My daughter has just finished her Year 8 so I thought I would write a summary post about our Top Year 8 resources. The educational resources that were both a massive hit with my daughter and with me. So here they are..
Pride and Prejudice. I have to include this book because this past academic year has really been the Pride and Prejudice year, it seemed to just take over our whole house for months and every member in our house got involved in the discussions and debates.
It is normally covered as part of GCSE and the fact that they normally do it later on meant I did initially wonder if we should attempt it in her year 8 but oh boy I am so glad that we did. It was such a massive success and my daughter really dove into the story and the characters. I know it was a more challenging read than the other books we did this year but sometimes it is when you challenge the kids that they really rise up and show you what they are capable of.
We read Pride and Prejudice together, we worked through a number of activities, we watched the mini-series and the movie and then we compared the book to them and had an amazing time talking about how we would create our own miniseries and what we would keep the same and what we would change. Oh, it really was one of the highlights and we still talk about it, she often draws comparisons between the characters in Pride and Prejudice and characters in other books. It has become one of the books that she know measures others against.
So if you are considering reading Pride and Prejudice I say dive in, enjoy the ride and give way to letting your household become Jane Austen obsessed.
As much as Pride and Prejudice was the book of the year I have to mention the Rollercoaster books and resources. This was the first year that I used them and I love them as English Literature resources. You just need to get the book to read with the kids and then you can download a Teacher’s resource pack free from their site (How did I not know about this earlier?). I am really glad that we discovered this (for those of you who may now know about these books and resources look here – Shy Hawk, The Last Wolf, White Dolphin and Lightning Strike).
Sticking with English resources a new one that we discovered this year was the Myths and Legends book. It is part of an English Anthology series by Hodder Education (a series which I honestly stumbled upon but one which we now LOVE). They have really managed to make the activities engaging and enjoyable and all three of us (my youngest included) has enjoyed using this new book. This is probably new favourite surprise book of the year (by surprise book I mean a book I was not planning on using, stumbled onto it, loved it and now want to use more in the series).
History is always a big topic in our house because my daughter loves sinking into the different time periods and reading up about them. In her Year 8 we stuck with the Aaron Wilkes series that we used in her Year 7 (and we are sticking with it for Year 9). She loves this series, she just finds the way they present History to be engaging and I must admit as a home educator I am a massive fan of the longer, writing questions that they include at the end of each chapter and they way they help the kids structure their answers. So yes for kids you are considering doing a History Exam I really do recommend this book because it does lay down a solid foundation for further studying.
On the History side of thing we also read more of Lucy Worsley’s books this year (The Austen Girls and Eliza Rose). They are brilliant. She weaves a fictional story into detailed Historical periods. My daughter is a massive fan of these books and highly recommends them to other kids her age who also enjoy History.
Science. Not her favourite subject. I liked using the Activate 2 range this year because it gave me the confidence that we were covering what we needed to. I also really like the fact that you can get a workbook to use alongside the student book.
My daughter’s favourite Science and Geography resources are the Oaka Books Topic Packs. She loves these packs. We always use them with our other resources but however we mix them in, she always enjoys using them and often requests them. We both agree that even though we like the History topic packs, the Topic packs are most powerful as a learning tool for the subjects that she does not feel comfortable with (It is a bit of an inverse relationship – the more she dislikes a topic or just feels uncertain about it the more she actually likes using that Topic Pack.)
And on a Art note – she actually just recently completed a Paint by Numbers painting (again something I was not sure about) but she really enjoyed it and she worked hard to complete her picture. So I am including it here as her favourite Arty type activity that we did this year.
So that is Year 8 done. I have started our planning our Year 9 and will be writing some Resource posts in the coming weeks