8th Grade

8th grade will be about focusing on skills he's going to need in high school and shoring up any weaknesses so his full attention can be on the subjects, not on the mechanics. We'll be working on strengthening his grammar, spelling, assigning more writing, more reading, and taking some time to review pre-algebra. I'm hoping by giving him a little extra time to review math it will give him the time he needs to mature and let it all soak in before moving onto Algebra I. The plan is to make 8th 'high school light' so he will have an easier transition to doing the work I have been planning for high school. I found listening to Susan Wise Bauer's lecture The Well-Prepared Student: How to Get Ready for the High School Years to be extremely helpful in getting me focused on what really needs to be accomplished before he hits 9th. 

History - 4x week
Connect the Thoughts - The Medieval Age
I want to spend some extra time on Vikings and Celts because that is our ancestry and that area is rich in stories that will be good for ds's career choice (game design). I don't think we'll get to the Renaissance, which is fine because we'll be covering it in high school. I'll be using this as a spine and to prompt discussion. If I'm lucky, I'll get some Great Courses to go along with it at Christmastime.

English - 1x a week 
Reading List 
A mix of easier books and high school level books based off of the content he will be covering in history. Some of the easier books, he will read to my 2nd graders who are also covering The Middle Ages.  He will NOT be reading all of them. Instead I give him a list and he can choose from it. I have a goal of 2 books a month, plus a few required reading (*)
The Silver Branch (The Roman Britain Trilogy)
The Lantern Bearers (Roman Britain Trilogy)
Sword at Sunset (Rediscovered Classics)
The Crusades: The Authoritative History of the War for the Holy Land
One Thousand and One Arabian Nights (Oxford Story Collections)
The Canterbury Tales (Puffin Classics)
The Hound of Ulster (Red Fox Classics)
The Sea of Trolls (Sea of Trolls Trilogy)
Sword Song (Sunburst Book)
Nordic Gods and Heroes
The Scottish Chiefs
Irish Folk & Fairy Tales Omnibus
The Magna Charta
Son of Charlemagne (Living History Library)
Cathedral: The Story of Its Construction
Ivanhoe (Dover Thrift Editions)*
The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood (Signet Classics)
The Story of Rolf and the Viking Bow (Living History Library)
Beorn the Proud (Living History Library)
Beyond the Myth: The Story of Joan of Arc*
The Black Arrow (Dover Children's Evergreen Classics)
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; Pearl; [and] Sir Orfeo* - listen to audio while reading text
The Questing Knights of the Faerie Queen - difficult to find
The Once and Future King
The Divine Comedy * - listen to audio while reading text
Beowulf: A New Telling *
The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn (The Samurai Mysteries)
The Samurai's Tale
The Young Samurai: Way of the Warrior

Writing - 5x a week
Finish up Writing with Skill 1 
Critical Thinking Co. Arguments
Write literary analysis papers about books read

Grammar - 2x a week
Sentence Diagramming - a straightforward book on how to diagram so that as he begins to write more complicated sentences, he can look at the structure and edit his own work for grammar. 
Stay Smart Workbooks - possibly if he needs more work on diagramming

Vocabulary - 5x a week

Spelling - 5x a week
The ABC's and All Their Tricks - phonics spelling review - I realize it's late to be doing this, but he didn't receive a whole lot of phonics-based spelling in public school and I'm noticing that he needs a review. I looked all over for some kind of comprehensive spelling book that teaches the phonics rules. If I had all of the levels to All About Spelling, then I would probably use that. This seemed to be a suitable alternative to review those rules and move on quickly. 

We'll also be turning off spell check & making a list of misspelled words to be used for Spelling City lists.

Science - 5x a week
ScienceFusion Sound and Light - took Motion, Forces and Energy over the summer
Interest-led science projects

ScienceFusion The Human Body - to go along with Health 2nd semester
Great Courses - Nutrition Made Clear
Yoga, brisk walking with pedometer, bike rides, Wii Fit
Friday cooking lessons, menu planning

Glencoe World Geography & Cultures - notebooking style
     - using Glencoe's website for vocabulary, self-check quiz...

Math - 5x a week
Lials Introductory Algebra 8th edition - there are newer editions, however this edition is nearly identical to the most current edition, it is lower in price and widely available. 
Lials Introductory Algebra Digital Video Tutor - if your book does not come with this you can buy it separately. 
Alcumus - A free program from The Art of Problem Solving. One problem a day is enough. It gives a math problem (starting at pre-algebra) that forces you to think about the "why" in math and not just go through the motions of "how".

Logic - 5x a week with me


Some of you might be wondering how on earth we will get all of it done?! I realize it's very ambitious and I'm sure some things will get dropped along the way. I may have a lot of subjects, but I'm also extremely efficient with time. We do some subjects orally to shorten the time. Subjects like spelling, grammar, critical thinking, and vocabulary will be short lessons taking no more than 15 minutes to a half-an-hour.  Some subjects are combined. For example, history and english will be combined for the most part using the WTM method of History as Literature. We also school year round. 

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I have been homeschooling since 2009, but have been reading about it since 2003. Homeschooling is rapidly growing. Whether you are a veteran or new to homeschooling, I hope to filter some of the vast amounts of information for you


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