I can’t wait to tell you all about one of my favorite 8th-grade homeschool curricula!
The All In One Homeschool Curriculum has got to be one of the most inexpensive online curriculum providers available. They have digital courses for math, language arts, science, and social studies for their K-8 homeschool curriculum, and for their High School homeschool curriculum, they have Language Arts, Geometry, Algebra 1 &2, Biology, Earth Science, Civics/US History, Economics & World History!
All of their course content is aligned with national standards. The outlook is secular throughout all courses. If you want to add in religion, you’ll need to supplement with another curriculum course bought elsewhere. While students do learn vocabulary, concepts, and skills, courses stress critical thinking rather than rote learning which I am very pleased to see. Many of the homeschool courses we have reviewed over the last few years focus on rote memorization which doesn’t help with critical thinking as a child gets older.
Most courses have 180 lessons for the school year. (Some science and social studies courses have fewer.) Each lesson should take 30 minutes to one and a half hours to complete. The curriculum comes with the student course book as well as the teacher workbook, which is such a breath of fresh air. So many times I have had to buy them separately!
Lessons are laid out in a consistent fashion in the online teacher’s manuals for every subject. For each lesson, the teacher’s manual lists:
- The lesson objective
- Key vocabulary words—might be used for spelling and /or vocabulary or to help students comprehend what they will read
- Materials needed
- Literary selections when appropriate—some of which are printed directly in the student manual
- An “engaging” question that the teacher uses to begin the lesson
- Supplemental engagement activities that appear for some lessons
- Extensions that appear for some lessons—these might be used with accelerated or lagging students
- Technology resources—for some lessons, suggestions are given for utilizing technology, especially websites that contribute to the lesson
- Additional Notes to the Teacher—outline or summarize the lesson
- Advance Preparation or Homework Required—gives the teacher a heads up when the extra time will be required.
- Lesson Wrap-Ups
The entire curriculum is downloaded as interactive PDF files. They have an app that you can use, or you can print out some or all of the student work. We use the curriculum on our iPad. For my youngest, though, we did print them at a local print shop for very cheap.
Lessons are presented in full color with plenty of illustrations. The teacher’s manual for each course includes the student manual pages with answers for all worksheets, exercises, and assessments. Again, students can access content from a computer or tablet without printing out the texts, and online access is not required after downloading unless a lesson directs a student to do online research.
Some additional resources are needed from time to time but are very minimal and can usually be found in your home or easily on Amazon or Walmart. Most everything you need is included in the curriculum. There are some hands-on activities so you can either skip those or find the needed items. The great thing about this curriculum though, is that the lesson plans come with a list of what you’ll need for the lesson, so if you do need to prep at all, you’ll know in advance.
Even though students can enter some answers into the computer, this is not a computer-based curriculum where students type in all responses which are then graded by the software. Some worksheets will need to be printed out in advance and you as the teacher will be doing the grading.
Students create notebooks for some subjects such as spelling and writing as well as a Grammar Ring and a Vocabulary Ring where they collect rules and definitions they have written on index cards. High school students learn note-taking skills and apply them across the curriculum. Students learn to integrate knowledge and skills through projects such as creating brochures, PowerPoint™ presentations, and research reports.
The All In One Homeschool Curriculum language arts curriculum integrates all age-appropriate language arts skills—reading, literature, spelling, vocabulary, grammar, handwriting, and composition. It is expected that children have some familiarity with the alphabet prior to kindergarten; they should recognize at least some of the letters. Kindergarten teaches sounds and letters, beginning reading, writing, spelling, and printing along with other facets of language arts typically taught in kindergarten. Reading instruction is phonics-based, but it includes the introduction of many sight words. For reading material, the All in One Homeschool Curriculum’s own Progressive Readers are used in kindergarten through third grade, while classic literature is included within the student manuals in the upper grades. Language arts lessons often revolve around the literature selections. Students begin to create a journal in first grade. They continue to learn all forms of composition, applying those skills within language arts and across the curriculum.
The All In One Homeschool Curriculum Math curriculum follows a standard scope and sequence at each grade level. Simple manipulatives and visual illustrations are used to teach concepts in the early grades—e.g., beans are used in first grade to learn simple addition, and number cards and strips are used in second grade. Cumulative reviews help students retain skills learned in previous lessons.
The All In One Homeschool Curriculum science program is inquiry-based. Lessons begin by raising questions while students do observations and experiments. Students record and analyze data according to the scientific method even in kindergarten, albeit at a very simple level.
The All In One Homeschool Curriculum Social studies program covers history, geography, and civics, with the emphasis varying from grade to grade. All of these texts reflect a typical secular outlook as you might find in other texts used in government schools. Kindergarten and first grade teach very introductory geography and history as well as community, citizenship, and character. Second grade continues with these themes, adding state history as students create a brochure-style mini-book on their own state. Third- and fourth-grade texts both present U.S. History, Geography, and Economics. The third-grade text includes coverage of Native Americans. Fifth grade presents a history of the U.S. while sixth grade broadens to the history of the Americas. The history of the Eastern Hemisphere is studied in seventh grade. Eighth graders study U.S. history again, this time from colonization through the Reconstruction.
Throughout the social studies courses, there are frequently challenging questions to consider, and students are often directed to read or research topics and present contrasting views. This is especially true for junior high courses.
All in One Homeschool Curriculum does not oversee student work or issue diplomas or report cards. However, for families looking for an inexpensive, secular curriculum, this is a real bargain! You can view all of their curriculum here: https://onlinehomeschoolcurriculum.com/.
Looking for more curriculum reviews, you can view them here: https://www.howtohomeschool.com/homeschool-curriculum-reviews