Oak Meadow provides flexible, progressive homeschooling curriculum for students in grades K-12. Their student-centered, nature-based approach allows families to set their own natural rhythm of learning while encouraging creativity, critical thinking, and intellectual development through hands-on activities and interdisciplinary projects. And, Oak Meadow’s print-based curriculum (yes, they offer real books!) can be customized to meet students’ interests, skills, and learning styles.
For this review, I’m reviewing their Eighth Grade Civics Course. It’s a print-based curriculum.
In this course, students explore issues affecting their community and region, as well as national issues. They do so through the lens of historic and current events. Students develop an understanding of social and political issues through research, reflection, discussion, and practical activities such as community service projects and interviewing local community leaders.
Students gain skills in rhetoric and debate, critical thinking, expository and persuasive writing, and project management, as well as experience in evaluating the validity of a claim or source and differentiating between fact and opinion.
(Note: While this course is written for students in the United States, it can easily be adapted for residents of other countries.)
Grade 8, Civics Coursebook
You can check out the Table of Contents below.
The Oak Meadow 8th grade Civics course is divided into 36 lessons, and each lesson takes about one week to complete. The lessons contain the following sections – although not every section is found in every lesson:
- An Assignment Summary – Kids can see at a glace what’s required and check off assignments as they complete them. (Assignments are fully explained in the lesson.)
- Similarly, Learning Objectives outline the main goals of the lesson/give the student an idea of what to expect.
- Reading Assignments outline what the student should be reading in each lesson. (The reading selections are found at the end of each lesson.)
- Reflect and Discuss provides relevant topics related to the lesson and gives students an opportunity to reflect and talk about a topic with others.
- Activity Assignments are hands on activities designed to help kids understand key concepts and apply their new knowledge.
- Up for a Challenge? activities offer additional ways to explore the topics covered in the lesson.
- Learning Checklists help students keep track of their progress as well as the skills they still need to work on.
Below, you can see pages from Lesson 2. I LOVE the way the lessons are presented.
Grade 8, Civics Teacher Manual
Oak Meadow teacher manuals are designed for teachers and parents who are supporting independent learners. In addition to specific answers to questions, teacher manuals include guidance on assessing student work, tracking student progress, and evaluating student responses to open-ended assignments.
The Teacher Manual is just like the student manual, but with red type added, specifically for the teacher.
What do I like about this course?
- Everything! 😊
- I love the topic. I think kids need to know the qualities of being a good citizen.
- The course starts with lesson 1: Values of Citizenship; and includes Lesson 7: Immigration and Citizenship; Lesson 19, Voting Rights and Responsibilities; Lessons 33-35 a Call to Action: a Community Service Project; and then Lesson 36, which is a lesson devoted to Learning Reflection. All the major topics are covered, with a Service Project and an opportunity for reflection thrown as well! These really make the course special.
- The course is designed for independent learning. Lessons are open and flexible so students can choose a topic within a lesson and really investigate/research.
- I love the ACTION that’s required by this course. The lessons require thinking and doing. This course gets us out of the house and into our community.
- I LOVE the Call to Action: Community Service Project. These lessons help kids pull off a really great community service project. The lessons help kids brainstorm ideas; make a plan; enlist help; gather resources; organize the work; monitor progress; make adjustments; launch the project; and reflect on the process.
- These lessons teach life skills! They teach follow through and how to be successful. How cool is that!?!
- Completing the service project gives kids such a sense of accomplishment!
- I LOVE how the student coursebook is set up. It’s very straight forward and easy to follow. Students know what’s in each lesson, and what’s expected of them.
- And the student coursebook contains an appendix which includes The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and constitutional amendments.
- I LOVE how the teacher manual is set up too. It’s just like the student manual, but with teacher guidelines/instructions added in red type.
What do I like about Oak Meadow?
- Oak Meadow is a name I trust. I’ve used Oak Meadow in the past – and will use it in the future. Several of my friends use Oak Meadow too.
- Oak Meadow offers K-12 curriculum, so it can grow with your child.
- The materials are student-centered.
- The resources encourage creativity, critical thinking, and intellectual development through hands-on activities and interdisciplinary projects. If you’re a homeschooler, you love this! 🙂
- Oak Meadow has a nature-based approach, which I appreciate.
- Oak Meadow offers homeschooling options.
BTW, you can check out Oak Meadow curriculum samples here.
In addition to curriculum you can use in your homeschool, Oak Meadow offers an accredited distance learning program.
Really, there’s something for everyone!
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- Our Oak Meadow Product Review - 8th Grade Civics