No Harm Done

Monday, October 05, 2009

Open House- Grade Eight

Eighth grade.

Hoo boy!

This one's a doozy! Each year seems to get more and more challenging. So far, though, we're enjoying 8th grade a lot!

Math - Last year, we began Algebra 1 using Saxon Math. After a rough first semester, we indulged in a brief flirtation with Singapore's New Elementary Mathematics, but decided to return to Saxon after a couple of months. While we're happy with the return to Saxon Math, the departure cost us a few months and Braden ended up not finishing the book last year. So this year the plan is to review and then finish the text, and follow up with Algebra 2.

Science - Braden's using Apologia's "Exploring Creation With Biology." He completes the reading and daily lessons on his own, and then twice a month meets with a group of high schoolers to complete the labs and take the exams. A biology professor at the local college conducts labs on campus. I'm so thankful she's willing to do the labs with them, and the kids can benefit from her knowledge and use the lab's equipment. This past week they examined pond scum under the microscopes.

Latin - This is, what, our 4th year of Latin? And Braden's second year with Henle Latin 1. The Henle book is designed to be sompleted in 2 years, so this will be our last year in book 1.

Grammar - We're continuing on with Rod and Staff grammar. I can't say enough good things about this curriculum: thorough, methodical, a solid grammar foundation.

History - Braden's studying history from Napoleon through Theodore Roosevelt using the "Tapestry of Grace" history curriculum. I'll be honest - he doesn't love it. It's an awful lot of reading, and it reminds me of the volume of reading I had to do for my Western Civ. class in college. But he's learning a lot. By the time we have our discussion on Friday over the week's material, he knows it. It's odd having conversations with a young man forming his own ideas about historical events. It was just a couple of years ago our discussions were mostly simple recall. But I'm enjoying the back-and-forth.

Speech/Debate - Braden has joined a speech/debate club in the big city. This is his first year and has a love/hate relationship with the classes. He can tell that he will love it once he knows what he's doing. But there's such a lot to learn, that simply learning how everything works takes a lot of work. He's willing to do it, though, with the knowledge that next year will be a lot more fun!

Spanish- We're finishing book 1 of "So You Really Want To Learn Spanish" from Galore Park. He's at the point where we can have short converstions in Spanish now. They're not really grammatically correct, but he's feeling more comfortable generating simple thoughts and sentences in Spanish.


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