Year 8 Homeschool Curriculum is Harder
When I homeschooled my last child through Year 8 we really had some fun. But planning her lessons still required a thoughtful approach. I needed to get the curriculum mix right. I knew after graduating three other children that these last years matter and I wanted to make sure I gave her an education that kept her options open for university, supported her moral and spiritual development, and let her explore her passions.
Many parents want that as well, but with so many options it’s hard to narrow the curriculum down to a workable load that leaves space to explore and the confidence that you are doing enough.
Once you work out a Year Eight homeschool curriculum, then you have to put it all into a document to show you meet the state registration criteria. It’s a big headache.
Unfortunately, following the registration curriculum requirements is a problem for most Australian homeschoolers.
As registration criteria begins to tighten in each state, many people give up their educational philosophy and go back to worksheets, textbooks and online tick the box products, some go unregistered and hope they won’t get caught, some send their kids back to school and some just lie about what they teach in order to pass registration.
None of these are good options!
But I've found a solution. In 2007, I started publishing resources for Australian home educators and showing them how to use the Charlotte Mason method for registration. And people kindly thanked me and told me our resources and guides were ‘pots of gold’ and it had made their homeschool journey ‘so much easier’. They kept asking for more help.
And when my children had graduated from my homeschool and gone to university, I launched My Homeschool so I could continue serving the Australian homeschooling community and help others successfully home educate their children!
Story by Michelle Morrow (Founder of My Homeschool)
Join Our Community
When you buy a course through My Homeschool you are joining a community that supports and mentors parents interested in educating their children academically and spiritually.
We give you a shortcut to help you get straight into giving your child a delightful and robust education without spending days and days researching and tweaking unsuitable content.
Our homeschool curriculum is written to comply with all Australian states and territories. And we make registration easy because we’ve already done 75% of the documentation you need for your application.
We Care About What Your Children Are Taught
We aim to give you confidence that you can educate your children with a worldview that honours Judeo-Christian principles and has strong academic outcomes. However, our resources are not predominantly Christian. We look for outstanding resources and often a secular resource is the best option.
We have a number of families who use our curriculum who are secular or from other faiths.
We do not include devotional material or specific religious instruction in our curriculum. We leave that up to parents.
We Wanted A Curriculum That Worked For Home Educators
Our curriculum writers have already done the juggle of homeschooling a few children at once.
- We knew how lovely and important it is to learn as a family so we made some lessons and read alouds possible to teach as a group.
- We reduced the time needed for formal academics by crafting our curriculum so our resources and books often teach multiple topics.
- We made each grade fit each state’s syllabus so you can get registered easily.
- We gave you a streamlined intentional curriculum so you could give your children a wholesome integrated education from kindergarten to high school.
- We made sure it was academically challenging so your children will have career options, and a pathway to university if needed.
- We put it all in one place so you weren’t hunting around looking for resources every time you wanted to begin lessons.
- We made it easy to access your lessons and planner when you were out and about or travelling just by picking up your smartphone.
We Use A Blended Learning Approach
My Homeschool lessons are provided in a blended learning format.
All our resources are digital and are located on Moodle, a renowned online learning platform used by many schools and universities. Using this format means we give you exceptional functionality which enables you to record your progress, and access your lessons from various digital devices and locations. This format also enables us to keep our resources fresh and dynamic.
A laptop, tablet, or desktop computer is needed to use our courses. Access to a printer is also necessary.
PDFs can be downloaded and printed for offline reading but other resources can only be viewed from our learning platform.
The majority of our classes require reading from a real book or paper-based resource.
Writing exercises involve pencils and paper and many lessons are oral or conversation based.
Video lessons require access to the My Homeschool learning portal.
The Moodle App can be downloaded onto your smartphone for on the go lessons and checking progress but is not recommended as the main digital device for reading and viewing lessons.
The My Homeschool Yr. 8 programme has been a fantastic way for my son to progress through middle school. Michelle and Jo have covered a wide selection of subjects that develop analytical, observational and critical thinking skills while immersing the student in a feast of language, history, science and the arts, all while meeting the requirements of the Australian Curriculum. We have thoroughly enjoyed discussions around the dinner table on his history units, and are eagerly looking forward to progressing through the rest of the programme. I couldn't have implemented such a well rounded programme if I had to collate the information myself.
