6th and 8th Grade, 2013/2014

I’m veering a little from my usual format of just posting resources to let you know which ones we’re using this year.  I have a 6th grader and an 8th grader.  We have always done our history and science together.  This year we are smack in the middle school zone, which is great.  Next year, well, I’ll worry about that next summer.  So here’s what we’re using:


We are all about Earth Science this year.  I’m using the CK12 Earth Science textbook as a spine.  I added in Space at the beginning, since it wasn’t covered in the book.  I have correlated four of the Jason Learning units to the spine, and we will be using those for the chapters that they cover.  For most of my instructional content, I will be using Aha!Science and Adaptive Curriculum (both of which I have through Learning.com).  Here are some of the additional resources that I’ll add in where they fit:

I’m hoping to find some time in the year to do the Mission to Mars module of Aha!Science, which is a Project-Based Learning unit that looks like something my kids would really love.


Social Studies:

We are starting off with the Thirteen Colonies.  My plan is to cover through Reconstruction by Christmas.  Usually, this is a whole year, but my kids know most of this stuff already.  They’ve been to so many Civil War Re-enactments and every battle field in the South since they were kids.  They know more about the Civil War than I could ever teach them.  We also covered a lot about the Revolutionary War before we went to Washington DC last year.  So my thought was to do an overview and take some time to cover a few topics that their battle-centric knowledge has missed.  Like issues around slavery, the Western Expansion, the Mexican-American War, etc.  Then, after Christmas, we can move into Modern American History, which is what they really want to study.  I’m using USHistory.com as the spine for both semesters.  Here are some other resources we’re throwing in the mix:

Also, we’ll be doing Geography in our co-op.


The 8th Grader is using ThinkWell this year for Pre-Algebra.  This is a new one for us, but I’ve heard good things about it.  The 6th Grader will be using Aha!Math and some Teaching Textbooks.  He’s straddling 5th and 6th grade in Math (late summer birthday).  I plan to use some CyberChase with him as well to make things more interesting.

Language Arts:

Our focus this year is going to be on writing, which has never been a big hit around here.  I’m going to give the new Cover Story curriculum a shot.  I like that the boys will get to write extensively on the subject of their choice.  They have always been good writers when it was something they wanted to write about.  It also covers Grammar.  We will continue reading lots of books, as we always do.  I also plan to have them write some book reviews and do some non-fiction reading from our extensive Smithsonian and National Geographic collection on subjects that tie in with our History and Science units.


We are using Mango Languages this year to get started on Spanish.

Computer Science:

At the boys’ request, we are doing a lot of Computer Science.  We are starting off with the Journey Inside to get some good basic understanding.  I am going to supplement that with:

And we are also going to use some of Learning.com‘s EasyTech curriculum to learn Word Processing, Spreadsheets and typing skills.


I add that in to everything we do.  Also, we’ll be doing Art History in our co-op.

Life Skills:

We are going to work through It’s My Life throughout the year.

Add to that a trip to Colonial Williamsburg (hopefully), lots of field trips, community service, our homeschool co-op, gardening, baking, and PE.  That ought to be enough, don’t you think?