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British History for 8th Grade


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My anglophile history lover wants to study British History for 8th grade. We did a World History survey for 6th and American for 7th. My intention was to do geography and/or civics for 8th, but, since he'll likely go back to public school for high school and not get to choose what he studies, I'm inclined to let him choose this time. 

All I've found so far is the Masterbooks high school curriculum. I think I could probably adapt it for him. He's not a strong writer, but he loves history and he's very astute when it comes to thinking and making connections when it involves history.

However, if there's a better program out there, or something I could use as a spine to create my own program, I want to hear about it. I'm open to either Christian or secular. For the past two years we've used Notgrass, with more literature in addition to what they suggest. We skip most of the Bible questions and I find myself editing on the fly or adding stuff on occasion. I'm sure I'd find things I needed to add or edit with a secular text as well.

If you don't have a curriculum or spine to recommend but do have some great British literature to recommend for 8th grade, also please suggest away.

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We're using The Story of Britain by Patrick Dillon as our British history spine. So far, I've found it well written and easy to add other resources along the way. It's written in short story format. It starts at the Middle Ages which may be an issue if he's interested in British history before that beyond what was taught in World History. 

For literature, I strongly recommend The Black Madonna of Derby by Joanna Czechowska if you think he'll be okay dealing with the deaths involved (an older woman dies after a prolonged illness, a teenager dies suddenly of illness which is written about in detail, and a man dies by suicide 'off screen' with few details other than he jumped but it's a major event in the book) as well as discussing things in World War 2 like labour camps. I think it's a great novel of British life in the decades after World War 2 with an immigrant family. I'm currently reading the sequel, Sweetest Enemy, which discusses the 1980s and early '90s with the same family. That alongside books like Anita and Me by Meera Syal I think help give a wider picture of recent British history. 

For classics, Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South or Mary Barton: A Tale of Manchester Life has been recommended to me to help flesh out typical classics like Jane Austen or the Brote sisters or Shelley or Stevenson's Jekyll and Hyde, or Dickens. I'm currently planning with my oldest, who will be doing A Christmas Carol for GCSEs, a kinda unit study of Dicken's short stories including The Signal Man, The Long Voyage, The Haunted House (which has 8 parts, two of which are by Dickens) at least. I think an Anglophile 8th grader who is strong in English might enjoy doing Dicken's Christmas novellas which start with A Christmas Carol. 

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