Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Easing into 8th Grade

Not Back to School Blog Hop

The Not-Back-to-School Blog Hop over at Heart of the Matter is on Curriculum this week.  Read more entries by clicking here. 

We started back to school this week. Sort of.  Jason started math, since that is one subject we seem to always get behind in during the year.  We pretty much have a 4-day school week for all subjects except TOG because of Co-op on Fridays, and doing school work on Saturdays just doesn't happen.  He finished Horizons 6  last year, so we are moving on to Teaching Textbooks Pre-Algebra. He's doing 2 lessons a day right now because the beginning is all review and we can speed through it for a chapter or two. Unlike his sister, he likes watching the lessons on the computer using the CD-ROMs, instead of reading them in the book. Then he works the problems in a notebook.

We also started doing some of the Dianne Craft  "brain exercises" to target his writing block and reading block.  As he has worked on the "Writing Eight" and "Eye Eight" exercises this week, I have noticed him doing some of the things that Dianne talked about in her workshops at the homeschool conference - things like hesitating about which direction to make some of his alphabet letters, not wanting to use his guide hand to hold the paper, and not being able to track well with his eyes.   My son is a sports nut, so I have told him that these exercises serve the same purpose as the basketball and baseball drills that he works so hard on - they train his brain and his body so that certain activities become automatic, instead of requiring conscious thought.  We joke around a little bit, even while I am sitting with him and making sure he isn't rushing or doing the exercises incorrectly, and he is being a good sport about it so far. 

Next, we'll add bible and science, then grammar and writing, then history and literature.  I still have to contact the guitar teachers whose names I have collected from friends, and arrange for lessons. By the end of August, we should be in full swing. :-)

This is the plan for 8th grade:

EnglishWinston Grammar - I like the multi-sensory approach that this program uses - moving, seeing, hearing, saying

Write Shop -  an incremental writing program that teaches fundamental composition and editing step-by-step;  especially good for those who are not "natural" writers
( follows Dianne Craft's suggestions for starting with writing good paragraphs, and then moving to writing papers )

TOG Year 1 literature -  includes The Bronze Bow, The Golden Goblet, The Eagle of the Ninth, Black Ships Before Troy, Hittite Warrior, The Wanderings of Odysseus, and other books

English From the Roots Up

MathTeaching Textbooks Pre-Algebra

Science -  PLATO Earth and Space Science and Life Science ( on the computer - from Homeschool Buyers Co-op), supplemented with other science books from a Christian worldview for balance -
**I decided on this because while we are working on his reading block, I needed a program that was not reading intensive, but was still interesting and delivered challenging content;  I don't know anyone who has used this, but it has pretty good reviews and the sample looked  well-done, so we'll see how it goes! 

History, Church History, Geography, Philosophy and Worldviews - Tapestry of Grace Year 1, The History of Redemption (Ancient World)
This will be our 8th year using TOG, and our 2nd time doing Year 1 ( we originally started with Year 3).   We love going through the history of the world chronologically, and exploring the people, places, events, and ideas that make up HIS-story. :-)

Bible - Switched On Schoolhouse Bible - Christian Basics II and Life of Christ
Audio Bible , dramatized version;  TOG Y1 includes a lot of Old Testament reading, and since reading is still a struggle, this audio version should help him cover the material

Guitar lessons, Boy Scouts, basketball, baseball, service projects, misc. studies thrown in :-)

This is my FIRST YEAR EVER with only one student!   I started homeschooling when Alex was in 4th grade and Sarah in 1st, with a preschooler and toddler in the mix.  It feels really strange, but I'm looking forward to this year.


Anne Devlin said...

I'm really interested to hear what you think of the Dianne Craft exercises. I think it could be so beneficial for my Ben who was born without a corpus callosum. Did Lighthouse end up buying any of Dianne's stuff for the library by any chance?

Dawn said...

I need to look into Dianne Craft exercises. I have a child who could really benefit from them.

Theresa said...

Stopping by from the blog hop!

I am so excited! God has definitely blessed me with I need tonight--I usually find blogs written by moms of little kids, but tonight I am finding blogs written by moms of kids older than mine...which is perfect because we will be entering high school in a few years and I need to start figuring out what I am going to do!

Abby said...

I'm agreeing with the above comment. :) It's a blessing to read about homeschool families where the kids are middle/high school. I have one in middle school & another one will be in a few short years! Thanks for sharing; I hope you have a great year!