Struggling to put together 7th grade curriculum - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 08-25-2011, 08:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi :)  


I am agonizing over curriculum choices for our 7th grader this year.  We have joined a Charter school, but we choose our own curriculum.  But it must be secular if we want the school to pay for materials because it is a public school.


So far we have decided on Teaching Textbooks for Math (Pre-Algebra).  My daughter wants a mainstream History textbook her public school friend had for 7th.  I thought we might do Wordly Wise for Vocab.   I am really at a loss for the rest of Language Arts. She is an advanced reader.  We did a lot of workbooks last year and she was bored.  We did Spectrum for Spelling, Vocab etc.  


I could use some suggestions for Language Arts, Geography, and even History.  





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#2 of 6 Old 08-26-2011, 12:15 AM
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we also are doing a charter school in which the school pays for our materials.  They actually approved Sonlight History.


Here is what we  used for 7th grade, just to give you some ideas


Math-Teaching Textbooks 7

LA-Christian Light 7, I would look at Winston Grammar we are doing that this year

Spelling-Spelling Power

History-we did a lesson plan from simply charlotte mason

Science-Apologia (sorry not secular)  Have you looked at Science Odyssey??


I know I"m missing a whole bunch lol

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#3 of 6 Old 08-26-2011, 12:39 AM
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Do you know what standards are for 7th grade history?  Are you doing American History, World History, Economics and Gov't or something else?


This is what my 11 yr old is using this year. (we are doing grades 6-9 this year)  He will be doing geography as it comes up in the history books.;jsessionid=TXM01FVHY7xM8FRN2bN6BCn2tDrdn16KSncM5cK4J1mBGT2ryyyp!-179767082?cmd=ProductDetail&recordReference=210195&nextPage=McDougal%2FProduct.jsp&division=M01&frontOrBack=F&sortEntriesBy=SEQ_NAME&sortProductsBy=SEQ_TITLE&hierarchyID=1007000000051606


For language arts why not just 'read'.  You can incorporate some classics, some award winner books and such into the plans.  Usually around Jr high things move from spelling and grammar to more of a lit. based program around here.  (kids get the grammar and such from essays and reports).  Most if not all the books you need should be available from the library.


Science- sorry, ds is doing online classes for that one.  A quick google search lead me to this however

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#4 of 6 Old 08-26-2011, 05:21 AM
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I would recommend EdSiteMent for Literature and some history: . We have used loads of their lit lessons over the years and they are top notch.


National Geographic is unequaled for geography. Here's an example oif an Asia unit we did a few years ago: (This one uses a lot of Google Earth as well as internet files)


and History of US by Hakim for US history


For World History, you can find great resources at and at AtoZ Home's Cool. We used activity books from Kaleidoscope Kids and the library for the hands-on side of things





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#5 of 6 Old 08-26-2011, 05:50 AM
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For language arts, look into Bravewriter, Student Writing Intensive (from the Institute for Excellence in Writing), or the Michael Clay Thompson resources.  You could always also "just read", as mentioned above, and maybe have her do some narration or copywork or creative writing based off what she's reading.  Other options might be courses from Moving Beyond the Page or Oak Meadow.


For history, I always recommend History Odyssey as a core program.  You can choose which era.  If she's 7th grade she might want level 2, but if she's an advanced writer she might even be ready for the challenge of some of the level 3 courses (though some of the level 3 courses are aimed at high school level, so just choose carefully).  HO also includes some instruction on writing, as it goes through making summaries, essays, etc., from their history reading.


For geography and for lots of other stuff, you could look at Intellego Unit Studies.  Lots of great stuff at this level.  My 13yo son is almost finished their unit study on WWII.  It's mostly taught through internet links, sites are primarily museum educational sites, historical movies/documentaries, that kind of thing, then they do some activities based on their reading/watching.  Forget about my son, *I* have learned a ton just watching HIM do this course lol...


You didn't mention science, but I like NOEO.  They've got 2 courses now which are level III, for middle school -- Chemistry and Physics.  My son has dived right into the Physics course, it comes with a couple of great kits and he fiddles with them constantly!  NOEO is a Christian company, and there are religious-type comments in the course introductions, but the course itself is secular -- it uses secular materials (like Usborne books).  They believe that the parents should incorporate religion into their science studies as best suits their family, rather than imposing any particular interpretation into the course guides.  The course guides include 'warnings' when the upcoming material is going to address evolution or sexual reproduction, they encourage parents to discuss their beliefs with the kids about these topics.  If you're a non-religious family you can just ignore the warnings. :)  Not sure whether this would 'pass the test' of secular for the sake of funding from a public school... as I said, all the *resources* are 100% secular, it's only the course guide that has some religious references.


And I know you said you've decided on TT for math.  TT Pre-Algebra is a good program, don't get me wrong!  DS enjoyed most of it very much.  But we recently switched to John Bovey's Live Online math program and he's really getting a lot more out of that.  A lot will depend on learning styles and preferences, of course.  We're just using the video courses, which are done completely at the child's pace and on their own time.  But there is also a live class option, which uses web conferencing software, where the kids have 3 classes per week with John and with each other... we did a trial run of the class last year and it's really very cool.  And there's a blended option, the kids do the video lessons on their own and then have one class together per week.  If you haven't already bought TT, you could look into LO and see what you think.  If you have already bought it, I'm sure you'll like it.  :)  They've recently revamped the Pre-Algebra course (we bought ours a few years ago so it's the older version) and it looks even better than before!

Heather, mom to Caileigh 12/06 and aspie ADHD prodigy David 05/98 :intact lact
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#6 of 6 Old 08-26-2011, 07:30 PM
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I have a 7th grader this year as well.  Definitely look into Brave Writer for Language Arts.  I teach writing in our co op using their philosophy and also just trained with Julie Bogart to hopefully become one of their online teachers in the near future.  Love the program! 



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