Wednesday, August 13, 2014

his 8th grade curriculum


My ability to blog has become increasingly limited as life has become increasingly full. But a sweet friend shared the other day that she peeked at my blog hoping to find a curriculum list and I thought, well, gosh…I could do that. Before I share though…I want to make sure you know this list is my *ideal* list. Inevitably some things will work and some won’t as we move through our year. I’m experimenting with keeping our work in binders too. Hopefully that will help us stay more organized! Also, because I’ve grown to deeply believe that learning happens all.the.time there are many organic learning opportunities through out the day that aren’t listed with our curriculum. Like chores or helping make meals or caring for their brother. Or for instance, the kids have neighbors over playing a mad game of monopoly right now! Not in the lesson plans, but I’m happily nixing the Science I had on the agenda for today. Because I just really buy into the idea that organic learning is so very vital. Seize the moment, right?


Memory Work

Daily: 15 minutes

Classical Conversations Cycle 3 iPad app

I love the idea of classical learning. If it weren’t so pricey I would definitely plug the kids into a local Classical Conversations group. But alas, it’s just not in our budget. Which is why I was over the moon to find the Foundations apps on iTunes! I have the kids listen and recite the memory work with the app every day. It’s a great (and affordable) way to infuse some classical into our daily routine!



Daily: 15 minutes

Building Excellent Character Step by Step Kindle book

He’ll read the book above (along with Scripture) daily until complete and then move into something else. I love the Kay Arthur inductive studies. So maybe I’ll grab one of those. Or maybe I’ll just have him read through various books of the Bible.

Speaking of organic learning, I also include our family worship, church and his youth group involvement as part of his spiritual and character nurturing.



Daily: 45-60 minutes

We’ll continue through Saxon 1/2 as well as joining the Math Counts team. If he completes Saxon 1/2 before the year is over I’ll have him move on to No Nonsense Algebra…which I’ve had shelved for just such a time.



Daily: 15 minutes

We’re going to follow Easy Peasy’s Grammar program (FREE) which includes using the living book Grammar Land. We started reading Grammar Land two years ago and he really enjoyed it. Once he’s completed the Grammar Land unit study I’ll move him on to Easy Grammar. Because I already own it. Although I do have my eye on Sheldon’s Advanced Language Lessons (FREE) too. So maybe we’ll do that instead of Easy Grammar? I’ve become very go-with-the-flow in my homeschooling mommy old age. Wink.



Daily: 5-10 minutes

We’re using the Wordly Wise iPad app (FREE). The idea is for them to listen one day, write the words in a notebook another day, definitions next day and use in a sentence the last day.



Daily: 10-30 minutes

I’ve so dropped the ball on the writing thing. Every year I give myself grief over it and decide I’m going to sign him up for a class or a co-op or something. Because I’ve been an epic fail with the writing piece. But it just never pans out. Because of our youngest son’s profoundly complicated medical needs…we’re on a fixed income. This means we need to use serious wisdom and weeding out when we make financial decisions. Usually, we decide that we just can’t swing a class financially. But recently I feel like the Lord gave me another little bit of liberty in helping me understand that we’re on a fixed income in other ways too. Because Trevor’s needs are so intense it limits how much running around I can do too. He has daily therapy which is doing him so much good and also requires me to be present. I just can’t logistically or financially make a writing class work right now.

Which is why I’m using Jump In by Apologia. I already own it and the format is very independent and easy to follow.

Annnnd…we’ll doing doing daily journaling together. Meaning mommy too! I’ve already gathered a couple of printable journal prompt calendars for us to follow.



Daily: 60 minutes

He’ll do Read Theory (FREE) daily. I love Read Theory because it’s independent little reading comprehension, spelling, vocabulary building test prep. It tracks progress too! We’ll also follow Easy Peasy’s reading program for this year.


History & Geography

Daily: 15-20 minutes

I was so sad and annoyed that Mystery of History changed their format from an all inclusive book to separate reader and activity book. Honestly, I was so disappointed that even though we loved Mystery of History I and II…I decided to move away this year. If we do go ahead and purchase Mystery of History in the future, it will only be the reader. I’ll just have to use Pinterest for activities. Part of the draw for me was having everything all together. Less to manage. Also, the price has now almost doubled. Sigh.


That said, the Lord provided a history curriculum for free! We’ll be using Currclick’s Timeline Project (FREE for now) to create notebook timelines. And a friend was giving away Christian Liberty Press’s Exploring American History.



Daily: 15-20 minutes

Our homeschool day always starts with a morning meeting where we gather on the couch and watch CNN Student News together. My kids have really grown to love this program! And the anchor, Carl Azuz is a really great positive role model.

He’ll be working through Georgia Virtual Learning’s American Government course (FREE) and reading Our Constitution Rocks through out the year.

In the Spring I’m hoping that he can attend our local Teen Pact workshop.



Daily: 30 minutes

Co-op once weekly 60 minutes

Some crazy friends convinced me to help coordinate and lead a co-op around Apologia’s Chemistry & Physics. Crazy me agreed! We’ll be meeting for an hour once a week at our church. Actually, I agreed because it’s much more likely that the experiments will happen in a co-op setting than in our home. It’s just too easy to let it slide! And experiments are something I missed out on when I was a kid…so I really want the kids to have this.

I’ll be having him follow Easy Peasy’s Physics & Chemistry (FREE) course as well.



Daily: 30 minutes

I signed the kids up for a beta HTML coding class because it’s free and I want them to learn as much programming skills as possible. That’ll run for the month of September.

After that, he’ll move on to Khan Academy’s programming course (FREE). He has expressed a keen interest in learning animation and coding.


Foreign Language

Daily: 30 minutes

We’re using Easy Peasy’s Spanish 1 (FREE).


Fine Arts

Piano Daily: 15 minutes

Art/Music Study: once weekly 10-15 minutes

We’ll continue using Hoffman Academy’s Free Piano Lessons for Kids. I have them watch and work on one lesson each week. I really can’t say enough about how much I love this program! Not only is it FREE…but Mr. Hoffman is an amazing teacher!

In addition, he’ll be following Easy Peasy’s Year 4 (FREE) art and music. studies.

I do own See the Light Art Class. We’ve been through about half of the program and I’m hoping to squeeze in the next half this year. It’s really a WONDERFUL program if you can’t afford or have access to art classes taught by professionals.


PE & Health

Once Weekly: 15-60 minutes

He’ll finish our Total Health Middle School curriculum for health.

Physical Education for him will include weekly ice skating at a local private school that opens their rink to homeschoolers for free! It’s such a wonderful gift! He’ll also be playing basketball for a local Christian school as well as a town team.



Once Weekly: 30 minutes

I purchased The Fallacy Detective this year and I’m hoping I can convince a couple neighborhood kids to join us at our place one afternoon a week for a Logic Club.

1 comment:

  1. Just found your blog today. Thank you for sharing your family's curriculum. Looks great :) I love that you've included links. Here's to a great school year :)