When I began homeschooling my oldest daughter in the fall of 2014, I was a mama of one with my second on the way. Since then, my family has grown to four children. My oldest two have so far finished preschool, kindergarten, and first grade. My son will finish second grade this fall. My oldest has also finished third grade, fourth grade, and fifth grade. She will finish her sixth grade work by the end of the year. I already have my seventh grade and eighth grade materials purchased and organized. If you are interested in any of the materials, easily find copies on Amazon via my affiliate links.
Originally published on August 19, 2020. Updated on August 21, 2023.
I introduced the Language of Literature series from McDougal Littell during sixth grade. My eighth grader continues using the Language of Literature series for eighth grade reading with Language of Literature (Grade 8). The 1248-page textbook includes a variety of texts. We also use the comprehension and critical thinking questions along with the vocabulary exercises.
For eighth grade language arts, we use Everything You Need to Ace English Language Arts in One Big Fat Notebook. Unit 1 focuses on grammar, but the content contains quite a few errors, so we start with Unit 2. The book covers language, reading fiction, reading nonfiction, and writing. The four units provide a good overview of language arts content in preparation for high school level courses.
While completing the language arts book, we continue using the Spectrum Writing series in our curriculum, using the Spectrum Writing Grade 8 workbook in eighth grade. The 142-page workbook teaches basic writing skills such as the writing process, story writing, informational writing, and opinion writing through a variety of creative writing prompts and writing practice activities.
For writing practice multiple days a week, I also include The Writing Prompts Workbook, Grades 7-8 in our eighth grade writing curriculum. My eighth graders complete the second 100 prompts in eighth grade after having finished the first 100 in seventh grade. The workbook provides a collection of imaginative situations and questions that get children writing. Do note that the prompts are not entirely secular but do include some questions about religion.
For punctuation practice, we use Let’s Eat Grandma?: A Workbook for Learning the Marvels of Punctuation and Improving your Writing Skills. The workbook covers periods, question marks, exclamation marks, commas, colons, and semicolons as includes tips for improving writing.
For vocabulary, we use The Vocabulary Builder Workbook: Simple Lessons and Activities to Teach Yourself Over 1,400 Must-Know Words in seventh and eighth grade. The book contains 200 lessons. My eighth grader completes the second 100 lessons after completing the first 100 in seventh grade. For each lesson, my child does the activity included in the book and then writes a sentence for each word to demonstrate understanding of the meaning and use.
Rather than using word lists for spelling, I continued with word study using Structured Word Inquiry in fifth grade. For my main resource, I use the InSight Words (Volume 1, Volume 2, Supplement, and Inflections) decks from Linguist-Educator Exchange.
I also created the Teach a Student to Spell: Level 6 workbook for spelling lessons as a follow up to Teach a Student to Read. Level 6 covers grades 7 and 8. Level 6 consists of 36 lists of one to four bases each. The number of bases in each list depends on the size of the word family. (One base is divided into two lessons because of the number of words in the word family.) The activities focus on the four questions of Structured Word Inquiry: (1) What does a word mean? (2) How is the word built? (3) What are morphological and etymological relatives of the word? and (4) What are the sounds that matter? What are the letters doing? The goal of Level 6 is to study the spelling of English words using the Structured Word Inquiry framework. Level 6 builds on the spelling rules introduced in Level 3, Level 4, and Level 5. Level 6 also reinforces the prefixes, suffixes, and connecting vowels from Level 2, Level 3, Level 4, and Level 5 while introducing additional prefixes and suffixes.
My eighth grader completes lists 19 to 36 of level 6 during eighth grade.
After completing Algebra 1 from Derek Owens in seventh grade, we then move on to Geometry from Derek Owens. Typically taken by students in ninth or tenth grade, the online course covers the topics normally covered in a high school geometry course. We complete the entire class during eighth grade. The online course does currently require the purchase of Geometry: Seeing, Doing, Understanding by Harold R. Jacobs.
