I have just finished planning the school year for my 5th and 8th graders using the new CHC Lesson Plan Guide for the Middle School Years, and I have never had such a productive and enjoyable time of it! Normally, I like to plan, but there never seemed to be enough time or information in one place to do it effectively or efficiently. I prefer a customized curriculum for each of my students, emphasizing their particular interests while shoring up their weaker subjects. With six students alongside little ones, planning the school year's curriculum is a very time-consuming process. CHC has made all the difference for me this year.
The Lesson Plan Guide is just that---a complete guide to designing your student's studies for each of the middle school (grades 5-8) years. There is structure within flexibility, and many options to appeal to a diversity of students with different gifts and talents. This is not a "school-in-a-box" that you can open and immediately put to work. You will need to spend a few hours for each grade level, looking over the courses that are detailed for you, and considering your student. But, this investment of a few hours will provide you, as the teacher, with a firm overview of the path you will take to meet the goals at the other end of the school year. Having that "big picture" helps tremendously when motivation lags. Using the CHC Lesson Planner (reviewed elsewhere) will simplify this customization further as they were designed to be used together.
Each of the four years is laid out with a plan for core subjects, non-core and elective subjects, enrichment materials, and parent resources. Sample schedules for each grade level are provided as an example of a balanced workload for a typical student. Unique to CHC are the Independent Study Charts that show the student which material he should be able to work on without direct teaching. Six detailed hands-on student courses are provided for up-to-date, beautiful Catholic textbooks in the areas of history, virtues, and Church history. As if that weren't enough value for the money, the Guide also offers wonderful teacher resources that provide the "what-you-need-to-know-to-teach" writing, science, and world history at these grade levels. Several authors contributed these resources, and the different approaches to these subjects are refreshing in their variety.
CHC has managed to produce a wonderful plan for middle-grade students that features the best characteristics that we have come to expect from them:
- do-able projects that the children both anticipate and cheerfully complete;
- a unique hands-on approach to most subjects that truly engage the student on several levels;
- an underlying structure that the teaching parent becomes familiar with as the year goes on;
- a progression in critical thinking, the ability to work independently for longer periods, and solid academics at a comfortable pace as the years pass.
All in all, this book is one of the best investments available for a Catholic homeschooling family who prefers to individualize their student's curriculum, within limits, while providing a thoroughly Catholic education utilizing multiple methods of learning
This book contains:
- Fifth Grade: (18 pages)
- Sixth Grade: (18 pages)
- Seventh Grade: (18 pages)
- Eighth Grade: (20 pages)
Hands-On Student Courses:
- 5th Grade From Sea to Shining Sea Hands-On Study Guide (9 pages)
- 6th Grade All Ye Lands Hands-On Study Guide (9 pages)
- 7th Grade "The Virtue Tree" Student Course (44 pages)
- 7th Grade "Timeline of the Republic" Guide (19 pages)
- 8th Grade: 2000 Years of Christian History Study Guide (12 pages)
- 8th Grade: "Timeline of the Ages" (19 pages)
- "Jump Start Your Writing" (26 pages)
- "Science in a Nutshell" (24 pages)
- "World History Timeline" (46 pages)