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I think I am going to have to change my 8th grade plans..advice?


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My 13 yo is all over the board. Her weakness is Math. But she is an EXCELLENT reader with complete understanding of the classics(For ex: She is reading Oliver Twist for the second time, and she has read The Scarlet Letter, To Kill a Mockingbird, Grapes of Wrath, Jane Eyre) Just to name a few. As long as she likes the story line, she will read it over and over. She HATED LoTR.

We really drooled over HOD. But I really don't think she is going to fit into a "boxed" curriculum.

 

She is an excellent speller. Her vocabulary is very good. She knows how to write personal narratives, and she is very good with song lyrics.

 

I want to stay with R+S.(Continue with R+S 6) But I want to use a vocabulary program that will challenge her. I rally want to use some Lit Guides, but she totally balks at them and tells me she doesn't want to use any guides. She reads because she wants to read, and doesn't "need" guides.((sigh)).

 

She will be 14 in September.

 

I have printed out the 1000 good book list and we are checking off the books she has read.

 

So, I would like to focus on her writing, and possibly tie it in with her reading. She needs to learn how to outline, essays, and research papers.

 

I am also stumped on History and Science. I do not want to use Apologia again. I would prefer secular, with experiments with materials that can be found in the house. And inexpensive.

 

We want to study American History with a presidential study. Textbooks are out though, and she hated the History of the US. We need living books.

 

And HOD is pricey. I have been waiting to see if I could come up with the money to order it, but I can't at this time.

 

Math we know we are continuing with TT.

 

It is amazing what she has learned WITHOUT textbooks.

 

So ideas????

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Guest lisarup1

Completely new to homeschooling but I knew my kids would not be interested in Science that was book based. So I asked them some subjects they wanted to learn about. We are going to use some library books and online printables. The main focus will be on doing experiments. I think it should be fun right now. Maybe 9th grade I'll go to a real curriculum.

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What do you want to focus on in science? Biology? Chemistry? Physical? I'm not a huge Apologia fan myself, so I've avoided it after Physical. And, I'm heavily supplimenting Physical. If I didn't already own it, I might consider another spine, but buying a new text when I already have that one doesn't fit the budget well. The Conceptual Chemistry and Conceptual Physics books are very interesting. Both are secular. PAC has an integrated Physics and Chemistry program (again, secular). I used BJU chemistry 2nd edition this year and it would be very easy to edit it. I doubt their biology would be that easy, but I didn't use it (perhaps someone could weigh in on that). I did like Science Shepherd Biology. Noeo is another option perhaps. What about Holt or Glencoe?

 

Have you looked at the reading lists for BF history? Some of those books and biographies might be interesting. If you have a time period you want to focus on, you could gather a booklist. Would you like a spine such as All American History? I've not used it, but I'm told it has more of a "story" feel to it.

 

HTH

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I think we would like to do Physical Science this year. Then do Biology in 9th,Chemistry in 10th, Physics in 11th and A+P in 12th.

 

My daughter loves the World War 2 era, but I think we need to focus on the revolutionary period through the Civil war.

Or even a sweep of one year world history would be good, if it integrates American.

 

I really, really need suggestions on writing programs. I am a planner, and since we are going to hit high school next year, I need a plan for writing.

 

Lit Analysis. She is balking at this. Doesn't want to have anything to do with study guides. Suggestions on this?

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I took an honors english class in high school that I LOVED - sounds like the idea would fill in your history and lit. We studied American History beginning with the first european settlers and read read documents that tied in with lit. For ex: we read a portion of Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God sermon to tie in with Puritans, read Nathaniel Hawthorn Scarlet Letter, the Crucible (play), the Devil and Daniel Webster, first hand accts, and so many other things that just made that time period come alive. Benjamin Franklin's autobio was on that list. I am hoping to recreate this for my dd in another few years. Not sure if there is an online resource that pulls this list together, but would love to know for myself.

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I took an honors english class in high school that I LOVED - sounds like the idea would fill in your history and lit. We studied American History beginning with the first european settlers and read read documents that tied in with lit. For ex: we read a portion of Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God sermon to tie in with Puritans, read Nathaniel Hawthorn Scarlet Letter, the Crucible (play), the Devil and Daniel Webster, first hand accts, and so many other things that just made that time period come alive. Benjamin Franklin's autobio was on that list. I am hoping to recreate this for my dd in another few years. Not sure if there is an online resource that pulls this list together, but would love to know for myself.

