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Recommendations for Independent 8th Grade Curriculum

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I seriously need suggestions for what to focus on with my dd this year for 8th grade. I am pretty much panicking at this point. I had picked out everything for this year, but then I realized that with my crazy school schedule (and it is beyond insane, luckily only a 1 yr program though) there is no way everything will get done. I am not sure if I even picked out the right stuff for the situation I am now in. My dh can help a little, but not much more than me because he works a lot and is pretty tired in the evenings. I am hoping to cut back to what is absolutely necessary to get my dd ready for high school and choose things that she can either do completely on her own or with short sessions with me or dad.


For math, we are using a combination of MUS and Key to Algebra (reviewing prealgebra topics before next year) and those feel like they will work. So I don't need to change that.


Language arts, I have no clue what would be the easiest thing to do. I originally was going to use something form IEW, but now not sure if I have the time to figure it all out. Grammar, not sure either, I bought a couple of different things to try out (one being Killgallon's), but I think those might require too much input from me, not sure what to use that would get to the point quickly and that dd could learn on her own maybe. For literature, I thought I would just have dd read a stack of books that we pick out. Originally was going to do LLFLOTR, but can wait on that until 9th grade. I am not sure if I should even worry about vocabulary or word roots this year.


Science I am not sure either. I have some of the Holt science textbooks for middle school so I could just have dd read those, but that feels like it might get really boring. I am not sure what would be more independent for science either though.


For history I was originally going to use Trisms, but I think we are just going to read some historical fiction from the booklists in Trisms and that might have to be it.


I have thought about signing up for something like K12 or some other program that is geared more directly to the student, but at the same time not sure if it is worth it to spend more money when I already have things sitting on my shelf. I also have Latin curriculum and geography curriculum, but obviously that is going to the bottom of the list.


So, if someone was in the same situation, what would you drop, what curriculum would you use, how would you structure things so everything is more independent?

Edited by txhomemom
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You're going to be fine ;) Breathe. I guess I would look to see what areas is your dc weak in and what do you want to accomplish this year?


I also needed some independent programs for my oldest due to our family circumstance, but coming out of ps my dd was a very weak writer. We used IEW SWI B. We watch the videos together Sunday nights and then she does her assignments throughout the week, with me grading them at night. For grammar, I haven't used it- but doesn't Analytical Grammar have DVDs? Maybe you could do that or Easy Grammar also seems like something that would work for allowing your dd to work independently. For literature, you could consider picking a few books and doing literature guides from Progeny Press, Garlic Press, etc. Or doing Lightning Lit 8. Have your dd work through the problems and be ready to discuss with you later when you have time. It is easy to have your dd do vocab on her own- maybe Wordly Wise, etc.


With the basics (math and language arts) covered, history and science can be a little more open :) Maybe consider one online type program for one of those? Or just doing a more Charlotte mason type approach. And something for an elective- foreign language, art, etc.


That's my 2 cents ..... Look at the big picture. If your dc is staying home for high school, your goals may be different than if you were trying to get her ready to transition to private or public school for high school.




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My 8th grader is doing MUS,


Excellence in Literature for writing.- English 1 (it's a self study course, but out by one of Andrew Pudewa's colleagues from IEW, and much less expensive.)


For Science we're doing Physics using the Great Courses.


History, Story of the world 4 with online primary sources from StoryOfTheWorld


My 8th grader enjoys independent work and this will have me mentor/tutoring him instead of teaching.



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If you could stand enrolling in a virtual academy for a year, then the K12 expense to you would be minimal. My kids really enjoy the K12 courses they take (we don't do the whole program, so we use it independently), and they can work fairly independently. With the virtual school you would have the instructor support, and that would free up your time a bit.


Not ideal, possibly; I know many people truly dislike the restrictions of virtual academies. But K12 would get the job done for one year, you'd be less burdened, and you'd have peace of mind knowing that nothing major was falling through the cracks.


Best wishes in whatever you decide!


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AG does have videos. They are basic, but I like them as they seem to keep us on track and give the books a bit of reinforcement.


Also, HSB Coop has a deal on Wordly Wise vocab program. It's a computer based program and looks like it has feedback.


For American History we used one of the TC dvds (very thorough) and AAH. DS did it all on his own.


Rainbow Science was a very independent science program.


In addition to SOTW cds, EL Gombrich has a cd that we listened to in the car.



Edited by lauracolumbus
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My 8th grader is working almost completely independently this year. We started back three weeks ago and it's going very well. I keep up with what he is covering in all of his materials by looking ahead each week. I take about 20 minutes a day and go over his work with him after he has completed his daily assignments. He is using the following things independently or with little input from me:


Math - MathUSee & Life of Fred (his dad keeps up with his MUS with him)

LA - Writing With Skill, Spelling Workout, Wordly Wise, Analytical Grammar w/ the DVDs, IEW's Poetry Memorization

Science - Apologia's Physical w/ Sonlight's schedule

History - he is reading the Bible readings, Bible books, history books, and the readers from Sonlight's Core H. I read the read-alouds to him but he is reading everything else himself. He orally narrates everything that he reads. We have the Story of the World books on CD but he prefers to read them rather than listen to the CDs. He reads the books and does the mapping/timeline assignments on his own.

Greek - Hey Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek is independent. He's been using it for several years, so he knows exactly what to do with it.


He will also be using The Art of Argument this year but we haven't started it yet. He will be using the DVDs. We are finishing up reading The Thinking Toolbox together but he could have just as easily read it on his own. We also read The Fallacy Detective together but he could have read that one on his own also.

Edited by Donna T.
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If you are looking for inexpensive choices as well, here are some options:


- Growing with Grammar (both grammar and writing offered), EZ Grammar

- Homeschool Buyers Co-op has Plato Science discounted (it's free to join if you are unfamiliar with it)

- Glencoe Literary Guides are free online


If money is no object, my ds used Derek Owens Physical Science last year which is $58/month, but my ds went through it pretty fast, so we didn't end up paying too much. (it's self-paced)


There is always Netflix science and history documentaries, do more research, write papers.


You'll be fine. And there are some great suggestions given to you already.

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