Making curriculum choices is one of my favorite tasks as a homeschool mom. Some things with my oldest we tried and stuck with. Other things were tried and tossed. This makes the selection process slightly easier for my son who is entering eighth grade this year. He’s my “get it done, so it can be over” child. I don’t take offense, because it’s not with a bad attitude. He is 13, and he would rather spend time riding dirt bikes, practicing parkour, or making money working with his dad. Can you blame him? Even though our personalities are much the same, when it comes to learning and school-related things, we differ. He prefers math over art, history over science, and is not a dawdler.
With this in mind, I have high hopes that my choices will meet our needs, reflect his style, and give him a well-rounded education. Several things on this list are new to us. Without further ado, here we go!
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Core Curriculum for 8th Grade
Bible – Route 66: Travel Through the Bible Student Manual by Positive Action For Christ. I’ve used several and have found most are brimming with fluff and lacking in truth. This one seems to be simply an overview of the structure and themes in the Bible. I hope this will be a good, fast-paced review before we get into deeper studies for high school. I would also highly recommend Through the Book of Books by Lori Verstegen for middle schoolers and beyond as a solid Bible study.
Math – Teaching Textbooks Pre-Algebra. We’ve been using this for several years now, and it has been working well for my son. I like that it has automatic grading, incorporates real-world applications, as well as the ability to view how to do each problem.
Science – General Science 1: Survey of Earth & Sky by Masterbooks. This is a new one for us, and one I am most excited about. I love how the books are broken down into four areas of science. They are colorful, interesting, and set up well for my “let’s get it done” kid. It is lacking in experiments, but I intend to incorporate a few of my own to enhance the curriculum.
History – All American History by Bright Ideas Press. This too, is a new one for us. I was looking for something multi-age friendly, flexible and not dry. It’s been several years since we studied American History, and this one looks to meet our needs this year. I also picked up a Drive Thru History video, America- Columbus to the Constitution. At times, a visual can bring out things the text cannot, and who doesn’t love Dave Stotts’ Drive Thru series?
Grammar – Easy Grammar Plus. We are currently reviewing this one for The Old Schoolhouse Crew Review. I liked what we used last year, and will continue to use with our daughter, but will try something new for my 8th grader. I was happy to have the opportunity be on the review, because it was one that had caught my eye at a convention a few years ago. After taking a thorough look at Easy Grammar Plus, and giving him a short trial, we decided to keep going with this after the review period is over.
Creative Writing – Jump In: A Workbook for Reluctant and Eager Writers. We started this last year, and are will continue with it this year. It is a two year program. I can’t say it was his favorite, but I think with more consistency on my part, and a new hybrid schedule I’m working on, this year will be a better experience with writing. I will also incorporate some photo prompts and other things as I see fit.
Vocabulary/Spelling: We will focus on vocabulary using Vocabulary Cartoons SAT Word Power. We have used Vocabulary Cartoons in the past, and it is a fun program for remembering vocabulary words – and it works! I also picked up some Spelling Power Activity Task Cards from a used homeschool store to incorporate some spelling activities. If I feel we need to continue with a formal spelling program, we will pick up where we left off with Sequential Spelling.
Handwriting/Typing: Wacky Sentences Handwriting Workbook This area still needs some work. We used the first part of this last year, and will work more consistently this year. I like that it is geared toward the older student, and the goofy sentences make handwriting practice bearable. Typing.com is a free, online, no-frills typing program. I love how simple it is to use. We have used this before and it’s time for a refresher.
Literature: BJU Excursions in Literature Grade 8 Homeschool Kit By BJU Press. In order to give a well-rounded taste for different types of literature, BJU is my go to. We will also continue with a few read alouds that I select.
That’s “the core” for my 8th grader this year! Stay tuned to see what we are using for the “extras” that I plan to incorporate into our mid-morning meeting. (That’s a “morning basket” a little later in the morning). and other times through the day. If you are interested to see what we used last year, check out my 7th Grade Curriculum Choices. Be sure to check out my mid-year check in, because some things changed. If you are still trying to make those final choices, be sure to check out some of my tips for choosing!