Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Gavin ~ 8th Grade
Gavin's always had an interest in building things, understanding how things work, and why they work they way they do. He wants to become a mechanical engineer, possibly for the US Military designing weapons and vehicles. He also loves studying history, especially American history. It is with these things in mind that I have designed Gavin's 8th grade curriculum.
Here is a detailed look at Gavin's 8th grade curriculum:
Math: Gavin overcame a significant gap after losing ground with Teaching Textbooks in 5th and 6th grade. We spent the summer last year using Alek's math to cover what amounted to nearly a year's gap. This year he completed Saxon 8/7 with Pre-Algebra. While initially his average was lower than I liked, we made a few changes and brought his final quarter average up by a significant amount. He is ready for algebra now, but I feel woefully inadequate to teach this subject to him knowing that he needs such a strong math background for his future plans. Because of this, Gavin is going to be taking an algebra course from a local math teacher who offers high school math classes to homeschoolers. I am so grateful that this opportunity was available to us. Gavin will be attending this algebra class on Tuesday and Thursday mornings each week and is using the Prentice Hall Algebra I text.
Science: This year Gavin will be studying Physical Science using the Apologia text: Exploring Creation with Physical Science. We are using Sonlight's schedule for this text. Gavin is expected to keep a detailed science notebook containing all of his experiment write-ups, vocabulary, and study questions.
Language Arts: Gavin completed Institute for Excellence in Writing: Student Writing Intensive B this past year. I have to say, that was probably one of the best decisions we've made in our homeschool years. Gavin made incredible progress in his writing skills this year and I was very impressed. He loved the teaching style of Andrew Pudewa and the writing techniques proved to be just what Gavin needed to get those words out of his head and on to paper. We will continue with IEW this year, using Character Based Writing Lessons. This program will expand on what Gavin learned last year. The only difference is this year I'll be doing the teaching instead of the having him watch DVD's. For grammar, Gavin will be completing Easy Grammar Ultimate, grade 8. We will once again use Wordly Wise for vocabulary.
Bible/History/Literature: Last year we began a study of American history by combining Sonlight's Core 3 (now called core D) with Sonlight's Core 100. This allowed me to teach American history to both of the boys simultaneously. It worked amazingly well and this year we are continuing with that plan, completing the 2nd half of Core 100 along with Sonlight's Core 4 (now called Core E). This provides Gavin with Bible study, history, and a great selection of literature. Gavin is expected to keep a history notebook with answers to study questions from his history and literature readings.
Electives: Gavin will continue studying piano this year under the direction of Susan Walker. This will be his second year of piano. He also continues to develop his talent on the guitar even though he is no longer taking formal lessons. For high school credit, Gavin will also be taking a Spanish I class. He will be taking a class, along with other homeschoolers, under the direction of a Spanish speaking homeschool mom. I'm excited that he has this opportunity to study a foreign language from someone who has the experience that she does!