Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Grace ~ 5th Grade

   Grace keeps me on my toes. She's a delightful almost tween, very caring, shares without thought for herself, loves learning, and has a mind that's always busy. She was the youngest of all six kids to give up naps, I firmly believe it's because of that mind that's always trying to sort out something.

   At three years old she did kindergarten work over Honor's shoulder, whispering his answers to herself. Many swore a fluently reading three year old must have been pushed. The only pushing I did was to push her head out of the way so Honor could see his own book. I've been trying valiantly to keep up with her ever since. ;)

   Here's the plan for her fifth grade year.


  •  Grammar: Rod and Staff English 6, almost all orally, two lessons twice a week
  •  Spelling: Spelling by Sound and Structure 5-6
  •  Literature: homegrown collection of classics and anthologies, with a touch of Figuratively Speaking (list at the end of this post)
  • Writing: I *had* this one settled. She was going to use the remaining half of the vintage text she started in fourth grade. She waited until the day I asked her to finalize this plan with me before I started lesson planning. "Please can we do a different writing book?"
        I'd heard Portraits of American Girlhood had gobs of writing in it. After a sturdy browsing I'm not planning on depending on it for writing. She's on the upper end of the grade range, and wouldn't be using it if it weren't for strong interest and lots of modifications. We'll just roll the worthwhile writing projects into the unit study type activities.
        I've looked at way too many writing curricula options this week. Nothing has jumped out as a great match for her. I mentioned rotating through a handful of different approaches and her while face lit up before she yelped, "Yes-yes-yes-yes-yes-yes!!!" For now the plan is to work through these in project or unit bites, mixing them up.
    • The Creative Writer level 1 by Fishman (written for 1x/week, we'd just do all the fiction in one unit, and all the poetry in another)
    • Sentence Composing for Middle School by Killgallon (won't last a month if worked on daily, but she does enjoy them)
    • STEM to Story by 826 National (12 writing projects of various lengths)
    • couple/few units from Cover Story she didn't do last year
    • and that's still not enough for a whole school year... hm... ? Possibly another Writing & Rhetoric book


  • Spanish for Children A
  • Duolingo
  • watching movies with the language turned to Spanish with Spanish subtitles
  • Spanish picture books, and occasional paragraphs of Harry Pottery la piedra filosofal on the white board   


  • Prealgebra from Art of Problem Solving
  • Alcumus
  • Math Olympiad team (selective team, all homeschooled kids) 

American History and Geography

  • homegrown American Girl based unit study, using Portraits of American Girlhood for the girls it covers, and including the rest of the historical girls with whatever ideas I scrounge up
    • Portraits of American Girlhood
    • Welcome to ____'s World set
    • whatever theater kits, cookbooks, craft books, and paper dolls I could find at thrift shops and used bookstores
    • turning a 2' x 3' corkboard into a flannel board to put the paper dolls on
    • plenty of extra history books and random books for science rabbit trails
  • Draw Around the World: United States (Brookdale Press); Eat Your Way Around the USA, mail order travel guides from all the states (well, except for 2, Mass. was download only, and WA charged for theirs)


  •  Guesthollow chemistry schedule
        We dropped the more elementary books and added Cartoon Guide to Chemistry, a Glencoe chemistry textbook (short, about 150 pages), Chemistry 101 dvds, and some extra reading like Itch, The Radioactive Boy Scout, What Einstein Told His Cook, parts of Joy of Chemistry, The Periodic Kingdom, and such, parts of Chemistry in the Community textbook may work their way in


        The Blue Fairy Book by Andrew Lang
        Tales From Shakespeare by Lamb
        Journeys Through Bookland volumes 3 & 4
        Little Men
        Anne of Avonlea
        King Arthur by Roger Lancelyn Green
        Robin Hood by Pyle
        The Book of Dragons by Nesbit
        Peter Pan
        Swiss Family Robinson
        A Wonder Book for Boys and Girls (Hawthorne)
        One Thousand and One Arabian Nights (McCaughrean)
        Questing Knights of the Faerie Queen (McCaughrean)
        Alice in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass
        A Christmas Carol


  • Art of Argument, not starting until second semester, or even over next summer


  • 3-4 chapters in an ESV daily
  • Victor Journey Through the Bible
  • Training Hearts Teaching Minds (catechism)

**** Mid-year notes added March 2016 ****
English - 
  • She did great with the Rod &Staff English lessons, but got to the point she wanted to be able to do it on her own, and Honor's grammar workbook was appealing to her. She started Junior Analytical Grammar in January or so, and we'll drop grammar for the year after that's done. (JAG is only 11 weeks)
  • Spelling didn't go as quickly as she anticipated, and it'll probably just be dropped when she finishes the 5 book. This is her only academic nemesis. She's a big picture kid and spelling is little picture.
  • Lit - Fabulous.
  • Writing - We're definitely onto something with the various writing books. This has suited her better than just working through one book ever has. Next week we're going to wiggle Art of Argument in here somehow.  (Never got to the Cover Story units; probably more of this next year. Writing and Rhetoric was added.)
 Spanish - Perfect fit!

Math - She has a love/hate relationship with that Art of Problem Solving book. We ended up doing such a mishmash of math, that in January I started running her and Honor through Horizons prealg just to make sure there weren't any glaring holes. She's happy as a clam with that book. 

American History - We've had such a great time with this!! I read aloud the American Girl books to both girls, Grace gets extra reading assignments daily, and they do as many unit study type activities as we can stand. Two hearty thumbs up. I'm so glad I jumped into this regardless of how easy the AG books seemed.

American Geography - Oh. That. Grace did do the drawing around the USA book and really, really enjoys it. She's thrilled with the whole concept, and we may do McHenry's drawing geography book next year to keep this going. The rest of the US Geography stuff never got touched. It's still sitting there, all collected and printed out, collecting dust. I really ought to find a young homeschooling family to just give the whole load to.

Chemistry - This was probably her personal favorite this year. She loved the schedule of different books, the online activities, the videos, the Chemistry 101 videos we added, just all of it.

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