This is a general subject-by-subject overview. We modify the HECK out of this year. Sorry dudes.
ART: It’s every game you ever played with the MIR cards from previous years. The Art Memo game is super out of print. It’s playing “Memory” with famous art. (I found it, not worth the trouble.) The last week or two is the Drawing People books. We never even got to those. Also, somewhere in the year, there are two weeks of reading about an artist of your choice and some observation of “larger prints” you don’t yet own. The whole course feels like an after thought. Tried it twice and didn’t finish. Usually, my kids have some artsy thing they want to pursue. We do that an hour a week instead.
EDITING: I used the Editor in Chief worksheets one year. It was misery for that kid. The next kid I used the software version. Much better but the organization of the rules you have to click isn’t intuitive, at least not to me. Third kid, we might just skip it. My kids dictate all their “writing” into google docs and self edit it. Then I go in with edit comments and they try again. That works better for us.
ENGLISH: We used BLP the first time. It was almost entirely oral. It was very mom intensive, but we liked it. It’s a brain cramp though up against the Hayden Latin series. It’s a totally different approach and set of declensions. Voyages 7 is mom-intensive too. I didn’t have time for any of that last year, so we did Easy Grammar Plus…and we did it again in 8GRD. HA! (Third kid is doing Easy Grammar Plus in 7th and Easy Grammar Ultimate in 8th.)
HISTORY: This year is Ancient Greece and Rome! My kids love this time period. There is a timeline to build at the beginning of the year that you add to in odd sporadic times. Apart from lots of reading, there’s half a year in mapping Ancient Greece and half the year in mapping the Ancient Rome. There are quite a few text book assignments. Don’t skip them! Like the science assignments, these have major Language Arts goals woven in. I heard a talk where Laura said that people who skip the OWAA assignments almost always have trouble with the volume of writing in ninth. And like last year, the term papers are NOT research papers. They’re “tell me what you know” papers. An extended written narration is a better description. I’m going to read the choices to my kids ahead this year so they know what to listen for in their reading.
LATIN: Latin is wherever you are in the cycle. Usually, we’re on Beginning Latin III.
MATH: Saxon 8/7 is like the rest. I had to do math right with them for a while. Modelling the speed and orally noting how repetitive it all was, was the only cure. Saxon problems take only about two minutes each. More than that and you’re in a rabbit hole. (EDIT: Teaching Textbooks is recommended as long as you work a YEAR ahead. Thank GOD for automatic grading and explanations!)
MUSIC: This year is a continuation of music worksheets. We all liked the music selections this year, but it’s disorienting. What time period are we in?
POETRY: The poetry this year is all Shakespeare. Read Shakespeare, watch Shakespeare, memorize Shakespeare. We liked it. The memory work was never solid, but we did our best. Where all the music performances were last year, the Shakespeare movies are this year.
READING: The child reads an hour of literature a day. For us, that’s usually history literature (or Bronze Bow at the beginning of the year in Religion.) We pretty much ignore the schedule and GO. No less than 45 min a day. If you have a mega-reader, fill in with selections from the 3GRD booklists. Redwall was the favorite.
RELIGION: The first half of the year is Acts. Second half is Story of the Church. The first half of the year doesn’t really line up with the history, but the second half does. Story of the Church is a read aloud for us usually. Also, this year the child memorizes some reasons for what we believe. I can’t lie; I don’t love those cards at all. I used another program. I’ll post about it sometime.
SCIENCE: Back to Concepts and Challenges! My kids like these and really absorb the material. And again, this is more language arts than science. Don’t skip it. It’s a good assignment for typing. We have the kids do it in a google doc. Then I check a week or more at once. I hear tell that people actually do the experiments! That’s news to me.
SPELLING: All of the Wordly Wise assignments ask you to use Spalding marking system, “if you know it.” But, regardless, it’s nice to do workbook pages instead of dictations!