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Monday, August 5, 2013

5th Grade Plan

First of all, where in the world did I get a fifth grader?? I can't even imagine how either of us are that old. I used to teach first grade, and the fifth graders seemed huge! And now I have one?!

Alas, I have a fifth grader, and it's almost time to start school.

I started re-reading the Well Trained Mind (WTM) back in March. He's moving out of the grammar stage and into the logic stage, so I wanted to be sure I knew where we were headed for the next few years.

Reading: He's going to be working from two different lists from within WTM. One is a list of books he will be reading on his own, including The Door in the Wall, I, Juan de Paraja, Adam of the Road, Robin Hood, and the King Arthur stories. We will also be working on some books together, including Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Dante's Inferno, and maybe dabble in Shakespeare at the end of the year. That's not an exhaustive list, but it does include some of the books we will be using.

Writing: We're going to try Institute in Excellence's Medievel History-Based Writing Lessons as well as Wordsmith Apprentice. Curly is a great writer with strong skills and an advanced vocabulary. I need something that will teach him how to clean it up and help him organize his many thoughts.

He really, really wanted to use this book, so I guess we'll throw it in every now and then.

Grammar: Rod and Staff's Building Christian English book 6. He's a year ahead in grammar because he loves it so much. This program is extremely thorough and advanced. It's perfect for him.
We're a little bit nerdy around here. We like diagramming sentences.

Vocabulary: Vocab from Classical Roots book 6.

Math: Math is my nemesis. I am still undecided. We have been using Singapore, which I mostly like. I have Calvert for this year, which I don't feel is up to the same level as Singapore. You can read more about that here. But I am excited about our supplemental math materials. We'll play games, of course, but we're also going to use Challenge Math and Life of Fred. A friend also sent me a link to this Pet Shop consumer math program that looks like a lot of fun.

Science: The topic this year is biology. We are not using a set curriculum or textbook for this. We are going to start the year by studying animals. We will read, explore, dissect, diagram, research, etc., a variety of animals. Later in the year, we will do a study of the human body and then move on to plant life. We are going to learn the scientific method, conduct experiments, and complete lab reports.
I've been trying to build up some reference materials for this year. These are some we will use for science.

History: We are on cycle 2 of the Story of the World, but we won't actually be using SOTW this year. I have a friend who is a former history major. She sat down (and had a good time doing it!) and wrote a plan for me! I am super excited. I don't know about half the things on her detailed timeline or list of topics, but I love that it's all written out for me. I told her she should go into business!

Some of the "fun" to go with our history studies. We're going to do lots of timelines, maps, and projects.
Latin: Curly is going to take a Latin class at the Lancaster Center for Classical Studies two mornings per week. The instructors are PhDs in Latin and Greek. I am very excited about this class.

French: We began studying French last year when I determined that I wasn't going to be able to teach him Latin. We're going to start out with this book. I'm not in love with it, but I haven't yet found something that I am in love with.
Logic: Last year we started studying logic. He went through books 3-6 last year, so we will begin with book 7 this year.

 Bible: We haven't officially studied the Bible together. I think we are going to use this blog I found as a reference: Bible Road Trip, plus these materials, to do something a little more in depth this year.

Health: We're going to try an official health book this year. We've never formally done health before, so I sort of wanted to check it out.

Art: We're going to study works of art and artists from the time period we are studying.  We are going to begin the year with practicing drawing skills (which none of us are remotely talented at), and then later in the year we will move on to sculpting and painting.

Music: We'll have piano lessons. I was hoping to get some other instrument lessons at the public school, but it doesn't look like that's going to work out.

Beyond that, it's extra-curricular activities. Swimming, scouts, Bible quiz team, Awana, a play, maybe.

I think we're going to be busy. What do you think?


  1. Looks good! I just realized I have two in logic stage this year (5th and 7th) and I really should reread that section in TWTM! It's been awhile and that book is always a good one to go back to.

    1. Thanks, Cellista! That book has been such a great guide. Good luck with two in the logic stage! Do you have anything you highly recommend?

  2. Looks great! We just finished up 5th grade and I wish I had read WTM before my daughter started 5th grade. We switched over halfway through to more classical studies.

    We are doing Biology this year too (a little bit behind the normal schedule).

    I hope you have a great year.

  3. Thanks, Christy! We're a little behind on the science schedule, too. It's hard with multiple children to have them all in the "right" place. Hope you are enjoying the classical approach!