Large family homeschooling often looks a little different than having 1-2 students. It means learning to streamline, combine, and encourage independence as much as possible.
In our home with two children with severe medical and special needs, this also means we limit the amount of seatwork and teacher-intensive curriculum – with all seven children – to as little as possible.
With that in mind, these are our 8th-grade curriculum plans for our oldest child. As always, plans are subject to change, especially since I am planning to check out a lot of these items in person before purchasing at our homeschool conference June 22-23.
8th-grade Curriculum Choices
Teaching Textbooks: Pre-Algebra CD-Rom Set, Version 2.0Fix It! Grammar: Frog Prince, or Just Deserts, Student Book 3Student Writing Intensive DVD Course – Level BExploring Creation with General Science, 2nd EditionTapestry of Grace, Year 3Visual Latin – Latin 1
8th-Grade Curriculum Plans | Large Family Homeschooling
Math – We are coming from using Math Lessons From A Living Education 6 and plan to use Teaching Textbooks for 8th grade. We plan to get the internet-based option. It is a lot more affordable than the physical version and makes sense for us since it will be our first time using it so there are no guarantees we will need it for our other children go forward. Pros: independent, self-correcting. Cons: screen time & internet required.
Grammar – We are continuing IEW’s Fix-it Grammar. We love it! We will be in our 3rd year using it. Pros: independent, teaches grammar through editing vs. diagramming. Cons: requires the teacher to correct (but only takes several minutes. I correct it by having my son walk me through the editing he did, while I am checking the Teacher’s Manual. I usually enjoy it).
Writing – Besides journaling, copywork (included in Fix-it), and creative writing that he does in his free time, we are planning to use IEW’s writing program on DVD. Pros: great reviews, I will watch the instructional DVDs and learn alongside my son, and it promises to give in-depth instructions while making writing more enjoyable. Cons: it may require a lot of writing assignments, which my son dislikes.
Science – Our official science curriculum will be Apologia General Science til he finishes it and then I am not sure what will be next, possibly biology. He also reads every science textbook he can get his hands-on and is very self-taught in this area, so I always just make sure I am providing resources for him. Pros: Conversational-style, young earth/creation science, independent. Cons: I can’t think of any!
History, including Church History – We are using Tapestry of Grace again. It will be our 4th year using it and we will be continuing in Year 3. My oldest will be in the dialectic level. This is a literature-based history program that includes literature, social studies, and geography. It also has options for art activities, writing, & philosophy/government(rhetoric level), but we don’t use those regularly. We use their reading section and briefly cover their discussion section each week. Pros: a great selection of literature/historical fiction and nonfiction that I enjoy reading out loud to my son. Cons: some of the “classical/great” books have stretched me almost to the point of being uncomfortable and there have been times I have had to skip a sentence or word (I still read everything out loud to my son unless I have previously screened it). They touch on paganism, legends, myths, and mild romance in some books.
Literature – This will be included in our history curriculum. I wanted to note that while we have enjoyed the living history books used with ToG, I plan to supplement their classical-style reading list with historical fiction that has an even stronger emphasis on moral character, like the books revised & republished by Salem Ridge Press (we own and love several, specifically the books by Emma Leslie) and the books from the Good & Beautiful book list. Side note: I have not reviewed the curriculum from TG&TB and do not plan to use it. However, their book list is valuable and I will use it as a guide to finding wholesome books.
Social/Cultural Studies – This will be included in our history curriculum. We do not thoroughly or consistently do the social study lessons provided, but when they are covered through literature, we do.
Geography – This will be included in our history curriculum. We use their guide as an overview of geography. We are not crazy about the lessons and do not do the mapping they suggest. We learn geography through a wider lens and when interested in specific places around the world via a globe and wall maps.
Latin – Continuing to slowly work through Visual Latin. We are relaxed with it and my son does it when he wants to (it is fun).
Music – We have been using an app called Yousician for piano, guitar, and ukulele lessons for all of the kids. My oldest enjoys the guitar and ukulele.
Well, that about covers my 8th-grader’s formal studies. Math and language arts will be done daily with the other subjects each done 2+ days per week.
What has been your favorite curriculum for middle school?