Homeschooling Middle School {8th Grade 2015-2016}

This year, we have only one middle schooler! Our 3rd oldest son, aka Mo, 13, is in 8th grade, this year and attending two tutorials along with his two older brothers: Curly, 16, 11th grade and Larry, 15, 9th grade.


Our three oldest sons  will be in classes with peers and teachers other than me outside our home on 2 days a week. I will be honest and say I’m quite excited about this, and I think they are OK with it as well. It will be a challenge as they will have less days at home to be responsible for 6-7 classes each, but between the two tutorials all of their classes are covered and they will be responsible to teachers other than me as well. Mo even commented this week in the form of a revelation, “Wait, I have only three days now to get the work done for all of my classes.” MMM.HMM. That was kind of my point. BINGO.

Below is a list of the classes Mo is taking for 7th grade:

  • MS Social Studies*
  • Pre-Algebra*
  • Archery*
  • MS Language Arts/Writing**
  • Physical Science**
  • Strategic Games (1 Semester)**
  • Studio Art (1 Semester)**
  • Physical Education (e.g. Farm Chores, Boy Scouts)

*Classes at Tuesday Tutorial
**Classes at Thursday Tutorial

He was in public school last year for 6th grade for the first semester only. Let’s just say: all is well that ends … well, not well, but he did it and we did it and we’re all moving on from that experience. Mo is crazy smart and can do anything really academically, but he also has challenges emotionally and has been diagnosed with a special need. I will leave it at that, but this is my little PSA for the day: Not all special needs are visible from the outside looking in.

Now, I will break it down with more specifics if for no other reason than to have a record here to refer back to as we progress through the year. I hope some readers may find it helpful! I have provided links to the books he will be using in the courses.

Social Studies: Mystery of History Vol. 4


• Mo will be taking this course at the Tuesday Tutorial.
• After visiting the tutorial open house and meeting the teacher, I will NOT be supplementing this course with more resources, because the teacher has put together an extremely thorough course.


Mystery of History 4, Bright Ideas Press


Math: Pre-Algebra


• The new tutorial the boys are attending uses Teaching Textbooks as the spine, and truth be told I have used it in years past. The Prez was super impressed with the math tutors the boys will have at the Tuesday Tutorial.
• With TT, all of the grading is done for me and they must go in order (somewhat of an issue for Mo so this is good) and the tutorial class will cover the more difficult concepts. I’m excited for them to have an actual class connected with their math.


Teaching Textbooks Pre-Algebra



Science: Apologia Physical Science


• Mo is looking forward to this class, because the teacher is great and she truly incorporates labs which will be new for him in science. We (and he) have done labs at home, but he’s excited to be doing them in a classroom setting.
• He will be using the same publisher for this course that we use for science courses throughout their elementary schooling and that we’ve used for high school science thus far.


Exploring Creation with Physical Science
Lab Notebook



English: Language Arts and Creative Writing


• He will be taking a writing course at the Thursday Tutorial. The book uses the Narnia series, so this will keep him interested I hope. He is an excellent writer when he wants to be!

• I am not adding any Grammar or other Language Mechanics resources to his coursework this year. He is required to write extensively for this course anyway and grammar and mechanics are covered as well.


IEW’s Following Narnia
Chronicles of Narnia Series



Studio Art/Strategic Games (1 Semester Each)


• He is taking these two electives during the 5th hour at our Thursday tutorial. They don’t involve homework and they are for fun and enrichment. He is happy with the games class so far, and will take the art course next semester. The games are non-electronic board games such as strategy, risk, etc.


• The teacher will be providing the games and/or the students will bring in games for this course.


 Physical Fitness

• Archery Class at Tuesday Tutorial

• Boy Scouts: Working toward Star rank by school year’s end

• Farm Work

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