Planning a New School Year - 8th Grade

It has been exactly one month since we finished our school year and things around the house have slowed down a bit. Over the past month, I have been busily working on the hardest part of school... curriculum choices.

From the beginning of this journey, I always knew there would be the possibility of Jamie  entering the ninth grade in a school. Since we moved, that possibility will more than likely become a reality. So this year, I want to make sure Jamie will be where he will have an easy transition for the ninth grade. If he attends a school, good; if he finishes up at home, great. Either way, I want him beyond prepared for college.

I am going to start with the easiest choices for me because we have used them in the past and have really enjoyed learning with them.

Teaching Textbooks ~ I really can not say enough about this program.  This program is well worth the money when you see your child quickly understanding a math concept. If you have not read my REVIEW on this wonderful program; run right over and give it a read.

Spelling Power ~ This is another no-brainer for us.  It is something that works for us and we are truly happy with it. I love the idea of not studying words you already know how to spell. You can read about how I use this program HERE.

Vocabulary ~  I teach vocabulary using words in our History and Science lessons along with Wordly Wise 3000.  We have been using Wordly Wise for several years now and really enjoy it.

Critical Thinking~ We liked Mind Benders last year, so we will be using book six this year along with Word Benders from Critical Thinking .

History and Geography ~  We will be continuing our study of American history through All American History Volume 2 from Bright Ideas Press.  Jamie loved this program and that made me happy. We are both excited about picking up where we left off and can not wait to get started.  You can read my REVIEW for volume 1. For Geography we will be using a Trail Guide to U.S. Geography. We will also be doing a state study for Montana.

Literature ~ We will be reading classics again this year. I've been filling my Kindle with free downloads and I can't wait for Jamie to get started with some of my favorites from when I was in school.

Bible Study ~  We have tried a curriculum in the past and it was fine while Jamie was younger. Then we tried a Bible study book and he did not really care for it.  Jamie and I have always enjoyed just reading through a book of the Bible.  This year,  I will be adding journaling to our study. This is something that I do for my personal Bible study time and have really learned so much about what I've read. I think this will be a good thing for Jamie. It will help him to really focus on what he is reading and hide God's word in his heart.

World View ~  World view is new for us and I think it is a perfect study for Jamie. We will be using Christian Theology and Ancient Polytheism and World View from Brimwood Press. We started this in May and really liked what we studied and are eager to begin again in August.

Science ~ We were really bummed out with science last school year, and Jamie asked if we could just go with something that had short chapters with lots of pictures. He's like me! So I decided we would go with Abeka for Science. Abeka is a really strong program but it can become very rigid if you let it. So, I purchased an older edition of the Matter and Motion and Health books. After Jamie looked through it, he mentioned how some of what he tried learning last year is covered in this particular edition of books. I told him that it was okay and maybe we need a little review to help him remember what he studied last year.

Grammar and Composition ~  We are going with Daily Grams and we are also using Jump In for writing. I wanted to fall back on Abeka this year for grammar, but when I listened to a former college English teacher talk about how all the dead horse beating with grammar that Abeka does and not enough teaching of writing, I felt urged to go with something else. So, Daily Grams it is.

4H ~ We have joined our local 4H. This year, Jamie will be working on a small engine project and his rabbit project. We are looking forward to learning all we can, so Jamie can enter the fair next fall.

Books have been arriving in the mail, and I am working on lesson plans with a starting date of August 26th.  I am excited about this up and coming school year, we have some neat places we are planning to visit to help in our learning.

Edited 8/5/2013 to change grammar from Abeka to Daily Grams.


  1. You make a good point about Abeka being light on writing assignments. That's been on my mind for a while, and I think we'll need to supplement. Thanks for the suggestion of Jump In.

  2. I just managed to forget about school and now you've reminded me. :0) BTW, love Teaching Textbooks, they have so many more subjects than they did when my kids were still in school. Our daughter is using the Algebra and Geometry and then we're finished!
    Anyhow, happy planning and love the blog.


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