I love My Homeschool!
High School Course Semesters Explained
We have divided our high school courses into two separate semesters:
- Semester One includes Term One and Two | Price $440 Australian Dollars
- Semester Two includes Term Three and Four | Price $440 Australian Dollars
Continued Membership Rewards
You will continue to have access to your purchased courses, and all the benefits of being a My Homeschool member, as long as you keep your membership current. This means you can use the same graded course again for subsequent children. Inactive members are deleted after 12 months.
- Course Details & Subject Guide
- Economics, Business & World History
- Science & Geography
- Foreign Language
- Health & PE
- Teaching Support
- Assessment & Exams
The My Homeschool high school curriculum encourages your child to make the transition from teacher dependent work to more independent learning. You, as your child’s educator, will still be involved with your child’s studies but you will mostly be giving direction and feedback for completed work. Some reading aloud is required but your children should be reading most of their material on their own.
Our literature based approach includes many living books, a key concept of the Charlotte Mason method. Living books have something special about them: they flow, they capture the imagination, and they tell us the facts while they give us the story. A living book is written by a passionate author who communicates this passion to the reader in a literary language.
As Charlotte Mason penned:
“A book may be long or short, old or new, easy or hard, written by a great man or a lesser man, and yet be the living book which finds its way to the mind of a young reader.”
Additional Literature List
We also have a list of additional books that are required to complete the course. These books ARE NOT provided and need to be sourced separately. The total cost of purchasing these books is estimated at less than $100 per semester.
- Whatever Happened to Penny Candy by Richard J Maybury
- The Fallacy Detective by Nathaniel Bluedorn
- Secrets of the Universe – Matter and Energy: Principles of Matter and Thermodynamics by Paul Fleisher
- Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology by J Fulbright (All Year)
- Poetry Anthology (own choice – library, free online or purchased)
- Shakespeare Play (own choice – we give suggestions and a guide – available library, free online or purchased).
Each term has an historical fiction for your child to read on their own. If our suggestions don’t suit then you can choose alternatives in our exclusive reading lounge catalogue.
Teaching our children to write well is an important part of their education. Up until now we have been working on the mechanics of writing with lessons in grammar, spelling and vocabulary. Quality literature has exposed them to good writing techniques and given them a taste for the elements of a good story.
In Year 8 Homeschool Curriculum we are going to change the style of English lessons to be more holistic and incorporate most of their writing practice into the content/information subjects. Your children’s own writing and the books that they are reading will be the springboard for their writing lessons. So in many ways every lesson — be that geography, history or science — will be a writing lesson. We are going to focus directly on getting them to write and apply their knowledge and practise, practise, practise!
Our extensive reading curriculum also helps improve children’s writing and vocabulary. We use a variety of genres so your child will have exposure to numerous authors. Our science books are written in a literary style. We also use a range of media including reports, internet-based reading and video.
“Writing is the other side of reading. Reading is receiving language and producing it. While children grow in reading and writing abilities, they carry on a dialogue, like an extended conversation. Children write. Then they read and see the ways books do it. Then they write again, influenced by what happened in their minds while reading. And so it goes, on and on for years. Children who read a lot are better writers.” Ruth Beechick, You can teach your child successfully Grades 4 to 8 p. 59 © 1999 Mott Media
The Australian Curriculum teaches us that there are three interrelated strands in English – language, literature and literacy. Here is how we are teaching English within our Year 8 program.
