Our Elementary and Middle School Homeschool Curriculum Choices
This year, we start our 6th year of homeschooling with a 4th grader and an 8th grader. I can’t quite believe it.
When we started, we concentrated on making learning fun while giving the kids the educational base they needed for later school years. We are still creating that base of our 4th grade son, while we are seeing the benefits of our early years in our 8th grader as she branches out.
Our homeschool curriculum choices reflect both our educational philosophy and our children’s distinct learning styles. We learned right away that what works for one student doesn’t necessarily work for the other. This makes teaching a challenge, but so rewarding when you find what makes each student come alive.
Eighth Grade Homeschool Curriculum
My daughter is my reader, my artist, and my dreamer. She’s intelligent, social, and loves to learn. Homeschooling her, for the most part, has been a delight. However, I feel the pressure of the upcoming high school years looming over me. I want to still have fun learning, but I want her to be prepared.
Eighth grade will be a mix of high school prep and interest led learning.
Math is my daughter’s favorite subject. Singapore Math is a big reason why. We have used it since 3rd grade and it fits my daughter’s learning style perfectly. Curricula that use what we refer to now as the “drill and kill” method were causing my daughter to hate math. She could do any single math problem. Word and logic problems were a piece of cake. Sit a page of 30 math problems in front of her and it’s all over.
Singapore Math utilizes problem solving and real world examples rather than drills and repetitions. This is perfect for my daughter. After just a short time with Singapore Math, her love of math was back and has remained ever since!
Economics – Founders Academy
I am so excited that my daughter will be taking and online Economics with my friend Lynn Schott of Founders Academy. Lynn’s enthusiasm for our country, how it was founded, and how it works is contagious. We have taken her one day specialty courses through CurrClick as a family and have really enjoyed them.
Apologia Physical Science
The girl LOVES Apologia science, as do I. We looked at different options for science this year. I thought she might want to try a new curriculum, since she has used Apologia for 4 years now. She chose Apologia’s Physical Science. This should be a fun course to teach and to take. I’ll be posting a lot about it over the course of the school year.
Italian – Mango Languages
Why Italian? My daughter said she wants to travel to Italy someday. I guess all the travel shows and history documentaries we’ve watched are making an impact on her. She studied Latin last school year with Visual Latin, so she has a base started. (You can read our Visual Latin review HERE)
I was having a hard time finding an Italian curriculum until I was offered an opportunity through the iHomeschoolNetwork to review Mango Languages and it has Italian! So thankful. The girl is excited to get started!
My daughter has a great balance of artsy and geeky. She loves to create all kinds of art and crafts, but also has a love for math and computers. She has taken a short computer programming course for kids in the past at the local community college. This year, she was wanting more.
Thankfully, DK publishing just came out with the Help Your Kids with Computer Coding book. The girl ripped it out of the package as soon as it came in the mail and finished the first half in a week. And, we haven’t officially started the school year yet! I love when kids get excited about learning something new. It’s not “school” then.
Essentials In Writing
While my girl love to read, she really dislikes writing. We have tried various curricula, but nothing has clicked. So, I searched the homeschool convention vendor halls this spring high and low for a writing curriculum that would be a good fit for her. After talking with lots of people and curriculum authors, I chose Essentials In Writing – for both of my non-writing kids.
In talking with the author and creator of Essentials In Writing, I learned that this is a baby-step by baby-step approach to writing from grammar to sentence structure to composition. I am very anxious to get started and I am hopeful that this is the one!!
Illinois State History
Over the past 5 years, we have covered U.S. and world history to a fair degree. We decided to stay local this year and learn about our own state. We’ll be reading, researching, and field tripping our way through the history of Illinois. Can’t wait!
Fourth Grade Homeschool Curriculum
Just as my daughter is the creative bookworm, my son is the analytical, tactile, problem solver. The eclectic approach to homeschool we use with our daughter, doesn’t cut it with this guy. His first year of homeschool was a struggle. Nothing I had seemed to work. We have now settled in to curriculum that really works for him.
Trail Guide To Learning
While we were struggling with finding a homeschool curriculum that worked for my son, a couple friends mentioned Trail Guide To Learning from Geography Matters. They have similar learners and had great success with Trail Guide.
After a year of Trail Guide To Learning under out belt, I can safely say that it saved our homeschool experience! We will be continuing Trail Guide this year.
Trail Guide To Learning uses a unit study approach to learning. All subjects, but math, are covered in this American history based curriculum. I love that it is scripted and includes lots of books and hands-on activities.
It works for both kids. Go figure!
More Curriculum Ideas
See what curriculum choices other homeschool families are making this week at the Not Back To School Blog Hop from the iHomeschool Network.
Do you ever wish you had a panel of homeschool moms to ask advice and gather homeschool information from? The Big Book Of Homeschool Ideas e-book download is just that. Think of it as 55 homeschool moms sharing their expertise in over 103 areas of home education. It’s a steal for only $10.99!