Our 7th grade homeschool curriculum choices are an eclectic mix! We homeschool our only child, who is autistic, loves hands-on and visual learning, and whose ‘grade levels' are very asynchronous.
I don't put much stock in grade levels or comparing our learning to public school peers, but I include them here just as a point of reference for other homeschoolers who have kids around the same age.
Only you can decide the best curriculum for your kids!
I wish it were simpler… honestly, I do.
One of the first things I tell new homeschooling moms is not to buy curriculum when you first pull your kids out of school! Almost always, you'll be buying things that appeal to your own learning style, rather than your kids' learning style. That money is almost never well spent and things end up sitting on your shelves, making you feel guilty.
We've had lots of trial and error in choosing curricula over our years of homeschooling! Some things have been a hit and others total fails.
- Funschooling. MAN DID I LOVE THESE BOOKS!!! But (the physical act of) writing will never be central for us because of my kiddo's challenges – and this is a writing-based system. I love the company, the family behind it, and highly recommend all their materials.
- Time4Learning. We finished out first grade with T4L, but my daughter declared it ‘too silly and for little kids' when we tried it for second grade.
- Adventure Academy. We loved ABC Mouse when my daughter was little and I had high hopes for AA. But it's too self directed and the lack of a concise learning path meant she would always just play games.
- Miacademy. I have no idea why my daughter didn't like this, I thought it was pretty cool. Safe community, short learning videos, games, and things like the monthly newsletter kids can contribute to.
- Prodigy. This video gamified math practice is the bomb. It's free, but we found the free version challenging because the AI moved too quickly into advanced concepts. So we pay for the subscription, and that way I can select the skills for my daughter to work on. To be clear: Prodigy doesn't teach concepts. It's for practice.
- Subscriptions. See below!
- Life of Fred. My daughter LOVES the Life of Fred books. Every friend I've shared them with reports resounding thumbs up from all kids! We use these as read-alouds, introduction of concepts in real-life settings, and oral problem solving – there are not a lot of practice problems in each section. (Note: these are written from a Christian worldview.)
- Reading aloud. My daughter still loves this.
- The Good and The Beautiful. We love the typing curriculum and the science units!
- Anything from Steve Spangler. We once did a live summer zoom camp with our “Science Idol” during the pandemic and it was a blast! We've also binged his show xPloration DIY Sci.
Our 7th Grade Homeschool Curriculum: Academic Choices
As we wade into the waters of middle school age I'm hopeful and confident that we have found a good mix and daily rhythm for our little family!
CORE SUBJECTS: Four our core this year we are using Education Perfect, which is new to us this year. My daughter is a visual learner, and for more academic subject she prefers to learn more independently (read: not from mom).
I'm still learning all the ins and outs of Education Perfect. It's based in Australia, so the US homeschool outlines for different grades all have the disclaimer that it's not complete per Common Core standards. I'm not worried about that, but it might be important to you. I have no problem supplementing any core curriculum with unit studies, field trips, documentaries, and hands-on learning.
I like that it's a really affordable homeschool curriculum at $30 per month for your entire family! I can also set up the entire year inside the tool so my daughter can be independent each day and click through the lessons on her list.
WRITING: This is my kiddo's struggle area – the physical act of writing. (We suspect dysgraphia). We backed way off of writing after we pulled her from public school, but it's time to grow in this area. We are working with Munira Adenwalla from OT 4 Kids via her online course on a whole-body, sensory approach to writing and will be using some materials from Handwriting Without Tears.
TYPING: Since writing is challenging, keyboarding is even more important. My daughter did not like online typing programs that all tallied your speed and mistakes in real time (discouragement central). We really like The Good and The Beautiful's typing curriculum!
Our 7th Grade Homeschool Curriculum: Music and Arts
I'm HUGE on the arts! This is where the bulk of our homeschool budget goes each year! Well, that and field trips.
Our daughter takes Suzuki violin lessons. This will be her second year. I'm excited for her to learn to read music this year and participate in the ‘music parties' her teacher holds!
Honestly, she's not too enthusiastic about restarting this year after taking a break this summer. This is one area where I, as mom, am asking her to do it anyway. I'm a musician and a former private lesson teacher, and I taught countless adults who wished they hadn't dropped out of music when they were young and could play an instrument.
We also take a weekly Irish dance class! I'm proud of this: this class didn't exist last year in our local area. I asked around and discovered a teacher at our local dance school also did Irish but didn't think there was interest. I rallied the homeschool troops and we got a class created!
This summer we also started a mentorship with a local, homeschooled artist we met at a fair. It was a truly serendipitous meeting and I loved the way she encouraged and interacted with my daughter in the 10 minutes we stood in her booth.
I followed up with her a couple of weeks later and set up our weekly art times together. It has been an amazing process to see someone so willing to pour into her students and share everything about art and how she makes her living! My daughter adores her and it's the highlight of our week!
Spice Up Your Homeschooling with Subscriptions
We love having fun things come in the mail! We use these as read alouds and we cozy up on the couch together. This is very special time to me and even though my kiddo is middle school age, I plan to keep reading aloud as long as she'll let me!
Letters from Afar – Beautifully decorated letters and maps come from your penpal, Isabella, who travels to a new place every month.
The Yesteryear Gazette – Amazing, funny, and important historical events and biographies combined with jokes, weird laws, and puzzles in an old-fashioned newspaper format. It's really a fun subscription and has led to some deep dives into history for us!
I also get two email subscriptions from which I curate interesting facts and stories to tell my daughter. The Wonder and Nice News come daily. Sometimes there's nothing that would be homeschool appropriate (although it might be fascinating for me) but more often than not, there's something neat I can pull in and discuss at the lunch table!
Simply Earth Essential Oils – I'm craftsy but after the elementary years, I don't want to just make crafts for the sake of doing crafts! I love this subscription because we make useful things with natural ingredients. This month we made beeswax candles and wax melts!
I also love that this essential oil company was started by aromatherapists and we can enjoy and learn about the oils safely! Their oils are also third-party tested.
7th Grade Homeschool Curriculum: FUN STUFF
Field Trip Fridays – I've planned out one field trip per month from September through May, although that won't be all we do. We LOVE hands on learning and I love mini adventures with my daughter!
Homeschool BFFs – we have two families that we regularly get together with. One is local, and one an hour and a half away. Both are big families which is fun (and full of socialization and social learning) for my only child.
It's important to know that outside of the school system your kids may not have 15-20 same-age friends. It's OK, it really is. I love the wide age range of our friends and the fact that homeschool groups of kids often are widely multi-age. This is much more “real world” interaction than a classroom.
Yes, homeschool can be FUN!
Yes, we have our share of days where things don't come easy. But I do my best to mix the more academic kinds of learning with breaks, fun, and field trips.
And we have found our sweet spot: afternoons are when we can do the harder work. Mornings and evenings are for snuggling and video gaming! Take your time finding your family's sweet spot!
If you'd like encouragement and homeschool ideas in your inbox every week, I'd love for you to sign up below! I'll also send you my cute learning journal printable that helps you capture all those non-curriculum, non-worksheet learning moments in your day!