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What to do in 8th grade for English Honors in 9th?

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My 8th grader has just started attending public school. She has been tested as gifted, especially in the Language Arts area. This is the kid that was reading fluently in both English and Spanish by the age of 4 without having had any instruction.


Soon after the beginning of the school year she started complaining her Language Arts class was too easy, and that her teacher gave very easy work with very generous deadlines, and made it look as if it was a big thing. For example, they have this online grammar program, which I believe is a good program, but for instance they were required to do the first 9 lessons in unit 1 in 3 days, my daughter did 19 lessons in class on the first day getting all 95% to 100% scores! We just relocated and prior to our move she was in an independent school where she always felt challenged. We waited for school to start in earnest thinking the pace would pick up, but it did not.


I had a conference with her teacher and had no satisfactory answers - this from a teacher who claims to have certification in gifted education! I already spoke with the counsellor and they will not change her to a different teacher who I know is giving more challenging work, so I have decided to afterschool her in this area but I need a good solid program because neither my dh nor I are native English speakers.


I think I will leave grammar out since at least I know they are covering that part systematically. I am planning on having her take part in NaNoWriMo in November. I showed her the information last night and she was so excited! It was close to bedtime and I had to peel her off the computer to go to bed. So probably October and November we will focus on that, then I am unsure as to how to proceed. I will also check out a book club held at the public library. Other than that I am not sure what to do yet, so so I would welcome any and all ideas from you experienced moms. What did you do that prepared your children for English in High School and/or what would you have done differently to prepare them better?


Thanks in advance!

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What did you do that prepared your children for English in High School and/or what would you have done differently to prepare them better?


My 13 year old 9th grader is enrolled in 10th grade honors English this year and breezing through it. They looked at her 8th grade transcript from her charter school in California, and this placement was their recommendation.


Here's what she used as an 8th grader last year. I think it's probably overkill, but this is her area of strength (and mine.) Also, the summer before 8th grade, she took 2 writing classes at the state university.


Jensen's Format Writing (not in its entirety; we picked and choose our way through the book)

Jensen's Grammar (but only for review, since most of her grammar was coming from Wheelock's Latin)

NaNoWriMo (November)

Script Frenzy (April)

Teaching Company course: Masterpieces of the Imaginative Mind: Literature's Most Fantastic Works - She wrote several essays in response to the prompts in the course guide, and produced one major project on dystopian fiction which she presented at our school's end-of-the-year showcase.


Reading List (correlated with the Teaching Company course):

Grimm’s Fairy Tales

Tales of E.T.A. Hoffman

Short Stories and Poetry of Edgar Allen Poe

Alice in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass, by Lewis Carroll

The Invisible Man & The Island of Dr. Moreau, by H. G. Wells

The Metamorphosis, by Franz Kafka

The Erasers, by Alain Robbe-Grillet

Lord of the Rings & The Tolkien Reader, by J.R. R. Tolkien

Like Water for Chocolate, by Laura Esquivel

Science Fiction: A Historical Anthology, by Eric S. Rabkin

Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley

Short Stories of Nathaniel Hawthorne

“Rappacini's Daughterâ€

“Young Goodman Brownâ€

“Ethan Brandâ€

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, by Jules Verne

We, by Yevgeny Zamyatin

A Canticle for Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller

1984 by George Orwell

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

I Am Legend by Richard Matheson

"'Repent, Harlequin!' Said the Ticktockman" by Harlan Ellison

"Harrison Bergeron" by Kurt Vonnegut

The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, by Robert A. Heinlein

I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov

The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. Leguin

The Left Hand of Darkness, by Ursula K. Leguin

Neuromancer, by William Gibson

Variety of short stories, films and poetry


(Note: Some of the selections on our reading list have mature themes.)


I'm very glad that I spent the time teaching her to write critical responses to literature, since that's a requirement of most of her exams this year.

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