 

Not to be dumb, but that's essentially what a GB/Omnibus approach is.

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I think we would like to do Physical Science this year. Then do Biology in 9th,Chemistry in 10th, Physics in 11th and A+P in 12th.

 

My daughter loves the World War 2 era, but I think we need to focus on the revolutionary period through the Civil war.

Or even a sweep of one year world history would be good, if it integrates American.

 

I really, really need suggestions on writing programs. I am a planner, and since we are going to hit high school next year, I need a plan for writing.

 

Lit Analysis. She is balking at this. Doesn't want to have anything to do with study guides. Suggestions on this?

 

You might want to look at AOP's LifePac American Lit. I know it is not overly popular among classical folks, but I really like it. They have one for Brit Lit too. It is a chronological survery course designed to take 1 semester. We added whole books and writing to stretch it out to a 1 year program. What I like is it covers the author's life/history/philosophy/influences and includes exerpts. If you want to read a whole book rather than an exerpt, you can. If you want to read other works by an author, you can do that too. But, if you want to present a wide range of authors in a chronological fashion, you can do that too. It is a great timeline and structure for jumping off if you want.

 

Writing? We are doing AG's the Research Paper next year. We did IEW's SWI-C this year.

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Couple observations, since I'm only right where you are. One, many moons ago I read a comment by LoriD that she wished with her first dc that she had not tried to turn 8th grade into high school. In other words, I think this is a year especially to consider opening yourself to the magical and alternative without constriction. Yes there are skills things to be done, but there are lots of ways to get there.

 

Two, on the literary analysis, while I think it's fine, I also think it's something you can do via discussion and work on with writing later. (Heresy!)

 

Three, not sure why you're wanting to add vocab if she's doing well. Either preread certain books and make vocab lists for her to watch for in them or do the reverse, with her finding 2 new vocab words per chapter. Someone here on the boards said their teacher in high school had them do *antonyms* for vocab. That's what I'm mulling around doing with my dd this year. Maybe you're meaning roots or something else?

 

Four, on the outlining, what you *might* like to do, and I'm throwing out the wild idea here, is get something intriguing to her that she can outline. For instance last year I had my dd outline articles from Muse magazine. It's very cool, very worth the effort. Recently I've been looking at the Opinionater section of the NYT, thinking it would make a good option. http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/22/the-moral-hazard-of-drones/ Told you that was the out there option, lol. They have a lot of articles on a lot of topics, and they're a style she might want to imitate on topics she might find interesting. Ok, maybe not the drones I linked you to, but read around more. They're essays and use rhetorical devices. If she does multi-level outlining and asks why they're doing what they're doing in the articles, she's going to come out with a snappy knowledge of rhetoric.

 

At least that's what I'm mulling over. http://www.welltrainedmind.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Topoi-expanded.pdf Or here is SWB's scope and sequence for the topoi skills she plans to cover in the four levels of WWS. You could use that plus the beta of WWS2 and work with her to an end of where this is going. SWB says at the beginning of WWS1 to flex the material with older students, so to me that's how you flex it. I've spent a lot of time recently pouring over WWS1, trying to decide whether/how I'm going to use it. I get ideas, but I'm not certain. Dd is at camp, so some of it may not make sense till I have her back and talk it through with her or look at her. That scope and sequence might give you a sense of how to take WWS1 or 2 farther to make it fit her better, if that makes any sense. You could outline something else or use her models but do multi-level. You could use her explanations of topoi but look for them in the NYT or Muse articles or things she's reading in history. Giblin and Marrin for instance would be KILLER sources for finding examples of the topoi in WWS. So it might give you something to flex.

 

[sorry, that wasn't very plain. If you outline the toc for WWS, you'll see she has patterns of things she does each week: outlining, narratives, topoi, copia. I'm saying you can go through those categories and select what things you'll accomplish what way. Then WWS is a framework you're flexing up or down. The topoi list shows you all 4 years, meaning you can take what you learn in WWS1 or the beta2 and extend it to the other types as well with an older than target or more ready student. At least that's my theory.]

