Curriculum

What we are using for 5th grade this year

This will be my third time to teach fifth grade in homeschool. It is bittersweet that my youngest is starting her last year in elementary school the same year that my middle is going into her last year in middle and my oldest is starting her first year of high school.

We have been using The Good and the Beautiful for English language arts for several years now and will continue next year. I really like how it is laid out, with lessons varying daily and including art lessons and geography along the way. My youngest will be using Level 5 in fifth grade, but note that levels do not exactly correlate to grade level. If you are just starting out with TG&TB, I highly recommend using their website’s assessment to pick the right level for your student. We will also be continuing with TG&TB’s handwriting in level six.

Now, I know what you are thinking. TG&TB is supposed to be an all-in-one curriculum, so why do I also have All About Spelling and WriteShop Jr. pictured? My youngest has always struggled a little with spelling and writing. She still struggles with letter and number reversals (more so with numbers). I suspect she has a degree of dyslexia, so we use what we need to help strengthen her weak areas. We still do the spelling exercise in TG&TB, but also add one lesson per week of All About Spelling with practice, SpellingCity.com, and a spelling test. I have seen huge gains in her spelling by including this into our routine. I have found AAS and TG&TB to mirror and reinforce spelling rules at different times, so it has had a spiral review effect for us. Also, I found that the AAS level tends to be one above the TG&TB level for spelling rules. For example, we are using AAS level 6 with TG&TB level 5, however that is just my opinion. If just starting out with AAS, the company wisely recommends starting at level one no matter the age of the student. From my experience with my two that have struggled with spelling, I whole heartedly agree with their recommendation.

My youngest also tends to come up with great story ideas but quickly loses interest in developing her plot, and tends to struggle with ending stories. In some ways, non-fiction essays are easier for her. The layout in TB&TB for writing informative pieces works well for her as long as we break it up over several days. I suspect she also struggles with ADD as well, so we adjust larger lessons into smaller chunks when possible. WriteShop Jr. was used with my older two before switch to TG&TB, so I decided that creative writing would be an excellent elective for her in fifth grade. WriteShop Jr. has fun, engaging, hands-on lessons that lead to creative story, character and setting development. I think she will enjoy it! WSJ also includes a grammar review packet with each lesson, so again the spiral reinforcement works well with her. We will go ahead and include those grammar activities as well, even though grammar is covered in TG&TB.

For math, we are sticking with Singapore Primary Mathematics, using 5A and 5B this year. After switch to Saxon in seventh grade with my older two daughters, I decided to switch my youngest to Saxon in sixth grade, so this will be her last with Singapore. I think the spiral teaching of Saxon will be beneficial, however the shorter lessons and assignments in Singapore work better for now.

For science, her older two sisters will be doing biology together, so I have planned a year of fun science for just her. I decided to focus on earth science and throw in a little physical science in the end. We are starting with TG&TB’s Water and Our World and then Meteorology. For the spring semester, I planned TG&TB’s Geology unit and Master Books Forces & Motion. All of these curricula involve fun, hands-on activities, however I went ahead and purchased a few extra kits to use such as bubble science, volcanos, geodes, and a weather station.

We will be doing Bible, P.E., and history together. For Bible, I am using two resources that I was able to acquire at no cost, The Story and Be Bold coloring devotionals. The Story has 31 chapters and Be Bold has 31 devotionals. The fact that they line up so perfectly and were provided to us for free just again shows how God is faithful to provide what is needed at the right time.

For P.E., I am using Home School Family Fitness as a guide for a P.E. class I will lead for our local homeschool group this year. For our P.E. classes at home, I am also including lessons on the human body systems using the two books shown.

History will the TG&TB’s Year 3 curriculum. Obviously we have used it two years prior, and have been happy with the scope and sequence. There are days with more reading than others, which can be boring for the girls, but I found that printable time period paper dolls are an excellent way to occupy their hands and keep their minds focused while I read aloud. I also appreciate the game that comes with each year. It is a great way to review and reinforce lessons and history facts from prior years.

So that is the plan for fifth grade for 2021-2022! I will post on what we are using for eighth and ninth grade soon.

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