As I mentioned in my 10th Grade plans for 2022-2023 article, we’re having to pivot with some things in our homeschool this year, which is what I recommend when the homeschool curriculum isn’t working. My brain injury made me realize that while we LOVED doing a core curriculum as a family, in some ways, it isn’t always practical. Sister knew I was making changes for Mister’s high school stuff, so she started hinting around that she wanted to do things differently, too. And so, we shift. Here’s a look at our 8th grade plans for 2022-2023.
8th Grade Plans for 2022-2023
8th Grade Math
We’re going to return to the flexible math lessons from CTCMath as the base of our math curriculum. Sister has used many different math curriculums, and as of yet, she isn’t a fan of any of them. She did specifically ask to go back to CTCMath, so we’re going to give it a whirl again. Her biggest complaint about CTCMath was the voice on the videos, not the actual lessons themselves. So, we’re going to see if she can tolerate the voice again.
Sister struggles with memorization of math facts, due to her learning differences, so we’re going to couple that with a weekly middle school math class at our local homeschool learning center, and that class will use the Everything You Need to Ace Math in One Big Fat Notebook: The Complete Middle School Study Guide from Big Fat Notebooks.
The focus of the weekly middle school math class will be to make connections in math concepts. She will cover the four math operations including a review of multiplication facts and long division. She’ll work on connecting fractions, decimals and percentages. She will work to understand place value, work on performing and understanding computations with whole numbers, fractions and decimals. She’ll work on understanding and solving complex word problems. The aim of this class is to help the middle schooler to build a strong foundation before they begin high school math classes. She’s looking forward to the class because one of her running coaches teaches it. I’m looking forward to it, because I’ll take all the help I can get to help her succeed.
8th Grade Science
For science, we’re going to take a laid back approach. Sister loves learning about animals of all kinds, so she’ll spend some time doing just that. She’ll use an Encyclopedia of Animals, from Wide Eyed Editions, paired with the Exploring the Animal Kingdom – A Notebook Companion to learn all about the animal kingdom.
When she finds one that she wants to learn more about, we’ll add Notebooking Pages from our Lifetime Membership at NotebookingPages.com. That way, she can focus on the one’s she wants to learn more about, and skim through the one’s that are less interesting to her.
We’ll add the National Geographic Kids Animal Encyclopedia (2nd edition). This book has 2,500 species of animals and an epic 1,000 photos of animals. It is sure to become a favorite.
We’ll read some fun animal stories in our National Geographic Kids Almanac 2023 (US edition) together.
We’ll also add a ton of videos, including some life science videos from PBS Learning Media. We’ll also check nature and ecology documentaries on Netflix, animal videos on Curiosity Stream, and Wild Kratts on Prime Video.
8th Grade Language Arts
As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, Sister uses the Wilson Reading System Student Workbooks with her private tutor. This summer, her tutor started using some of the IEW’s All Things Fun & Fascinating: Writing Lessons in Structure & Style lessons by Lori Verstegen with her, and it’s been going well. With that in mind, this next school year, we will add in U.S. History-Based Writing Lessons Teacher/Student Combo (2nd Edition), also written by Lori Verstegen and published by Institute for Excellence in Writing.
She will also be using the Exploring Handwriting Through U.S. Geography (Cursive Edition) by His Story Handwriting, which is the same one that Mister is using.
8th Grade Reading Books
Sister continues to be a huge fan of the Warrior Cats. She continues to add to her series collections over time. We’ll do a few read aloud books together with Little Miss, as well. She also likes to grab a Magic Tree House book from the shelves from time to time.
Books that I will likely require include:
- The Bronze Bow
- Shadow of a Bull
- The Bedouins’ Gazelle
- The Witch of Blackbird Pond
- The Call of the Wild
- Bridge to Terebithia
- Where the Red Fern Grows
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
- The Incredible Journey
- Little Women
One book that will be a must read, for sure, is a new historical kids’ action/adventure story that shines a spotlight on the heroic, unsung WASP of WW2. It’s called Flying Fillies. This book is set against the backdrop of Pearl Harbor in the early days of World War II. Formed to free up male pilots for battlefield roles abroad, the WASP program trained female pilots for domestic ferrying and other duties. These brave women are often overlooked in our history lessons, so I want to make sure that we learn about them this year. This one may end up being a read aloud for all of us!
