Our 8th Grade Homeschool Curriculum with High School Planning

As I type this post and think back over this past year, it feels like one of the longest homeschool years we’ve ever had. I’m sure that’s partly because we spent it isolated at home during a pandemic, but it’s also been a lot of work because my son is in the 8th grade, and it’s the last year before high school. Wow. I can’t believe we’ve made it this far! When I started homeschooling all those years ago, I had no idea how it would go, but I’m glad it’s turned out good.

As I wrote last year, I am creating PDF resources with all the nitty gritty about our curriculum just like I used to write blog posts, but now they are even more detailed. I have written 8th Grade with High School Planning to complement the one I wrote for 7th grade last year. It’s a bit shorter (at 10 pages) because it’s strictly about the curriculum, but I’ve also included my plans (so far) for each subject in high school and links that have helped me figure out how to award credits and create a transcript for high school.

In 8th Grade with High School Planning, you’ll find the the resources we’ve used for all the major subjects:

Writing
Literature
Vocabulary
Math
Science
History
Foreign Language

I was also happy to realize recently that Payhip, which is the company that I use to sell my digital products on, has created a bunch of cool new features for me to use, so now my store looks like a real website by itself. Please check it out.

I’m taking advantage of two new Payhip features. First, my products are set to “pay what you want.” There is a minimum price, but most of my minimums will be $1.00 unless it’s something much longer in length, such as The Everyday Homeschooler’s Guide to Teaching the Early Years, which will have a $3.00 minimum. But basically this will allow some people to pay a bit more, if they can, and if they feel my work warrants it. But if you can’t pay more, a dollar it is. My main goal is to help people, but I truly appreciate all the support I can get too.

The other new feature available on my store is a blog, which I don’t really need since I have this blog, but I thought I might use it for some quick, inspiring homeschool tips. You can check that out here.

What else should I do for my store? If there’s anything else you would like to see me write about, please let me know. I appreciate your support very much. If you can’t buy my PDF resources, that’s okay. If you can share my blog or store on your social media outlets, I’d really appreciate that too. And I always love hearing from you, even if it’s just to chat! Thanks so much. 🙂

September

When I was a little girl, my favorite children’s book was Wacky Wednesday. I read it over and over and over again. It was about a boy who woke up on Wednesday, and everything about the world was wacky. Shoes stuck to the ceiling and planes flew backwards. As he went through his day, the world got more and more wacky, and he was the only one who could see that everything was not quite right. Finally, the day ended, and when he woke up the next morning, everything was back to normal. What a relief!

As a child, this story was funny but also cathartic. Things go wrong! Not everything is perfect. However, if we wait long enough, we’ll come out the other side.

I think we can all relate, can’t we? We might have a wacky day or a wacky year. Yep, the world is pretty wacky right now, but I’m not counting on waking up one morning and everything being back to normal. I think what we can count on, however, is our ability to adapt, grow and change when necessary, which makes it much easier to deal with the wacky world, which, actually, has always been wonkers. Some of us have a harder time with change, which makes life so much harder for them. These people can make life more difficult for others too. :/

If I’ve learned anything from this wacky time, I think it’s that whatever a person chooses to listen to, i.e. what media they read/trust, says a lot more about that person than whatever the Truth is. No media outlet, reporter, book, opinion shouter, has the whole Truth. It’s always more complicated. We think we’re so connected and that we have all the answers at our fingertips, but I think it’s even harder now to cut through the endless hype. Hmm. Less media and more meditation might help. Ha ha.

Okay, I will stop while I’m ahead.

We had a good August, and my boys are a year older! Again! Yikes. And now I’m homeschooling 5th grade again, and whoa….8th grade! It’s the last year before high school. Wow. Wow. I can’t believe we’re at this point. Every year has gone by faster than the one before it.

I’m excited about our upcoming year. Despite the pandemic, I think it’ll be a great year. The boys have a lot of activities they are involved in (all remotely). Maybe it’ll be a better year because we’re going to be home together everyday. With time moving as fast as it is, I know my boys will be growing up and living away from this house before I know it. So I’m always going to appreciate this extra bit of closeness we had together.

Still, I hope hope hope that later this year we’ll have some kind of relief, and it’ll be safer to resume in-person lessons and meet-ups. Fingers crossed. If not, we’ll deal with it, right?

At some point I’ll write about our plans for 5th and 8th grade, but I can’t promise when. I’ll probably pepper my monthly updates with tidbits, but I may wait until the end of the year to give a comprehensive overview of our curriculum because I always end up tweaking my plans and letting some things slide. This is also the year my husband and I will be doing some serious thought about high school for our eldest son. It’s so exciting! But we have a lot to consider and research. I’m thankful that my husband is big on research, and this is one area he seems to like researching.

We took a couple weeks off in August, and most of the summer we were on a lighter schedule. It was good to keep a little structure in our days, but we also played a lot of games, read lots of books, and enjoyed many movies and documentaries. Here are some of our favorites:

Exploding Kittens — Our new favorite card game. It has a big giggle quotient. 🙂

The Wrinkle in Time Quintet — My younger son is really enjoying this classic book series right now, although I don’t own this particular boxed set. We had some old copies and also used our Kindle to get the whole series. My eldest son really enjoyed A Wrinkle in Time when I read it to him many moons ago, and it was my favorite book when I was in the 4th grade. I even wrote a letter to Madeline L’Engle, and she wrote me back!

Unfollow: A Memoir of Loving and Leaving the Westboro Baptist Church — I read this book for myself, and I can’t recommend it enough. I first heard about it during an interview with the author on NPR’s Fresh Air last year, and listening to her speak about her upbringing, the realizations she made in her late twenties, and the love that she still has for her family, I wanted to read her book. If I find the time, I may write a longer review of it, but I do highly recommend it. I like it because this is not a vengeful exposĂ©. It’s a thoughtful retelling of her experiences and the events and thought processes in realizing her family’s and church’s mistakes. And it’s a good testament that yelling, spewing insults, and arguing do not change people’s minds. What changes minds is building relationships in kind and gentle ways. Something the whole world could learn from right now!

Connected — A Netflix original, and a truly great documentary that shows how our world is much smaller than we think it is. Watch the trailer at the link. (And remember: I try to post all the educational programs we watch on Pinterest.)

So please tell me: how are you feeling right now? Are you managing okay through this wacky time? What plans do you have for this upcoming school year?