We changed up our 8th grade curriculum a bit this season. Cameron finished a few of his books and has moved onto new levels, but we also added some new curriculum! I’ll touch on what he’s doing that’s working and why we made some changes, as well as some new curriculum we are doing (spoiler: it’s AMAZING!)

You can also check out this post to see more info and pictures of how we started out school year.

We are a few weeks into the New Year and full swing back into our homeschool schedules. As usual, it took a few weeks to get everyone back into the swing of things.

Changes to our 8th Grade curriculum

I love taking a good look at what we're doing two or three time throughout the year to see if we're on the right track. This is more than just the daily or weekly check-in . . . because, I'm going to be honest with you, there are days I rarely get a good look at what my 8TH Grader is doing—he’s got his schedule and knows what needs to be done. Sometimes a couple of days will go by before I sit down with him and make sure he's on track..

Honestly, this used to bother and stress me out. Then I came to embrace it and put more trust in him. He knows that I'm available if he needs help, but a lot of what he does is self-driven, and that gives me freedom to work more one-on-one with his younger siblings. I also know it's good for him to learn to manage his school work load himself. He wants to do Running Start (attending college as a Junior in high school), and that's only two and a half years away.

As I was saying . . . a few times a year I go through all the curriculum with more of a fine tooth comb and I have a mini conference, where each child and I talk about what's working, where I may need to do more teaching, and what they want to change or add to their schedule.

We even dropped a curriculum choice complete after only TWO WEEKS into school this past fall!

I'm always open to changing things if they're not working.

middle school homeschool curriculum in one large stack


This did not change. He is still plugging away at Geometry and loving it. He is over half way done and should finish the curriculum by the end of March. At that point we will have to decide if we want to go ahead and start Algebra 2 or do something a bit different for the spring and summer months. Cameron is ready to jump into Algebra 2, but we will wait and make the final decision once spring is here.

Some things we've talked about are taking a financial math course or possibly something through Dave Ramsey. There is no hurry to push him through his Math courses, he is only 14 years old. Yet, he truly does love math so we defiantly want him to have something to work on that continues to foster that love in this subject area.


He finished this before Christmas and we decided to take a break from this curriculum. Maybe for good. It's a great all-encompassing curriculum, but for us, there are other things we use that fulfill much of what is taught in The Good and the Beautiful Language Arts--such as spelling, geography, and writing. While the extra work wasn't overwhelming, it was unnecessary and I would rather he focus on each aspect of a subject than solely use something because it's conveniently included.


He finished IEW: Fables, Myths, & Fairy Tales right before Christmas and we are going to move into IEW: Following Narnia Vol 1, which combines the IEW writing styles while, at the same time, reading and writing about the first three books of the Narnia series!

To say I am excited about this is an understatement!!! I CANNOT wait to go through this with him! Heck, I may pull out my own paper and do the work right along with him! I never did writing this fun and structured when I was in school (I thrive on structure). We will start this after Spring Break, in mid-April. I'll fill you in on why we're waiting so long when I share with you about our new curriculum below.

8th grade curriculum laid out on table with covers shown


He finished his Fix It! book 2 and has moved onto the next Fix It! book, which is called Frog Prince, or Just Deserts. He was able to fly through Robin Hood, doing two lessons each week, but we are slowing it down to one lesson per week for Frog Prince. The passages each day are getting longer and there is more and more grammatical errors for him to find. It still takes him less than 15 minutes per day and I find this an easy, stress free way for him to keep learning grammar.


No changes. We've missed a day here and there, but the curriculum suggests, when that happens, to skip that day and stay on schedule since the spelling chunks for that week are repeated throughout the year. He’s not loving this—spelling is not something he enjoys. We will finish this curriculum this spring, and then we will evaluate if he will move onto the next level or do something different for spelling.


This is a quick and easy reminder for him to slow down and focus on penmanship. I talk more in the video why this is especially important for Cameron--he is my kid who likes to hurry (and therefore has sloppy handwriting). I am hoping that working on cursive will strengthen his writing so he can be quick but also legible. One page a day, four days a week. I like how it's a simple book with 100 pages, nothing too fancy or too involved. Just simple handwriting practice.

7th grade curriculum laid out on table with covers shown

We did a quick change to our science a few weeks after we started our schooling back in the Fall and Cameron chose his own curriculum. He is able to do everything on his own which is nice. During quiz’s and tests I do allow open book and if he has to look something up he makes a note next to it so I know what he remembers and what info he has to look for. Good research skills are important ~ whether it’s looking for information online or in a book. Memorizing every single detail isn’t as important to me as knowing he is able to find the information and articulate it well.


We do this all together and are really enjoying curriculum. It’s a quick and easy open the book and go. Each year goes through the entire timeline of history focusing on different time periods and different historical people. I’ve never studied history this way before but it’s been fun and the kids all enjoy it. We finished Year 1 and jumped right into year 2.


We changed our science curriculum only a couple weeks into the school year. The DVD's and the information presented is FANTASTIC! But . . . the worksheets and quizzes were super intense and he was spending most of his time digging back through the information in order to answer every single question. That much frustration and time is never our goal. We kept and went through the DVD's and the books since both are valuable resources and give such good information on how the Biblical record is factual and makes the most scientific sense.

And now for our . . .

Language Arts: Total Language Plus

This is a new curriculum for all of us. I looked at it for over a month before I decided to make the leap and try something new. We don't necessarily homeschool year-round, but we did do a few things all summer last year, and plan to do that this next summer as well. Therefore, I don't mind taking a break and trying out something different. If it pushes our other curriculum into the summer that's totally ok with me.

Each of the kids got to choose their own book from the selection available to them at their grade level. He choose Treasure Island.

This came with a bit of a challenge as it is above his reading level. So he is reading the book while listening to the audio book. This options is working great! I'm thankful the online library, Libby, has the unabridged audio version available.


I hesitate to call this curriculum. It’s not taking the place of anything formal or fulfilling a state requirement. This is something fun and meaningful we are adding into our homeschool day. Shakespeare had such an influence on our English language and knowing about him and the words he gave us will only enrich our homeschool journey.

This has been something totally new and different for us. We do this as a family, with all four kids. Cameron wasn’t overly excited about sitting and reciting poetry and plays at the start. But we've memorized the first three sections and he doesn’t make any more noises or complain when it's time to sit down--that's a win in my book.

This book starts with one of Shakespeare's comedies: A Midsummer Night's Dream, which is amusing and all the kids got quite swept up in the story from the start. We've read a handful of different adaptations of the story that are much simpler than reading the actual Shakespeare play. We've watched a movie and all had quite a lot of laughter and enjoyed it thoroughly. We've also watched a few snippets of actual plays as well.

We're also learning about Shakespeare himself and the entire world of playwrights during his time, utilizing different websites and books. I'm enjoying this as well since I never had a Shakespeare class during my schooling.

Current Curriculum with Links


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