Sunday, August 29, 2010

Girl of the House~~Homeschooling Plan for 8th Grade

I've noticed that a lot of homeschooling bloggers post their kids' homeschooling plans for the year, so I thought I'd do the same. I'm only homeschooling one since Girl Out of the House graduated last year, though she was pretty much independent the last few years and managed her on-line classes herself for the most part. So here's what Girl of the House will be up to this year:

Ancient History and Literature~~Since Man of the House is a classicist by trade, he is heading this up and, in fact, much has already been accomplished this summer. They started with Hesiod's Theogony followed by a couple Homeric hymns. Then it was off through Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, which they finished a couple weeks ago. Last week they had fun with a few fellow homeschoolers reading through Aeschylus' Oresteia. Three days, three plays. As unlikely as it sounds, they all had a great time and are getting together next week to read Sophocles' Theban plays. After Sophocles they will move to Plutarch's Lives (selections), Plato's Republic, Aristotle's Politics and/or Ethics, Livy's History of Ancient Rome, Virgil's Aeneid, possibly some Ciceronian Speeches against Cataline, Caesar's Gallic Wars, and something by Tacitus still to be determined. They will supplement with the relevant pages of Spielvogel's Western Civilization. We've also been slowly working through Peloponnesian Wars lectures, about half of which is background information and talks a lot about Greek culture and history. Man of the House has been throwing in some writing assignments too. This will count as a credit or two on the high school transcript.

Physical Science~~Girl of the House is taking this through The Potter's School. Her experience with General Science at TPS last year was fabulous, and we are hoping (and expecting!) a repeat this year. The text is from Apologia. Another high school credit.

German I~~Another TPS class and another high school credit. Girl of the House is really looking forward to this one. The text is Deutsch Aktuell and I know nothing about it. I think her desire to take German is related to her World War II craze.

Math~~Math is the bane of Girl of the House's existence. She grins and bears it pretty well, but it is far from her favorite. We discovered Math-U-See a couple years ago. It's the best fit for her that I've found so far, and she tolerates it better than other curricula we've tried. That Boy started tutoring Girl of the House last spring over Skype, and it's provided some much needed motivation. We are rounding the corner on Epsilon and will be moving into Zeta pretty soon-ish.

Writing~~Now we move from the most-dreaded to the most-loved with the One Year Adventure Novel. Girl of the House loves to write and spends hours writing in her spare time. She discovered this curriculum through her fellow writer-friends. It's quite expensive but not as expensive as a TPS class, as she often reminded me before final curriculum decisions were made. And you do get a lot for your money, including books, video lessons, and access to web extras. It also counts as a high school credit. So far I've been impressed!

Grammar~~Building Christian English by Rod and Staff Publishers has been our grammar text of choice for many years now. (We skip the writing exercises.) Using R&S English 8, a very thorough grounding in grammar can be accomplished by the end of 8th grade, leaving time in high school for subjects more fun and interesting. I love that it includes diagramming because a student who can diagram a sentence understands that sentence. We've put an emphasis on grammar for both of our girls, but with Girl of the House's love of writing, we think it's more important than ever.

Spelling~~303 Dumb Spelling Mistakes and What You Can Do about Them by David Downing is the capstone to many years of spelling practice. As the title implies, this book simply consists of a listing of 303 commonly misspelled words with little memory tricks to help the student remember how to spell them. We'll work through the list, noting those that Girl of the House doesn't know and just work on those. It shouldn't take long. When she's finished with this book, she's finished with spelling as a formal study forever! Hurray!

Bible~~Introduction to the Old Testament by Tremper Longman III and Raymond B. Dillard, Introduction to the New Testament by Douglas Moo and D.A. Carson, and Luther's Small Catechism~~These books will give Girl of the House a solid, basic understanding of the Bible. This is another area Man of the House is spearheading, so I'm not sure what all this will entail, but I feel very blessed to have a husband capable of and willing to undertake the spiritual formation of our children. The catechism is an on-going study, and we are also working our way through The Peacemaker by Ken Sande. We consider this book crucial to helping our children understand how to live in a fallen world full of sinners~~including themselves!

I'm hoping there will be time later in the year to add Traditional Logic I by Martin Cothran, but if not this year then next year. There will also be music instruction in the form of children's choir and/or voice lessons and some memory work~~Scripture, catechism questions, poems, selections from Homer and Shakespeare. Oh, and speaking of Shakespeare. . . On days when Girl of the House is feeling poorly (and let's face it, there will be some of those days), we are going to listen to the ArkAngel recording of Henry V and follow along with the Oxford School Shakespeare edition of the play. Then we are going to watch the Kenneth Branagh version on DVD. I've already got the materials on hand and at the ready. If we get through that, we'll pick another play, amass the various media and be ready with it should illness strike again. Girl of the House loves Shakespeare, and I think (and hope!) this will be a relatively painless way to squeeze in a little mind and heart expansion when she's not up to regular schoolwork. Throw in lots of independent reading and that's a lot of larnin'!

So there you have it. It looks like a full year, but I'm pleased with the line-up. Fatten her soul and sharpen her mind~~that's what we're after.


  1. Dad's lost it. He's getting Facebook and your blog mixed up. :P

  2. Whew! A lot of work. Hope you get to use the Cothran book. I know Martin, and I think he knows his stuff.


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