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Michelle My Bell

What would an independent 8th grade year look like?

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As you may know, I am in nursing school and I won't be done until May 2018. For several reasons, I may bring one of my kids back home from school. She is in her second year of private school and will be doing 8th grade next year. She may return to school for high school but I haven't decided yet. 

 

So since I am so busy, I really won't have time to teach her. She will need a fairly independent curriculum. I was thinking Teaching Textbooks for math. I would like her to have a good science program, read some excellent books and I don't know what else. 

 

I would love some independent, (not super expensive) programs. Also, some ideas for extracurricular activities as she has been in school and is a pretty social kid. I would be willing to spend $800 max for everything. 

 

Any thoughts?

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My only suggestion is to buy something with a ready-made schedule or make one yourself ahead of time.  My rising 8th grader is pretty independent.  I teach algebra and chemistry, dh teaches German, and she does the rest on her own.

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If you are potentially only bringing her home for the one year, do you have access to what she would be using at the high school?  You might try getting hold of the 9th grade high school material and kind of work backwards from there on what she should cover.

 

As for independent materials, you might consider IEW SWI-B  or C for writing.  She could watch the videos and you could just facilitate as needed.  You would need to critique her writing but you wouldn't have to actually teach.  I believe it is scheduled out for you and may be only 4 days a week.

 

For history and science you might look at the Great Courses as at least a supplement or maybe as the spine with some outside assigned readings and a few writing assignments/experiments thrown in.  Make it interest led if you can.  There are also tons of on-line options.  Open Tent Academy and Outschool have several options as well as Excelsior Academy and WTM Academy, etc.  Classes through Excelsior offer microphone and video interaction so the kids actually get to see and interact with each other.  

 

For outside activities, maybe drama, girl scouts, 4-H, Quest, Speech and Debate, Toast Masters, Martial Arts, art classes, horseback riding, swim team, volunteer work, homeschooling groups, softball, volleyball, etc.

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You can get PLATO science discounted through homeschool buyer's co-op, we haven't used it yet but I seem to recall hearing good things about it.

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History Odessey is written to the student and is very specific about instructions right down to "file this in the 'events' portion of your history notebook". It covers history, literature, and writing.

 

Another option would be to find a Classical Conversations in your area. By 8th-grade the classes are drop-off and pretty independent. Any questions or issues can be fielded by the tutor (teacher/ facilitator) via email. It will cost you closer to $1500 after books though.

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We're headed to 8th grade next year... it would totally depend on the kid for me. If I personally was going to do it, I'd probably do Thinkwell for math, Wordsmith for writing, a list of literature with the Glencoe lit guides, Duolingo for Spanish, and I'd probably just assign the kids a set of readings and videos for history and science - or sign them up for a MOOC or two or a local class or two if I could.

 

But for another kid, it could look totally different.

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I am busy planning next year for a grade 7 and grade 8 girl who work mostly independently...I am loving the look of Build Your Library's grade 8 year of science and world history.  If you added that to Teaching Text books math you'd have history, science and literature all wrapped up.  I priced out the books used and it's about $400 US, but many are available through the library.  

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