As with every kid, Skye has certain things that work for her and certain things that don’t. This often results in an eclectic curriculum based on her needs and interests. (For the record, I do the same thing for Caleb) Planning for 7th grade this year was a new daunting challenge. This was the first year we viewed as “middle school”, which meant plans that prepare for high school. We have every intention of continuing to homeschool through high school, so high school preparation really evolves into college preparation. That’s a lot of pressure. But, I pushed through my anxiety of “I’m going to fail my child and she is going to end up living in our basement for the rest of her life!” It took a little reminding from her and my husband that she is a smart kid and will be a smart adult. She will find her way. I just need to continue to equip her with the knowledge of how to learn new things and not try to cram her brain with every fact and detail of the known world. (I can get a little stressed sometimes…) Anyways, back to the 7th grade plan, starting with the basics:
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Math– Khan Academy: I cannot say enough good things about KA! Math was never my strongest subject, this site completely covers that. It uses videos to explain concepts and enough practice to ensure Skye understands it before moving on. I am also able to customize it for her and what she needs to work on. We use a checklist for concepts as she makes her way through. Plus, on the parent page I can easily see what she has been working on, what she is struggling with, and what she has mastered. And did I mention it is free? That is always a great price, especially when the subject is so well covered.
History– Story of the World: We started with Volume 1 halfway through last year and will be starting Volume 2 soon into the new year. I like the mostly chronological format to this history curriculum as well as the abundance of resources online for activities to tie in with the chapters. I like that my daughter is really getting the information in a variety of ways and she likes that it’s not just “reading a boring textbook to answer some questions.”
Science– All-in-One Homeschool Biology: Another site that is free (love that!), but really covers a lot. Skye is using the Biology Level M from it for this year. It uses videos, reading, worksheets, projects, and more. And even better is all the assignments are already broken down into 180 individual days, so all I have to do is make sure everything that needs printing is printed and then review her work after she’s done. It allows her to learn independently, which is a great life skill in addition to the main subject matter.
English/Language Arts– All-in-One Homeschool: For this, Skye is not just using one level. I found that she was a little all over the place for language arts. She is an excellent reader and comprehends what she reads very well and because of that, I made the mistake of overlooking her writing skills. I used this site from levels 4-7 of Reading and Language Arts, then customized a curriculum for Skye to address those gaps to build a stronger foundation, as well as read some classics of varying levels.
So, those are the basics. The rest are extras or electives.
Foreign Language Combination of Memrise and Duolingo
Typing/Computer Skills–Typing Web and various online classes such as HTML 101 for Kids
Art/Music– All-in-One Homeschool: This was more of a just because choice. The Art and Music Ancient seems to go along with ancient and medieval history pretty well, and for Skye, lines up well with what she is studying for history. I like when one subject ties into another. It is great reinforcement of concepts.
Financial Literacy– Custom Curriculum: Out of every subject, I think this one may be the most important outside of reading and math. So many kids and teens (and even adults!) today have no real concept of money, banking, credit, etc. This course addresses all that, starting with the basis of money and builds all the way to entrepreneurship and starting a business. By the end of this course, my daughter will actually start her own business, if she wants. I plan to add it in the future.
Life Skills: We have always included Life Skills in our curriculum because it encompasses so much. There are those learning adventures that don’t fit neatly into another subject, but are still important to keep track of. For our family, that includes scouts (Girl and Cub), AWANA, Bible Club, 4H Smart Girls, chores, new cooking skills, volunteer work, and so much more. This year for Skye, this also includes things like basic study skills and time management.
PE : For Skye, this is an easy one to cover. She is a gymnast and any given month she is at the gym training 3-5 days a week for at least an hour and a half each time. She is getting plenty of exercise, as well as education from her coaches that requires no planning or prep from me.
Well, that’s it for 7th grade. Next time I will cover our 1st grade curriculum. Hope some of these suggestions are helpful to those looking to home educate on a tight budget.
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If you come across any broken links or resources no longer available, be sure to comment below and I will get them fixed as soon as I can. Thanks!