We've used Rod & Staff, Schoolaid, and a bit of Christian Light Education(Learning to Read) as our core curriculum since Kindergarten. They are very close in content to early to mid-20th century school books, and that appealed to us. They are also bargain priced and efficient(basics) without any frills. We've filled in learning with some great online resources, using free helps and public domain books and texts. In the eighth and last year of Rod & Staff schooling, my son is more than ready(antsy, really) to spread his wings and learn less formally. We are already looking ahead to the next school year, and this year we dropped the Rod & Staff eighth grade reading curriculum in favor of independent reading(with summaries and a vocabulary list) this year.
Next school year, we will be using only one prepared curriculum, and that will be Christian Light Education Math(Rod & Staff ends at grade eight); the rest we'll get from free online resources and the library. There are stacks and stacks of history and science books* at the library, more than enough to choose from for reading, books reports, and vocabulary lists. We go to the library every week, and I already have a section and titles in mind.
Rod and Staff English is advanced, so my son will be well versed in the formal rules of English at the end of this school year. He will be ready to focus on reading and writing. I remember reading only classics for ninth grade English, and writing report after report on them. I really learned to write and comprehend well that year, and the best part was that I was able to choose which classics to read. I chose mostly romantic classics written by Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, E. M. Forester, and Edith Wharton. We did nothing else but read, write, and keep vocabulary lists. It was a small overseas private school, so the teacher was able to get away with this. It is my best remembered and was my most enjoyable year of schooling. I'm planning to open up this possibility to my son as well - the ability to choose favorite classics or quality literature to spend the year with.
I'll be sharing these teen resources and our books here on my blog. Finishing up eighth grade will feel a bit like finishing up second grade, where you move from learning to read to reading to learn. It's like taking the training wheels off, and moving into the adult realm. How fast they grow, and what precious time we've spent learning together as a family. I love homeschooling!
*We'll begin Apologia science in the tenth grade.