Wednesday, July 29, 2015

2015-2016 Homeschool Curriculum Choices - 6th and 8th grades

Middle School. I have a youngling and a padawan in middle school. Mind=blown.
I'm certainly not old enough to have two middle schoolers. *wink*
Seriously though, I'm excited for this stage. We've found a lot of things that work for us and will be continuing with them. But, we do have some changes and new things that I think will be fun.
All these books...
The children love the books. :) Actually this isn't even everything. I'm waiting for a few orders to arrive.
Wow! Here's what we're planning to use for the 2015-2016 school year:

Tenor is going into 8th grade. He'll be using
Saxon Algebra I (the remaining 2/3) and Algebra II for math
Rod and Staff  English 8 for grammar and composition (No IEW this year, which is a change for us. We would usually do IEW and skip the comp assignments in Rod and Staff. This year we're doing all of R&S and skipping IEW for a slightly easier year before we hit high school. Tenor is totally on-board with this change. LOL He also won't be doing spelling.)
Across the Centuries for literature (Only two titles: The Prince and the Pauper and Poems by Robert Frost.) 
For his electives, he'll continue with Hey Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! He did levels 2 and 3 last year which will give him 1 level per year until he graduates. This year he'll tackle Level 4 and will start using a Greek/English Interlinear New Testament.
He'll also be starting some computer science courses: Intro to Information Technology and Fundamentals of Programming and Software Development. (He's leaning towards pursuing a computer science degree in college so we're going to provide some opportunities now to explore it a little further.)

Soprano is going into 6th grade so she'll be doing
Saxon 7/6 and Life of Fred Cats and Dogs for math
Rod and Staff  English 6 for grammar and composition
Rod and Staff Spelling 6 for spelling
Across the Centuries for reading comprehension. She will work through 3 books: The Sign of the Beaver, Call It Courage, and From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
For her electives, she requested photography and sewing. We'll use The Kids' Guide to Digital Photography and Stitches & Pins (volume 1). She'll also start American Sign Language (through for her foreign language.
Together they'll do My Father's World 1850 to Modern Times.
My Father's World incorporates Bible, history, geography, science, vocabulary, music, and art altogether for multiple grade levels. This is the 4rd year of the 4-year history cycle. This year covers the era leading up to the American Civil War all the way through the early 2000s plus world history of the same time period.
The Bible study will include various verses for memorization as well as these books:
Our history books are:
PA History will be touched on with our regular history studies this year so I'm not adding anything additional for that. Since we'll also be doing lots of map work (from the Story of the World Activity Book) and studying the development of the government of the U.S., I'm not adding any additional civics or geography either.
I found these fun extras though:

This year's music is American composers: Gershwin, Sousa, and Foster.
I'll throw in Copland and John Williams also, using The Young Scholar's Guide to Composers and CDs we already have on hand... because Copland and John Williams. :) I might also add in the Thanksgiving hymn study from I got it for free with a big back-to-school giveaway via homeschoolgiveaways. Tenor will be continuing guitar lessons using, and Soprano will continue with piano lessons with me. Art will be continuing using God and the History of Art.

The science scheduled in MFW this year is too young for my students.
We'll still use the Wired! kit as well as World of Science, but we've been working through some AIG books this summer to fulfill our science for the year instead.
So Soprano will have only review and book basket reading for science for the school year. Tenor on the other hand...
I started to casually look into graduation requirements for our state which led to looking at college entrance requirements which led to looking into which colleges might offer a program that Tenor would be interested in which led to looking into dual enrollment options which led to... my brain feeling like it wanted to explode. :) While we have time, I want to have a plan in place for high school that maximizes our time and the opportunities we have for dual enrollment. All that means that Tenor will have to do another science program during the school year. His AIG studies combined with two Master Books sets will give him a full year of physical science.
He requested The Geology Book and The Cave Book as well as The Archaeology Book and The Fossil Book. I found the Usborne sticker book as a fun extra. I'll probably try to track down a geology sample set too. I'm still waiting for the lesson plan books to arrive so I can schedule it out.

The only other things we have to cover are fire safety and phys. ed.  Tenor will most likely continue with Taekwondo. Soprano would rather not do TKD. We did a few weeks of tennis camp this past summer and I found a few other lesson options. So they'll both do tennis this fall. We will also use the Junior FitDeck cards again this year.

Our field trip ideas this year include a trip to Gettysburg, Washington D.C., and New York City. Our local library has free passes to Wheatland (President Buchanan's home) and North Museums (natural history -- geology), there's Smithsonian Museum Day in September, and Charter Day for PA in March so a lot of those will be at no cost. I'm sure we'll find some library or local conservation center programs to go to as well as concerts. We are blessed to live in an area where the arts abound, and there are lots of free or low cost opportunities.

This will be our last year of learning history together. Next year, I'll have a high schooler, and the whole ball game changes. I'm going to try to really enjoy it!

Linking up here:
Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

iHomeschool Network


  1. We're excited to be adding Life of Fred to our curriculum this year!

    1. My sort of non-math daughter loves it! She doesn't really struggle with math generally but she's not jumping up and down excited to do it either. Life of Fred, though... she looks forward to immensely. It's a great supplement for us. :) I hope your family enjoys it too!


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