I can’t believe we are heading into our 6th year of homeschooling! I’ll have a 5th grader and 2nd grader this coming school year. This year I really involved my girls in the planning process and they had so much fun letting me know what they want AND what they don’t want. More art? More music? A certain sport? History or science topic? A handicraft? My rising 5th grader wants more art, theater classes, and writing projects. Here’s a look at what we have planned for our core 5th grade homeschool curriculum choices.
Homeschool History Curriculum
Bookshark came around about the time we started homeschooling and we’ve been fans since day one. However, I will admit that I was really nervous about her 4th grade year. She did level 3 and it was the first year that all of the readers and read aloud books tied in with the history lessons. To be honest, it seemed like overkill to me but she never hinted that she was felt the same. Now that we’ve completed the level, I can say that we absolutely loved it! Time and time again I’ve heard people rave about this level and I have to agree. Not once during the year did we get tired of the books. So, we are moving onto level 4 for her 5th grade year. This is the 2nd half of American history. It really provides a detailed picture of history to learn about it from so many different angles.
I was also skeptical about the lap book last year but we really enjoyed it. It is very well done with quality supplies and clear instructions. My previous attempts at lap books failed miserably but this one was a hit. So, she will be doing the level 4 lap book this year.
Related Post: Homeschool History Extras You Don’t Want to Skip
Homeschool Science Curriculum
We’re also sticking with Bookshark for her science. She’ll be doing level 4 and I am SUPER excited about this level because I get a new toy! Yep, momma’s getting a microscope! It’s an optional add-on for this level 4. You can do the science lessons without it by using the pictures in the books but I can’t turn down the opportunity to get my hands on a microscope. I’ll be using it to hunt for beneficial microbes in the compost I make.
Language Arts Curriculum
This is going to be a focus this year. Structured writing projects have been a struggle with my oldest so I was surprised when she asked for more for this year. She loves to create her own projects but she rarely finishes them. She has piles of surveys, quizzes, lists, brainstorms for books to write, poems and research notes. She’s been writing alright but not many structured assignments. She didn’t fight me on the few I suggested so I’m going to continue to introduce them from Partnership in Writing from Brave Writer while still encouraging her to do her own thing.
Last year we started grammar with Fix it! Grammar from IEW. This was her first structured grammar curriculum and she did really well with it. By the end of the year she was breezing through the review lessons. It’s usually recommended to start this in 3rd grade, but we held off for a year. I bought the next two levels of Fit it! Grammar in hopes that we can accomplish both of them for 5th grade.
This is the last year she’ll be doing formal spelling lessons with All About Spelling! She ended 4th grade half way through level 6 so it’ll be easy to complete All About Spelling level 7 this year. We have really enjoyed our time with this program. This has the hand-holding that I needed when first starting to homeschool 5 years ago. Now as an experienced homeschooler, I love that I don’t have to put much energy into planning this subject. It’s really helpful to have a few of those subjects to balance out other prep intense programs.
She’ll still work on spelling through writing projects, copywork, and dictation that we do with Brave Writer Arrows. Many of the Bookshark history chapter books have Arrow or Boomerang study guides. I love being able to use the same books for history AND language arts.
We use Singapore Primary Mathematics but I’m adding in a lot of extras this year to, hopefully, make math more meaningful. She does best when she has lots of review in many different forms. It takes some time for new concepts to sink so I’m hoping this approach will help her. I have two new approaches that we’re going to try this year.
From Royal Fireworks Press, we’ll be using Educational Play: Math Games and Activities for Your Child, Logic-Math Exercises for Young Children, More Logic-Math Exercises for Young Children, and Logic-Math Exercises for Elementary-Aged Children. These start out too young for her but my goal is for these to be fun confidence builders. I’ll also be incorporating math games and puzzles each week.
We’re also using Thinkster Math program which is a cross between a computer based math tutor program and a regular “in-person” tutor. We’ve had issues with online tutor programs for several reasons that could’ve been resolved if only there was a real person on the other side of the computer! Well, we finally found a program that has a real person involved in the process. What a difference it makes! Her tutor creates a lesson plan and tweaks it based on what she sees are trouble areas. My daughter completes the assignments on her own time and meets with her tutor online each week for a one-on-one session. I wish we would have found this program earlier! It’s already made a big difference in the few weeks she’s been using it. I’m excited to see where she’ll be in a few months!
Related post – Thinkster Math Program Review
All the Extras!
We tried to jump in with a foreign language last year but the girls took forever to decide which one and then they changed their minds. I really want to introduce one foreign language in elementary school and another in high school. Since this is my oldest’s 5th grade year, it now becomes a priority for her. Luckily, they both eagerly decided on Mandarin Chinese. My husband had to learn a bit of it for work a few years ago so we have the Rosetta Stone CDs and our local library offers the software for free on their website!
Her biggest request is wanting to do more art this year. We’ll be using Chalk Pastel for structured lessons and perhaps a few other videos I find online. She already has a stack of drawing type books including Drawing Animals, How to Draw Fairies and Mermaids, and Step-By-Step Drawing People. I’m going to add these to our morning basket time so that she has time set aside to dive into them. I also found a few local art classes that we’ll check out.
Whew! That about does it for our 5th grade homeschool curriculum choices for this year…or at least the main components! I’m sure we’ll add a few things here and there as always. I’m looking forward to a year of great books and fun projects. What are you favorite resources for this age?
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