Thursday, August 20, 2015

Planning 8th Grade! (Homeschool)

I've been getting my Homeschool Ducks in a row.


I'm also cleaning out my bedroom closet. If I wind up missing you'll know where to find me.

There is enough fabric stuffed in my bedroom closet to keep me occupied for a while.

Otherwise, I've been spending some time making sure I know what I want our semester to look like.

My plan looks a little ragged right now. Josiah is starting 8th grade.

What? When did this happen?

Anyhoo. I have a bit of this and that and trying to make do with some stuff I need more of. I decided to publish and declare my plans this time around. I can be a little bit like that dog on the movie "Up" when it comes to homeschool planning.  "Oh look. I have a nice study on sharks. Squirrel!"

You know how that goes! I am blessed to be able to review for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine so I've always got a few things to choose from.

This is what my plan looks like at this point. We follow more or less a loose version of Charlotte Mason. I also let Josiah decide what he wanted to study for Science and History. Cause that's the way we roll.

I first want to show you a resource that we dabbled with just a few days over the summer. It is the Do-It-Yourself Homeschool Journal from Dyslexia Games. One thing Josiah has struggled with has been staying on task and his copywork. I had copies of the journal made for both of us and we worked on it together for a few weeks. Now that we are heading back into our school day hard and heavy we are going to continue to use it.


This is where our plans are looking a little schizophrenic. Josiah wants to do a study on the Civil War. I purchased a Civil War Project Pack from Hands of a Child and have already got a list of books ready from the library. I got it when it was on sale and had a copy for both of us printed off at our ".5 a copy print store."

I have quite a few resources on hand for this study. Plus, we have a Civil War battlefield just a few miles away.

After that, I think we will continue the Westward Ho I and Westward Ho II study we reviewed a few months ago. It was really well done and I think it will be a good place to continue after the Civil War.

I do have Diana Waring's Experience History Through Music that we were also blessed to review. I think that the CD's and books will fit in nicely.


We are currently "touring" the 50 states. I think it's time we up speed up our trip a little. I found this post from Marcy at Ben and Me to be invaluable in our study. I'm also adding a page to our study notebook. Josiah is a sports trivia buff. He can name professional teams (regardless of the sport) from every state. I am going to help him learn to use his freaky skills for good. Namely...he is going to learn to find these organizations (and their cities and states)  on the map.


It's always really hard for me to narrow down what we read during the year. We read good literature with almost every subject. These are my choices for far.

Across Five Aprils (Irene Hunt)
The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexander Dumas)
The Story of the Treasure Seekers (E. Nesbitt)


This is always a trickier subject for Josiah. We are going to use Rod and Staff Math and Life of Fred. We also play lots of games. I found a Addition and Subtraction Bingo game at a Thrift Store that is a big hit. It has been good to keep those math skills fresh.

Science and Nature Study

Josiah wants to start with a study on Astronomy. I am using a resource I found at some time back. It is for grades 3-5, but I'm not paying too much attention to that. I already have it printed out and ready to go.

After the Astronomy unit we are going to start Apologia's Anatomy and Physiology. My sister passed on the book when I saw her this summer. I WUV Apologia's products. I'm also hoping that this Anatomy and Physiology experience will be much better than my A&P class in college.

For our Nature Studies we will continue with a walk or exploration once a week. I use the Handbook of Nature Study for our studies as well as out of print nature books I find online. We are pretty fancy and free when it comes to our Nature Studies. We will explore, doodle and draw whatever strikes our fancy in the great outdoors.

Language Arts

We are going to continue with our written and oral narrations. We try and journal every day and use copywork quite a bit. I am going to be reviewing Phonetic Spelling Zoo by IEW in a few weeks. I'm anxious to see what's that about.

Because Josiah is dyslexic I find that he still needs practice reading. There is another review I'm hoping to get soon (I'll talk about it later).

I love Andrew Pudewa's IEW writing, but I think we are going to take a breather for a little bit and focus more on our narrations and then go back to it as soon as I feel we can.

I am also on the look out for Rod and Staff English.

Foreign Language

We are currently reviewing Spanish with Middlebury Interactive. I'll let you know how that works out. I do have a Latin program I would love to throw into our regular rotation. I'm just not sure if that would be too much.

Art and Music

We will continue with our Composer and Artist Studies.

For this semester I have chosen these artist to study.

John Whistler
Edgar Degas
Paul Cezanne
I also want to throw a few Winslow Homer works in there. We've studied Winslow Homer before but I think he is a great artist for boys to study. His works are so action packed!

For Composers I've got these guys lined up.

Felix Mendelssohn
Frederic Chopin
Robert Schumann
Giuseppe Verdi

Josiah wants to improve his drawing skills this year. We have been doing some basic projects, but I'm hoping my Momma might give him some assistance as well. I am looking for an easy to follow book that would be good for kids with dysgraphia.


We've dabbled a little into all of the following poets' work. This year we are going to dig a little deeper.

Robert Browning
Emily Dickinson (LOVE HER!)
Robert Frost
Christina Rossetti

I might have a volume or two of one of the above poets works already on hand. I'm not saying who. I was tempted to add Poe to our rotation this year. I might wait until next year.


I can't believe that I am actually going to admit this, but reading Shakespeare bored me to tears in High School. Of course, we read bits and pieces of his plays. I firmly believe that plays written for the stage should be seen on the stage. This is why we begin by watching a film or stage (on DVD) version of any Shakespeare plays we study. I like this method for studying Shakespeare. Though we will start by watching the play first.

My choice this year is Midsummer's Night Dream.

Bible and Character

I have a list of scriptures to learn each week. Josiah has also chosen 2 autobiographies by two famous football players who are Christians to read through (we are taking turns). We are also reading a book about missionary Amy Charmichael. I also am reading aloud from Beyond Boyhood: Practical Wisdom for Becoming a Man every morning.

Josiah is also going to continue to work on his keyboarding skills. He will be attending a PE class at a local university and still keep up with Swim Team 3 times a week.


It's a good thing I'm getting my closet cleaned out. I might have to go hide from our schedule.


  1. Oh....but it looks like a beautiful one! I'm inspired myself. I'm thinking of adding an E. Nesbit book myself, b/ c we're reviewing a YWAM C.S. Lewis book for the Crew. Nesbit was one of his childhood faves.

    Have you seen the NEH's free online curriculum, PICTURING AMERICA? It has a wide variety of American art, but includes a favorite Homer painting--"The Veteran in a New Field."

    Have a great day, Rebekah!

    1. I just went and downloaded it! What a great resource! Thank you for leading me to it...I think this is what we are going to use. It looks wonderful and I won't have to think too hard :<)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...