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12th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Picks (2018-2019)

There definitely aren’t as many textbooks in the pile this fall, but Laurianna is still hard at work on her classes. 

At home Laurianna is finishing up one class (Pre-Calculus) and taking four fall classes at our community college. We haven’t determined how many classes she will be taking in the spring yet and have plans to meet with an advisor at the college she would like to eventually attend to decide what courses would be best for her (and not need to be retaken). 

The current plan, pending Laurianna’s applications to colleges, is for her to work on the RN to BSN program offered through our local community college and then transfer over to the school she would like to complete her degree with. She will be applying to that school as well this fall (if they would like to offer scholarships, we are more than happy to accept), but so far the community college and then transfer is looking like our best option.

By the end of the fall semester, Laurianna will have 29 credits toward her high school diploma and have completed eight of the courses toward her RN program requirements at the community college.

Fall Semester

  • MathAmazon textbook rental(finishing)
  • ScienceMicrobiology and lab (community college)
  • English CompositionArguing About Literature 
  • Philosophy/Ethics: Ethical Choices
  • Sociology: Marriages, Families, and Relationships
  • SAT – taking October 2019
  • Kaplan for nursing – taking prior to November

Spring Semester 2019

  • TBD

 

12th Grade Curriculum Choices

Last year Laurianna started and stopped Teaching Textbooks because we couldn’t install the disks on her Chromebook and the other laptop she uses was literally falling apart. We were able to switch to the 3.0 online version of Pre-Calculus and she is now working on that since it works on her Chromebook wonderfully!  I’m really excited about this switch since I can log into the account at the same time and view the lesson, and we can access from any computer, not just one specific (which we had to do with CD-rom version).  

We were fortunate this semester because one of her books (Microbiology) was included in the cost of her class enrollment, and the other books we were able to rent through either Amazon textbook rental (referral link) or through the community college. We’ve found that Amazon has been by far the cheapest for rentals, but they don’t always have all the books either since the professors sometimes like to choose obscure books. 

 

Does High School Have You Scared?

If homeschooling high school is worrying you, don’t miss the free middle and high school planning printables and map out your middle and high school years!

Homeschooling in High School Middle and High School Planning How to Choose Homeschool Curriculum

If you are new to homeschooling and aren’t sure where to begin in choosing homeschool curriculum, please don’t let this post overwhelm you! Here are a few posts that you might find helpful as you discover what is best for your family. Be sure to check out the entire Homeschool Basics series for answers to more frequently asked homeschool questions.

 

Curriculum in Year’s Past

In case you are interested in seeing the curriculum that brought us to this point, here’s a peek at what we’ve used with Laurianna the past few years:

See What the Other Kids Are Up To…

Click one of the images below to see curriculum picks for our other children.

8th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Picks

My word for Zachary this year is FOCUS. He is a boy with many interests who can excel in many things, but sometimes his focus can be hard to refine. Along with the focus, we are honing in on doing things well and completely (the first time).

He is a teenage boy. :) 

Both of our girls worked on a few more credits their 8th grade year, but if anything I’m realizing that each of our kids has different learning curves, interests, and also doesn’t need to start on credits as early. Yes, it’s a bonus, but not a necessity. That said, Zachary isn’t in the same place academically (and that’s perfectly fine), so he will be working on 3.5 credits overall throughout the year. 

Below you’ll get a peek at our 8th grade homeschool curriculum choices – a look at the new (and favorite) programs we are using for the upcoming school year. An * depicts curriculum/programs that are new to us this year. 

*feed readers, please click over to the blog for some of the additional links to curriculum

8th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices

Credits to earn: 3.5

 

Math

We have the paper version of the Algebra 1 book, but this year Zachary will be working on the online version of Teaching Textbooks Algebra 1 (3.0). It follows along with the book, and I’m excited that I can log in on my laptop and see what he is doing since everything is stored online! (He’ll earn 1 credit for this class.)

Geography

Another program we will be using again is North Star Geography. In the past we have worked through it in one year, but this time we are choosing the two year schedule for Zachary. When completed, he will have earned a full credit as a high school class. 

