Charlotte Mason is well known for her work with children involving a dedication to educating for enjoyment and practicality. Children are encouraged to learn without undue stress. Miss Mason spent most of her life educating children, educating teachers, refining and writing about her philosophy of education. Interestingly enough the last book that Charlotte Mason wrote edited and revised some of her earlier writings. This is an obvious progression. As she grew and learned and saw her methods put into practice, she also saw areas that needed improving.
Charlotte Mason's philosophies have impacted all of education as we know it today. The idea that young children should only be taught for lengths of time that they could manage...the philosophy that students should study less intense subjects right after more intense ones...each of these have impacted how we educate today. Yet, greater still was Miss Mason's belief that textbooks were written by a group of people and were "technical" therefore losing some of the passion for the subject matter. She encouraged students to learn from books that come alive when read...often referred to as living books.
These methods can easily be applied to educating 8th graders. Using living books would definitely make learning more enjoyable and attainable. Exploring science through nature studies and experimentation would also bring the 8th grader into a more anticipatory role in their education. If you are interested in the Charlotte Mason style of education, be sure to check it more in depth.