Thursday, July 2, 2009

Homeschool 8th Grade Year Wrap-Up

Wrap up, a look back, whatever.  Can you tell I’m on edge getting ds2’s portfolio together for evals this week?  I go through this every year and every year we live through it.  But I just don’t feel good until it’s over.  Please, let it be over soon.

Anywho, as I have been prepping ds’s portfolio I revisited some posts I made about his schooling over the year.  Most especially this post about my final decisions for his curriculum for the year.  Why?  Because as I was looking through ds’s materials I suddenly remembered that my computer crashed earlier this year and that means all the grades and assignments I had recorded in my homeschool software WAS GONE.  His reading list, report cards, everything. Apparently I had blocked this from my memory lol.  I have written backup in the form of my lesson planner book, but honestly I did not keep up with it as well this year as I have in the past.  So both ds and I needed our memories refreshed as far as just what he did this year…thank goodness for this blog!

So I thought I would do a follow-up post to this one, and see just how well the actual school year followed the planned one.

Math          Abeka Pre-Algebra  We stuck with Abeka for all the 8 years I homeschooled ds2 and I am glad.  It is a great program and worked well for both ds1 and ds2.

Reading      Dear Mr. Henshaw, Maniac McGee, The Diary of Anne Frank, The Old Man and The Sea, 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, The Jungle Book, Treasure Island, Robin Hood, and The Hobbit.  We will cover a book a month, with 2 months for The Hobbit at the end of the school year.  He did not get to 20,000 Leagues, The Jungle Book or Treasure Island, but we also added The Dangerous Days of Daniel X.  Our reading was a good mix imo and a good prep for high school.

History       Across The Centuries  Nope, hated this book.  We wound up doing lapbooks and unit studies.  Having both the Olympics and an Election made for good fodder lol.

Language    Spectrum Writing Grade 8  He will do a worksheet once and week, and write a paragraph once a week (usually based on the book we are covering.)  We have used Abeka's language program from the start, and he has a very good grasp of grammar.  We are concentrating on writing this year.  So glad I went with this one this year.  Abeka has an excellent language program and we used it for 7 of the 8 years with ds2, but I felt he needed to concentrate more on writing.  The Spectrum workbook fulfilled this need quite well.

Spelling      Natural Speller  Sorry, but I hated this one, too.  I had heard so many good things about it, but it was too complicated and involved and convoluted.  Spelling isn’t that hard but this method pretty much made it so.  I wound up giving ds lists of words that he frequently misspelled in his writing and words from his reading.

Art       Usborne Introduction To Art and Art Masterpieces to Color, using Harmony Art Mom's lesson plans.  Loved the Usborne book and the coloring book.  Harmony Art Mom’s plans are a good base although for us they didn’t have the right “flow.”  It seemed we were doing lots of lessons on things that had nothing to do with the artist we were concentrating on.  Instead I wound up just following the Usborne book.

Nature     The Handbook of Nature Study's Outdoor Hours  As always, a wonderful wonderful resource for nature study.  Will be following this for years to come.

Science     Chemistry for Christian Schools (rethinking this one...may just use some kind of workbook.)  Nope, spent a lot on this book and it turned out to be not what we needed.  I found a fun workbook full of chemistry experiments at a homeschool convention that worked out great for us.

So that’s that.  A few misses, a few hits.  Typical homeschool year, eh?  Okay now I have to stop avoiding with a vengeance procrastinating and get back to the portfolio.  Pass the sweet tea and the tylenol.  Please.

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