We are just a couple of weeks away from starting back to full-time school. We have enjoyed a more relaxed school schedule this summer, concentrating on math and reading. But it's about time to jump back into our other subjects.
At the last minute I completely changed what we are going to be studying for social studies/history. I had planned for us to tackle the ancients, but Eli has had a recent interest in cartography. Since he is my only student at home this year, I decided to listen to where his interests are taking him and changed things up to a study of geography and cartography. Plus, I think a year of this will actually make the ancients come more alive the following year.
Eli will be in the 8th grade this year, and he will study the following:
MathThis summer Eli attended and completed a Pre-Algebra Readiness course with Mr. D's Math. In my opinion, Mr. D is the Holy Grail of math and worth every penny. Any math course that leaves my son with dimples showing at the end of a quiz is the one for me. Eli is enrolled in Pre-Algebra for this school year.
WritingEli and I are both going to participate in his writing program this year and have decided to each make a magazine using Cover Story. I believe his topic is going to be dinosaurs. I am thinking mine may be simple living. It's going to be a fun course!
ReadingEvery day Eli reads out of a book of his choice for 30 minutes to an hour. He is currently reading the books in the Halo series. I really do not care what he reads as long as he is reading.
GrammarWe will continue with Fix-It Grammar by IEW. It has been an excellent fit for us, and this will be our third year and volume of this curriculum. It will have Eli very well prepared to take the Structure and Style and Student Writing Intensive B course next year.
McGuffeyEvery morning we start our school day by reading a selection out of McGuffey's Eclectic Readers. We will be reading out of the Fifth volume this year.
GeologyEli has expressed an interest in Archaeology. So, we will backtrack a bit and start our science year studying Geology. We will be relying on the Geology Unit Study by Cindy Downes using The Geology Book by Dr. John D. Morris as our spine, along with additional activities from Geology (Thematic Unit). We will also be reading Brighty of the Grand Canyon by Marguerite Henry and watching videos from Geology Kitchen and Earth Revealed.
GeographyThe spine of our Geography lessons will be Mapping the World with Art by Ellen McHenry. Eli will study the history of maps, will draw maps, and then will do other fun activities from that text. Additionally, he will be tracing maps using Scholastic's Super Book of Outline Maps. We will also move through Charting the World: Geography and Maps from Cave Paintings to GPS with 21 Activities (we used a volume of this book in our WWII studies and it was excellent).
LiteratureRead alouds are still a very important part of our day. We will start by reading several books with a geography spin, including:
The Selected Works of T. S. Spivet by Reif Larsen
Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
The Wanderer by Sharon Creech
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
OtherEli will continue to bowl in his weekly league, will attend speech therapy once a week, and we have plans to join a once-a-month geology club. Here and there we will study other topics, things like the upcoming Solar Eclipse and Perseid Meteor Shower. Later in the year we will pick back up with some enjoyable studies launching off the television shows Timeless (American History) and The Zoo from Animal Planet (animal science). Who knows what else will grab our attention.
This will be a very exciting year for us as it is down to just Eli and me. Brynne will have her own adventures in public school. To everything ... turn, turn, turn ... there is a season ... turn, turn, turn ...