We’ve done a hybrid homeschool for the last three years where the kiddos attended a university model school two days a week and we schooled at home the other three days. We loved our time there, and our kiddos loved their teachers and classmates. That said, for various reasons, we’re not returning this year. This year we’re homeschooling and joining two co-op’s. Check out how we’re homeschooling middle school for Mister, who’s classes span 7th, 8th, and 9th grade.
Homeschooling Middle School
The primary reason we’re not returning to the university model this year is finances. With all of my surgeries in the last year, it’s just not an option. We also want to pursue more interest led learning. With that in mind, we’re joining two homeschool co-op’s, and filling in what else we need from there. Since Mister’s interests are math and science, I’m going to discuss those first.
Middle School Math
If you read my recent Online Math Curriculum post, you may remember that Mister has asked for two years to do Algebra. I pushed it off for several reasons. First, and foremost, the idea of teaching higher math in high school was just overwhelming to me. Second, in the university model we were in previously, the school chose the curriculum so Algebra wasn’t an option at the 5th or 6th grade level. After wise counsel from a veteran homeschool friend, and placement testing, we’ve chosen to allow him to do Algebra 1 while homeschooling middle school this year. He’ll be using:
- Teaching Textbooks Algebra 1 – this will be his primary curriculum.
- CTCMath – we have a family subscription for CTCMath, so we can use it for the teaching videos in Algebra, as well.
He’s breezing through the lessons in Teaching Textbooks and has a cummulative average of 96.1% to date. If he finishes the course (142 lessons) early, I’ll start assigning geometry lessons from CTCMath.
Middle School SCIENCE
It would be an understatement to say that Mister was excited when he saw the co-op class choices. His face lit up as read all the science classes. He was a bit bummed that he couldn’t take them all, since some classes are concurrent. Since we’re allowing him to do a mix of grade levels while homeschooling middle school, he chose two middle school classes and one high school class. His middle school science classes are Fun with Physics and Health & Nutrition. His high school class is Earth Science. Had he been able to, he would have added Intro to Engineering to the list.
Fun with Physics
His Fun with Physics co-op class will be using God’s Design for the Physical World series, published by Answers in Genesis.
For the first semester, he will be reading the Heat & Energy text at home. This text provides 35 lessons that will teaches about the energy available in the physical world.
The Machines & Motion text is assigned for home reading the second semester. This book contains 35 lessons that teaches about simple machines and the laws of motion.
The one hour weekly co-op class will be a Physics Lab, where he and his class will do fun experiments.
Knowing my son, I also purchased the Inventions & Technology text. It has 35 lessons on fascinating inventions, ranging from the printing press to jet engines. Several inventors are highlighted, as well. This text supports an appreciation for the resourcefulness and ingenuity given to man by a very creative God. It will not be assigned reading, but will be on his shelf for him to peruse as desired.
I also have a copy of Make This!: Building Thinking, and Tinkering Projects for the Amazing Maker in You for him. We love Nat Geo, so this book is must have! It is designed to inspire the next generation of engineers and supports all kinds of kid creators: those who prefer guided instruction, those who prefer to dream up and design objects on their own, and everyone in between.
His High School Earth Science class will be using the Holt McDougal Earth Science text. This text has an emphasis on inquiry and provides students with opportunities to observe and apply the scientific processes. The text is assigned for home reading. He will also take the tests at home.
This book is a secular book. It covers evolution and the age of the earth. While we do not agree with everything that is stated in the book, I do think it is important that he familiar with opposing views and develop the ability to defend his own beliefs.
The one hour weekly co-op class will be an Earth Science Lab with corresponding class experiments. He will earn high school credit for this class.
Health & Nutrition
Mister will also be taking a health & nutrition class at co-op. The class teacher will be pulling from many resources for this class, and it does not have a required textbook.
Middle School LANGUAGE ARTS
This year we are trying something new for language arts. A friend of mine is teaching an American Literature class online using Google Classroom. She will pair the Writing Strands – Intermediate 1, from Master Books, with assigned books and some corresponding movies.
These are the books that he HAS to read for the American Literature course, and will have assignments related to them.
