Most people would agree that math, language arts, science, and social studies are considered the core subjects to be taught in school. I agree, but I think that some other areas of study often get overlooked. Music is one of those areas of study. Being able to play an instrument is a great skill to have. It can help with college scholarships, possible future careers, and it provides a person with a sense of pride. Playing a musical instrument is not the only way to add music. Music history is also an area of focus that can be incorporated in to your homeschool curriculum. In addition, you can round out your music lessons, by adding some fun music games .
February is a great time to study the human heart, for obvious reasons. In all seriousness, I have always felt it was important to learn about our bodies, the human anatomy. Over the years, we have studied the skeletal system and the integumentary system in our homeschooling. But now that our child is in 8th grade science it is time to dive in deeper and learn about some of the more complex parts of the body like the human heart. Personally, I took anatomy and physiology in college, so I am using my old text books for teaching my children. You can easily find new and used A&P books online or at a local college. Used will defiantly be a cheaper option. There are also many free resources online that you can use alone or with any text book: printable worksheets, apps, and health games.
With the New Year you may be wanting to add something new to your homeschool routine. Why not some educational games? They are fun teaching resources that anyone can add to their homeschooling. Of course, the type of games you will use will depend on the age of your child. Over the years, what has been available to us has changed. There was a time when games like scrabble, crossword puzzles, word searches, hangman, and such were the only options. Today, however, we live in a technology advanced world where we have video games, computers, tablets, and the internet. There are so many educational video games, apps, and online games, some that are even free, that we have access to. We are truly fortunate to be homeschooling in this day and age
December is a great month for crafts. Yes, crafts! A lot of parents may think that older kids do not like to make crafts, but that is far from the truth. Crafts are one of those activities that you can never be too old for. Plus, they are a great addition to any art curriculum. Personally, holiday crafts are my favorite to do. We consider ourselves a Christian homeschool family, but I also like to have fun with Santa Clause. So, we like to do two crafts during this time. One to celebrate the “reason for the season” and one to be festive. If you would also like to enjoy some holiday craft time this season you can easily find fun holiday crafts with a simple internet search. Happy Holidays Everyone!
As your child gets older, their school work will get more difficult. When I am talking to other homeschooling parents, math is probably the main subject I hear the most complaints about. Many parents forget how important math vocabulary is. If kids do not understand the math language, they will be lost, making it that much harder for them to advance. My advice is to remember education is not a race. It isn’t about how fast they get through the material, but that they learn the material. Adding the pressure of a timeline can cause math anxiety, which can actually make it harder for children to learn. Yes, we want our children to progress at a steady pace, but we also want them to learn in a way that improves their self-confidence too. So, what I am saying is- Take your time, be patient with your children, and make sure that your child has mastered each step before moving forward
If you have an 8th grader, who isn’t keen on creative writing, then helping them find an area of interest is important to help them find their creative juices. A topic that grabs your child’s interests, can give them the creative writing help they need. With it being the month of October, you could use a fall theme. If you participate in Halloween, your child could also use this as inspiration, as there are so many different ideas they can use to write their story. I know that my child is going through a vampire phase. Thank you Twilight, lol. At the moment, she is using the vampire topic, as her current writing assignment. Allowing your child, to pick what they want to write about, can really help them find their love of writing.
Does your 8th grader want a place to hang out and chat with other kids who homeschool? As parents, we want to provide our kids opportunities to socialize. Of course, it can be hard if you live in an area that is rural or does not have many other homeschooling families.
So, what is this place where kids can socialize, no matter where they live? Time4Friends! What exactly is T4F? It is a “Facebook-like” social network, created by Time4Learning, which provides teens with the unique opportunity to socialize with fellow homeschooling students of Time4Learning. Some of the cool features of T4F, is that students are able to create their own custom profile and can communicate via news feed, a forum, and/or live chat.
It is that time of year again. The time when public/private schools and some homeschoolers in general, begin their new school year. However, for those of us who homeschool year-round, it’s just another homeschool month. Even though, I am not changing our core curriculum or starting a new school year, I would still like to join the crowd of people sharing what they will be using for core this year. I know I always enjoy reading what others are using and I know that it is always nice to get ideas or suggestions on what to use, especially if you are new to homeschooling.
The core curriculum that we use is called Time4Learning. There are so many reasons why we continue to use this program. It’s a flexible and affordable curriculum. I like how I can pay month to month and can change grade levels at will. This allows us to school at our own pace. I also like that it is a Pre-K through 12th grade curriculum. Knowing that I do not have to change our homeschool curriculum for high school, unless I choose to, is such a stress reliever.
Does your 8th grader like to get online? Silly question, right? Most teenagers today have some way of accessing the internet. Unfortunately, most of the time they are online may be unsupervised. Of course kids do sneak around behind parents backs, but in some circumstances, parents forget that older kids need to be monitored. Even though they look like mini adults, they are not. Their brains have not yet matured to be able to foresee consequences. That is why at this age it is still super important that we as parents, make sure they understand that Internet safety for kids is no joke. So, what can you do to keep your kids safe while on the internet?
- Talk with your kids. Explain the dangers.
- Supervise them. Of course, I am not saying be a helicopter parent, but when they are in your sight, it doesn’t hurt to look at their screen or ask them what they are doing.
- Check their search histories. I know that some may argue invasion of privacy, but until your child is an adult, this argument isn’t valid in my book.
- Search filters! There are many you can buy, and some that are free. They can help protect your child from websites and images that are not appropriate.
Summer is here! Last month, I talked to you about homeschooling year-round. Maybe you have decided that you would like to try it, but are wondering how exactly to do it, especially if you have already finished up your last school year’s curriculum. No need to feel stressed, the good news is there are a few options I can suggest for you.
- Go ahead and purchase/start your next grade in your homeschool curriculum.
- You can purchase an online summer school program to use until you ready to start your regular curricula.
- Unit Studies are easy and a fun way to let kids learn about interest led topics.
- Learning games! Until you’re ready to start the next grade year, you can always have your child play education games.
- Roadschooling! Trips to places can be a great learning opportunity; Museum, National Park, Zoo, Beaches, etc.