Homeschooling Eighth Grade Next Year: A Lighter Touch

Florida Virtual School Homeschool Flex: another option for the homeschooling student

 

I’ve been homeschooling my son, now 13, since he was in Kindergarten. Aside from the myriad of activities he’s been in and the occasional class at the local public school over the years, he’s been educated at home all his life. Last fall, I signed him up for an online writing class. He adjusted well, and in the end aced his course. He liked his teacher, an upbeat young woman.

We’re going in a different direction this year. First, a bit of background information.

Since he’s been a teen, almost a year now, he’s been predictably wanting to broaden his horizons and looking for new experiences outside the home. He plays clarinet and is going to be band captain this coming fall, he’s a second class Boy Scout, and has just received his red belt in taekwondo.

In addition, he just passed the Florida Boating exam a week ago and now possesses a boating license. Neither hubby or I have one of these or any experience boating besides having gone on boats before as passengers.

He’s been working on his merit badges, too: camping, cycling, geology, Indian lore, and forestry.

Son also practices his sailing, boating, kayaking and fishing skills with a good friend on free-roaming, minimally supervised Saturdays. This August, he’ll be embarking on a two-week campout in the gorgeous Western North Carolina mountains. I feel blessed he can take advantage of these amazing opportunities!

Back to school: son will be in eighth grade and beginning the homeschooling flex portion of Virtual School. This is public school online and something I was on the fence about at first. Virtual School Homeschool Flex allows for up to six classes. He’s doing five.

These are the classes he’s taking through the Virtual School:

  1. Language Arts 3
  2. Comprehensive Science 3
  3. Spanish Beginning (he needs to start here, but I hope, given the background n in Spanish he’s had over the years, he’ll progress fast through these courses)
  4. Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Learning Strategies
  5. Comprehensive PE – Health, Nutrition, and Fitness

I like the fact he’ll learn how different teachers operate and different styles of presenting the materials. I also like that I’ll have more time to devote to teaching my girls – ages 10 and 6.

The rest of his classes he’ll have at home:

Math: Pre-Algebra – we’re finishing last year’s book

History: Pirates, The Renaissance, and Slaves (my own concoction)

Writing with Skill Level 2 by Susan Wise Bauer

Geography: Evan-Moor Seven Continents – South America

Spelling & Vocabulary w/ Spelling City using Natural Speller as resource

Religious Education: Grade 8: Our Life in the Church through My Catholic Faith Delivered

I’m looking forward to help Son through his last middle school year to grow in character, deepen values, and sharpen basic life and academic skills to be successful in his adult life.

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