Review of 7th Grade Curriculum

By the grace of God, we’ve finished our 7th year of homeschooling.  I shared the different curriculum we’ve used for the school year 2016-2017. Here’s a rundown of how it went for our 7th Grade Curriculum:

  • Teaching Textbooks Math 7 – was the biggest discovery of our school year. My daughter who previously couldn’t work on Math by herself and least loved Math is now able to do Math independently and nows understands the concepts better. I see her looking forward to doing her Math lessons now. It probably has to do with the fact that she is a very visual learner and Singapore Math just wasn’t the curriculum that fit her learning style.
  • Voyages in English 7 – She continued working on Voyages in English specifically the grammar part. She continually enjoys the sentence diagramming part and is challenged by the grammar lessons she goes through. We don’t do the Writing part of Voyages as she uses another program for that.
  • Writing with Skill 1 – She completed her lessons in Writing with Skill 1 and finds it challenging. I see a tremendous improvement in the way she writes and I like how Writing with Skill is very organized in the way it teaches outlining and other components of writing.
  • Bob Jones Explorations in Literature – This is our first year to use Bob Jones Literature and I can honestly say that it is a very rich curriculum. We weren’t able to finish reading all stories and discussing everything. I find the Teacher’s Guide complete and sometimes overwhelming.  The literary pieces were interesting and covers a variety of  literary forms.
  • Mystery of History volume 3 –  This is the subject that we do multi-level. I read aloud to them and we discuss the stories together. Each child does their own notebook and try to do activities together to enrich learning.
  • Apologia Young Explorer’s Chemistry and Physics – We’ve finished all the Young Explorer books and this is the last in the series. My daughter learned so much about how things work and made fun notes for every topic. She isn’t a very “Science” person so I am thankful that Apologia Young Explorer series was a good fit for her.
  • Bible Study Guide for All Ages Unit 4 – After 4-5 years of using Bible Study Guide for All Ages, we’ve finished going through all the units. This is also a subject that we do multi-level and this curriculum helped us walk through the entire Bible in chunks that was just appropriate for the ages of my kids. We read through the whole Bible together and discussed the different lessons we learn from every story. There were coloring activities, mapping activities and a timeline of the events in the Bible.
  • Rex Publishing’s Asian History for Social Studies – We only used this textbook as a spine. My daughter read the historical portions but for majority of the lessons, I asked her to use the book as a guide upon which topics to research on. She was able to learn about the different countries in Asia and know more about historical details of the Asian countries.
  • Jo-es Publishing’s Parola for Filipino – This is an easy reading textbook and also has up to date contents about the present condition of our country. It also has Ibong Adarna at the last quarter. We are used to Jo-es Publishing’s Binhi for Elementary students so Parola was a good fit for us.
  • Middlebury Middleschool German – Even after our review of Middlebury Middleschool German, my daughter continued on learning German and is almost finished with the full year course of German 1. She is enjoying and actually learning German!
  • Calligraphy practice set for Arts – She didn’t finish the brush calligraphy worksheets that I bought for her, but she attended a workshop instead.  She also watched several videos from SkillShare for arts. She also attended a painting workshop over the summer and joined the exhibit.
  • Daily exercises for PE – She jogs at least 3x a week.
  • Music – plays the keyboard and learns new songs.
  • TLE – she sew clothes and worked on some crochet projects

Homeschool Help: Note Taking is Important

I believe that as a homeschooler, we should teach our children to take notes. As young as 2nd grade, we have been starting this habit at our house. When we are studying a lesson in Science, History or Social Studies, I require my children to write down important information on their notebooks. This allows them to remember what they are learning, process the information and practice their dictation and spelling skills as well.

When the children were in lower grade school levels, they  used the simple lined notebook which can be bought from the bookstores. They would write and list down information as they hear it. I would indicate to them what information would be important – like the what, when, where how and why of whatever we were learning. As the years go by, they eventually learned what information to record.

There are some children who are highly artistic like my daughter, and she has began to take notes using diagrams instead of words and sentences in her upper grade levels. Here are some samples of her work:

While my son continues to take down notes using words and sentences. Sometimes, we also use special pages. We have used Notebooking Pages before and it was helpful too. You can also check out Mind Mapping.

Whatever format your child wants to use, I believe that it is an important skill they need to learn as we homeschool them.

Learnings from Homeschool Curriculum Online Summit 2017

A month ago, I signed up for the free Homeschool Curriculum Online Summit. I was looking forward to learning more about homeschooling  since I am now homeschooling a 7th grader! The summit was accessible online and was available from May 3-10.

