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Please help me find a seventh grade English curriculum

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Please help me find a new English curriculum for my son, who would be in seventh grade if he attended an American school. He used American Education Specialist's Comprehensive Curriculum for English through sixth grade, but that stops at sixth grade. This year, I decided to get Kathi Wyldeck's Comprehensive Course for English for students between seventh and ninth grade, thinking it would buy me time to find something else. I have become seriously alarmed with this book because she brings in supposedly scientific work by people who are not scientists and publish unrecognized un-scientific propaganda. So I have decided that I must urgently find something else for him.

Our needs are that we are multilingual and my children have work to do in other languages that are rather time-consuming. English is something that I have always wanted to be lighter and more fun. Cost is also a factor in curriculum choices. And the curriculum being secular is a must.

Thank you in advance for any advice that anyone can give me.t
post #2 of 6

My seventh-grade son and I are using Oak Meadow. We love this approach. The grammar and spelling, etc. are not rote work and worksheets. Most of the writing assignments we do are about our history or science. We spend a lot of time reading aloud. If I had to do it on a thrift or even no-money-at-all approach, I'd go to Oak Meadow's website, get the book list, and get them from the library. I'd combine this with weekly creative writing as well as report writing. It's taken me several years ... gee, my oldest is in 11th grade :)... to learn that there are great advantages in working on both types of writing.


That all said, what about getting a reading list you like and introducing regular writing independent of anyone else's curricula? Just a thought...




post #3 of 6

For grammar, we really like Easy Grammar.  Yes, it is workbook style and my kids usually don't like workbooks.  However, we like the way they lay it out and that it takes very little time per day.  The grade levels are a guidline.  I also like that you aren't finished with a concept just because you are done with that section.  Instead, it all builds on previous lessons and you are constantly reviewing earlier concepts without realizing it.  This year, my 8th grader is doing their other book, called "Daily Grams"  She had already finished the "Easy Grammar" series and is enjoying this as a way to keep her on top of concepts.  However, the Daily Grams are meant to be review, they touch on several things at once, and they don't teach.  Therefore, I generally recommend "Easy Grammar" for people looking for a curriculum.  Here is the link to the middle school level book:  http://www.rainbowresource.com/product/sku/037848/719cc981c6e81a85d8ed05a6  They also have a teacher's guide, but I never found a need for it.  


I don't have anything packaged and ready to go to recommend for writing or literature. 




post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
My children have always been happy with workbook syle. The English material we use for K-6 is a workbook. I say that they are happy with workbooks, but that is on the condition that they are not boring. Boring for them means no pictures mainly. But occasional crossword puzzles and interesting stories to read also make them happy. One year, they decided that they wanted a change and we got spectrum material, which they thought terribly boring. Would the grammar workbooks your recommended, Amy, fit that definition of not boring?

I've looked at Oak Meadow before and the pricing has always been the major factor in why I have. Not considered it. But if the material is good, perhaps it makes more sense. I have wasted money on more school materials than the spectrum material and Wyldeck's book before. I ended up never getting science, history, geography, and civics material this because of not wanting to waste money getting something that they wouldn't like. I am getting books from the library that we read, instead. The library is not a possibility for English books, though, since over ninety-nine percent of the books at the library are not in English. Will you tell me more about Oak Meadow, please?
post #5 of 6

Personally I think that while early on there can be a role for the piecemeal language arts groundwork that can be built through workbooks, reading excerpts, spelling lists and such, by 7th grade it's time to move into meatier stuff. Perhaps that's why your previous curriculum only went that far? By meatier stuff I don't necessarily mean that it's more time-consuming: just that it synthesizes the piecemeal skills into extended purpose-driven writing, and the reading and interpretation of literature. I don't think you necessarily need a curriculum for that, nor do I think it needs to take up much time. Learning about vocabulary, grammar, spelling and composition is all done within the context of those two tasks. Pick a novel or two per term, have your child read them, and do some sort of related analytical essay, fan fiction or book review. I have a 7th-grader and her English "curriculum" is no more complicated than that. Right now she's reading the Hunger Games and taking notes for an essay which will compare and constrast the book and the movie. 


Have you considered purchasing an inexpensive (e-ink) Kindle or similar and using that as a way immediately source, purchase and read books in English? There is tons of classic literature that's free in the public domain, and any on-line purchasing isn't fraught by shipping delays and costs. We live in a Canada in a rural area without library access, and we bought the Canadian equivalent of a Kindle Paperwhite on sale last summer for under $50. It's already saved us lots more than that. 



post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
I had never considered buying a kindle because I have never seen one in my country, which is not really that technically advanced. But I have seen them in travels. I had never put aconnection together of all the classical books available for free download and kindles. Thank you for telling me those can be read on kindle. I have always wanted my children to read classic children's books, but availability is a big problem for that. I'm going to talk with my oldest about how he would feel about reading on a kindle, instead of holding a book in his had. Maybe that would be a very good solution. Thank you!
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