Year 8 Homeschool Curriculum English Resources
Literary Lines by M Morrow
Using classic, contemporary and Australian literature passages this resource explores various elements of language and literacy. Lessons begin with an excerpt of fine literature used for dictation which is then used as a springboard for learning about the mechanics of writing, composition, grammar and punctuation. (Semester One)
Nature Notes by J Lloyd
With literary excerpts from living books, this is a weekly activity over one term (half semester) to add more to your child’s nature study and nature notebooks while practising English skills. Your child will be prompted to learn more about aspects of nature that are beyond their own local area through the snippets of quality nature journals and good literature which will also support their dictation and parsing skills. (Semester Two)
Artful Persuasion: The Power of Speech by J Lloyd
Featuring famous speeches that have changed the course of history alongside practical tips and tricks, Jo uses her experience in speech writing to guide and coach students on how to craft persuasive arguments. It covers the structure of a speech and writing introductions and conclusions, as well as the art of spoken language and presentation tips. Students will learn to write and present with confidence. (Semester Two)
Shakespeare Play – This is an own choice resource. We give you some tips with our Reading Shakespeare Guide. (Term One)
Our history resources Age of Faith, Crowns and Crusades, A New Dawn and Story of Japan include reading from living books for narration, notebooking, and dates. Literature study includes science fiction, historical fiction and read alouds are recommended. Landscapes and Landforms includes literature, poetry and Medieval Picture Study all centred on the theme of landscapes and landforms.
We don’t provide a core math program for our Year Eight Homeschool Curriculum. We want you to pick a core math program that suits your learning style, your child’s ability and your budget. However we do provide some math revision.
We have allotted approximately 45 minutes per day, four days a week, to complete your chosen math resource. If you haven’t decided on one, the course introduction gives some suggestions.
- Core Math Curriculum – This is an own choice resource.
- Alboe Year 8: A math revision resource which has 50 quick lessons that include ‘a little bit of everything’ from the Australian Curriculum’s Year Seven Mathematics syllabus. (All year)
My Homeschool members also have access to our 50% discount on Maths Online membership. This can save you $150 per year for a family membership.
Our history lessons include reading from a living book for narration, notebooking, and dates. Further study opportunities are available on our online platform with art, maps, videos and relevant articles of interest. The parent guide includes short lesson summaries and discussion questions. An end of term exam is included.
Age of Faith by M Morrow – This is a multidisciplinary resource featuring the history of the early middle ages in a narrative format. During this period, we see the Byzantine and Holy Roman Empire rise from a crumbling Roman Empire. Christianity spreads. Vikings make their mark on Europe. Muslims establish themselves and their new religion Islam. New countries and kingdoms are founded. (Semester One)
Crowns & Crusades by M Morrow – This is a multidisciplinary resource featuring late middle ages history. Religion dominates the ideas of kings, caliphs, popes, and emperors as they battle for power. The feudal system operates across Europe until the plague devastates its population and nations establish their identities. Marco Polo, and others, explore the world and share their stories. And the invention of the printing press sees the proliferation of literature. (Semester One)
A New Dawn by M Morrow – This is a multidisciplinary resource featuring the three hundred years of European history that follows the Middle Ages. New lands are discovered, new ideas flourish in art and humanism is birthed. As the new thinking of the Renaissance took hold so did the Reformation in the Church. Germany separated from the Catholic Church first and within one hundred years half of Europe has done likewise. (Semester Two)
The Mongol Empire by M Morrow – A short study on the Mongolian Empire from Genghis Khan to Tamerlane. (Semester Two)
The Story of Japan by M Morrow – This is a multidisciplinary resource featuring the history of Japan from its tales of origin to its arrival into the modern world. Emperors, Shogun and Samurai struggle for power. This nation of islands invades Korea but cannot be conquered by Genghis Khan. For a time Japan ceases contact with the outside world but Commodore Perry pries open its borders and Japan is again open for business. (Semester Two)
Liberties and the Law by M Taylor – This unit of study is a thoughtful inquiry into the glue that holds our democratic society together. Building on Year 7’s Civil Society but not dependent on it, this is a deeper investigation into the rights and obligations of living in a diverse society. We examine the origins of our legal system, responsibilities and freedoms, and consider indigenous customary law and national identity. (Semester One)
Economics study includes the study of Australian business and money management using a series of videos. We also use Whatever Happened to Penny Candy by Richard J Maybury (this book is on your additional book list and must be purchased separately).
For all these resources you will be required to have internet access as your child will need to look up research links and watch videos. Science in the Australian Curriculum is divided into four main strands.