Beginning in seventh grade and continuing through eighth grade, we use the Prentice Hall Science Explorer series, which consists of 16 textbooks. My eighth graders complete the final nine textbooks after finishing the first seven textbooks in seventh grade. The second nine books are (1) Earth’s Water, (2) Weather and Climate, (3) Astronomy, (4) Chemical Building Blocks, (5) Chemical Interactions, (6) Motion, Force, and Energy, (7) Electricity and Magnetism, (8) Sound and Light, and (9) The Nature of Science and Technology.
For eighth grade social studies, the majority of the year includes studying the United States government and constitution with my children. The first resource that we use is The Constitution and the Declaration of Independence from Paul B. Skousen. The book combines the complete texts of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence while exploring the profound impact of the Founding Fathers, the American Revolution, and the principles of liberty, government, and constitutional law.
We then read This Is Our Constitution: What It Is and Why It Matters. Written by the 2022 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Khizr Khan, the book explores why and how the Constitution was written, an easy-to-follow explanation of what the Constitution means, and a closer look at key amendments including the Bill of Rights and pivotal Supreme Court decisions.
Then we use the Constitution Quick Starts Workbook Grade 4-12 from Mark Twain. The 64-page social studies workbook contains the entire text of the Constitution followed by short activities that require creative and critical thinking skills while reviewing the Constitution of the United States, the Preamble, the Articles (including the three branches of government, the Amendments in the Bill of Rights, and Amendments XI through XXVII.
Next we use the Interactive Notebook: U.S. Constitution Resource Book Grade 5-12 from Mark Twain. The interactive workbook covers the principles of United States government rights and responsibilities of citizens, and the Constitution.
We additionally use the Understanding the US Constitution Workbook from Mark Twain. Recommended for middle school and high school, the 96-page workbook offers history lessons and reproducible activities on the Constitution of the United States, Bill of Rights, branches of government, and the presidents involved.
We also use the Interactive Notebook: United States Government Resource Book Grade 5-8 from Mark Twain. The interactive workbook provides a thorough understanding of US government and American history through focused lessons and practice.
We finally use Elections from Mark Twain. The 80-page workbook covers the basics of democracy, what makes up the electoral college, how to compare election systems, how political parties work, who votes, and how voting systems and elections are run.
For eighth grade health, we complete the second half of Prentice Hall Health starting at chapter 14. The 782-page covers mental health, social health, nutrition, physical fitness, substance abuse, human development, preventing disease, and community health and safety. We completed the first 13 chapters in seventh grade and then finish the book in eighth grade.
After finishing the textbook, we use the Life Skills Resource Book Grade 5-8 from Mark Twain Media to finish health curriculum for eighth grade. Recommended for grades 5 to 8, the 128-page book covers topics such as work ethic, nutrition, exercise, sexually transmitted infections, drugs, and preparing financially for the future.
For eighth grade art, we use The Art Book from the DK Big Ideas series. The 352-page book covers key movements and more than 80 artworks in an easy-to-read format. The book provides a captivating introduction to painting, drawing, printing, sculpture, conceptual art, and performance art from ancient history to the modern day.
For eighth grade music, we start with Evolution of Modern Popular Music. The 216-page covers the development of modern popular music including its history, roots, and traditions. Genres covered include blues, folk, ragtime, jazz, big band, spirituals, blue grass, Tejano, Cajun, musical comedy, western, gospel, country, skiffle, rock and roll, R&B, soul, funk, Motown, hard rock, disco, heavy metal, reggae, corporate rock, punk, worldbeat, new wave, grunge, new age, easy listening, techno, rap, and hip hop. In addition to the reading, we listen to the music discussed or mentioned throughout the book.
We then use American Popular Music from Mark Twain. The 96-page workbook explores the development of popular music in the United States. From European musical traditions in the seventeenth century to African American music today, the book features genres of American music such as ragtime, blues, Dixieland, swing, big band, musical theater, folk, country western, rock and roll, disco, funk, punk, rap, alternative, and contemporary Christian. We use the information pages along with the comprehension exercises. We also listen to music discussed on each information page.