I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my daily digest via email or RSS feed. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

8th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices

8th grade homeschool curriculum choices

It's no secret that I wave my eclectic banner proudly. I'm a firm believer that learning should never be defined by a number or an age. It's personal and should reflect the struggles and strengths of an individual, not the pre-scribed grade level on the side of a text book. 

That being said, should you ever run into my daughter around town and ask, "What grade are you in," she'll politely reply, "I'm in 8th."

However, the truth is a bit more muddled than that.

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She's 12 and should technically be in 7th. But since I've always let her learn at her own pace, she's a bit all-over-the-place with her schooling. She lands somewhere between 6th and 10th grade...depending upon what subject she happens to be studying.

Sadly, "6th-10th" doesn't really fit nicely in the grade level box of the state's letter-of-intent-to-homeschool form. So if it's all the same to you, I'm just gonna slap a big number 8 on her school year and call it good. 

She has aspirations of taking college level, dual enrollment courses from a somewhat-local university through their online PSEO program during her 11th and 12th grade years. After discussing her situation with one of their academic advisors, I've begun to chart her courses in that direction. Consequently, several of my selections for her 8th grade year are a bit of a departure from previous years.  

Here's what she'll be learning...
(Items with an asterisk indicate a new-to-us resource. All subjects will be completed four times a week unless otherwise noted.)

Content-rich Subjects

As in years past, she will do most of the content-rich subjects like morning time/Bible, history, art, and creative writing with her younger brothers. I have planned a few Jr. high level resources for her to do independently in addition to what she will do alongside everyone else. You can see all of those subjects and curriculum choices here>>>

Personal Devotions- everyday


One of my besties is a mathematical wizard. She and numbers have some kind of special crush. They just go together. In an effort to help some of us mothers who seem to have a blood feud with all-things-mathematical and in order to earn a little side income, she is offering an Algebra I class around her kitchen table. Bless her. She will meet with a handful of students twice a week for an hour each time, send home assignments for the other three days, and be available for the occasional email of Skype call should any kids (or their moms) end up in a pool of tears over "find the value of x." She plans on using Prentice-Hall Algebra 1 because it is a proven standard for upper-level math. 

Since this class is currently still in the planning stages, I've also penciled in Teaching Textbooks Algebra I as a plan B option. 


In preparation for her dual-enrollment classes coming up in a couple of years, my daughter requested to take a more traditional approach to science this year. She wanted the chance to learn with a textbook and lab assignments in order to become comfortable with that set up before she had to do it "for real" in PSEO. I can understand that logic. So, after reviewing four major textbook science programs, I've settled on one that I think will provide not only a thorough look at Earth Science from a Christian perspective, but also an opportunity to develop practical lab experience.

Since I am a huge advocate for family learning, she will also sit in on some of the science units that I have planned for her brothers. These will follow the scope-and-sequence of her textbook, but will have a living book approach. She'll be able to get some natural review during this time, share some additional thoughts that she has learned in her Earth science book with all of us, and perhaps even conduct some of her lab experiments for the younger ones to enjoy. 

Critical Thinking/World View

Life Skills

Extra Curriculars

Admittedly, I have switched many of her curriculums this year. That decision was made in light of her personal post-secondary plan (PSEO), NOT because of a dissatisfaction with my original choices. In the years to come, we might switch back. But then again, we might not. That's the beauty of a tailor-made education. The curriculum works for you, not the other way around. 


  1. Do you like All About Spelling? I am still looking for a solid spelling program for next year.
    By the way, I love that you are customizing your daughter's lessons so she can dual enroll in a few years. We have a dual enrollment program in WA and we plan to take advantage of it in a few years.

    1. Yes. However, I do supplement with some high-frequency-words. Her spelling has improved so much since starting AAS.

    2. I have a friend using AAS and recommends it. I have a one going into 3rd and one going into 5th. Is it to late to use this program for them? How would approach it with older kids just starting it?

    3. Because the program is based on a series of rules, I always recommend newbies to start at Level 1. Your kids will probably fly through the first few books, but it is essential that they start there or they won't have the foundation built for the later levels.

    4. Ha,Ha! Looks like I need help in AAS myself after I saw what I wrote.
      Thanks for your input. :)

  2. Great job knowing your curriculum already. We decided to switch up my son's curriculum this year and I am still in full on planning process.

    1. Good luck! I always love planning for new things.

  3. Curious about your using Word Roots. I was just about to order the word cards for English from the Roots Up to use with my 12 year old. Do you like Word Roots better? I think I remember your posting about using the English From the Roots Up before--is Word Roots a continuation of that type of a program? Any thoughts of one being better to use if you are just beginning this sort of vocabulary study?

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Word Roots does not emphasize the Latin/Greek-ness of the words as much, but the root and definition are still there. If I had to choose, I guess I'd go with Word Roots because it can be an independent program that a child does mostly on their own, whereas English From the Roots Up requires more parent involvement. I'd rather use my time on other subjects.

    3. Just wanted to mention that we use English from the Roots Up independently starting in 6th grade by having them make their own cards and then taking quizzes online.

    4. Good to know, Keri. Thanks. So far, we are really liking the Word Roots, but will definitely keep that in mind.

  4. Jamie, I just ordered the original Simplified Dinners ebook thanks to this post. I can't wait to get started with my daughters (and sons, too!). I absolutely love this blog and get so many ideas from you. I think half the books in my Amazon/library carts are from your suggestions! :D

    1. Have fun! Having kids who cook is such a huge blessing for the entire family.

  5. I've done homeschooling for my son in elementary school but now that he's in 7th grade I've decided to give it another go. He struggles in some subjects (math for example) so I'm really interested in trying out that Teaching Textbooks site you mentioned.

    However, for subjects like Social Studies I didn't see anything listed. He's always excelled in that subject. Do you have any suggestions on where we might go for that?

    1. For us, social studies would be an addition to history. You can find all of those suggestions in the link under "content-rich subjects" at the top of this post.



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