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8th grade curriculum for kinesthetic kid


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Just looking for your best bets for curriculum for next year. My daughter excels at all things crafty and project based. She likes clear directions and deadlines. Here are the topics I’d like ideas on:
 

Algebra 1. She has found pre algebra challenging and draining. Both at public school until we pulled her out and with Math Mammoth which I’m using to reteach what she should have learned at school this year. Hoping for some fresh ideas for next year.

US History/Social studies-We’d love to use living books, and I’d like geography and themes like government and economy to be addressed to make connections to current events and systems.

LA-I want this to be very thorough. She will likely attend public or private school in high school, and I want her to be challenged now.

Science-we will probably use a bunch of unit studies to hit the themes we want to cover before high school. What have you loved for this age?

Thank you!

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Wow, this is a big list! A lot to cover. Are you looking for a package with plans, or to assemble all your own pieces? Did you read WTM, and if so, does it mesh well with your style or does it not really feel right for you?

For math, you might consider just moving slowly and deliberately through whatever resource you choose. That might help her get the most out of it and not feel so drained. 

This is a hard question, in part because you only want to HS for a year. A lot of good programs really build on each other as a series. For writing and language arts, you may need a real crash course in grammar depending on what she has learned, and a crash course in writing too. Writing and Rhetoric and MP's classical composition would both be bad fits for the writing. Perhaps IEW folks can say if there's a good fit within that set of programs. For grammar I might use the 8th grade Rod & Staff English (or 7th grade, if she is behind a bit in grammar). It is very solid.

Other than that, good luck! Try to build in lots of field trips and days off to have a picnic at the arboretum and all that stuff, to really celebrate this time with your child. One extra day to try to cram more in your child's brain is not always as worthwhile as building that beautiful connection while you can. 

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Writing - You might want to look at IEW for writing, or Writing With Skill.  Either will give a good grounding in necessary skills, but IEW has themed programs that might be a good fit.

Science - I'd also suggest looking at Ellen McHenry's works, or Getting Nerdy With Mel And Gerdy.  Getting Nerdy does have full lesson plans but they also have supplements-only packages to add in things like interactive notebooks to a more standard program.

I have yet to find a U.S. history program I like, but that might be just me being me. 😄

 

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21 hours ago, Emily ZL said:

This is a hard question, in part because you only want to HS for a year. A lot of good programs really build on each other as a series. For writing and language arts, you may need a real crash course in grammar depending on what she has learned, and a crash course in writing too. Writing and Rhetoric and MP's classical composition would both be bad fits for the writing. Perhaps IEW folks can say if there's a good fit within that set of programs. For grammar I might use the 8th grade Rod & Staff English (or 7th grade, if she is behind a bit in grammar). It is very solid.

She’s on track and doing well, but I don’t want her getting behind, since she will likely go back to school at some point. Just hoping to find some curriculum that is thorough, but also appealing. Hope that helps clarify!

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20 hours ago, HomeAgain said:

have yet to find a U.S. history program I like, but that might be just me being me. 

 

I’m finding the same! The closest I see that appeals is SL or Bookshark, but they feel really heavy on reading and light on much else, and I’m not sure that is the best fit. 

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6 minutes ago, Sharlin said:

I’m finding the same! The closest I see that appeals is SL or Bookshark, but they feel really heavy on reading and light on much else, and I’m not sure that is the best fit. 

We ended up doing Learning Adventures for 8th with my oldest.  It scaled back the books (one per unit) from SL, which we loved, BUT...I ended up:
-getting rid of the bible portion
-beefing up the writing with WWS
-extending beyond the history lectures with Jackdaws
-extending beyond the science with a full science program as well as integrated science through different links
-doing about half the activities

So.....I guess we liked the books and the focus, but really liked the program I put together using their ideas instead. 🤣

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2 hours ago, AnneGG said:

Have you looked at Moving beyond the page?

I have! Honestly, there is tons that really appeals to me about it-looks robust and thorough, the literature, the projects. But I would need to pick and choose parts of it because she’s done about half of the topics during 7th grade, but it isn’t like the first half or second half. And then it gets super expensive. Also, their literature for US history/social studies looks pretty dark...? I’d love thoughts on this.

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4 hours ago, HomeAgain said:

We ended up doing Learning Adventures for 8th with my oldest.  It scaled back the books (one per unit) from SL, which we loved, BUT...I ended up:
-getting rid of the bible portion
-beefing up the writing with WWS
-extending beyond the history lectures with Jackdaws
-extending beyond the science with a full science program as well as integrated science through different links
-doing about half the activities

So.....I guess we liked the books and the focus, but really liked the program I put together using their ideas instead. 🤣

Ha!!!! You’ve written your own curriculum! 😂 But yes, it sounds like what I imagine needing/wanting to do with SL or Bookshark. 

