Eighth Grade Curriculum Plans

Otter and I are looking forward to starting 8th grade. One more year and my last homeschooler will be in high school!

Here’s a peek at some of the things we’ll be using this year. Of course I tweak & customize just about everything we use to make it work perfectly for Otter but you can at least see the main framework for our 8th grade year.


The Awesome History Timeline Schedule

We’ve been working on this for awhile now and are enjoying our journey through history. I have lots of living books (click here if you are wondering what living books are), activities, movies and more scheduled to help history come to life. This year we’ll be studying colonial times and heading into the American Revolution with an emphasis on civics/government and a mix of world history.

We’ll also be studying lots of artists, music and scientific inventions along the way (it is a TIMELINE history program after all, and those items fit in perfectly!).

Otter will be keeping a history notebook full of narrations, notebooking pages, map work and projects. He’ll also paste in book covers, people and events into his timeline as we move through the curriculum.


Most of our geography studies are tied to history. This year we’ll be using Map Trek maps to help Otter see where history happened along with some maps from the Interactive 3-D Maps book. *I’ll be review Map Trek soon and adding in Map Trek assignments to some of my history schedules!

Otter will also get plenty of free-play in Google Earth, a favorite of his.

Language Arts


 Classical Writing for Older Beginners – This is going to be our main writing program, but I have plenty of extras to keep things from getting stale, or in case we need to spend more time on a particular concept. We’ll be using the Poetry for Older Beginners program during the 2nd semester.


Harvey’s Revised English Grammar – This grammar program is tied to the Classical Writing program.


We learn a lot of vocabulary in the context of reading as well as through our writing program, but I wanted an additional workbook as an option so I ordered this:

Words on the Vine

“Ancient Latin and Greek live on in the words we speak every day. Introduce your students to the fun and challenge of word genealogy with Words on the Vine, a 36-unit vocabulary program based on common Latin and Greek roots that will provide you with a framework for an entire school year. Each unit introduces 10 related words and shows how their definitions can be traced back to a common meaning. Students first examine each word in context to understand its correct usage. Then they have the opportunity to put the words to work for themselves in creative and challenging assignments. Each unit provides easy-to-remember visual clues, fun-to-read usage examples, and hand-on activities.” Quote from Amazon

We’re also going to use these:

Marie’s Words SAT GRE Vocabulary Flash Cards – I LOVE these flashcards. I’m going to post a review on them soon. We’re going to use these through high school for SAT prep.

Penmanship practice

Otter is going to keep a copy book with famous quotes, etc. This is scheduled via the Classical Writing program.


I’ve scheduled in some adventure novels with these comprehension guides (chock full of optional activities). We may not do all of the activities in the guides, but it’s nice to have the option to spice things up and help retention. We’ll probably do one guide every 2 months:

(Veritas) Adventures of Tom Sawyer Comprehension Guide

I’m going to order the Kindle version of Tom Sawyer so Otter can instantly see the definitions of some of the harder words in this story with a swipe of his finger (we have the Kindle Touch).

(Veritas) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Comprehension Guide

(Veritas) Swiss Family Robinson Comprehension Guide

I’m going to order the Kindle version of Swiss Family Robinson too.

(Veritas) Twenty-One Balloons Comprehension Guide

Redwall Teaching Guide

Otter will also be reading tons of other books for history, science and free reading. We’ll be doing many read-alouds (one of his favorite things) as well. He’s also going to continue working through a 1970’s reading comprehension workbook series I got for free from a library book sale. They are awesome and have really helped him improve his reading comp. skills.


We’re going to continue using Apples & Pears.


Otter’s Botany

This is a totally customized botany course created just for Otter with lots of activities, experiments, notebooking, cooking projects (fitting a little home-ec in our science program!) and living books. We’re also mixing in some nature study with plenty of field trips and a bit of art using books like:

Illustrating Nature: Right-Brain Art in a Left-Brain World


Keeping a Nature Journal: Discover a Whole New Way of Seeing the World Around You

Foreign Language


This year we are continuing our Latin studies with a variety of resources. One of our goals is to someday participate in the National Latin Exam.


Learnables Level 1

We plan on continuing with Spanish throughout high school. Otter wants to be a CHP officer and believes learning Spanish will help him with his future career goals.


I’ve worked VERY hard to help Otter connect with some of the abstract concepts in pre-algebra using many different resources, some of which you can find in my pre-algebra schedule (scroll down the linked page to find it). This year we’re continuing to build a firm pre-algebra foundation with a variety of materials as he’s not quite ready to move on to algebra yet. You can read about some of the hands-on based items we’re going to continue to use in my recent blog post here. Otter also put in a request to use Life of Fred so I’ll probably order the set of LOF pre-algebra books soon. I’ve got Teaching Textbooks as a back-up if Life of Fred doesn’t work out for whatever reason. I’ve also been eyeballing Systematic Mathematics and my dear friend has offered to loan me a couple Practical Arithmetics books. I’m still not 100% settled on this year’s math, but as always, I’ll use a variety of things that will help Otter really understand the WHY behind what he’s doing vs. just an algorithm.

Other Stuff

Philosophy, Logic, & Bible – using a variety of resources

Art & Music – Much of our art this year is tied to history and/or botany, but sometimes we’ll be working from books like these:

Illustration School: Let’s Draw Happy People


Drawing Manga Animals, Chibis, and Other Creatures

Otter will also continue taking his piano lessons and will be participating in many extracurricular activities he’s expressed an interest in.

That pretty much wraps the main things we’ll be using this year! If you’d like to look at other back to school posts, check out the:
Not Back to School Blog Hop