Our Curriculum Choices - and Favorites - for Middle School




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I have lots of great memories of homeschooling middle school. My daughter did stepdancing, really loved doing nature photography in middle school and started volunteering as a TA in a science class in a local public school.



In middle school we used a variety of resources, some faith based and some secular.  One of my favorite thing about middle school was that I got to watch my daughter begin to discover that she wanted to be a leader.   Here are our favorites for homeschooling during the middle school years.  (No affiliate links)


Our Curriculum Choices for Middle School

What is Oak Meadow?

We started using Oak Meadow homeschool curricula when my daughter was in 4th grade.  We used it all the way through middle school, for English and Social Studies. Oak Meadow also offers courses for middle school in math and science, which I also would recommend.  They also offer it for all subjects, which can be bought as a bundle, or individually.  (I do not have any business relationship with Oak Meadow.)

Here's why - Oak Meadow is a hands-on project oriented curriculum, that "strives to reach the child's head, hands, and heart."  It is written by creative educators, who originally were Waldorf based.  

My gifted daughter loved it!  It was stimulating, creative, and very flexible. I loved how the lessons were written to the child, in a gentle way, but also packed with solid, child oriented, honors level information.  My gifted daughter loved it.  

Each lesson offered a number of creative activities to choose from. My daughter loved their hands-on focus.  All of the social studies curricula was paired with lit, that went right along with the topic of study.  

It was set out in weekly lessons, which gave us a loose structure that we could follow, tweet, or use in anyway that we wanted. At the same time, it saved me so much time in my planning, as it was all put together for me.

Oak Meadow also sells used curriculum on it's yahoo group called Oak Meadow and also as Oak Meadow Seconds on Amazon.

SOCIAL STUDIES

Their 6th grade history curricula was stellar, and our very favorite of all of their social studies courses.  We learned all about world history, one country at a time, with an emphasis on ancient history. It has respect for all cultures in its tone.




Sixth Grade - Ancient Civilization



Seventh Grade - World Civilization - From Age of Enlightenment to the Present



We did Oak Meadow's Civics course in 8th grade, and my daughter loved it. It explored government on the local, state and national level.  The writing assignments helped my young teen to develop her writing skills with a variety of exercises.  

ENGISH

Sixth Grade English focused on composition and grammar, with three lit selections.  Click to see a sample lesson.  Each year was full of creative approaches to lit and writing.


In 7th Grade, my daughter's essay writing skills blossomed.  She loved the selection of the novels included in this course.

Seventh Grade English



English 8 from Oak Meadow, focuses on reading 7 classic novels and writing about them.  I loved the questions for both comprehension and critical thinking in this course. It includes work in grammar and usage as well.  I have a review of the course here.  

Through this course, literature became something that my daughter looked forward to everyday. 

Teacher's Manuals - Oak Meadow

For both Social Studies and English, we found the Teacher's Manual to be a big help.  It can be purchased from the Oak Meadow office, to be essential in our discussions of the literature.


SCIENCE

For science, we made our own middle school courses, from resources that I found around the web.


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Click here for my review of these Middle School STEM Activity Books.



Chemistry Wiz Review

More information on these Science Wiz Kits here.  Everything needed was included.


Science by the Grade: Grade 8 | Main photo (Cover)


We also used some of the Science 8, Science 6, and Science 7 series by Steck-Vaughn, by this well established educational publisher.  It paired science experiments with lessons on physical science, life science and earth and space science.  Specific activities, experiments and puzzles went along with each concept that was introduced. 

These books and 1,000's of others can be found at the Rainbow Resource Center.  This center offers a 3 inch thick printed catalog and website which list really tons of 1,000's of homeschool resources and curricula.  They also offer phone and live chat help for finding what you want there.  

MATH


Saxon Math 6/5 3ED Homeschool KIT | Main photo (Cover)



Saxon Math - We used and liked Saxon Math for 6th and 7th grade math.  It is a very well established homeschool math curriculum by
John Saxon using a teaching method of incremental learning of math.  It uses lots of review, and is well structured, great for kids who may struggle with math.  It was easy to teach and the review helped my daughter a lot.  
AOP Homeschooling Logo



Then in 8th grade we used Switched on Schoolhouse Pre-Algebra, (CDRom) by Alpha Omega Publications, also a well established homeschool publisher.  They also have this course as a subscription online, and it is called Monarch.  This publisher is faith based, but the math is very easy to do in a secular way as well.  
This course covered Pre-Algebra topics with a multi-media approach.  The explanations were clear and helpful, and that is according to my daughter.  It had the structured and depth that helped my daughter retain what she had learned.  I also liked that it was a self-graded course, a great time saver.  We also used their tutoring by the half-hour at times, when there was a problem.  

 OTHER RESOURCES

In November each year, we dropped our regular studies and joined in the fun at the National Novel Writing Month (NaNovWriMo). It is a time to join others who are working on creative writing that month.  We used this book for middle school to help us get started.

This became a fun November break, that we continued into the high school years.  And creative writing helped not only to build up my daughter's writing skills, it also taught her about the components of literature, plot, character, setting, etc.

What are your choices for curricula for middle school?  Please feel free to share in the comments, as I love to hear about new resources that you have discovered.  And other families will benefit, too.

Many more resources for middle school are found here, on my Middles Page.  and on my Middle School Pinterest Board below.


Are you thinking about homeschooling your teen during the high school years?



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Thanks for stopping by BJ's Homeschool,

Betsy


Betsy is mom to her now college senior, whom she homeschooled from day one.  She blogs at BJ's Homeschool, about the early yearshigh school & college and wrote the book - Homeschooling High School with College in Mind.   She offers homeschool help through messages at BJ's Consulting


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