Biology and Chemistry: Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology by J Fulbright. This is a science anatomy book about the human body. It’s popular amongst homeschoolers for its narrative living book style. From the brain in your head to the nails on your toes, your students will encounter fascinating facts, engaging activities, intriguing experiments, and loads of fun as they learn about the human body and how to keep it working well. Beginning with a brief history of medicine and a peek into cells and DNA, your students will voyage through fourteen lessons covering many subjects, such as the body systems: skeletal, muscular, respiratory, digestive, cardiovascular, nervous and more! They’ll study nutrition and health, how their immune system protects them, along with embryology and what makes them a unique creation of God. This resource is written from a Christian worldview.
If you want a secular alternative How Things Work in Your Body by David Macaulay can also be used. However, it does not have experiments.
These science books are on your additional book list and must be purchased separately. (All Year)
Earth Science & Geography: Landscapes and Landforms by Jo Lloyd. This is a multidisciplinary unit featuring earth sciences, physical geography, literature, poetry and Medieval Picture Study all centred on the theme of landscapes and landforms. This unit runs for one semester and includes the different classes of rocks, the processes that create and shape landforms and issues relating to geomorphological hazards. Along with fieldwork projects and other practical geographical skills taught, this unit examines examples of landscapes and landforms within Australia and overseas. This is a unit to inspire your student to be interested in the world around them and to seek to understand the forces that shape our Earth.
Physics: Secrets of the Universe – Matter and Energy: Principles of Matter and Thermodynamics by Paul Fleisher. Have you ever seen a magician make something seem to disappear? Did it make you wonder if anything can really just vanish? To answer these and many other questions, author Paul Fleisher looks at the scientific laws that describe how matter and energy behave. Through simple experiments and concepts that are easy to understand, readers are introduced to the basic principles of matter and thermodynamics in a fun, exciting way. (This book is on your additional book list and must be purchased separately).
Nature Study: Nature Notes by Jo Lloyd. With literary excerpts from living books, this is a weekly activity over one term (half semester) to add more to your child’s nature study and nature notebooks while practising English skills. Your child will be prompted to learn more about aspects of nature that are beyond their own local area through the snippets of quality nature journals and good literature which will also support their dictation and parsing skills.
People and Places – Population Geography by Jo Lloyd. Examining where people live across Australia and across the world and the issues associated with settlement is the focus for this geography unit. Students will explore migration within the context of Australia and broader global trends, specifically considering the issues within the United States of America and China. It also covers planning issues within our cities and current affairs issues relating to asylum seekers and refugees.
We do not provide a foreign language resource in our Year Eight Homeschool Curriculum. However we give some suggestions in our Course Introduction.
This is an elective in all states except Victoria and WA.
Note: You can apply for an exemption from a Foreign Language when applying for registration in Victoria.
Art includes: dance, drama, media arts, music and visual arts. This is an own choice subject for skill development and practical lessons. But we also have:
Music Appreciation – My Homeschool online course that incorporates the study of a variety of composers, their life and music. (All year)
Art Appreciation – My Homeschool online course that incorporates the study of artists, their work and techniques. This year we have three focussed studies: Art in the Middle ages, Renaissance Art, and Japanese Art. (All year)
We have included a series of fun kids exercises in our online WOW – workout world classes.
Personal Health & Development
This commonsense subject is taught through the activities of daily living and participation in local sports and community events.
Healthy Conversations checklists are provided for each stage of the syllabus so you can teach respectful relationships and personal growth as you deem appropriate. Parents are encouraged to have conversations with their children about issues related to adolescence including: identity, drug usage, emotional health, risk behaviours, bullying and sexuality.
It also includes prompts to encourage healthy eating and exercise. (All year)
Our science resource Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology by J Fulbright also addresses many health related content.
We do not do your registration plans for you. Registration applications are meant to be specific for each individual child and so you, as the parent, are the best person to do this. Registration remains your responsibility.
My Homeschool provides you with plenty of support for preparing your registration documentation, including:
- An Education Plan outlining our curriculum for 12 months in the Primary Full Version and 6 months in the Lite version. This is a Microsoft Word document that you can adjust to suit your own needs.