Language & Spelling

Zachary will be using Learning Language Arts Through Literature Gray, and his reading will be tied in with his language/grammar program. There are four main books as the focus of the curriculum: Daddy-Long-Legs, A Lantern in Her Hand, Eric Liddell, and God’s Smuggler.   We will likely add on an extra book or two over the course of the year, but these are the four we will start with. 


This year we will also be working through the Grammar of Poetry from Compass Classroom. There is a local workshop that will tie-in with what we are learning in the program, and Zachary will earn .5 a high school credit for this class. We will also be continuing with All About Spelling Levels 6  for spelling. 

Writing

We will be continuing with the second half of WriteShop (Zachary completed WriteShop Basic Set 1 last year). Used it with both girls and LOVE it! 

Science

Both Laurianna and McKenna used Physical Science from Exploration Education. When they worked through the program, they were in a smaller group co-op setting, so this year will be a little different with Zachary doing it with me each week, but he is really looking forward to the program and the hands-on projects.

Swimming

Zachary and Kaleb have both asked to swim the full year again. With Zachary’s growth the last year, he has been dropping time like crazy and is hoping to qualify for nationals (he did last year), but this year will definitely be more difficult for him. The last few months have seen him becoming more focused on what he enjoys and loves and how it will impact him in the future (thinking ahead to college – yikes!).

Curriculum in Year’s Past

In case you are interested in seeing the curriculum that brought us to this point, here’s a peek at what we’ve used with Zachary the past few years:

Planning the Middle and High School Years

Overview planning pages for middle and high school

One thing that has been a huge help to me in mapping out the upcoming years with our kids  is this middle school and high school planner. Essentially I am able to get an extended view and map out the future years to see what we need to work on and when it might fit in best -and make sure we aren’t missing anything overall. 

If you are new to homeschooling and aren’t sure where to begin in choosing homeschool curriculum, please don’t let this post overwhelm you! Check out the entire Homeschool Basics series for answers to more frequently asked homeschool questions.

Homeschool Teaching Styles and Philosphies.png Identifying Children's Learning Styles copy How to Choose Homeschool Curriculum

See What the Other Kids Are Up To…

Click one of the images below to see curriculum picks for our other children.

Our 4th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices

4th grade homeschool curriculum choices - from Homeschool Creations

The main focus this year for Kaleb is reading. His reading skills grew tremendously last year, but with reading being the core of his starting to work on subjects independently (something important in the upcoming years), the core of all we do and focus on needs to be reading. Together he and I are reading aloud to each other and reviewing, reviewing, reviewing so the areas he struggles in becomes much more natural for him. Zachary’s 4th grade year (our other son) was the point when reading finally ‘clicked’ for him, so although I’m trying not to compare too much, I am truly hoping and praying everything really falls into place for him this year and he feels comfortable with his reading skills. 

Another area we will be targeting is history/geography. Kaleb will be working with Zachary (6th grade) on these two subjects, as well as some friends of ours. The intent in history is to work on a similar cycle with the boys and Laurianna so we can tie in some field trips with another family. 

The bulk of Kaleb’s studies are still done together with me, with the exception of math, since we use a computer-based program that essentially reads the lesson to him. He can definitely read more than he lets on most days – it’s just that struggle to actually DO it, rather than letting his siblings jump in (when they are so willing to do so). 

4th Grade Homeschool Curriculum

Here’s a look at the overall plan for our 4th grade year…

Kaleb has been going through science experiment ideas with me and we are compiling a list to work on about one experiment or STEM project each week. This boy is ALL about math and science, so he will be working on plenty of hands-on projects throughout the year both with me and on his own. It’s not uncommon for him to pull out our Little Bits set and work on something while he is waiting for me or when he is finished with his work. 

On the flip side, he is also a boy that loves to create and work on art projects. As the year progresses, his wall will be covered with various creations from Home Art Studio. I absolutely LOVE this program and the fact that Kaleb can work independently on his art projects – and all I need to do is prep a tray for him with all the supplies. Super simple and he can’t get enough of it. Win-win! 

