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Backtracking to fill in the blanks

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Hi all! My ds is working on mostly 8th grade material this year. Last year was the first year I tried to have a classical emphasis at home, using History Odyssey. We are continuing History Odyssey this year, but we have found some holes in his skill set.


He is having a great deal of difficulty deciding what to summarize and how to outline a passage of reading. We did work through the now out of print Notetaking and Outlining Book for grades 6-8 last year and he did fine with the assignments in HO. This year there is a lot more summarizing and a lot more outlining and he is floundering. Starting tomorrow we are going to go through Study Skills Strategies: Outlining, which I think will help him both summarize and outline.


I have been adding SOTW, vol. 4 in to History Odyssey and I am thinking of having him complete the outlining exercises in the activity book instead of the outlining exercises in History Odyssey. The activity book exercises are guided outlining, whereas in History Odyssey he usually has to start from scratch. Maybe late in the school year I will have him do his outlines from scratch, I don't know. Does this seem reasonable?


For math, I have already changed his Algebra I curriculum to one that fits him a bit better. Beginning tomorrow I am adding in Use It or Lose It! Daily Math Practice for 8th grade so that he has a constant review. I have found he needs a consistent review on the basics to keep them fresh in his mind.


Although this is not necessarily classical, he has never completed a long term project like one would do for a science fair or a history competition. He has competed on an FLL team and done a project within a team environment. Is this type of independent project helpful to the point of being necessary before a student hits upper level materials?


Are there any other skills I should be looking at to see if he needs more tutoring before high school level work commences?


Thanks for the input.

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