6th and 8th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Plans 2018-2019

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Are you curious what our restfully-classical-eclectic homeschool looks like this year for our middle schoolers?

Come join us and get a peek into what 6th grade and 8th grade looks like in the Sloan home this year.

Don’t miss the video at the end of the post!

(I also gave an overview of our 1st and 3rd grade homeschool curriculum in an earlier post.)

Humble Praise as a Life Goal

As I’ve told you before, one of our primary goals is for our family to grow in humility and praise.  That’s the title of this blog, after all: Humility and Doxology.

Humility, because growing in grace means realizing how majestic our God is and how great is our need for repentance.

Doxology, because the more we learn about who God is and what He has done, the more we are filled with praise and awe.

Big Picture Goals

I’ve written previously about my planning strategies.

Our education goals are never just about checking boxes and moving on.  I want my children to understand.  To think.  To wonder.  To ponder.  To question. To be challenged.  To be inspired. To learn to do hard things.  To grow in self-control.

Especially when dealing with academically gifted children, I find it a constant struggle to find the right amount of challenge in any given subject.  While academically they may be capable of working at a certain level, emotionally and developmentally they may find the workload overwhelming.

This year, in particular, I have sought to communicate clearly to my 2 older children that our goal is faithful consistency, not accomplishing a certain number of chapters or lessons by the end of the year.

Just because they have always worked at a certain pace in the past does not mean that pace will remain constant.  When we get to a roadblock, we may have to stop and retrace our steps a bit, find an alternate route, or find a way to slowly pull that roadblock down 1 piece at a time.

This is one of the most challenging things I face as a homeschool mom.  All children develop in different ways and times, but when you’re dealing with an asynchronous learner the challenge is even more pronounced.

You’ll notice that some of the work we are doing is quite challenging.  Because I have learned that I need to equally be concerned with my children’s emotional development as their academic development, I have chosen to set daily/weekly time goals for some of the subjects instead of page number goals.  Although we’re still facing challenges, I think this has enabled us to balance academic goals with age-appropriate workloads.

And, since I’m in charge of the curriculum, not the other way around, I can tweak things as we go along when necessary!

Homeschool Curriculum 6th and 8th grade middle school

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I gather all the children together each day for our morning gathering.  This is when we pursue Bible memory, poetry memory, prayer, Bible reading, and more.  You’re never too young or too old to participate!

You can read a more detailed look at this year’s morningtime plan here.

6th Grade Homeschool Curriculum

Algebra 1

This year, my daughter is using Math-u-See for her Algebra curriculum.  She has used Saxon math the past few years, but I felt she would profit from a more hands-on approach to Algebra this year.  I won’t lie; there have been lots of tears this year with Algebra, not because of any lack in the curriculum but because learning how to deal with challenge and not being perfect is hard.  This year I think life-lessons like this will be of even more value than the math we learn.


We are continuing on with the Classical Academic Press Writing and Rhetoric curriculum, this year using Book 7 (Vituperation and Encomium).  We have loved this series.  You can read more about the progymnasmata approach to teaching composition at Cottage Press Publishing.  Because I also hope to include some free writing opportunities and other word play projects this year, we plan to use all of 6th grade to finish only 1 book in the Writing and Rhetoric series.


Last year, my daughter completed half of Latin for Children C.  This fall, we hope to finish book C so that we can begin Latin Alive 1 in the spring semester.

We are also doing a few practice Intro to Latin tests from the National Latin Exam.  If she feels confident this fall, I plan to have her take the NLE in the spring.  My son took the NLE Intro, Latin 1, and Latin 2 in the past.  It was a fabulous opportunity, and I recommend it to any of you who are studying Latin at the Jr High/Highschool level.


Logic is one of my favorite courses to take and teach!  When I taught my older son logic I had the privilege of facilitating a discussion group with a few of his friends.  Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get a similar group together for my daughter.  It’s definitely not as much fun, but we’re still looking forward to the adventure!

