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.)
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
- Cover Story*** (At first glance, this is an expensive program. But, Homeschool Buyer's Co-op often offers significantly reduced prices for Cover Story and its high school version, The One-Year Adventure Novel.)
- second half of Word Roots level 1
- All About Spelling levels 6 and 7
- read for pleasure (every day)
- read a new book from the Middle School Must Read list each month
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.
- Earth Science***
- Home Science Tools companion lab kit*** (designed specifically to be used with BJU Earth Science)
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
- Who Is My Neighbor? (And Why Does He Need Me?) This is the third in an absolutely fabulous world view series by Apologia. (3x a week)
- BIC Class- This is the second half of a two year Bible survey course offered to tweens and teens at my church. (1x a week)
- Mind Benders level 6 (1x a week)
- Simplified Dinners for New Cooks-She will continue to be my side kick in the kitchen one day a week. But like last year, she will use this ebook to help plan, make, and serve dinner on Tuesday nights.
- piano (practice 5x a week, lessons 1x a week for a half hour)
- Type to Learn 4*** (2x a week)
- Kid Coder Series: Web Design*** (She has picked this out to be her PBL topic for the year.)
- basketball at a local Christian school (through basketball season)
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.