Co-op Learning

This year we are only participating in one co-op with all of the kids and trying to keep life a bit more simple in that regard. While Kaleb isn’t as upset about it (he’s a fairly even-keeled kiddo emotionally), he does love our smaller co-op because his best buddy is also a part of it. Our co-op meets every other week with the elementary and middle school kids, so it isn’t overwhelming for planning. This year they will be working on the following two classes: 

  • Spanish – last year they had a level 1 Spanish for elementary with one of the moms – and really loved it. She is hoping to use a new program this year – so we’ll keep you posted on how that is going. 
  • Five in a Row – two of the moms tag-team teach this class and work on one book each month – art projects, science experiments, etc… 

Curriculum in Year’s Past

In case you are interested in seeing the curriculum that brought us to this point, here’s a peek at what we’ve used with Kaleb the past few years:

If you are new to homeschooling and aren’t sure where to begin in choosing homeschool curriculum, please don’t let this post overwhelm you! Check out the entire Homeschool Basics series for answers to more frequently asked homeschool questions.

See What the Other Kids Are Up To…

Click any of the images below to see our homeschool picks for the current school year. You’ll also find links to past years choices in each post. 

4th grade homeschool curriculum choices - from Homeschool Creations 6th grade homeschool curriculum choices 2016 from Homeschool Creations 8th grade homeschool curriculum choices 2016 10th grade homeschool curriculum choices from Homeschool Creations 2016

8th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices

 8th grade homeschool curriculum choices 2016

McKenna is a wee bit anxious about the upcoming year, even though she honestly doesn’t have much to worry about. Last year she made huge strides in working independently, but the thought of earning high school credits this year is a little daunting to her. We are so glad to be a part of a small co-op where she has good friends to learn alongside in two subject areas (and make it even more fun too). 

Our biggest hurdle this year will be getting her daily routine in place. McKenna is our late riser and while that can be a lovely thing, it also puts a kink in the day when everyone else is ready to go early in the day and then finished up early as well. While this 8th grade plan isn’t quite as high school ambitious as Laurianna’s was, it will be a great “easing in” for her. The credits she is earning will give her a good jump on her high school years. 

8th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices

Credits to earn: 5.5

8th reading list 2016

Out of all the subjects, McKenna is most excited for Visual Latin and Physical Science. Literature and Algebra 1 are the most intimidating to her, mainly because – ALGEBRA – and the thought of writing three papers a month is something that seems overwhelming because they are a new style of paper for her. 

We opted not to include any additional grammar program this year because McKenna has a solid grasp of grammar and will rely heavily on it for her literature class (and a mother who is a stickler for writing well and editing). Both her physical science and literature classes will be a part of our small co-op group, although she will have a full load during the week in preparation for the classes.

Overview planning pages for middle and high school

One thing that has been a huge help to me in mapping out the upcoming years with McKenna (and Laurianna) is this middle school and high school planner. Essentially I am able to get an extended view and map out the future years to see what we need to work on and when it might fit in best -and make sure we aren’t missing anything overall. 

Curriculum in Year’s Past

In case you are interested in seeing the curriculum that brought us to this point, here’s a peek at what we’ve used with McKenna the past few years:

If you are new to homeschooling and aren’t sure where to begin in choosing homeschool curriculum, please don’t let this post overwhelm you! Here are a few posts that you might find helpful as you discover what is best for your family. Be sure to check out the entire Homeschool Basics series for answers to more frequently asked homeschool questions.

See What the Other Kids Are Up To…

Click any of the images below to see our homeschool picks for the current school year. You’ll also find links to past years choices in each post. 

4th grade homeschool curriculum choices - from Homeschool Creations 6th grade homeschool curriculum choices 2016 from Homeschool Creations 8th grade homeschool curriculum choices 2016 10th grade homeschool curriculum choices from Homeschool Creations 2016

Eighth Grade Year in Review – Homeschool Curriculum Choices

8th Grade Homeschool Year in Review



Laurianna’s eighth grade year was enough to make me break out in a cold sweat. Seriously. Somehow the start of last year really had me realizing that every little thing mattered. We were on the verge of HIGH SCHOOL, deciding if she would be taking high school credits and the panic set in.

