I can hardly believe it, but my son’s 8th grade year started last Wednesday.
We have been homeschooling since pre-K, when we began our beloved Five in a Row series. Can that possibly make this year 10?
Yes, I think it can! (I’m already thinking about high school transcripts.) In any case, we’ve started into the school year and are building our routine. It IS exciting. Jackson is studying a lot of fascinating subjects this year, which makes the work we’re doing even more interesting. Here’s a rundown of what we’re doing physically…and virtually!
Earlier this spring, I reviewed a wonderful homeschool resource by Stephanie Walmsley called Successful Homeschooling Made Easy. What a great resource, even for a somewhat “seasoned” homeschool mama! It’s an e-course, and Stephanie sends one chapter and lesson per week. I have picked up many tips and ideas that I hadn’t come up with in my own experience. I especially love her scheduling ideas. They have made our homeschool days feel very gentle and lovely.
For Bible, we’re continuing to use the Experiencing God at Home devotional book for our daily reading. Once we have our routine down, we’ll add Prasso Ministries’ Teen Prasso
Bible study. We reviewed that as well, but didn’t get all the way through the book. It’s fantastic for teen boys (and probably girls too—my experience is just with boys!). It has a great running story about two teen brothers tucked in with the Bible study, verses, and Q&A.
One of our online courses is Fascinating Education‘s Fascinating Biology. We reviewed the company’s Fascinating Chemistry last year and really enjoyed it…and learned a lot as well. We’re also hoping to do a Physical Science course this year, although it will start a little later in the semester.
We’re also really happy to be using EEME‘s electronic kits for kids. (My cousin told me that he works on similar projects—although more complicated—in his high school physics class. Nice!) These are so amazing and they teach fantastic science skills. Plus they’re just so fun to complete!
We’re using a brand-new resource (look for its review later this week!) called U.S. History Detective Book 1 from The Critical Thinking Co. It starts with early Native Americans and moves all the way through post-Civil War Reconstruction. (I’ll tell you more about that later this week!)
We’re also continuing with Geography Through Art by Sharon Jeffus. It has neat art projects connected to world geographical areas. So creative, and great learning tools!
Ah, the dreaded math. (At least at our house—apologies to my friend Joy!)
However, I’m seeking to remove some of that dread this year by following some of Stephanie Walmsley’s excellent ideas. We’re using Unlock Math‘s pre-algebra, as well as a new resource (review coming on that one as well!) called Stinky Kid Math. That one covers pre-algebra, algebra 1 & 2, and geometry. We won’t likely cover all four of those, but we’ll definitely work on the first two. Both these resources are online curricula.
This year, we’re still doing read-alouds along with our readers. We’re starting out with a biography of C.S. Lewis (with a companion unit study that covers more literature, geography, history, art) which we work on 4 days per week or so. Then at night, when my husband is available, we do another book together that we’d normally do during school hours. The difference is really only the time of day! It provides great discussion time as well, when we can all three weigh in. I’m not quite sure of all the titles we’ll do as RAs this year, but I am relying heavily on Sonlight’s excellent book lists.
And of course, we must do readers as well! I’m using Sonlight’s lists for readers, too. Now Jackson is reading Kate Seredy’s The Good Master, and we’ll do The Arrow Over the Door next. We’re just working our way down a lengthy list of great books.
Jackson journals about each chapter after he reads it.
Grammar et al
For grammar, we’ll continue with some excellent resources from other Schoolhouse Crew reviews. We’re using Fix-It Grammar from Institute for Excellence in Writing, Logic of English‘s Rhythm of Handwriting, and various middle school writing prompts and other creative writing tools.
I know we’ll be adding more (foreign language, keyboarding, computer programming, piano lessons) soon. But it’s vital to me to get a great routine going first. Then we can add those great extras!
What are you using for your curricula this year? Blessings to you for an amazing year!