media workshops and art school classes through our Masterpiece Society Studio membership.
Electives & Extras
We’ll tackle most of our electives for 8th grade through our local homeschool co-op. I’m not sure what those will be yet, simply because the offerings vary each semester and aren’t announced until closer to the start date. So, while I’d love to share them with you here, all I know for sure is that he loves our co-op and won’t have any trouble finding electives he’ll enjoy.
Other than those electives, he’ll continue running and possibly add track and field to his training. He’ll also continue to practice typing skills through Typing.com, work on his personal writing projects, and pursue any other interests that may develop along the way.
It’s your turn now! What’s in store for your homeschool this year? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.