 

Whatever. That's what I'm thinking through out loud. Love your idea of printing out the 1000 GB list.

 

For science, we're being pretty hack. I got the lab workbooks for the BJU and PH CIA physical science and we're doing those. As in just the labs, none of the rest. Should be fun. But it wasn't using household stuff, sorry. What I bought though I bought knowing it would get re-used for chem in high school. (As in I looked at the specific lists for the curriculum I planned to use with her and chose that way.) You might do better to find soemthing like Rainbow Science used. That would use household stuff I think and fit your parameters. Or get the Biology 101, Chemistry 101 dvds and kick them up. They're very enjoyable for a history-lover.

 

For the history, high school and college texts are you usually dirt cheap for old editions. She's plenty old enough to start with one as a spine and read about rabbit trails.

Edited by OhElizabeth
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She sounds remarkably like my oldest. Except for that odd, not liking LOTR part.

 

Mine is using R&S spelling 8 for his vocabulary. The 7 and 8 texts are root based vocab. After that I was just going to put him on vocabulary.com or vocabtest.com.

 

DS has also been very leery of lit guides. The very few free ones I've printed off the internet totally flopped. Painfully flopped. I turned my focus to better teaching me how to guide a lit analysis conversation. Deconstructing Penguins was a great starting place. It's for you to read. Figuratively Speaking is a handy little resource, too. That's for you to both work through together.

 

His literature this year is going to be Tolkien based, so I'm not much help there. My 7th grade dd is doing the same with Anne of Green Gables, loosely following Where the Brook and River Meet.

 

Writing. Assuming that R&S you mentioned was their English course, outlining will be taught further in the 6 book. For essays we're going with The Lively Art of Writing. It's a deliciously simple handbook that walks you through the whole process. If you search for it in the high school forum you can find a workbook for it, made by a WTMer, and a schedule or two. I expect it to last about a semester, then we'll just write and revise for the rest of the year.

 

History. Guerber's 13 Colonies and Great Republic? MP makes a guide for them if you want one. Or, Landmark's History of the America People may work. We're going light on history this year, so we can put a stronger focus on literature and writing. Our plan is Spielvogel's Human Odyssey (textbook) as the spine, primary source documents (Federalist Papers, Anti-Federalist Papers, Lincoln's speeches, and such), and plenty of room for bunny trails.

 

Science. We went with one of the Conceptual books. Editions that aren't the newest one are pretty cheap used. Use something like www.isbn.nu to find it lowest.

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PS. You realize you're the first person I've talked with about this topoi junk on the boards? It's so nice to get it off my chest! I've been sending myself in little circles thinking about it. I don't think it's necessary to make them HATE something simply by making it so sequential or tedious or using sources they don't like. However I do find the structure and steps informative. I've been trying to read up on logic and rhetoric (like the materials from MP) to see where this is going. I've been trying to let all this come together in my mind. Dd needs a lot of structure, but that isn't the same as incremental instruction. Tina in Ouray had posts on rhetoric, logic, etc. if the whole thing ends up fascinating you. To me, that whole upper level study of logic and rhetoric (like what MP does) should lead directly into *structure* for someone like my dd. Clear thinking makes for clear writing, right? But I'm not totally sure, as I don't have the materials in front of me. And I haven't figured out where in the world SWB's topoi fit into that whole logic, rhetoric, aristotle thing. I guess I should go find the appropriate thread and ask her. :)

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I have looked closely at WWS..............I really like the looks of it. I know she could finish that for 8th grade. Does anyone know if SWB is releasing Book 2 for 2013-2014 school year? I was told that this series can be used all through high school. But the samples of book 1, I know that WWS would be a challenge for her. So this is why I am pleased with what I see.

 

Omnibus. I briefly looked at that. I am not quite sure *I* get it.

 

History. Textbooks are definitely off the list. A spine maybe, but I need "real" books for her.

 

Science.........((sigh)).....Physical is def on the list.(I think) CPO looks good but I understand that getting materials are difficult.