- A comprehensive Scope and Sequence document using Australian Curriculum and NSW Syllabus codes and outcomes.
- End of Term report templates that are mostly done; you just need to add a few details specific to your child and their progress.
- A week by week planner that you can print off, with plenty of space to make notes specific to your child. This means no need to keep a daily diary!
- An end of year Certificate of Completion (Full Program).
- Our Community Forum where you can have your questions about registration answered by experienced homeschoolers.
- Prompts and reminders to collect work as part of your child’s portfolio to show progress and development.
- Tips on a smooth re-registration process.
The My Homeschool State Rego and Planning course guides you through your state or territory’s application process for homeschool registration when using our courses.
The My Homeschool team includes experienced home educators who provide mentor support and help you deal with issues as they arise. We don’t provide tutoring or specific lesson support on an individual, one-on-one basis.
We are always happy to answer questions about our curriculum and how to implement it and we encourage our members to get involved in the Community Forum.
We have a vibrant online community where you can share stories and help others, purchase books you might need and connect with other My Homeschool families in your area.
You are the teacher and you oversee lessons. We provide homeschool teacher training as well through our self-paced courses How To Homeschool 101 and for our more experienced members the Boost Your Homeschool.
We are continually adding to our collection of resources to help support you in your role as teacher to your children.
Each week has its own Weekly Planner checklist which is available in an online format or as a downloadable PDF to print and store in a folder, making record keeping easy.
At the end of each term there is a downloadable report of work achieved over the term. Parents add comments and assessments of their child’s progress in each area of learning.
We know that parents want their children to thrive and that testing is popular in many school environments as a measure of progress. When you homeschool you do not need to test your children as much as they do at school, as you are assessing as you go.
We give you tips and support on how to assess your child in a way that suits homeschooling, so you can be confident that your child is progressing well in your homeschool.
Year Eight Homeschool Curriculum – End of Term Examinations
The 9th week of each term has been allocated to assessment and optional examinations.
The exams given are not like those in a traditional school with grades but rather as an assessment tool for the parent and an opportunity for your child to share what they have learnt. They are not meant to be a stressful event or a tool for comparison with peers or siblings, but rather a way to assess progress of your child throughout the year.
Will I be able to teach this program? It sounds quite academic.
It’s natural to feel a little daunted when we think about teaching our children. We don’t want to intimidate you, we are here to support you. We won’t send you a bunch of downloads and send you on your way. We also teach you how to teach. Our guides and homeschool expertise will help you instruct your children. You can also post questions on our forum when you hit a snag. You’ll learn some new things and brush up on old things as you teach your children. It’s a very satisfying experience and many veteran homeschoolers report co-learning as one of the unexpected benefits of homeschooling.
I'd like to know what books you use. Can I see the booklists?
Our booklist are carefully curated and are only available as a part of our program.
My Homeschool uses living books in many subjects. Some are for your child to read alone, and some are to be read aloud by the parent. We also include some online and audio book options. Books allocated for reading aloud provide an opportunity for families to discuss them broadly. Parents are able to offer the scaffolding and support which will help their child navigate the literature which may be challenging for a variety of reasons.
We do use secular books and these do not always line up perfectly with a Christian world view. This also reflects Charlotte Mason’s approach. We have tried our best to make good choices in our literature and we have read what we recommend. We have rejected many books in the process of writing this curriculum. Finding a perfect book is almost impossible but our book selection is thought out and many of our books are recommended by others who follow a Charlotte Mason education.
We’ve also included culturally significant Australian literature which often highlights what was happening in the era it was written. For this reason, some of the literature may well be ‘politically incorrect’ or old fashioned by today’s standards, but at the time of writing it was not. These books offer an opportunity to teach your child about the culture of the times.
Our books were chosen with the Australian Curriculum in mind, however we understand that you may not want to read all the books we have chosen. Feel free to replace them with a title that suits your family’s needs.
We offer alternatives and extension suggestions in our My Homeschool Reading Lounge. This is our exclusive online library catalogue of book list suggestions and alternatives.