In fact, given her dyslexia, many of these books may end up as audio books or read alouds. I mostly just want her reading, and am pleased that she’ll grab books from the shelves to read of her own accord.
She’ll also be reading quite a bit for her civics/economics class (see below) so I may adjust her reading list accordingly.
8th Grade Social Studies
Sister is taking a weekly Civics/Economics class at our homeschool co-op for social studies this year. This class will use the Tuttle Twins books as they learn the principles of a free society and effect change in their community in various ways. Each week, she will read a book and go over discussion questions as a group.
Each book is based on different aspects of government and economics. Though The Tuttle Twins publisher suggests these books for ages 6-10, some of the vocabulary words and concepts discussed challenging enough for middle and high school students. Her co-op teacher will facilitate the group discussions to ensure they are engaging as they probe more into ethics, personal responsibility, history and current events, while exploring ways to solve problems or improve the operation of society.
The set, to be used in the class, includes:
- The Tuttle Twins Learn About the Law #1
- The Tuttle Twins and the Miraculous Pencil #2
- The Tuttle Twins and the Creature from Jekyll Island #3
- The Tuttle Twins and the Food Truck Fiasco #4
- The Tuttle Twins and the Road to Surfdom #5
- The Tuttle Twins and the Golden Rule #6
- The Tuttle Twins and the Search for Atlas #7
- The Tuttle Twins and their Spectacular Show Business #8
- The Tuttle Twins and the Fate of the Future #9
- The Tuttle Twins and the Education Vacation #10
- The Tuttle Twins and the Messed Up Market #11
- The Tuttle Twins and the Leviathan Crisis #12
This class is a single semester class, so we’ll have to wait until the end of the semester to see what is offered for the spring.
8th Grade Electives
Sister will take a Drama Showcase class at our homeschool co-op. She took this class last year, and absolutely loved it. It really helped her to come out of her shell a bit, and I was delighted when she asked to take it again.
Sister will be taking a Concert Choir class at our local homeschool learning center. This class is designed to inspire her to share a love of music for the Glory of God, cultivate her passion for the beauty and diversity of music as part of God’s creation, challenge her to “find her voice” through showcasing and growing their musical talents via performance opportunities, and foster a deep appreciation for how beautiful music ministers to the individual and impacts the culture as a whole. Of course, close friendships will develop from this, and hopefully some of those will be lifelong friendships.
Sister loves to bake, so when she heard that one of her favorite co-op teachers was offering a semester long baking class, she begged me to sign her up. In this she will get to bake something new each week! This class will be very hands on and it will be with some of her favorite people. Score. This class will be the fall semester.
Fundamentals of Drawing and Shading Techniques
In the spring semester, Sister will take a high school level Fundamentals of Drawing and Shading Techniques class at our co-op. The parent that is teaching the class is a phenomenal artist and Sister is so looking forward to learning techniques from her!
I mentioned in my 10th grade homeschool curriculum guide that all three kiddos will be using the The Boss Club Christian Homeschool Entrepreneurship Curriculum to learn about entrepreneurship. We’ll use the two one-semester courses that help students design, launch, grow, and optimize their own business. Sister and Little Miss will be using the Homemade Dog Treat Business Kit to launch their dog treat business.
As I said, I’m pretty stoked about this course. The company saw my excitement and agreed to extend some savings to my readers. You can save 10% with code TBC10.
Sister will take a weekly Middle School Variety Hour class at our homeschool co-op. This class will come together and work on fun projects such as cooking, paper mache, Christmas ornaments, and other fun activities. It is currently listed as a semester class, so I’m not certain if it will become a full year class or if she’ll need to select a different class second semester.
Last year, Sister announced out of the blue that she wanted to join a Cross Country team. So, we found a homeschool cross country team near us and joined. She loved it. She’s already signed up for the fall, and will start training soon.
Sister’s foray into Cross Country last year led to her joining the spring Track team with the homeschool sports group. She did great in the 100 meter dash, the 200 meter dash, and the 4×100. She also enjoyed long jumping, but not high jumping. LOL. She plans to sign up for track again in the spring.
As you can see, Sister’s class roster is heavy on the electives side. She wants to try many things, and we’re trying to help her figure out where her passions are. Of course, she’ll study the required things, but a love of learning begins with a sense of wonder.