I have had several people ask what we’re using for each child for the new school year, which began this week. This post will be the first in a series to share that. Please remember that each child and family are different – what works for us may not be right for you, and what works for us now may not work in 4 months. We try to be flexible and adapt as needed.
For reference, Makayla is 9 years old, she’ll be 10 in June, and this is her 5th grade year.
Makayla is on lesson 25 of Math U See Gamma. After the final 5 chapters she will move right into Math U See Delta, which focuses on division.
She is on lesson 7 of level 3 of All About Spelling. She’ll move into level 4 by the end of the year.
Our writing plans for the year are a mix. Much of her writing will be in history and science via notebooking and reports. She will also do some specific writing assignments including poetry. We plan to work through Story Quest from IEW at some point this year. Grammar is done as it relates to her writing, learning to correct her own mistakes and the rules for grammar. A formal grammar curriculum will be used in 7th or 8th grade, but until then it’s just a part of the editing process.
Makayla is a voracious reader and my job is simply to keep enough books in the house for her. I try to introduce new genre and classics occasionally. History also focuses on reading literature set in our time period of study.
This is the one area where I have no plans, and that is on purpose. Science is Makayla’s passion. My job is simply to follow her lead, support her interests, and occasionally introduce her to topics she might not choose on her own. We have all of Apologia’s Elementary Science books, as well as a host of other options, and are willing to find something she needs to pursue an interest. Currently she is working through Exploring Creation with Botany.
Our study this year spans the Middle ages through the Reformation and is a literature based study focusing on reading living books. Makayla writes narrations or notebooking pages about the people, places, and events we study, which will be bound into her own history notebook. Our guide is the Middle Ages, Renaissance, Reformation, & Epistles Handbook from Simply Charlotte Mason.
Makayla takes piano lessons each week. We also listen to the works of one composer at a time for 6 weeks, reading about their lives during that time as well. I’ve only chosen a few composers for the year so far:
- John Williams
Again, a two prong approach. Art history is done through picture study, focusing on one artist’s works for 6 weeks. Artists for this year will include Van Gogh, Degas, and Monet. Drawing this year is going to use Artistic Pursuits Grades 4-6 Book One: The Elements of Art and Composition.
We focus on two foreign languages in our home at the moment. American Sign Language, the ultimate hands-on language, is learned with the help of the Signing Timehttp://www.signingtime.com/ and lots of practice. Spanish is currently being studied with Speekee Spanish DVDs. We also have Mango Languages available to us for free through our library and Makayla may use that for her Spanish studies after Speekee.
This year Makayla will be improving her skills in the kitchen, she hopes to learn to sew, and is practicing infant and childcare on all her siblings. She has yet to decide which she likes more – caring for baby Caleb or corralling her younger siblings to teach them. Both are sweet to watch.
At some point during the year we will have focused health studies using Nutrition 101: Choose Life! from Growing Healthy Homes and Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology.