I can’t believe we’re gearing up to start the 8th grade! My youngest is wrapping up middle school this year. Boo hoo! That means that I’m on the downhill side of my homeschool journey.
Emma is very excited to be heading into the last of her middle school years. There’s a little apprehension from her and from me, though, as we take a new approach to our homeschool year.
This year, I’ll act more as a tutor and mentor than as a teacher. As Emma becomes more independent with her schoolwork, she’ll be in charge of her routine and her work.
My goal is to have her use a student planner for the very first time. In it, she’ll have a weekly overview of her assignments (instead of a daily assignment sheet as in years past.) She’ll also be responsible for writing her co-op assignments and project deadlines in her planner to stay on track throughout the year.
Our 8th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Reveal
- Vocabulary: Marie’s Words (review coming soon!) and Wordly Wise Grade 8
- Math: Saxon’s Algebra I (1 credit)
- Bible: Apologia’s What On Earth Can I Do? and Bible Road Trip Year 1
- Spelling: Spelling Power
- Grammar: Rod and Staff Grade 8 and IEW’s Fix It Grammar Book 4
- Writing: Write Shop I and a creative writing course at co-op
- Literature: Lightning Literature Grade 8
- Geography: Harmony Art Mom’s World Geography Plans (spread over 2 years)
- Science: Apologia’s Physical Science (1 credit)
- History: Bright Idea Press’s Mystery of History Volume 2
- Art: Pottery III and Art I at co-op (.5 credit)
- Foreign Language: Intro to French at co-op
- Physical Education: Dance classes and tap teams (1 credit)
For the record, we don’t do every subject every day. We actually only homeschool together four days/week, because she attends co-op for a full day once a week.
Emma is really looking forward to her art classes at co-op. This will be her third year to attend and her third year of pottery. It’s her very favorite class. She’s also looking forward to beginning French.
She’s least excited about math (her toughest subject) and dance. She has danced for the past 8 years. Over the past year, however, she has begun to struggle because of some ongoing health issues. We’re hoping a slower pace (down from 12 hours/week to 4) will help her rediscover the joy of dance while keeping the joint pain to a minimum.
This year, because we’re working toward more independence, I’m giving her control over her schedule and routine. She will be free to start and end her day on her own timeline (allowing her to sleep in when her body needs it.)
Each day, we’ll have a conference which I expect will last about an hour. In that hour, we’ll review her vocabulary cards and Mystery of History challenge cards. I’ll glance through her math assignment from that day to make sure she’s understanding it. We’ll chat about her grammar lessons for a few minutes. I’ll give her a spelling test (this is likely the last year of spelling), and we’ll have our “subject meeting.”
In our “subject meetings,” we’ll go over that day’s subject matter. For instance, on Monday’s, we’ll do a history check-in. I’ll look over her notebooking pages and assignments. I’ll have her tell me what she’s been learning. I’ll make sure she’s on track with that week’s assignments. And, I’ll check in to make sure she’s prepared for upcoming project deadlines and/or tests.
Each day of the week will have a different focus. We’ll have check-ins for science, literature, and geography, as well. She’ll just be responsible for coming to me when she has questions or encounters something she doesn’t understand in between our meeting days.
The last thing I need to iron out for the year is a student planner. I can’t decide whether I want to write her daily assignments in a spiral notebook or in a student planner.
I’d love to know how you do it? Do your middle schoolers have student planners? If so, which one do you use?