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I had a conversation that chilled me out, so let’s try this again...


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As background, I did some homeschooling in my kids’ early years, but they have largely been in public school for 9 years. This year we pulled our 7th grader out due to tons of stressors and her not seeming like herself at all. I love having her here, but I never anticipated homeschooling older grades, so I have felt pretty uptight about making sure I keep her on track. This half year we have focused mostly on basics, but it looks like I’ll have her here at least next year as well, so I’m trying to put together something thorough, geared towards her learning style, and not intensive on teaching for me. (I’m navigating health issues and am often in bed.)

 

I had a conversation that explained that schools teach in a spiral fashion, so I don’t have to worry that she will have big gaps. I’m thinking specifically about social studies/history and science. The reality of schools using spiral teaching frees me up to not feel like we have to cover certain topics in these subjects, so I’m just looking for suggestions of general curriculum/programs that would fit us. 
 

She loves having clearly laid out instructions and things to check off (she is a doer, project minded girl.) She loves doing things with her hands and doesn’t love endless worksheet/textbook type stuff. 

I’ve always been drawn to Charlotte Mason’s ideas about schooling, but I do not have the ability to do a lot of pulling together of random things right now.

So well organized, living books, activity ideas included. What are your favorites for 8th graders?

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Yes, schools teach in a spiral fashion for younger grades. However your daughter is reaching the point at which science and history aren't spiral any longer. I think perhaps you might want to take a look at what lies ahead for high school boards and consider what your/her goals are for her at the end of high school. Then work backwards from that for shaping what her homeschooling journey will look like. 



 

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Posted (edited)

Yes. 

29 minutes ago, calbear said:

Yes, schools teach in a spiral fashion for younger grades. However your daughter is reaching the point at which science and history aren't spiral any longer. I think perhaps you might want to take a look at what lies ahead for high school boards and consider what your/her goals are for her at the end of high school. Then work backwards from that for shaping what her homeschooling journey will look like. 



 

Yes. If I do high school it will need to be very specific, getting the right credits, etc, but I’m just talking about ideas for 8th grades. Specifically science and social studies/history. 
 

As an example, at our public school next year, in social studies they will be going through US history again. She has done that several times and will probably hit on parts of it again in high school, so if we take this year to study the eastern hemisphere or only a portion of US history, I’m not worried about it, whereas a couple weeks ago I was trying to form a plan around our state standards for 8th grade.


Hope that helps clarify my meaning.

Edited by Sharlin
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Have you looked at Oak Meadow?  I haven't used it myself, but it sounds like very much what you want: written to the student in the upper grades, art is integrated, living books..
It's more Waldorf than Charlotte Mason, but just based on your wishlist I thought I would throw it out there.

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3 minutes ago, HomeAgain said:

Have you looked at Oak Meadow?  I haven't used it myself, but it sounds like very much what you want: written to the student in the upper grades, art is integrated, living books..
It's more Waldorf than Charlotte Mason, but just based on your wishlist I thought I would throw it out there.

I haven’t! Thank you!

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If I had an 8th grader who would possibly go back to public school for high school, I would probably choose to focus on specific skills as opposed to specific curricula.

I would focus on making sure she was either rock solid in algebra I (if she's started it yet) or absolutely positively ready for algebra I (if she hasn't started it yet).

I would focus on making sure she could write a basic essay with minimal spelling and grammatical mistakes and that she knew the basic terms of literature analysis.

And I would focus on study skills and note taking.

All the other subjects would be interest led because most high school level courses begin at the beginning anyway, so she would be able to catch up content-wise on anything she hadn't had yet. But skills are harder to catch up on.

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44 minutes ago, Momto6inIN said:

I would focus on making sure she was either rock solid in algebra I (if she's started it yet) or absolutely positively ready for algebra I (if she hasn't started it yet).

This. I'd actually say that I'd make sure all the prerequisites for algebra 1 are there, because for most kids, they aren't. 

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37 minutes ago, domestic_engineer said:

We really like these, but in order to use them with a 7th grader, it meant that we had to sit down each week and go over the cards together, substitute a few activities, create guidelines for others, source the material..

I have not looked at the high school set, but I like to encourage folks who need flexibility bu have diverse resources on hand (either at home or through the library) to use the standard sets they have. 

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33 minutes ago, HomeAgain said:

We really like these, but in order to use them with a 7th grader, it meant that we had to sit down each week and go over the cards together, substitute a few activities, create guidelines for others, source the material.

Yes, you are absolutely right. That’s why it didn’t work for me/us!  It’s not as independent in reality as it sounds in theory. 😛

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8 hours ago, Sharlin said:

So well organized, living books, activity ideas included.

You probably need to look at something like Oak Meadow, which has the structure she needs and the artsy fartsy side you're wanting to bring in.

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Build Your Library might be another option.

if you’re interested in outsourcing a bit, choosing a solid math program she can do at home or online, plus maybe literature classes from Online G3 or similar might work for some core classwork. She could still do interest-based science and history. She could even be in charge of designing her own program and creating her own checklist. 

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I think Oak Meadow would work too. It has everything you mentioned: projects, checklists, suggestions for additional books to read and additional topics to study. Plus it's written to the student in middle school so your daughter can do it fairly independently.

Edited by Anne Elliot
typo
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On 4/28/2021 at 11:17 AM, Sharlin said:

As an example, at our public school next year, in social studies they will be going through US history again. She has done that several times and will probably hit on parts of it again in high school, so if we take this year to study the eastern hemisphere or only a portion of US history, I’m not worried about it, whereas a couple weeks ago I was trying to form a plan around our state standards for 8th grade.

You may want to double check this again. Where I am (in TX) they study US History up through Reconstruction in 8th, then in 11th grade they study US History from 1876 on. But the testing they take in 11th grade will cover ALL of American History. 

8th graders focus on Earth Science, but other sciences are "spiraled" in. In HS they will get Biology and Chem. and physics. If a 4th year of Science is taken Earth Science is sometimes offered among other options. Sometimes it isn't. Just depends on the school. 

It may be totally different where you live, but you might want to be sure....

I've never much looked at Oak Meadow, but Build Your Library might be a really good fit.  

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