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I need some suggestions for my advanced 8th grader


lynn
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We are finishing up saxon 1/2 which Algebra 1 should we go to or just stay with Saxon? Should I get this at a highschool level and have him take it for credit?

 

We are doing Abeka 7th grammar, lit and vocab. Are we finished with the grammar foundation and should we now start focusing on lit, writing and more advanced vocab? What would you recommend. I like Wordly Wise spelling but do not know if it's strong enough. I want to challenge him but not frustrate his by pushing way to much. Do I need still need grammar review like Daily Grams? Is there a strong lit program I should condsider besides Learning Language through Literature?

 

Any other suggestions, recommendations would be great I have only hsd my older children up to 7th and they went on to do very well . I want to continue hsing ds at least one more year.

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We are finishing up saxon 1/2 which Algebra 1 should we go to or just stay with Saxon? Should I get this at a highschool level and have him take it for credit?

 

 

I'm always of the opinion, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" :tongue_smilie: (lol). So, as far as math, if your student is doing well with Saxon and connects well with Saxon, then stick with Saxon; it will take you as far as you need to go in high school. BUT.... If your student has been struggling with Saxon, then I'd suggest posting that as a separate question on the high school board to get ideas about what might be a better fit.

 

As far as whether or not to move on into Algebra 1 now in the last weeks of 8th grade, or to wait... There are pros and cons to each side of this question.

 

Certainly, it would NOT be a problem to get started with Algebra 1 at the end of this school year upon completing Saxon 1/2, and as your student would be finishing it next year as a 9th grader, it would all count for credit. A "pro" to that is it would give your student more time to complete the program if he needs more time to work through math. A "con" to going right into Algebra 1 is that the first weeks of Saxon textbooks are review of the previous year's material, and your student may sail through that now, and then when he goes to start the new school year in the fall, he'll be starting just past all the built-in review and jumping in cold into the new material, which could be more difficult...

 

Alternatively, once DS completes Saxon 1/2 and you still have some weeks left in the school year, you may prefer to use that time to work through some supplements to make sure your student is really solid on the foundational topics that will be used heavily in Algebra 1: percents, decimals, fractions, signs and working with positive/negative numbers. Or, you may want to take the rest of the year to strengthen problem-solving skills from a different perspective, and then start the new school year fresh with the beginning of the new math subject of Algebra.

 

 

We are doing Abeka 7th grammar, lit and vocab. Are we finished with the grammar foundation and should we now start focusing on lit, writing and more advanced vocab? What would you recommend. I like Wordly Wise spelling but do not know if it's strong enough. I want to challenge him but not frustrate his by pushing way to much. Do I need still need grammar review like Daily Grams? Is there a strong lit program I should condsider besides Learning Language through Literature?

 

 

re: Grammar

Many people find that by grade 8 or 9 the student is solid with grammar and there doesn't seem to be the need for formal grammar instruction/practice. In high school, Grammar is actually put into use through foreign language study, and in actual writing/composition. No harm in using a grammar review a few days a week to stay "fresh" with grammar concepts if you really want to, but if DS is solid then he probably doesn't need it. I would just suggest that if your student is working at an advanced level, and you want a Grammar practice/review, then consider using a high school level program -- maybe Analytical Grammar; Jensen's Punctuation; or....

 

Or, do selected problems out of the next level of the Abeka or other Grammar program. (I personally think Daily Grams (even the advanced/later levels) are too "rote" and formulaic to encourage actually thinking and practice. JMO!)

 

Side Note: If DS is solid with Grammar and doesn't really need any more, what about doing a foreign language next year, which does help with the practicing of grammar points.

 

 

re: Writing

Yes, you will probably want some Composition/Writing program for next year. If you don't want/need the next level of Abeka Grammar & Writing, then try posting a separate question on the high school board for ideas for a program that would fit your DS's needs. The common ones often discussed include: IEW (all grades); The Elegant Essay (gr. 10-12); Put That In Writing I (gr. 7-10); Jump In (gr. 6-9); Jensen's Format Writing (gr. 10-12); Wordsmith Craftsman (gr. 9-12)....

 

 

re: Spelling and Vocabulary

By 8th grade, many students no longer need Spelling, unless it is a weak area for the individual. Often, families drop a formal Spelling program and just practice of misspelled words from the student's writing, or switch to a focused Vocabulary study (root words Vocabulary program, for example). You know your student and his needs best! :)

 

 

re: Literature

Did you mean "Learning Language Arts Through Literature" for literature? Again, JMO, but I do not consider these to be strong literature programs. Especially if you have an advanced student, I'd look for a program that encourages deep thinking through annotating, research, discussion (rather than comprehension) questions, analysis, and writing about Classic Works of Literature. Perhaps consider a WTM/WEM approach, or use meaty literature guides to go with a list of works of your choice/DS's interest.

 

If your student has not done any formal literary analysis before, then you may want to consider something gentle and very guided like Lightning Literature & Composition 8. Another good intro to Lit. program that includes more focus on writing is Excellence in Literature: Intro to Literature.

 

For a lot more ideas, I'd also post a separate "what to use for Literature" question on the high school board. :)

 

 

Any other suggestions, recommendations would be great I have only hsd my older children up to 7th and they went on to do very well . I want to continue hsing ds at least one more year.

 

 

Since DS is finishing 8th grade this year (I assume that is the current grade from the subject heading, although I was a little confused by the references to 7th grade in this quote...), I would suggest a few things as you will be moving into homeschooling high school next year, which is a whole 'nother ball of wax.

 

First, check into what the regulations are in your area. For some school districts, high school is an "all or nothing" proposition -- so if you start homeschooling next year, you may be locked into NOT being able to switch over to a brick-and-morter high school later on. Homeschooling all the way through may be great and be the best choice for you and your DS -- you just don't want to be *surprised* by (lack of) options later on. ;)

 

Next, I'd suggest using the remaining weeks of 8th grade to gently, slowly, introduce skills that will be introduced and practiced next year to make taking the "step up" into high school easier:

 

- practice note-taking from lectures

- practice studying from a textbook

- practice writing solid 5 paragraph papers and essays

- write up a science lab or two

- learn some literary analysis terms and begin stepping into discussion and analysis of literature

 

Finally, I would start now sketching out a high school plan, which includes your goals to accomplish with DS by graduation, and his interests/gifts/skills, to help you think through what kinds of coursework will best help you do both. There are a number of past threads on getting started with high school planning; here is one, which has even more links to more resources and more past threads. ;)

 

 

 

 

:hurray: Lynn, it sounds like you have done an excellent job with your older children, so not sure it sounds like you really need much advice, other than "keep up the good work", and now that you've stepped beyond what you've done with your previous children, do some research, think about what your goals are for homeschooling into high school are, and what this DS's specific needs and interests are.

 

BEST of luck, and enjoy homeschooling DS another year and moving into homeschooling high school! Warmest regards, Lori D.

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