This is the final year of middle school in our house which means this will be the last time I’ll be choosing 8th grade curriculum. I’m sad y’all. Not just because my baby’s growing up, but also because homeschooling middle school has been so much fun. I’m definitely going to savor this year with my teen.
Marianna does most of her coursework on her own, so we try to find curriculum that can be done independently. I don’t do the “I’m going to explain the lesson and walk you through the assignment” teaching like I did when she was younger, but I’m still right beside her, coaching and guiding.
I can’t wait to see what exciting things she learns this year!
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Homeschool Planning for Middle School
In 7th grade, Marianna took a drawing class at co-op. She didn’t like the intense weekly format, so we’re going back to some of our favorites so she can get the variety she craves. My plan is to have her focus on one program a month, completing a project or two.
- Chalk Art
- You know how much we love Tricia’s chalk art lessons. They’re quick, easy and inexpensive.
- Creating a Masterpiece
- After talking to Sharon at a homeschooling convention and seeing her student’s artwork, we were hooked. All of the lessons are online, making them easy to access. I love that the projects are tiered, meaning students can start at the beginning and move through level 5, building their skills along the way. It’s not cheap, but the wide variety of projects and mediums that are included make it a good value.
- Masterpiece Society Art Courses
- The girls have taken a number of Alisha’s courses and definitely enjoy working with mixed media. These online courses are high quality and incredibly easy to follow. Marianna’s excited to work through the Playful Pet Portraits classes.
This year we’re sticking with Beautiful Feet Medieval History. History was Marianna’s least favorite subject, until we found this program. Thanks to its focus on historical literature, she has an appreciation for history and I’m happy that it is no longer a battle to get her to finish her lessons.
She’ll learn about medieval history through non-fiction and historical fiction reading assignments, research and discussion topics, mapping, timeline building, and hands-on activities.
A few of the books on the reading list are:
- The Adventures of Robin Hood
- The Kite Rider
- Crispin: The Cross of Lead
- The World of Columbus and Sons
In language arts, Marianna will be focusing on building writing skills to prepare her for the increased writing demands she’ll face in high school. We’re going to use Daily Paragraph Editing and Writing Teacher’s Book of Lists to take care of grammar and give her experience writing in different genres, within a variety of subjects.
We started using Learn Math Fast last year and since it works, we’re sticking with it. Marianna will finish up Learn Math Fast Volume II and move on to PreAlgebra (Volume III). I love this program because of how well the concepts are explained and my 8th grader loves that there is no busy work involved.
Last year, Marianna chose General Science by Apologia for her science curriculum. Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to finish all of the lessons, so she’ll spend the fall working through the experiments she missed.
She should be done by spring, which is the perfect time to study Wonderful Wildflowers from NaturExplorers. I chose this book because we haven’t studied botany in a while and we’ll be able to do many of the lessons and fun hands-on activities at Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival.
By combining these two curriculum, she will earn the full credit she needs for science.
I think it’s important to leave room in your middle schooler’s schedule for some fun classes.
Marianna has chosen to take:
- Cake Decorating at our homeschool co-op
- Drama at our homeschool co-op
- Problem Solving through Florida Virtual School
One super cool thing is that she was asked to be one of the lead teachers in our co-op this year. So on top of her own studies, she will be teaching younger kids TaeKwonDo. She is proud of herself (and so am I)!
Marianna is responsible for maintaining her own daily school schedule. She uses The Ultimate Daily Planner for Students by Apologia to keep herself organized.
Here’s to an amazing 8th grade year!