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The First Six Weeks for Our 8th Grader

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Laurianna is working on her 8th grade homeschool year this year, which has meant a larger workload for her, especially as she is working on six high school credits in addition to a few other subjects. Over the past six weeks it has been so incredibly amazing to watch her step up and take on the workload (with hardly a complaint other than typical teen emotions at times).

This has really been such a new area for us both. Remember preschool and early childhood are my specialties and where much of my focus has been for many, many years. Making the switch to actual brain work has been – umm…interesting at times! (But it’s all good!)

Here’s a peek at what Laurianna has been working on. For high school credit she is working on Algebra 1 (1 credit), Geography (I credit), Spanish (1 credit), Literature (1 credit), Physical Science (1 credit), Greek Mythology (1/2 credit), and an extra science class (1/2 credit). You can get a peek at our overall high school plan here.

Here are a few highlights of the last six weeks…

North Star Geography

North Star Geography Experiments

Geography has been one of Laurianna’s favorite ‘new’ subjects this year. We’re using North Star Geography, a new program from Bright Ideas Press, and she has been LOVING it. She literally has some new little tidbit she is telling me about daily, between her country fact sheets, what she is learning in her mapping time, or as a part of the hands-on projects.

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The hands-on activities are probably her favorite part of the lessons (see the above project), and although it is one of her more intense classes, it is FUN. To me that speaks volumes alone! She’s also been pulling out our GeoPuzzles to work on and help her remember the various country placements.

Not only do I love hearing about all that she is learning, but I recently discovered the Excel spreadsheet grading sheet Bright Ideas Press provides as a part of the program and am 100% in love with that. With all the lovely quizzes and mapping projects, my life just got a lot easier (and my brain has to think a whole lot less!). Amen.

Physical Science

Glider from Everday Exploration

Even though she does most of the work during the week, Laurianna meets with a small group of homeschoolers (four total) to review the labs and other work in her physical science class. Everyone in the house has enjoyed watching her glider progress over the last few weeks as well. It’s a little bigger than we expected – but oh so fun! Keeping two certain boys away from it has been difficult!

Literature and Writing

All of her other classes have been going along well too, including her Lit class (another one we are working on as a small co-op). One thing that I have to say – I am SO very thankful for our using WriteShop 1 & 2 the last two years with Laurianna. That program gave her such a great headstart in becoming a great writer – which shows in her literature papers.

And there have been a lot of papers – even with only four kids. Enough that as the teacher I am remembering one of the main reasons I did not pursue that last semester of my English education degree. (grins)

The kids are taking it all in stride and very excited because many of the books and short stories we are reading this year are also movies, so we get to spend time together comparing the book to the movie as well. It’s the little things that make life fun, right? Personally, I can’t wait for the boys to sit through Jane Eyre (hee hee).

Saxon Algebra 1

And Algebra 1 – our switch to Saxon was mainly because a friend of Laurianna’s was using it, so she wanted to as well. Despite her misgivings about Algebra and her belief that it wouldn’t click with her, she doing great, and I’m remembering how much I absolutely love this realm of math (no, seriously I do!).

In other subjects (Greek Mythology, History, Spanish, etc…) she is working along and doing great! That pretty much wraps up our first six weeks of school for 8th grade. How are your middle and high school adventures going?

Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years

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  1. Supremely happy to hear what a blessing WriteShop I and II have been to you, Jolanthe. :)

    • Girl – I could HUG your neck if you were here right now. The lit program is great, but I am so thankful to have a solid writing background for Laurianna – especially the way you taught it. It has helped tremendously (especially since there were no grading rubrics in the program, and I’ve modeled one for each paper after how you set them up – sanity is important!!). HUGE HUGS!!!

    • I’m all smiles over here! So much to be said for sanity. (Spoken to a mom of four kids who, um, yeah… Sanity is definitely not overrated). <3

  2. I am so excited to get to teach the middle school grades (I’m a long way away…my eldest is 7). All of this looks like so much fun!!

  3. Wow, she’s a busy girl. Thanks for the update. My daughter was in the same boat last year as she tried to get some high school credits along with finishing 8th grade. This year we are tackling the rest of “9th grade” and moving on to 10th. I am also happy to hear about Writeshop. I am doing Writeshop E with my 6th grade son and will probably do Writeshop I and II in the future. I bought it already and want to start looking it over.

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