The bulk of Laurianna’s work was independent, although there were several classes that we did in a co-op setting, because we have some fabulous friends and it was much fun interacting with a few other high schoolers (and commiserating together on their science or literature woes). Laurianna is very dedicated and responsible in managing her time, so although we had talked about what programs she would use, she put together her own schedule for the weeks and years. There were a few times we had to review her plans and reorganize things, but otherwise we met weekly to go through her work, correct papers, and look at what was coming up next.

You can see all of our 8th grade homeschool curriculum choices for the 2014-15 year here, but below you’ll get a good look at what we used for Laurianna’s eighth grade year and what we will be continuing on with in the upcoming year.

Geography

The plan: North Star Geography (1 credit) and Wondermaps

 

Email subscriber can click here to watch the video clip.

Hands-down, North Star Geography from Bright Ideas Press was the BEST addition to our curriculum and Laurianna’s workload. If there was one thing I heard constantly, it was how much she absolutely loved the program and it was her favorite. She earned a full credit for the program, and I rather loved the grading sheet that was a part of the program (and did all the computing for me).

There were many hands-on projects that Laurianna worked on throughout the year, and I hope to share her hydroponics project with you all soon. Between mapping, learning country facts, and the well-laid out program, it was a definite win for our year.

Science

Physical Science from Exploration Education (1 credit), The Fossil Book and The Cave Book from Masterbooks (1/2 credit)

Glider from Everday Exploration

Science was one subject that we worked on with a very small co-op this year (four kids). One of the moms took on the weekly teaching and the kids were responsible for the reading assignments during the week and working on their lab projects (these varied from building a glider, a miniature house, solar-powered fan, or other projects). The kids each brought their assignments during the co-op meeting and ran additional experiments together and had their lab booklets checked out as well.  Overall, Laurianna really enjoyed the program, especially the hands-on projects.

Her second semester she started working on the two Masterbook science classes for a total of 1/2 credit. Both of these books are counting toward her elective classes.

Literature

Introduction to Literature (1 credit)

Homeschool Week in Review-17

Literature was another class that we opted to work on together in our small co-op. This was the class that I taught and having the small group worked very well. Each week we spent time talking about various writing techniques and reviewing the most recent assignments together. Writing is one area that is so important because it covers so many different aspects of life and will follow the kids wherever they go! This year we focused on putting together a strong essay (see the fun hamburger essay outline that Laurianna drew for herself and friends).

Hamburger essay outline for literature

Next year we will be working through the next book in this literature series. We read some fabulous books together (see Laurianna’s reading list here) and at the end of each unit we watched a movie version of the book to compare/contrast if it followed the book or completely digressed (more often then not it was the latter – but it was still fun).

The best part in working with the small group was the opportunity to work on peer reviews and share different writing styles with each other. Having someone else read, edit, and review your papers can be very intimidating, but the kids all handled it so well.

It is also here that I remembered why I though teaching high school English was not the direction I wanted to head. While I love many of the aspects of the class, having four papers to grade each week was crazy enough and I cannot even imagine having a crazy amount of papers to review each day/week.

My only ‘complaint’ with the program was the not-so-clear-cut grading scale/rubric. For my sanity I ended up creating a grading rubric for each type of paper, along with checklists for the kids to review before handing papers in. These were similar in style to the ones that I was familiar with from WriteShop, giving the kids and parents a clear idea of what was expected and how they could improve papers.

Grammar & Spelling

Easy Grammar 180 Daily Teaching Lessons, All About Spelling Levels 6 & 7

This was a fairly ‘light’ area for Laurianna this year. The Easy Grammar lessons were overall review for her, and we did spelling lessons sporadically throughout the year. She is a very proficient speller and we will finish up level 7 with her next year.

Math

Algebra 1 from Saxon Math (1 credit)

Saxon Algebra 1

Algebra is probably one of Laurianna’s least favorite subjects overall. She is still muddling through two tests and reviewing some of the material – it just isn’t her favorite area. While she didn’t struggle completely, it was the subject that took her the longest to complete each day and made her eyes want to gloss over.