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4 hours ago, Sharlin said:

I have! Honestly, there is tons that really appeals to me about it-looks robust and thorough, the literature, the projects. But I would need to pick and choose parts of it because she’s done about half of the topics during 7th grade, but it isn’t like the first half or second half. And then it gets super expensive. Also, their literature for US history/social studies looks pretty dark...? I’d love thoughts on this.

My child is much younger, but I pick & choose the online units I want. I buy the older units as they are half the price of the current. The literature & projects are a great a fit for my son, and very easy for me to teach. 

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My dd was a doer, and what worked better for us was for me to keep my work requirements streamlined so she had TIME to do her things. Also, you might find there's a shift, right about the age you're going into, where she becomes more abstract and drops some of the things she has previously done. Don't be surprised, lol. For my dd is was overnight, like a switch. At that point her doing (because she was very ADHD and very much a doer) became more focused, more narrow, more passion driven. So it's another reason why you might not need or want by fall what you think you need now. You might, but it could change.

So I tried to provide:

-streamlined instruction (VP cards, a K12 text, etc.)

-lots of interesting supplemental reading

-resources and time to pursue projects

That was how we were doing history/social studies.

On 4/21/2021 at 9:00 AM, Sharlin said:

Algebra 1. She has found pre algebra challenging and draining.

This could be low processing speed relative to IQ, which often goes with ADHD. If you get private evals, you would have documentation to get her a 504 and accommodations if you enroll her in the ps. My dd used her accommodations (extra time, etc.) in college, highly recommend.

On 4/21/2021 at 9:00 AM, Sharlin said:

LA-I want this to be very thorough. She will likely attend public or private school in high school, and I want her to be challenged now.

If she's a strong reader, then focus on the writing. Did you have a plan? If she can type efficiently, write with organization, and show voice, she'll be fine. We were using WWS around this age, but do what suits you. Some creative writing and some structured.

On 4/21/2021 at 9:00 AM, Sharlin said:

Science-we will probably use a bunch of unit studies to hit the themes we want to cover before high school. What have you loved for this age?

You're the woman, lol. I admire unit studies and never pull them off. I do a bit better with ds, but I find I work best with structure, something to get me most of the way there. So I look for kits, a book that has a progression of 6-10 experiments, whatever, things I can work through, structure. Have you looked at TOPS? What topics are you wanting to cover?

13 hours ago, Sharlin said:

hoping to find some curriculum that is thorough, but also appealing.

Well appealing is relative, lol. What does SHE find appealing? My dd was very much a doer, but she LOVED to read and read probably at least 3 hours a day. So for her, I could make anything appealing but bringing in the right book. It's an age where they're transitioning from so much hands on to more analysis. They'll still do, but you may find she wants to debate, critique, have an opinion, etc. I started bringing in philosophy, logic, debate prompts, etc. Then we brought back in the doing a new way by exploring the arts. We used a terrific summary book of operas and would read the story for an opera and watch one each week. We did some horror fiction reading together. I think we may have worked through Shakespeare around then too, reading a summary each week and watching another performance.

So it's another way to think about doing, having it be engagement with the arts. Clyde Bulla has a number of summaries you can find (Gilbert & Sullivan, etc.). 

https://www.amazon.com/At-Opera-Ann-Fiery/dp/B000C4SNEY/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=fiery+opera+book&qid=1619149368&sr=8-2  

Here's a reasonably priced copy of the book we used. It was right at that age so your dd may enjoy it.

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9 hours ago, Sharlin said:

I have! Honestly, there is tons that really appeals to me about it-looks robust and thorough, the literature, the projects. But I would need to pick and choose parts of it because she’s done about half of the topics during 7th grade, but it isn’t like the first half or second half. And then it gets super expensive. Also, their literature for US history/social studies looks pretty dark...? I’d love thoughts on this.

Trust your gut. 

If it's your last year together, stop trying so hard to be school and just have fun. 

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On 4/22/2021 at 11:44 PM, PeterPan said:

Trust your gut. 

If it's your last year together, stop trying so hard to be school and just have fun. 

Thanks for all your thoughts. I like the idea of keeping the main things streamlined so she can do activities that interest her-and I love the thought about a lot of doing happening with the arts!

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