Top 10 Curriculum Choices for a Gifted 8th Grader


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The older a gifted student gets,

the harder it can be to keep them challenged.

Our kids like to press the envelope on their learning

and it can outpace their grade level quickly.

8th grade provides a special challenge,

but earning high school credit in middle school will open up doors in the next few years.

While our goal is not to accelerate our 8th grader to graduate early,

we do want him to be able to take on more in high school based on his interests and ability.

This is the first year after we’ve launched our two oldest,

it’s going to be a great year!

English for a Gifted 8th Grader

Joshua has a vast imagination.

He’s off the scale on imaginational overexcitabilities.

He and his sister can go on for hours with their imaginations.

It’s one of the reasons I miss her around here!

Reading and immersing in a story world are a big part of our homeschool for our gifted kids.

Writing is more of a hassle for him because of the physical demand. But, we have a plan for that.

So, we use a variety of programs to keep him learning and thriving.

How to Choose Fiction for Your Gifted Learner– a list of tips and books about gifted kids for gifted kids

Have an Audio Book Collection You’ll Love– one of the ways our gifted learner takes in books

Cover Story– from the publishers of One Year Adventure Novel, this is a middle school course in writing which results in a magazine issue by the year’s end.

Writeshop II– Joshua enjoys this program for its structure. Which is a little odd given his strong free spiritedness. But, WriteShop drills down on the pre-writing and makes the process a little more cut and dry when it’s time to write.

The Writer’s Jungle– the tool in my homeschool mom’s toolbox for providing unique writing instruction.

History for a Gifted 8th Grader

This year I’ve designed a course called, Survey of World Geography and Cultures.

It’s a little bit history

with some study of cultures,

and world geography.

We’ll be working on drawing on previous knowledge while building in more.

I’m saving Mapping the World with Art for his high school fine art and after his focus on art this year

Around the World in 180 Days– will be our spine for this survey. It’ll keep us focused and it will allow us to travel with our 11th grader.

As always, his history comes through the lives of scientists in addition to his other studies.

Math for a Gifted 8th Grader

We are long time Life of Fred users.

The curriculum provides opportunities for our students to be problem solvers.

It’s affordable and sustainable.

Clicking on the picture above will give you a detailed account of why it works for our family

and why love it as STEM professionals.

Life of Fred– a review using Economics and then on to Beginning Algebra.

Joshua uses math in his computer programming as well.

You can find him watching You Tube channels for math learning.

Foreign Language for a Gifted 8th Grader

On the books is French for this year.

His first credit of high school foreign language.

He’d also like to dabble in Hebrew and German.

Rosetta Stone– we’ll be using the online subscription to Rosetta Stone for his foreign language instruction. We’ve used Rosetta Stone before with our high school graduates, both Spanish and Arabic.

Science for a Gifted 8th Grader

Joshua’s entire world is sifted through the lens of science.

We use a variety of experiences to teach science

both as a core subject

and for science electives.

CK-12 Earth Science– we are knocking out this high school requirement in 8th grade using this free text program from CK-12. We like to use this program as a scope and sequence for science concepts.

How to Teach Science through the Lives of Scientists– looking at the lives of scientists and their experiments allows us to learn history and science.

How to Teach Science with History and Beautiful Feet Books– more material and newer books for learning about scientists and their science. If you take a look at this program, it is workable for all levels of student including gifted learners.

You Tube– this is a free learning tool which is engaging for all types of learners.

Earth Science Documentaries– through Amazon Prime and other sources

Earth Science Current Events– there’s a lot going on in the world related to the disciplines in earth science. We’re going to keep track of concepts this way.

Art for a Gifted 8th Grader

Would you believe we had to replace many of our good quality art supplies?

They went to college with our design student.

And she’s using them!

Now that our supplies are back in house, we are ready to get started.

Masterpiece Society– We’re using Masterpiece Society courses on foundations of art this year.

Within the membership site, there are seasonal art courses

along with more foundational instruction called, Art School.

Joshua will be working through

Drawing 101

and Watercolor 101.

Our goal is to work on his fine motor skills with art instruction

which hopefully will reap benefits in other areas like writing and soldering.

He’s on board.

I’m excited to see where this takes him!

Masterpiece Society Studio

Note that if you would like to take advantage of the art courses within the membership of Masterpiece Society, the doors for membership will be closing at the end of September. Be sure to jump in before the window closes until next year.

Electives for a Gifted 8th Grader

Technology is a project area for our gifted 8th grader.

The investment in STEM supplies is an investment in his interests and how he spends his time.

Don’t miss out on the learning opportunities that come from having your own materials at home.

No group or team activity can replace the experience and learning that comes from having an environment rich in tinkering and technology materials.

Learn on your own time.

Learn in your own way.

Robotics– Joshua is going to be working on a project with his Tetrix Max materials. He’s part way through a project that connects his Raspberry Pi and his Arduino with the Tetrix (bypassing the computer that comes with the robotics kit). This kid has to press limits. We like to facilitate that process as much as possible!

Post coming on how he is working with this technology.

It might be helpful to those of you with students who are after similar goals.

Computer Programming– Right now he knows the fundamentals of about seven programming languages. He’s always got a project going using one of them.

More Middle School Help

Choosing Middle School Curriculum– Tips for how to choose curriculum for your middle schooler, including the criteria that works best both academically and for your student.

Love It or Hate It! It’s Actually Time for Middle School– What it means to teach middle school at home and how to thrive doing it!

The Myth of Independence– a podcast episode on what healthy independence looks like in the homeschooling environment.

Keeping gifted learners challenged is a big part of my job.

Do you have learners who keep you on your toes?

What are your favorite tool?

Other bloggers with the iHomeschool Network are sharing curriculum choices too. Stop by and learn more!

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