I have chosen to focus all of 6th grade on informal logic (focusing on the fallacies), and then focus on formal logic in 7th grade.  We’ve loved the Art of Argument logic curriculum from Classical Academic Press.  It’s humorous and thorough.


My 6th grader is an advanced reader and gifted verbal communicator.  She still struggles with her spelling.  All About Spelling has been a lifeline for us!  Last year we began all the way at book 1, and are gradually moving through the levels.  Once we purchased the All About Spelling app, it made it even easier to do our lessons!  I highly recommend this program to anyone whose child has struggled with spelling or reading.


My 3 younger students are all studying birds together this fall.  Our primary read-aloud text is Apologia’s  Zoology- Flying Creatures

I also have lots of other bird-themed resources I’m utilizing 

And, of course, she’ll be keeping a reading journal and nature sketch book to record some highlights she is learning.


This year we’re focusing on Early American History … textbook-free as usual!

Reading Journal 


Piano- I teach the children piano

Choir- we love our local homeschool choir!

Mom’s Helper– 2 hours/week for another local family

 8th Grade Homeschool Curriculum


We’re using the Larson and Hostetler text for Precalculus on the recommendation of a gifted mathematician friend.  I was able to find an older edition textbook and solution guide used.

I was so thankful to find that the publisher has a website resource with video tutorials and more.

Personal Finance and Investment

Technology is amazing.  My son is able to have a bi-weekly video call with his granddaddy learning about analyzing stocks, economics, and other related topics. (For instance, last week they read and discussed I, Pencil). Another goal I have is for him to create a full faux-budget plan in the spring.



For science this year, my son had several subjects he was interested in pursuing.  Since he has so many other challenging classes this year, I wanted to give him the freedom to pursue these interests.  He has to read from the following books each week and complete reading journal entries.

The Disappearing Spoon (note- PG-13 rating)

Our Weather and Water

Properties of Atoms and Molecules 

World of Chemistry

World of Physics

Planet Earth 


This is a rigorous, highschool-level curriculum delving into history, philosophy, literature, and more.  This year’s focus is on American history from the time of exploration/colonization to the middle of the 19th century.  While the lectures and reading occur independently, this course also requires quite a bit of discussion with Mom!

Dr. George Grant lectures, opportunities, reading, exams, etc 

Other assigned and free reading (example: Paul Johnson; Winston Churchill; Amos Fortune, Free Man)

Reading Journal

Foreign Language

I told my children they had to take Latin until they at least completed Latin 2 at the highschool level.  Well, my son finished that last year, and took his 3rd (and final) National Latin Exam.  When I asked him what language he’d like to pursue next, he couldn’t decide between Greek, Hebrew, and Old English.

Since I didn’t want to try to do all 3 languages simultaneously at a deep level, I proposed a 3 “minimesters” approach.  Completely independently, my 8th grader is using the following resources to give himself an introductory overview of these languages.  Perhaps one or more will strike his fancy, and we’ll pursue it in a more formal way during highschool.

Daily Dose of Greek

Daily Dose of Hebrew

Bright’s Old English Grammar and Reader 

Bilingual Beowulf 



One of the best things for our mother-son relationship was when we outsourced writing a few years ago.  I love writing and enjoy teaching it, but having an outside editor has been incredibly beneficial for this particular child.  His teacher is using WriteShop 2 this year.


Piano– I teach the children piano

Choir- we love our local homeschool choir!

Sports- baseball is his main love, but he also enjoys other informal activities at our local gym

Watch the Facebook Live to hear and see more!

(wet hair, funky internet, and all…we stay very real and authentic around here)

If you’d like more daily glimpses into life with my 6th and 8th grader – as well as our 3 year old, 1st grader, and 3rd grader – be sure to follow Humility and Doxology on Instagram and Facebook.  I’d also love it if you’d consider signing up for my email list, and sharing this post with a friend!

