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What are your Language Arts goals for 8th grade?

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I want to make the most of this year for dd14 since she seems to have finally reached a level of maturity and emotional control that is enabling her to devote the attention and hard work required to make some solid advancement. I have her schedule for next year written out, however, I really want to solidify my goals for her so we can focus in on specific areas that need to be solid for 9th instead of just working through programs for the sake of completing them.


It would help me to organize my own thoughts if i could read about what others consider to be important benchmarks for an average 8th grader. I actually tend to get ahead of myself when setting realistic goals and don't want to have frustration set in part of the way through the year because of it.


Thanks so much!

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It really depends on what their skill level is at the end of 7th. For my avg kids, learning how to write a simple essay proving a single position incorporating quotes and mostly correct MLA format would be my main goal. For a student that already knows how to write essays, increasing the level of difficulty of the essay--comparison/contrast, cause/effect--incorporating quotes from multiple sources in correct MLA format would be my goal. If they don't already know how to search data bases on the internet (I mean like the online accessible data bases through libraries, not a google search ;) ), I would also work with them on learning to use those resources.


I also include grammar and vocab. Grammar focus is on parallel construction, correct punctuation, varied sentence structures, etc and making sure they are using these skills in their writing. Vocab is using books like Direct Hits.

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Any idea what you might want to use in 9th grade? Knowing what he will need might help to know what to focus on now.


If we continue with our current co-op then my current 8th grader will be doing TOG rhetoric level history, geography, and literature and CW Herodotus for writing and logic. So for that it will be helpful to know basic essay writing for the TOG, plus strong reading & comprehension skills. Basic ability to research for specific information and the ability to infer information from what he has read. His grammar will need to be finished as we will not be working on that anymore but it will count when his writing is graded.


So this year he will be using TOG for a second year at the dialectic level for history and literature. He needs to work on his ability to infer information from what he reads and not expect the answers to always be there in black and white anymore. He writes well enough but needs to learn more about writing an essay... what that is in comparison to a narration, how they are formed, etc. We started this last year but we will use CW Diogenese this year to really get this down. His grammar is pretty strong but we will continue to work on this one more year. His spelling is strong so we may not work on that, although I'm still debating this. His vocabulary is also strong but I'm sure he will get more words from his literature class. However I would have preferred a more roots based approach so maybe I'll find a way to work on that...then again he is taking latin so maybe I don't need to worry about it. We will even be doing some rhetoric terms with CW. He already types well so we don't need to worry about that skill. He is very good with oral presentation but I'm sure he will get a chance to work on a few of those with the co-op classes also.

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