Our Homeschool Curriculum Choices 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 once a week.



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.  I have linked to the used copies via OM Seconds where ever possible.

SOCIAL STUDIES

Their 6th grade history curricula was well liked at our house, 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.





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.



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.  Later, in high school we discovered the English courses offered by 7 Sisters and loved them also.

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. They helped me to evaluate my daughter's work, which would have been hard without them.  

They offer some teacher's manuals as OM Seconds here, which are much more frugal.


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

 Science Wiz Kits are available here.  Everything needed was included for us.


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 

Links are for used curricula where ever possible.  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. 


Middles Page. full of resources

Join my Middle School Ideas Pinterest Board for more ideas too!



Are you thinking about homeschooling your middle schooler through high school



 
 Homeschooling High School with College in Mind 


 Kindle is on Amazon 
Also in print - Amazon  
PDF on Educents  


My book is a do-it-yourself guide to high school, with helpful forms that go along with each chapter. 

Use what I have learned to make it easier! 

Here are the chapter titles:

Researching College Entrance Requirements
Planning High School with College in Mind 
Choosing High School Curriculum
Assigning High School Credit
Making Your Transcripts (Calculating the GPA, etc)
A TRANSCRIPT FORM FOR YOU TO JUST FILL IN
Electives and College
Writing the College Essay
Course Descriptions and Reference Letters
Preparing your Teen for College Writing
Don't Forget the FUN!

12 Printables!


My book lays out everything from making your homeschool transcript, finding curricula, writing course descriptions, assigning high school credit, dealing with those college references as a homeschooler and much more.

Subscribers get the first chapter free. 


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This post is a part of the 9th Annual Back to Homeschool Blog Hop-Curriculum Week. To reach all the other curriculum posts from the Back to Homeschool Blog Hop, please click here.




Thanks for stopping by,

Betsy


Betsy is mom to her now college junior, 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 free homeschool help through messages at BJ's Consulting


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