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8 thoughts on “6th and 8th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Plans 2018-2019”

  1. townsendhouse1

    I’m really interested to hear your experience with all about spelling. My 5th grader has struggled with spelling and we started using Spelling You See this year with pretty good success. How fast are you able to move through the different levels with all about spelling?

    1. AAS has been fabulous for my 6th grader! We are supposed to meet for spelling 1/week, although sometimes we miss a few weeks. 😉 Even working probably no more than an hour a month, we have flown thru levels 1-3. The very first few lessons were the most time consuming as she memorized the phonograms. We could be even further along if we worked more frequently. 🙂 Spelling patterns that I know intuitively are spelled out (haha) for the student. For example, I didn’t know English words don’t end in j! I mean, I spell words ending in that sound correctly…but I had never thought about it as a pattern! Emma learning the rules behind English spelling has been transformative. How is Spelling You See set up?

      1. Thank you for this! I hear so many great things about AAS, but worry about the level of commitment it involves – this seems much more manageable than I expected! Spelling You See is set up by having a passage (my Emma is working on book D – American History). They go through and do what is called “chunking” where they have vowel chunks, consonant chunks, other letter groups. They do copy work and chunking each day, and then Thursday they have a first dictation, and Friday a second dictation. The key is only doing it for 10 minutes each day no matter how much they get done…I make her finish her passages though since I am mean. 🙂

        My daughter can easily memorize words on a list, but writing them in the context of a paragraph has helped her see where she is making mistakes when she writes on her own. It isn’t perfect, but she has made leaps and bounds this year. My son who is 8 is a natural speller, and that has caused some issues between the two of them this year – so I am always on the lookout for more spelling practice for my oldest.

  2. Pingback: Day in the Life 2019 (with a 13, 11, 8, 6, and 3 year old) – Humility and Doxology

  3. Could you explain more details of how you implement the Gileskirk curriculum?
    What is your involvement in helping your child with this? You mentioned having discussions with your child. Can you explain what this looks like? Are there questions included in the curriculum? There is not a lot of info on their websight to explain how this curriculum works.

    1. Hi Michelle! I am actually in a fortunate position as a 2nd-generation homeschooler: I’m using the version from when my brother and I were in high school. 🙂 Now, that is an unfortunate position because now they have video lectures (and we just have audio lectures), and I’m sure everything has been updated and edited. But, I am definitely not complaining. lol All that to say, I cannot help with specific answers to how the curriculum is set up currently. I’d suggest for those details to contact them directly.

      In our family, I am using the curriculum as a tool, so it is ok with me if I don’t follow all the details of the plan. This means that we do many of the opportunities (aka quizzes) orally (in my version of the curriculum there is about 1 quiz/week, a massive midterm, and an even more gargantuan final). I have my son listen to Dr. Grant’s lecture and take notes on his own (you can see a sample video lecture on their website), and he later tells me key things that stand out to him (so when I talk about our discussions, these are very simple, organic narrations and conversations…quite literally like you would have with a friend who had gone to an interesting lecture…only this time it’s with a teen who isn’t always as keen as I am to talk a lot. ). I use the book lists from the curriculum as well as my own for his weekly reading assignments, and I do require 5 pages of reading journal each week. Because we have other outside projects we’re working on, he does not do all of the projects and writing assignments listed, but I choose some of them. He also does the final “40-hour project.” The first year, he researched the history of castles and created massive, interactive castle models in Minecraft. This year, he wrote a research paper as the project.

      Does that begin to answer your questions? I am so grateful for the humanities instruction I received (via lectures) from Dr. Grant. They truly have shaped the way I think in a way few other things have. Even when you don’t agree with him, you can’t help but think more deeply after listening!

    1. Yes, we watched the Teaching the Classics series. I’m a huge fan of the work CenterforLit does! In fact, I got to interview Missy Andrews on my Homeschool Conversations podcast, which you can hear here.

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