Can I just buy individual subjects and resources?
My Homeschool does provide many free homeschool resources.
Our curriculum is a structured program so we do not sell our curriculum separately.
Every effort has been made to ensure that the My Homeschool graded courses meet the requirements of the Australian Curriculum, the Western Australian Curriculum and the New South Wales Education Standards Authority Syllabuses.
If you are planning on using My Homeschool as your main curriculum, we suggest you consider your approach to mix and matching resources as you may experience overlap or gaps in subsequent years. For this reason, we recommend buying appropriate grades for each child so that you will have a sequential well curated curriculum.
Will this work for teaching multiple children?
Choice has been built into this curriculum to give you the flexibility you need for teaching multiple ages and adapting to the special needs and interests of your child/children. We encourage families to do read-alouds, nature study, handicrafts, art and music appreciation as a group.
Our World History subject from Year 2 to Year 6 encourages parents to read aloud the history content. When teaching a few children in this age group at once we recommend you only teach one history cycle at a time. Since World History is not part of the Australian Curriculum this will not impact your curriculum compliance.
More details on working with multiple children can be found here.
I already have a very busy life? How much time will this involve?
My Homeschool follows the Charlotte Mason practice of shorter lessons so there is time for the student to follow other interests. Approximately three to four days per week is allocated to group study and parent reading aloud in the primary years. In high school we have written a four day schedule with Day 5 free for other planned educational activities.
Your day will usually include consistent lesson time in the mornings, leaving afternoons free for natural learning and play. You can also get some of your jobs done and pursue other interests.
While I'm responding I just wanted to take a moment to say that we are absolutely loving the My Homeschool curriculum. My children and I feel like we have breathed a breath of fresh air after a turbulent first and second term this year with a distance education school. We had signed up with them in an effort to reduce the amount of time I spend planning and reporting for HEU [Queensland government registration unit].
In fact the only reason we hadn't signed up with My Homeschool initially is because anytime HEU was mentioned my heart rate would increase and I'd want to run!
We were, and are, a Charlotte Mason style family and in hindsight I should have realised that the distance education route was going to be a disaster. Let's just say, in term 1 and 2, no-one saved any time, there were lots of frustrated tears from children and mother, and there was so much busy work to do and no time for a proper education!
Enter My Homeschool, oh how we loved term 3, our first term with you. My children were once more excited about 'school', I was once more loving learning alongside them. There was time to explore some of the creative tangents the children go off on when were learning new things, you know the sort, "if that happened, I wonder what happened when...", or the classic "why?".
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the hard work you do, your curriculum has provided a platform (and the reporting documents) that satisfies the HEU while still leaving us loads of flexibility and room to explore our amazing world and the people who have lived here and still live here.
You have saved me time in planning and reporting and the word HEU no longer makes me want to run. I have been so thrilled I tell all my homeschooling friends about your amazing program and one of my friends signed her family up with My Homeschool (PS they're loving the curriculum too).
Many blessings to you and your team, continue the good work you are doing. The hours are most likely long and some days feel fruitless, but you are without a doubt a blessing to many families.
We have tried several styles of teaching but always seem to come back to the Charlotte Mason Method.
This year, My Homeschool has provided a steady rhythm for our 13 year old. The work is set out on Moodle in a clear and concise way. This has made moving from being told what needs to be done, to being a self starter a very smooth transition. We have noticed that there has been just the right amount of stimulation, information and written work to keep him interested (in the past this has been challenging) and questioning things.
History lessons have been topic of conversation over dinner and discoveries made during geography have been talked about endlessly with his dad who has geomorphology qualifications. The choice of literature is rich and the online links have been valuable resources.
We have been very happy with all that Year 8 has been and look forward to the rest of the year. I believe that this year, academically, has been his greatest leap forward.
I had a chat [with my son] about our year thus far using Year 8 his comments were as follows:
“Reading. Reading books and student lessons, and especially reading the history related suggestions. I also liked watching the videos as suggested in the student notes. The variety of resources has made it (learning) much more relaxed and this makes it easier to take in the information.”
We are very much enjoying the My Homeschool course.