- The Witch of Blackbird Pond
- The Call of the Wild
- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
- Bridge to Terebithia
- Where the Red Fern Grows
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
- The Incredible Journey
- Little Women
The class also has a list of books from which each student is asked to choose two electives. His choices were:
Middle School Reading Books
As y’all know, Mister is a voracious reader. I stack his shelf with a ton of books, because he reads non-stop. Other books that I have stacked for him include:
Britfield & The Lost Crown – this is a fast-paced adventure novel that transports the reader from the smoldering crags of Yorkshire, through the heart of England, and finally to the magnificent shores of Dover. Creating an interactive world of mystery and adventure, Britfield is about friendship, family, loyalty, and courage. He’s actually read this book twice since it was placed on his shelf. He thoroughly enjoys it and says he would recommend it. His only question? “How could you do this to me? Book 2 isn’t being released until the Fall of 2020!”
The Life Heroic – The Life Heroic is an approachable, research-backed guide that equips kids with the tools they need to become everyday heroes. In her conversational and easily accessible prose, Svoboda interviews kids who are doing heroic things around the world.
The Explorer Academy – The Nebula Secret is the first of a series of adventure books that are packed with high tech, science, and code breaking. In this book, Cruz leaves his tranquil home in Hawaii to join 23 talented kids from around the globe to train at the Explorer Academy with the world’s leading scientists to become the next generation of great explorers.
The Explorer Academy – The Falcon’s Feather is book 2 in this series. In this book, Cruz sets sail aboard the Explorer Academy ship to continue his studies at sea.
The Explorer Academy – Code-Breaking Activity Adventure is the first activity book based on the Explorer Academy. This book allows kids to team up with the characters from the books and test their knowledge of ancient codes and ciphers.
Mister recently discovered Max Tilt, an edge-of-your-seat adventure series, so these books are on the shelf, as well. Well, the first book is next to his bed. Splayed open. Along with two other books he’s currently reading. Sigh.
I can see now that I’ll need to do a seperate post of Middle School Books for Boys. There’s so many more!
Middle School Social Studies
We’ll be using Portraits of Integrity as our base for social studies for Mister. This easy to read anthology contains 45 character based stories from history! My hope is that it will inspire Mister to strive for excellence in everything he does. Portraits of Integrity is available as a stand alone product, or as part of the Kids of Character curriculum. We’ll be using the rest of the Kids of Character products in our morning meeting time together as a family.
As a family, we’ll also be listening to an Audible series of George Robert Minkoff’s “In the Land of Whispers” trilogy, which is narrated by Nigel Gore. . The series brings to life the lives of Captain John Smith, Powhatan, and Pocahontas. We’ll listen to it as we head back and forth to co-op’s.
Mister is a fan of Dan Gutman’s books, so the Flashback Four series is a definite must. Real history combined with action packed adventure? Yes, please!
I am also thinking of adding a few audiobooks, depending on how much time we have available.
Middle School ELECTIVES
Mister also elected to take include a Life Skills class, an Intro to Internet class, and an Art class. I strongly encouraged the art class, because he wanted another academic class.
He also asked to take a coding class, so he’ll be using CodaKid to learn real Java coding online with the Mod Creation 1 with Minecraft® course. CodaKid courses teach students booleans, conditionals, loops, variables, methods, arrays, and more. If he likes it, we can explore more coding classes.
Who knows, maybe next year he’ll be writing source code for my site.
I’m fairly certain I’m forgetting something. I’ll come back and add it if I figure it out. ;)
Mister is a self starter and mostly independent student. That will make homeschooling middle school a little less overwhelming with two other students who require a lot of one-on-one.
Be sure to check out these curriculum posts while you’re here!
- Tips for Homeschooling Middle School
- 5th Grade (2019-2020)
- 1st Grade (2019-2020) – coming tomorrow!
- 6th Grade (2018-2019)
- 4th Grade (2018-2019)
- Kindergarten (2018-2019)
- 5th Grade Curriculum Picks (2017-2018)
- 3rd Grade Curriculum Picks (2017-2018)
- Our Preschool Curriculum Picks, (2017-2018)
Check out the Back to Homeschool Blog Hop Curriculum Week, too!