 

 

She is way beyond her years in reading/spelling/vocabulary...and she sure can present a good argument. But I need to pull it altogether for her. She is very on top of world events. She is my child that will take a stand on something and not back down. She is open-minded and accepting of all types of people and beliefs. Although she is very set in her ways about not understanding why 13 yo smoke p*t, do drugs, have TeA, and why does it matter if you fall in love with the same gender? She can pull off a good persuasive argument. And she is NOT shy. She sings in front of hundreds of people. Most of the things she has learned has NOT been by homeschooling textbooks, but by reading, going on the internet, watching the news, etc.....She marches to the beat ofher own drum.

 

 

OhElizabeth going to read through your thread again.

 

I have a headache:confused:

Edited by dancer67
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PS. You realize you're the first person I've talked with about this topoi junk on the boards? It's so nice to get it off my chest! I've been sending myself in little circles thinking about it. I don't think it's necessary to make them HATE something simply by making it so sequential or tedious or using sources they don't like. However I do find the structure and steps informative. I've been trying to read up on logic and rhetoric (like the materials from MP) to see where this is going. I've been trying to let all this come together in my mind. Dd needs a lot of structure, but that isn't the same as incremental instruction. Tina in Ouray had posts on rhetoric, logic, etc. if the whole thing ends up fascinating you. To me, that whole upper level study of logic and rhetoric (like what MP does) should lead directly into *structure* for someone like my dd. Clear thinking makes for clear writing, right? But I'm not totally sure, as I don't have the materials in front of me. And I haven't figured out where in the world SWB's topoi fit into that whole logic, rhetoric, aristotle thing. I guess I should go find the appropriate thread and ask her. :)

 

:lol: I feel honored!!! I think my headache might be easing up.

 

What is the name of the PH book you are using for Science?

 

And re-reading your post. Okay, a PS text and adding in living books could be ideal.

 

And don't worry, I haven't figured out where topoi fits in either. Actually, it sounds like some kind of seafood:D

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We had cod tonight, so you might be right. We're just all getting fishy. :lol:

 

Sorry. Anyways! I did some more research and apparently SWB's topoi line up well with Corbett. I have Corbett at the library waiting for me to pick him up. He's the one book off the WTM high school lit I haven't bought/read, sigh... It figures that would be the one to unlock the world. And after rereading the boards (LM) for topoi, I think I am understanding it correctly, that they create building blocks the student can use to build essays. http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/showthread.php?p=3206004&highlight=topoi#post3206004 This is Janice explaining it with a crayon analogy. So *in theory* you could deconstruct WWS and reconstruct the topoi lessons (which are 2 a week for most of the book) using alternate sources. Pain in the patootee, but possible. Or doing it straight and live in peace.

 

Yes, I bought the printed WWS1 stuff. I had the beta sitting around and it so overwhelmed me, I never got past first base. With the printed in hand, I could flip through all the pages and outline it till it made sense. It was as bad as SWR, my lands. Maybe you never used SWR? You know that horrible feeling when you sit down to something VERY SEQUENTIAL and you're so the OPPOSITE type of learner who is NEVER going to get it till you see the whole...

 

So anyways, the whole is starting to come together for me, or at least enough that I'm feeling more calm about it. I actually think what SWB has done is really good on a lot of levels. What I DON'T know is whether I can compel my chipper little 13 yo goat (kid) to do it. Go ahead and say it ought to work, but it doesn't work that way. So we'll just have to see. But by seeing where it's going, at least I have some options. And like SWB says in her q&a thread, it's not that you *can't* deconstruct it and teach the skills (from her scope & sequence) with other models. It's that you aren't likely to hit all the categories just by randomly doing stuff. So she's making it more systematic.

 

I guess I'm saying my lesson plans could look as odd as: do the topoi for this week in some fashion and I don't give a rip how. :D

 

This is my life. :lol:

 

Prentice Hall Concepts in Action. Nicely written but one of the more vigorous (like think bubbling pots and vigorous chemical reactions as the brain percolates trying to do the math). The labs are incremental and very do-able. You could do just the labs and fill in with living books. Lots of ways to skin a cat. Might not be the same cat as somebody else's cat, but what we life be if we all meowed the same way?

 

Sorry, clearly I need more sleep. I'm so tired of trying to think through 8th grade.

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8th grade has given me a headache:confused:

 

So, Basically what your saying(I think) is that WWS is a good place to start, build up the "skills", and branch out?

 

Writing has always been a pet peeve of mine. After seeing how my 19 yo dd start college and came home in tears not knowing what a Thesis paper was or even how to start,(she went to PS) I knew I wasn't going to allow this to happen with my youngest.