The summit started with a keynote session from Davis and Rachael Carman talking about preparing for a Christ-centered homeschooling. Then every day, there were several sessions tackling particular subjects like Math, Science, Language Arts, History and Finding the Right Tools for You. I wasn’t able to listen to all the sessions but was able to catch a few of the sessions.

I listened to Tom Clark as he talked about “But Algebra isn’t the same as Arithmetic! What do I do now?” I learned that math shouldn’t just be something that the children memorize but internalize. The curriculum we use should help the children understand and learn the “whys” of the different math concepts. I also learned that when the children find out what went wrong in the equation or the answer, it helps them remember the concept more than just correcting the math problem for them.

Diana Waring was such a bubbly speaker as she talked about “The Timeline of Teaching History to Your Children”. It reminded me the following truths in learning history:

  1. There are always 2 sides to a story. Even in teaching history lessons.
  2. Use various sources for history.
  3. Use wisdom when to introduce hard topics like the Holocaust
  4. Walk through the history at least two times.

I hope that the Homeschool Curriculum Online Summit will be an annual event as I really learned a lot from the few sessions that I was able to attend. I am looking forward to more homeschool conferences, as they say learning never stops!

What Can I Do To Improve My Health?

If you want to develop great health, don’t procrastinate. Instead, start implementing wellness techniques that are known to promote physical and mental well-being. Below are three strategies that can help you start improving your level of health right now:

1. Focus On Dental Health.

One great way to improve your level of wellness is by focusing on dental health. This step is important because it empowers you to decrease your susceptibility to a wide range of diseases, including gingivitis. Also note that people who practice great dental health tend to have better overall health. If you find yourself in need of Brooklyn dental implants, note that the professionals of Park Slope Dentist can assist you. Before you agree to purchase dental services from anyone, make sure that you do background research on the provider to ensure that she or he is reputable.

2. Invest In A Monthly Massage.

Another strategy you can implement to improve your health is investing in a monthly massage. Taking this step will help improve your level of wellness in many ways. First, massages are known to boost immunity and optimize weight management by improving your metabolism. Another benefit of massages is that they help release toxins from your body. Some of the other wellness benefits include clearer thinking, better sleep, and enhanced functioning of the circulatory system. To ensure that you find the ideal massage therapist, make sure that you go online and do some internet research regarding the individual’s background. You may want to read through a wide range of the therapist’s online reviews to ensure that the individual is known for offering exemplary, effective services.

3. Hire A Personal Trainer.

As many health experts know, the majority of Americans don’t obtain the recommended amount of physical activity. This sedentary mode of living has a profoundly negative impact on health. For example, failing to engage in regular physical activity can make you more susceptible to a wide range of diseases, including obesity and depression. On the other hand, exercising regularly can help you lose weight, enhance your metabolism, and improve your digestion. One way to gain the motivation necessary to exercise consistently is by hiring a personal trainer. This individual will put together a customized workout routine that will enable you to address and resolve your specific health and fitness issues!

Summing It All Up

Getting healthy doesn’t have to be hard. To make great health a reality in your life, you simply need to become systematic in your approach to wellness. You can utilize the data found in this quick reference guide to keep yourself on the path to optimal health!

Homeschool Help: Assessment Ideas

Most of us have grown up in the conventional school where we take tests to measure how much we have learned. As homeschoolers, we also want to assess how much our children has learned and we need to give them exams and quizzes as we need to give them grades to be submitted to our Homeschool Provider (if you are enrolled in one).

But did you know that there are other ways to give grades aside from the usual fill in the blanks, true or false, identify and choosing the best answers? I’m sharing with you some of the ways to assess your child’s learning:

  1. Write a personal narrative
  2. Create infomercials
  3. Draw a comic strip which uses lessons learned
  4. Create a brochure
  5. Create a bookmark
  6. Make posters about characters from the book
  7. Calculate sale discounts from stores and online shops
  8. Find patterns
  9. Write as another individual (i.e. famous artists, scientists, historical person)
  10. Create trivia games
  11. Sketch what a scene would look like
  12. Invent a toy from a specific era or historical time period
  13. Recreate historical events
  14. Research family tree
  15. Memorize speech and poems
  16. Create surveys and analyze results
  17. Compose a poem or song
  18. Use game-based assessments like Physics Playground (
  19. Interview someone and write about it
  20. Make a digital presentation about lesson studied

To be able to give fair grades, you may use grading rubrics.