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7th and 8th grade language arts donna simmons cover color

Contents:

  • Introduction
  • How Much Work Does the Teacher Do?
  • Why Seventh and Eighth Together?
  • How to Use the Workbook
  • What you Need For Seventh Grade
  • What you Need for Eighth Grade
  • Language Arts for Seventh and Eighth Grade Students
  • Biography
  • Opinion and Perspective
  • Wish Wonder Surprise
  • Puppet Show
  • Story-telling
  • Books to Read
  • Teaching Advice for Grades Seven and Eight
  • Seventh Grade
  • Section One: Developing Your Writing
  • Section Two: Nuts & Bolts
  • Section Three: Literature and Poetry
  • Poetry
  • Eighth Grade
  • Section One: Developing Your Writing
  • Section Two: Nuts & Bolts
  • Section Three: Literature and Poetry
  • Poetry
  • Samples of Student Work

Language Arts Grades Seven and Eight Teacher’s Guide

by Donna Simmons

$25.00$50.00 | Understanding our pricing

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  • Extent: 74 pages, stapled
  • Product code: CHR0057

Completely new 7th & 8th grade language arts publications.

The Teacher’s Guide will help you guide and teach your student as she uses her Workbook and as you and she tackle language arts in other aspects of your work together. The Teacher’s Guide gives specific teaching advice and background to the assignments found in the seventh and also eighth grade Workbooks.  There is discussion of highlights of the Waldorf (Christopherus) language arts curriculum and what lessons can assist and speak to your child’s development.

Uniquely, the Teacher’s Guide features examples of actual writing from a number of Donna’s students. Donna’s comments on their writing can help you as you navigate correcting your own child’s writing.

The Teacher’s Guide cannot be used without the Workbooks.

Click here for Seventh Grade Workbook and here for Eighth Grade.

Please note: American English varies significantly from English in other parts of the world–spelling, grammar and punctuation, for example, are different in Australia, Canada and the UK. While much of the material focused on literature and writing will be valuable to any homeschooler, much of the ‘nuts and bolts’ will possibly differ significantly from what is expected outside the USA. This is especially true in the eighth grade materials where there is also specific reference to one’s American history block, a key component in American eighth grade, but not necessarily that of other countries. Please bear this in mind if you are not an American household.

The following is from the introduction to the Teacher’s Guide:

This language arts curriculum comprises a year’s work for you and your student. Of course, language arts lessons will appear and be central to your various main lessons and other classes—to life itself as a homeschooling family. Whether your child is studying history, writing lab reports, whether she is memorizing a poem or striving to speak clearly when addressing listeners, language arts pervades all aspects of homeschooling.

Therefore there will be times when your child works quite methodically on what is in his Workbook and at other times he will just dip in. The goal is for you to help him find a balance in his work and to treat his specific language arts lessons both as support to his other school work as well as lessons in their own right. You will therefore need to help him find the right way to schedule and balance his work.

Your role is to guide, teach, discuss, listen, correct and basically help your child carry his work. He is old enough in seventh or eighth grade to take significant steps toward independence, but this language arts course is not a self-study program. You need, as befits the role of a loving teacher of a middle grades child, to be very involved, yet know when to step back.

You will find that there is no answer key to your child’s Workbook. Language arts—especially English—is fluid and often more about creatively breaking the rules than simply following them, thereby limiting one’s ability to communicate. However—and I have spent many years saying this to my middle grades and high school students—you have to know the rules in order to break them. So in terms of an answer key, as very few of the exercises have one expected answer, no answer key could be created. Much of your child’s work comes from him, from his internalized understanding of what he is being asked to do. So you will have to understand the work in order to help him.

My goal is to help your child become a fluid and accurate writer, able to navigate her way through the use of English so she can say what she wants to say in the way that suits her purpose. The middle grades are only the first few steps on this journey: your child has many more years in front of her to become a gracefully proficient writer. But it is certainly worth keeping in mind that this is the goal.

We of course do tackle grammar and spelling and so on but primarily in the service of writing (and speaking) well. This will suit long-time Christopherus folks but others of you should note that this language arts curriculum, while more rigorous than what is commonly offered to students of this age, is less focused on fill-in-the-blank type exercises than writing. There are many pages of specific exercises for all aspects of grammar, punctuation, vocabulary, spelling and so on.

However, if your child has specific language arts tests he is required to take,  you probably need to get further resources and teach specifically for those tests. Then leave his development as a fluid and creative writer to what you find here.

You cannot simply hand the Student Workbook to your child and say to yourself ‘phewf—that’s language arts taken care of.’ Discussion is a huge part of the work with a middle grades student, as is writing. Someone needs to correct written work—and that joyous burden falls on you! Therefore you do need to have some idea of what you are doing. We hope these materials will help.

If you are rocky with grammar and so on, do get further resources. As stated earlier, we do not provide an answer key to the assignments in the Workbook because most of our exercises and worksheets are variable—the student generally comes up with the answers out of himself. So you will need to be pretty handy with, for instance, the differences between adverbs and adjectives.

Why Seventh and Eighth Together?

I created one Teacher’s Guide for two years’ worth of Workbooks because, by this age, children’s language arts needs vary enormously. Some of you will happily stick to the seventh grade curriculum or to the eighth grade curriculum but others will find that weaving back and forth best serves their child.

Others of you will find it very useful to see what lies ahead if you have a seventh grader or look back a bit to see what you perhaps missed.

If you have an eighth grader who did very little formal language arts last year, do consider purchasing the seventh grade Workbook to see what you can make up.

If you have a ninth grader who is homeschooling for high school and did very little formal language arts last year, do consider purchasing our eighth grade Workbook.

How to Use the Workbook

Basically, find a way to set lessons for your child and to sometimes leave the Workbook alone, sitting on the shelf. It could be that you and your child have a really interesting conversation about punctuation based on something she has written: this could be your cue to then jump to the punctuation section and work through the lessons there.

Some of you will find the methodical approach suits your family rhythm and way of homeschooling better. Especially if you tend to forget about things or have a number of children and lose focus, it might be best if you have your child work on a few pages in his Workbook every week.

Exceptions are the various books your child needs to read and any longer reports or biography work. Those need to be planned. The books should be undertaken in roughly the order they are set out for both seventh and eighth grade. And you need to think through your various main lesson requirements to plan any longer pieces of written work your child undertakes.

The idea is that it takes your child one school year to complete the assignments in her Workbook. Do note that especially in eighth grade, there are a lot of writing exercises that might need to be skipped if time and other work is pressing. Learning to balance one’s various commitments could be a good life lesson for your child this year!

 

Contents:

  • Introduction
  • How Much Work Does the Teacher Do?
  • Why Seventh and Eighth Together?
  • How to Use the Workbook
  • What you Need For Seventh Grade
  • What you Need for Eighth Grade
  • Language Arts for Seventh and Eighth Grade Students
  • Biography
  • Opinion and Perspective
  • Wish Wonder Surprise
  • Puppet Show
  • Story-telling
  • Books to Read
  • Teaching Advice for Grades Seven and Eight
  • Seventh Grade
  • Section One: Developing Your Writing
  • Section Two: Nuts & Bolts
  • Section Three: Literature and Poetry
  • Poetry
  • Eighth Grade
  • Section One: Developing Your Writing
  • Section Two: Nuts & Bolts
  • Section Three: Literature and Poetry
  • Poetry
  • Samples of Student Work

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