What Your Child Should Learn in 8th Grade
As middle school comes to a close, do you know what looms on the horizon for your child? Many parents are concerned about whether or not their child is academically ready for their first year of high school. Eighth grade is an essential time in your child’s academic life, and it helps to ready them for more intense studies ahead. Parents should do what they can to support their children in their studies during this time.
Before you can offer any tangible support, it helps to have a brief understanding of what your child should be learning in the eighth grade. From language arts to social studies, you can use these general guidelines to ensure your child is meeting the usual academic standards.
This final middle school year can be used to help children really develop a thorough love of reading. While they may not learn many new concepts, their reading comprehension and ability to interpret texts continues to deepen. If your child reads regularly, you’ll notice that their vocabulary and overall reading comprehension quickly expand.
Writing continues to be emphasized in every language arts curriculum. Students will work on a variety of projects, including long-term research papers, narratives, and opinion pieces. They should be able to write and edit their own work. Essays evolve from more casual and slightly disorganized pieces into the more formal essays expected from high school students.
Math becomes increasingly difficult for students this year. It’s no surprise that your child may start to struggle in math, even if they had no problems in earlier years. Here is a list of topics that many teachers will attempt to cover with their eighth-grade students:
- Algebraic expressions and equations with two variables
- Solving equations with positive and negative numbers
- Solving equations using roots
- Comparing and solving equations with functions
- Volume of various three-dimensional shapes
Algebra and geometry heavily influence the math curriculum during this final year in middle school.
The entire purpose of middle school science is to help your child develop a better understanding of the world around them. Parents should expect to see their child follow the scientific method more closely and pay greater attention to the details. What does that really mean when it comes to their schoolwork though?
Most children will be able to follow an entire science experiment from the hypothesis through the data collection and observation stage. At the end, they can analyze the data they gathered to form a conclusion about what they learned. Vocabulary will continue to grow and they will make good use of texts, graphs, and charts to further their understanding.
Your child’s history class this year will often pick up where they left off the previous year. In many areas, American history continues to be the topic. Eighth-graders may study the time period from the colonies all the way to the civil war. Others may cover some basic tenets of the United States government and how the justice system works.
In general, all of these topics are selected to help children develop the ability to use critical thinking. Teachers should be assisting students in developing their thinking skills, reading comprehension, and applying all of these skills to their studies.
In your child’s final year in middle school, they will do a lot of learning to prepare them for the years ahead. Teachers should be helping your child develop essential skills for their lifelong ability to learn and organize information in their minds. As a parent, you can help your child by encouraging them to explore areas of interest and complete the work they bring home. Being active in your child’s studies now can help to promote a lifelong love of learning and studying.