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Welcome to our fifth year of homeschooling my youngest son. For the first time in a long time, I feel completely confident in my homeschool curriculum choices for this year and I seriously doubt we will be changing anything. (If you follow my blog, you might know that I do have one more son that is just now finishing up his homeschool. He only has some literature, an elective, and half a math course before he is finished so I am not covering his coursework.)
Ahhh…fifth grade. A year you can allow more independence in your homeschool. And I forgot the joys of homeschooling only one. I actually have time to focus on some new hobbies of my own now. Although I will say that I am so excited by our curriculum choices this year that I am involved much more than I need to be, only because I love our choices!
We are very excited with brand new curriculum for our language arts program this year. Apologia has released Readers in Residence (read my review) and Writers in Residence (read my review). We have been using both and I love them. My son has learned so much already although he still insists he doesn’t like to write. I’ll give it a few more weeks before he admits it but I do see him being more descriptive when he’s not even doing an assignment. I think it’s more the physical act of writing that he doesn’t like because he loves to type everything out on the computer but for school, I’m making him do it in the workbook. I’m teaching spelling more organically. As I see problems, we are addressing them but I think more natural spelling will happen with more quality reading and writing.
After trying several different programs, I have returned to Teaching Textbooks. I started using Teaching Textbooks many years ago for Pre-Algebra and up for my older kids, but had never used it for the lower grades. My son mostly just uses the CDs but has the workbook for when he needs to show his work or if we are carschooling. I love that as soon as he wakes up, he immediately goes to the computer and does his math assignments. I don’t even have to ask. He is doing wonderful with it too and we couldn’t be happier.
We are revisiting Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology. We actually did this program earlier but I think it is worth repeating for him. Our long term plan will be to cover General Science in 7th and Physical Science in 8th and then move on to the high school levels. My tentative plan for next year is to maybe use the Astronomy book. When we did this program earlier, I just brushed over the highlights for Jeremiah because he was so young. I know he will glean more from it now and he enjoys learning about the body.
Well, due to moving this past year, I couldn’t find our textbook, so plans have changed. Don’t you just love the flexibility of homeschooling? I figured after a week and a half of history working out so well, I would incorporate the same idea for science. We are mostly focusing on experiments since this is already a book heavy year. Lucky for me, I do know where two totes full of science kits are in our storage! I also have another shelf of science related books but I’m cataloging them now so it’s disorganized. (What’s your best way to catalog your homeschool library so you don’t make repeat purchases? I’m trying out a new app but the free version only allows 100 books.)
I have a high school plan and then I am working backwards. I think this works well for me because I’ve already graduated four and I have been teaching high school for more than a decade! I know what my long term plans are so I am filling out the next couple of years until that starts. I have decided to do US History again this year. We’re doing it differently this time around. I am not using a textbook but we are reading living books and I am incorporating videos. We have a timeline and will add to it as we go through time. I made a rough sketch of historical highlights (events and people) that I want him to know about and then put all of that in chronological order. The librarian here will know us by name very soon! I don’t really have a schedule for this and if it takes another year to work through that will be okay. At some point in all of this, we will do some state history too. We did Florida history when we lived there and now we are in Georgia. I’m going to wait though until next semester at least because we might be moving again and I don’t want to have to do state history yet again if we move to another state. I think all of this reading is also really helping him with his language arts curriculum because he is getting so much more exposure to good writing.
If you want more details of what we use as we study history and science this year, be sure to subscribe to the blog and follow me on Pinterest. I will be sharing some great books this year. I’d love to know what you are using this year so please leave me a comment. Have a happy, fun, and successful homeschool year!
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