Justice is an 8th grader this year. His goals are beating the bad guy in his current favorite video game, getting further ahead in English, excelling at Latin, possibly "picking up" Greek and Elvish, finishing a few favorite book series, and blowing stuff up in science. His favorite color is shadow, his favorite subject is literature, and he can't pick a favorite author. "There's too many choices!"
My goals for his school year are stretching him in literature analysis and teaching him how to dig beneath the surface, getting him writing solid essays, keeping his math moving forward, and keeping up with his love of languages.
Here's the curricula he'll use this year.
- Grammar: Rod and Staff English
- Composition: Lively Art of Writing during first semester, mom made assignments to write and revise after that
- Vocabulary: I cut him a deal. If he'll regularly pull good words from his literature, science, history, and such, and work with them, we'll leave the actual vocabulary book on the shelf. He gets gobs of vocabulary from his Latin, too. If we ever get to the point we'd prefer a book that tells us what to do, Rod and Staff's Spelling by Sound and Structure 8 is on the shelf (it's root based vocab, in spite of it's title)
- Literature: homemade Tolkien study! We're starting with The Annotated Hobbit, then we'll move into the trilogy. Some of the many resources we'll be using are a Tolkien biography, The Atlas of Middle-Earth, The Tolkien Bestiary, Silmarillion, Children of Hurin, On Fairy Stories essay, Smith of Wooten Major, Leaf by Niggle, lectures from Peter Kreeft, Joseph Pierce, and the Mythgard Institute, the free study guides from Houghton Mifflin, and I'm sure I'm forgetting something.
- Math: Rod and Staff 8 (he is so disappointed about this being the last math book they make)
- Science: Conceptual Physical Science, The Great Physicists from Galileo to Einstein, World of Chemistry, Backyard Ballistics
- History: homemade, starting at the Revolutionary War and going as far into modern times as we get, using a mixture of Human Odyssey (Spielvogel), The History of US (Hakim), History: The Definitive Visual Guide, American Short Story, and literature
- Latin: Latin Alive from Classical Academic Press
- Logic: Discovery of Deduction from Classical Academic Press (one semester course, slowed down to take a whole school year)
- Poetry: Art of Poetry (first semester)
- Art: Annotated Mona Lisa (second semester)
- Civics: Land of Fair Play, homemade Constitution study (first semester)
- Geography: to be determined (second semester)
You may have noticed composition, science, history and more are the same titles on Joy's list. They don't actually work together for most of those. In fact, they usually don't even do the same subject at the same time, even if they're doing the exact same lesson. They both do better work this way. Truly combining them in a subject just doesn't go well. They are such polar opposite children, from the flavors they prefer to the way they learn. I keep performance bars in individual places, and expect each child to do as well as they are able.
And now I'd better research Greek curricula! We already have Greek Code Cracker, which is primarily just learning the alphabet. When are we supposed to get to Spanish again? Hopefully I can keep up with these guys! :D
End of the year curricula comments, posted June 2013
Lively Art of Writing didn't sit right with him. We went back to mom made composition.
Vocab didn't work out. He went back to Rod and Staff for awhile, then Vocabulary Power from McGraw Hill.
That Tolkien study never got passed Hobbit, but some of that deeper Tolkien stuff ended up inside the Hobbit study. We went deep, chasing all sorts of rabbit trails. He read roughly one correlated whole work, or several small stories for every chapter, and then some.
He hit a big roadblock with math this year. It was a combo of hormonal moments and wanting to be further ahead than he is. I switched him to Dolciani prealgebra for a breath of fresh air, and it did the trick.
We started out loving Conceptual Physical, but they felt in over their heads. We ended up using just parts and pieces of it, adding Tiner's Exploring the World of Chemistry, Exploring the World of Physics, extra literature, extra experiments, and such. They both asked if they could just go back to Apologia next year.
History went great.
It wasn't a good year for Latin. Our fault, not the curricula's. Logic didn't happen, Art didn't get touched, Civics was barely touched, Geography never happened, but that Art of Poetry course was awesome!