Tuesday, January 15, 2013

5th Grade Curriculum Review 2012-2013

Rose is a 5th grader this year.  Since she is the oldest, I am starting from scratch with her curriculum every year.  Some things are working great, others not so well.  These and other things, as I often remind her, are the joys of being the oldest.

Here is what she is studying this year, what we have tried and given up and what has worked.

Rose is my most reluctant student, so we start with the biggest challenge, MATH.
This is not a difficult subject for her in theory, but she likes to complain about it, so thus begins the day.  (now that I am writing this, maybe it would be better for her to start with something EASY and FUN,  hmmm. something to think about.)

So we started with Calculadder as a way to brush up on our math facts.  That did not go well.  It is just not fun and since we have a lot of perfectionists, very frustrating.  I just found a great program that has been awesome.  REFLEX Math.  Reflex LogoIt is an online subscription, but so far it has been great for fact work.  Each of the girls do this 15 minutes a day BEFORE their conceptual math.  Check them out here.  www.reflexmath.com.   (More in depth review to be posted later.)

After math facts, Rose does a lesson in Teaching Textbooks Math 5.  This has been a very easy and non-threatening program for my girls. Basically, we love it.  The only thing we do not love is that it works off of cds and on a pc.  I wish it were more portable.  Like for an android tablet.  I have mentioned this to the company many times.  They say they are working on it.  PLEASE!  I hope so!!!

Finally, Rose is also working her way independently through the Life of Fred Elementary Series books.   I love Fred's philosophy on math, but am not quite ready to give up "regular" math.  so we are double dipping.  Since Life of Fred is so much fun and more reading and thinking than doing, I think it is ok.  So far she has made it through the first 5 books.  Apples - Edgewood.  We just ordered more.  See my review here.

We also are trying to use Primary Challenge Math, which I love, but am having trouble fitting into our schedule.  Mostly because it seems we never have a typical week.  it always works on paper, but not in real life.  We will keep trying it, though, because I think the problem solving skills are invaluable.

For religion we are covering a couple subjects.  Many are available on Kindle, so this has worked great for portability and less clutter!
Catechism:  Credo: I Believe from Faith and Life.  

Church History:  A Book of Angels: Stories of Angels in the Bible by Marigold Hunt 
The First Christians: The Acts of the Apostles for Children by Marigold Hunt 

Great Moments in Catholic History by Fr. Edward Curran 

Seasonally: Advent and Christmas: Stories of the Child Jesus from Many Lands by A. Fowler Lutz 

Lent: The Way of the Cross by Inos Biffi 

Scripture: Crusade: The Story of the Bible Retold for Catholic Children (a magazine published in 1955 by the Maryknoll Sisters, currently out of print, so we have acquired most issues used) 

Saints: Heroes of God's Church by Matimore 

So this seems like a lot, but basically she is reading one chapter a week in each subject.

For English study, we are still working our way through Michael Clay Thompson's Island series.  We are almost finished with the first level of Grammar Grammar Island Cover, Poetry, and Vocabulary (Sentence Island, Practice Island, Building Language Building Language Cover and The Music of the Hemispheres Music of the Hemispheres: Student Book Cover).  So far so good, as long as I make it a priority.    We will be moving on to the Town series (level 2) as soon as we finish these.  (Sometime in Term 2)  MCT recently came out with a literature study based on the Mud books.  Now I have to decide whether to read these this year, or just read the choices we have for the level 2 series, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, and Wind in the Willows.  Now these are not just any old version of the classics.  These are highly edited, yet unabridged, so as to draw attention to specific parts, words, vocabulary etc.  I have just taken another look at the Mud series and as all of MCT's works, they seem irresistable.  Ah well, perhaps another purchase is in order.  MCT's website is available here!

Just for good measure, Rose is also working through one lesson a day in Intermediate Language Lessons, the Hillside Edition, by Emma Serl.

In theory, we tried a more formal approach to nature study this year, with Discovering Nature: Mary's Meadow.  Discovering Nature Series: Mary's Meadow Curriculum by Sandi Queen Stories by Juliana Horatia Gatty EwingThis is published by Queen Homeschool.  So far she has made it through 8 lessons, not very thoroughly.  It is intended for use up through junior high, so maybe it is a little advanced.  We will keep trying and see how far we get this year.

For Latin,  I came across this quaint little book for kindle titled:  Getting Started with Latin: Beginning Latin for Homeschoolers and Self-Taught Students of Any Age, by William E. Linney  
Both of my big girls love it and are completing one lesson a day.  It is so great because it introduced latin in small bite sized pieces and was written by a loving uncle who was trying to help his homeschooled nieces and nephews learn latin.    Check it out, there is an extensive online preview that is very informative!

For Spelling, we are still slowly making our way through All About Spelling level 2. 
 Still fine.  Just not always our top priority.

For history, we are using Story of the World 3 and 4 to focus on American History.  We are supplementing with a lot of "living books" for each section, including the American Girl Books and the Little House on the Prairie series.  I found the Catholic textbooks and other avenues for studying history just too cumbersome and often too boring.  Story of the World works for us, especially the audiobooks with Jim Weiss, so we will be sticking with them and supplementing/ skipping chapters as needed.

For Science, we have gone back to Catholic Heritage Curriculum's Behold and See 5.   Rose is not very into science, so a light and easy overview of subjects have been great for her.  We also are using Vintage Remedies for Tweens as a fun extra practical science! 

We are also covering Map Skills Level E by Continental Press, Working with Analogies: Making Connections, Book 2, 
 Ohio State History, and Logic Mind Benders book 4.  

For reading, we are continuing to work through the Catholic National Reader, vol 5 which Rose enjoys and finds easy.  We are also doing reading comprehension with CHC's Stories of the Saints, Vol 1 and King of the Golden City.  

For art,  we are using CHC's Art Masterpieces and Learning to Appreciate Art. We are also still using Artistic Pursuits, Grades K-3, Book 2 Stories of Artists and Their Art for practical art.  This has worked out really well this year as I have gathered all the art supplies together and it is easy to get going on a project!

So this about covers it.  Hmmm.  maybe there is a reason we are not getting everything finished every week.   I know I need to pare down next year,  probably now.  When there is so much good stuff out there it is hard!

1 comment:

  1. I have the same problem, not sure where to stop when there is so much great curriculum out there!
    So thankful for your post!