Next year she is still debating on using Saxon for Algebra 2 or moving back to Teaching Textbooks. The main reason for the switch to Saxon was one of her friends was using Saxon, so she wanted to as well. We’ll have to decide in the next bit, but fortunately have both on hand just in case.

Elective

Greek Myths from Memoria Press (1/2 credit)

Laurianna really enjoyed reading the Percy Jackson series, so she thought that Greek Myths would be along the same lines. It wasn’t quite what she expected and while it started out okay, she now wishes she would have chosen something else as a 1/2 credit elective. (grins) She did finish the class during her first semester and earned the 1/2 credit, but has mentioned to her younger sister that it might not be the best option for her. Overall a good lesson in perseverance and finishing what we start.

Foreign Language

Spanish Tell Me More program (1 credit)

We didn’t quite get the first year finished and had a glitch in our software. When the program was initially purchased, Tell Me More was their own company, but they were bought out by Rosetta Stone. Trying to figure out how to get past our glitch was put on the back burner since we weren’t sure where to go for customer service. Fortunately, because we started it her 8th grade year, we have a little bit of wiggle room and will finish it up and move on to year 2 shortly.

Vocabulary

Dynamic Literacy Word Build Elements

Although we intended for Laurianna to work on this, we ended up shelving it because she was working on so much with literature and Daily Grams.

History

Mystery of History 4 combined with Story of the World 4 (see below); Liberty Kids dvd series

Laurianna worked primarily on taking good notes this year and getting ready for an independent class next year. She took the quizzes to go along with the class as well but decided to skip the coloring pages (grins).

Bible

Picture Smart Bible – wrapping up our Old Testament Studies and 90 Devotions for Kids – morning devotions

The Picture Smart Bible coloring pages were something Laurianna enjoyed, although our switch back to Grapevine Studies was her favorite study overall.

Co-op

PE, Art, and other electives

homeschool January 2015-36

The other co-op we were a part of included an art class that Laurianna really enjoyed. This year they worked on creating marionettes and decided to make characters from the book of Esther. When they were finished, they helped sew the costumes, created scene backdrops, wrote a play, and put on a 15 minute presentation for the co-op.

Click the images below to see our 2nd Grade Year in Review4th Grade Year in Review, and 6th Grade Year in Review. Stick around too – I’ll be sharing our curriculum choices for the upcoming school year soon!

2nd Grade Homeschool Year in Review 4th Grade Homeschool Year in Review

6th grade homeschool year in review

 
 

New to Homeschooling?

If you are new to homeschooling and aren’t sure where to begin in choosing homeschool curriculum, please don’t let this post overwhelm you! Here are a few posts that you might find helpful as you discover what is best for your family. Be sure to check out the entire Homeschool Basics series for answers to more frequently asked homeschool questions.

Homeschool Teaching Styles and Philosphies.png Identifying Children's Learning Styles copy How to Choose Homeschool Curriculum

Additional Resources: Unfamiliar with some of the curriculum choices above? Follow the links below to learn more about the companies and resources:

Curriculum Choices from Years Past…

If you’d like to see what curriculum we’ve used in years past, click on one of the posts below. Grade levels taught each year are listed with the posts.

Homeschool Classroom Video Tour

When I initially shared that we were finishing off an area for our homeschool classroom a year and a half ago, I posted a short video clip of the ‘in progress’ work. Since then I’ve shared pictures of the room, but many of you have asked for a video tour. Sometimes pictures are helpful, but a video can really help give you a little more perspective.

Each video will have short blurbs telling more about the pieces and there will be links at the end of this post as well. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments!

Would you like a tour? This is the closest that I can give you to a personal visit right now, so grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair, and spend some time with me. We love our schoolroom and are glad that you are here for a visit.

Come on in!

Homeschool Room Tour {Part 1}

 

Homeschool Room Tour {Part 2}

 

Things You See in the Video {in order seen}:

Note: Ikea keeps changing location on their links, but names are provided for the various items we are using.

Other Helpful Posts

Phew!! If you stuck around for it all – let me know if you have any questions!! Leave a comment and I’d be happy to answer you!