It’s that time of the year again! Bug has *leveled up* to seventh grade, and I am so excited to share with you our review of Oak Meadow grade seven. We’ve been using Oak Meadow with Bug since the third grade, and the program has definitely changed and grown with him over the years. I’m nervous and excited to officially be in middle school with him — he’s our oldest child, so this is a first for us!
Oak Meadow Grade Seven is a complete curriculum program, covering language arts, history, science and math. For the purposes of this review, I am going to go through each subject separately, because you can purchase just the science, or just the history to use with your child if you don’t need a full program. However, remember that the elements are intended to be used together, to create a complete, well-rounded program for your child.
Oak Meadow Grade Seven World History
I’m going to start with World History, because I feel like this is the gem of Oak Meadow Grade Seven. History is really the core of the program (and has been for the last couple grade levels), which I love. The history manual is also the largest student book in the bunch, with the most content.
We took the kids to see a home from the Civil War era as a part of our studies this month- Our current home has a ton of wonderful historical sights to see!
Within each history lesson, you’ll find:
- “Textbook reading” within the student book (with room in the lined margins to take notes).
- Map based activities
- Art and Music lessons within the historical context
- World religions
- Projects & writing assignments
- Reading suggestions
You’ll also find the majority of the programs writing assignments in the history book. (Composition instruction is included in the English manual.) Each lesson has a handful of options for writing topics.
This is one of Oak Meadow’s greatest strengths- and one of the reasons Bug enjoys Oak Meadow so much. He always has an option as to what assignment to do. Oak Meadow has done a beautiful job at not only training students towards independence but also allowing them the freedom to take ownership of their education.
For example, in lesson three, there are multiple options for projects to learn more about ancient China:
- Learning about enameling (and writing about it)
- Learning about how rice is grown
- Write a short story about living in the Forbidden City
- Design a government advertisement to convince farmers to move to northern China
- Write a report on five different works of Chinese art
By allowing the student choices (within the framework of the program) middle schoolers are more inclined to be cooperative. No one likes to be told what to do! I have found that Bug tends to get excited about at least one of the options (or, in middle schooler speak, he says “this option isn’t that bad.”
Oak Meadow Grade Seven Earth Science
Science is always my favorite part of the Oak Meadow curriculum, and this year is no exception. Oak Meadow does a fantastic job at balancing textbook reading with activities. The experiments and activities included are completely reasonable for Bug to do on his own without much need for me to pull things together. They demonstrate important concepts clearly and simply.
Each week, your child will:
- Read the science lesson – the text is full of colorful images and includes room for note taking in the margins
- Conduct experiments
- Make observations
- Track what they learn in their science journal
- Complete research projects
- Take a test – tests can be used as a graded element, or, your child can simply answer the questions in their science journal if you aren’t interested in testing each week.
Our toddler was obsessed with the measurement portion of Bug’s science lesson. Bug loves to bake, and enjoyed experimenting with equivalent measurements.
Oak Meadow Grade Seven English
Oak Meadow English is designed to use in conjunction with the history program, meaning, if you were to be purchasing individual curriculum elements, I would reccomend using history as a stand-alone program, but not English (unless you also bought history). The history and science programs include writing assignments not found in the English manual.
The English manual includes lessons on:
- Mechanics (punctuation)
- Composition instruction (such as outlining)
The literature assignments include reading (which comes with the full curriculum) and additional literature recommendations if you happen to have a voracious reader in your home. The assigned literature has comprehension and deeper thinking questions within the reading.
Bug has been reading Summer of the Monkeys, which was one of my favorite novels growing up! For this assignment, he illustrated one of his favorite scenes from the book.
The English book also contains the student planner for the week. Your child will be encouraged to plan their week, to take note of needed materials and stay on top of their lessons from within this book.
Oak Meadow Grade Seven Math
Oak Meadow’s grade 7 math is very solid. The text itself is written in a conversational manner, and shows examples within the text, so as your child reads the lesson they are able to see the work as it is supposed to be done.
Things I love about Oak Meadow Grade Seven Math:
- There is a ton of white space. When dealing with complicated subjects (like math) I love our books to have plenty of space so it’s easier to focus on the written problems without feeing overwhelmed. There is plenty of white space both in the lesson, and on the problem pages.
- Oak Meadow starts simple. The lessons start with basic examples, and then work their way up to more complicated problems. This allows your child to master the concept quickly and easily before tacking more difficult problems.
- All answer keys are included
- Tests are included
I feel that Oak Meadow’s Grade Seven Math follows a pretty standard scope and sequence. If you are new to Oak Meadow, don’t forget you can choose to use math at a different level (for example, get the grade seven curriculum, but choose to use the sixth grade math book instead) if you needed to for your child.
Oak Meadow Grade Seven Teacher’s Manual
We’ll get the #1 question out of the way quickly here- yes, I do believe that you need the teachers manual to use Oak Meadow. At least, I feel like *I* need the teachers manual to teach it. The Teacher’s Manual gives me an easy overview of what Bug will be doing each week, without needing to pull out his curriculum books. It includes supplemental information which helps me be able to ask him questions about what he’s learning, and participate in the conversation easily. It gives me additional examples for complicated concepts, so I can work with him if he gets stuck. It also includes the answers for the literature questions and science tests. I rely on my teacher’s manual heavily throughout the year.
Oak Meadow leaves plenty of time for us to get out of the house and explore during the school week. We spent a Friday at the beach, and of course, incorporated lessons into our adventures. What better place to practice scientific observation than at the beach?
If you are still on the fence about Oak Meadow, check out our other reviews:
We’ll be sharing a week in the life with Oak Meadow soon, with even more chances for you to enter to win! Make sure you’re following us on Facebook so you don’t miss a thing!