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Somehow, life got hectic at the end of summer, and I did not have the opportunity to share with you what we were planning to use for my daughter’s eighth-grade curriculum this year. We have been back in our school routine for about a week and working out all the details. So far, she is enjoying this line-up.
For literature, we decided to use some of the units from the Schoolhouse Teachers Literature course. This course is set up based on different novels and picture books. Each book is a stand-alone unit that comes with questions, writing prompts, and story webs.
Before we started, I let her go through and choose a variety of books that sounded interesting, and I picked a few that I knew I wanted her to read. She loves to read but hates spending too much time dissecting what she reads. This course will allow her to read the whole book and then answer questions. It keeps it from being tedious for her but still allows me to check her comprehension.
Jump In Writing is a program that we used several years ago and enjoyed. I have brought it back out for my daughter to help her improve her writing and get ready for high school. I love that it is gentle but thorough. The lessons are short enough not to frustrate her. They will methodically help her improve her writing. You can work through it at your own pace, and it covers a wide variety of different types of writing. I also really appreciate that rubrics are included in the teacher’s guide to help me score her writing fairly.
We were able to review the CTC Math Algebra 1 course this summer. While Algebra is not her favorite subject (or mine), she liked the way CTC Math was set up and is continuing with that course. I appreciate that she can do the work independently after watching the videos, and it computer-graded.
We always appreciate the Christian worldview of Apologia science and decided to use Apologia General Science for her this year. This will be her first year doing science more independently (we do science as a family in the younger grades). The Apologia general science course has a textbook, student workbook, and tests. It will give her a good overview and a strong foundation for high school sciences next year.
Each week includes reading, experiments, lab reports, and workbook activities. It is laid out specifically to help the student learn to become more independent.
She is on her second round of Story of the World. This year she and her younger brother are doing volume 2. We love Story of the World for the way it makes history exciting and accessible. Last week they loved making a Roman soldiers meal and cookie dough pillars after learning about the Fall of Rome. We are also excited to be including some fun art activities in history this year.
We love doing chalk pastel lessons with Nana over at You Are An Artist, but this year my daughter wanted to change it up a little bit. She decided she wanted to try painting with acrylics, so we will still be using our You Are an Artist Clubhouse membership for her curriculum, but she will be focusing on the acrylic courses. She started this week with the introductory lesson and enjoyed painting the simple field of flowers.
In addition, she will continue to do some chalk pastels, particularly as they relate to her history. The Medieval History and Knights and Castles courses have some great lessons that tie into Story of the World Volume II.
Bible is another program that started as a summer review but is carrying on into the school year. She is using Wise Up Proverbs Study. Wise Up is an in-depth study of Proverbs designed for middle grades students. Each week I will work with her on the teaching portion, and then she will complete the workbook sections independently throughout the week.
My daughter enjoys running both to compete in local 5k races and for exercise. For her physical education course, she will spend a good bit of time running independently and with her father. She will also be doing some Fit2B workouts to help her work on strength training and coordination. I love that she can use both the children’s routines and the regular routines, and I know they will be safe for her and teach her quality movement and skills and a healthy view of exercise.
We did not even have to think about music! We are continuing with Practice Monkeys for music performance and SQUILT for our music appreciation. She loves both programs and I love how easy they make it for me! She has been taking online violin and piano from Practice Monkeys and started taking Cello this month. She enjoys her lessons four days a week.
In addition, we are excited to be back doing our SQUILT lessons twice a month after taking a couple of months off this summer due to our hectic schedule. We love the live lessons as well as the monthly music calendar (which I think is the easiest way to get started with music appreciation.)
Overall, our first week went well, and we are excited about the year ahead. My daughter can mainly manage her courses independently, but we are still studying history together . I also teach her Bible once a week. I will, of course, be available to help her as needed, and we will reevaluate as necessary. We are also enjoying our family morning time, which I will share in more detail next week. What are your favorite curriculum choices for 8th grade?
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