 

I have to get moving as we start school in about a month!

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:lol: Or just do WWS straight, 1,2,3,4. :D

 

Only I would manage to do it the hardest way possible. :D

 

Actually, I guess what you could take from that discussion is that the skills are building up in WWS for a reason and that if you have *time* to read ahead in something like Corbett's text on rhetoric that WTM recommends, it will help you see where it's going. :)

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:lol: Or just do WWS straight, 1,2,3,4. :D

 

Only I would manage to do it the hardest way possible. :D

 

Actually, I guess what you could take from that discussion is that the skills are building up in WWS for a reason and that if you have *time* to read ahead in something like Corbett's text on rhetoric that WTM recommends, it will help you see where it's going. :)

 

I am going to take a gander at it. I really like the looks of WWS. Do you happen to know when her release dates are going to be for the next three books? Will she release one new level each year? And are they full year courses? Because if not, I can always add in something if I need to.

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There's a whole q&a thread on the boards here. She's trying for one a year. The beta is supposed to be out this fall for WWS2.

 

Complete is relative. It's time-consuming as is, so you might not find yourself adding much. She anticipates you still doing some writing across the curriculum, appropriate grammar, etc.

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There's a whole q&a thread on the boards here. She's trying for one a year. The beta is supposed to be out this fall for WWS2.

 

Complete is relative. It's time-consuming as is, so you might not find yourself adding much. She anticipates you still doing some writing across the curriculum, appropriate grammar, etc.

 

Well, looks like this will be perfect timing then. Since we wouldnt use WWS2 until Grade 9. We are using R+S 6 for Grammar.

 

I have been looking and I like Notgrass ATB.

 

I think I might go back to Apologia. Physical Science. It is what we know.

 

I think I have it all figured out. I like having a plan. Last night I had nothing. I am so glad I talked to you and the others here. Writing was my big thing.

 

I believe our Barnes and Noble carries WWS. Will have to take a ride up there and see.

 

Thanks OhElizabeth!:D

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Well, looks like this will be perfect timing then. Since we wouldnt use WWS2 until Grade 9. We are using R+S 6 for Grammar.

 

I have been looking and I like Notgrass ATB.

 

I think I might go back to Apologia. Physical Science. It is what we know.

 

I think I have it all figured out. I like having a plan. Last night I had nothing. I am so glad I talked to you and the others here. Writing was my big thing.

 

I believe our Barnes and Noble carries WWS. Will have to take a ride up there and see.

 

Thanks OhElizabeth!:D

 

This sounds like a very straight forward line-up. I like it. You can always push or pull back with the literature you add/subtract.

Edited by Another Lynn
typo
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Well, she loves to read. Notgrass has some great literature, but I know I can add more in for her.

 

Come 9th grade we will ramp up the literature even more(something I know she won't mind), but will do a lit analysis course. Possibly Windows to the World to start.

 

I sure hope SWB releases her next 3 books for writing each year. So we would finish book 4 by 11th grade.

 

I like to look ahead for high school, but since we are only in 8th I still want to have that flexibility and have fun without worrying about high school credits yet:D

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My dd11 is going into 6th, but we finished WWS1 this year and during the summer I have allowed them to pull together their own narrations using the various topoi that we have learned so far. It really is a very interesting way of writing. It pulls you out of the basic 5 paragraph essay model and honestly makes a lot of sense. Learning all of these various topoi have been like adding tools to our box of options. So when dd says she is going to write about Jane Goodall she isn't just writing 3 paragraphs of things she knows about Jane Goodall along with an introduction & conclusion.

 

After dd11 did her research she instead chose to include a descriptive paragraph about Jane Goodall's accomplishments & what others think about her (just two of many aspects to choose from) into a sequence of natural events about the life cycle of the chimpanzee.

 

She could have just as easily chose a description of a place to include, or done a chronological narrative in science about the discoveries Jane Goodall made while studying the chimpanzees and instead had a descriptive paragraph about chimpanzees wrapped into a narrative mostly about Jane Goodall.

 

She is only 11, so we are still learning and playing with sentence structure, style, and all the other things that go into good writing, but having these topoi in place just gives you options to pick from.

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