Homeschool curriculum for 6th grade

It’s surprising that I have changed my mind on what curriculum to use for this year. The entire ’16-’17  year I had thought I would continue with the same curriculum, just going a year up. Nope.

One that I will be sticking with for sure, I’ve already ordered it (Eeee! Waiting for it to come in the mail ) is Apologia Zoology Swimming Creatures of the 5th day. This is the 3rd year for using this series and it just works for us. The notebook is wonderful to go along with the book. I’ve considered buying the kit but, it’s expensive! I did find a kit on that was half the price. It didn’t include everything for the kit so, I’m still debating on whether it was worth it or not.

It came in the mail as you can see.

This site has videos that we will be integrating into the lessons:  Jonathan Bird’s (I’m so glad I wrote this down! I started this post a bit ago and had totally forgotten about using this site until I read it here again!)

Still a complete fan of Teaching Textbooks I wavered on this one but, in the end, I went with Saxon Math 7/6.  The need for a more intensive work, the drills, the mental math, the repetitiveness was all appealing to me and just what she needs. Might I add, that BOTH of these curriculums were created by Oklahomans. Proud of my home state.

I managed to find a great set of used books from our local homeschool resale shop. The Mommy who consigned them included two sets of the drills, tests and investigations. Good on ya other Mom.


Growing with Grammar by JacKris Publishing will be used again. Level 6. The diagramming is a lot of work but, it keeps her working and revisiting. Nice and thorough.


Instead of All About Spelling, which I still think is fabulous, it will be Soaring with Spelling and Vocabulary. Also by JacKris Publishing. Our vocabulary usually took care of itself with our reading but, I wanted more intensive spelling and vocab for her this year. She can handle it.Having previously done years of phonics at school she has a good foundation for it. Each spelling word is shown in cursive form next to the regular text with a short definition. 16 list words starting with compound words. There are a full 180 days to work with here.

Again, I’m going to use the word intensive here. I’m encouraging her to do more. She’s good at spelling so I feel confident in her abilities with this. Which is why I grabbed a Wordly Wise when it was on sale for extra if needed. Really pushing that spelling and vocab this year, aren’t I? No, not really but, it’s there if we need it.


Writing: Apologia has Jump In. It states that there is enough material for two years of use. This gives me the opportunity to tailor it to our needs. It keeps things fun and light for reluctant writers.


History: All American vs. Mystery of History 2 / Story of the World 2? The winner is MOH 2 and SOTW 2. All American History will get used in 7th or 8th though.  I get into making an Excel Spreadsheet that lays out what to do each day. It includes how to mesh the two books together for corresponding chapters. I reference this website for that:

I want to figure out how to mesh Drive thru History with it also. Working on that. Will let you know about that if it happens. In the mean time, I have found a few Youtube sites that use video clips to go with each lesson for a little fun. Supplement reading will be from the library. MOH has a suggesting extra reading list in the back of the books.


Reading has become one of my favorite subjects for us. These have already been ordered and are ready and waiting with the movie to watch when we finish.

Little Women.

The Outsiders.

The Indian in the Cupboard.

The Borrowers. I also found the other books in the series that she can read when we are done with the first.

Watership Down. This one is typically read in high school but, we can always revisit it more intensely in the future if necessary. There are so many books out there. Our Co-op used Learning Language Arts through Literature-The Gold Book-British Literature- with the boys. I plan to use it for her when we get there also picking up the other two gold books, American Literature and World Literature. My plans, I have them. We will see, won’t we? They sound good at them time. Make us feel organized to have them. Do they work, pan out? Smh.

and Mary Poppins. Love this one.

Back to They have some other kits I am so excited about. We already did the blood test kits (for fun, ha!) over the summer. I thought it was fun. My daughter was tougher than her two older brothers about getting a quick little jab with a needle.

Next, is a bacteria kit. It has NOTHING to do with the science we are learning this year but, it had to happen. I’m sure I can find some way to mesh them. I am, after all, a homeschool mom.

Teaching kids the importance of washing hands and why we wash our hands. This is a good visual for that. My plan is to use some essential oils to test their claims. We’ll use hand sanitizer too but, I’m more interested in finding out about the essential oils.  I’ll be making a copy cat blend of doTerra’s On Guard and Young Living Thieves Blend to use. I’ve offered to allow any friends who want to bring their products with them to try. We shall see!

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Happy Homeschooling.



2016-2017 Curriculum for 5th grade

November 14, 2016

2016-2017 Curriculum for 5th Grade


Getting new curriculum in the mail is way too exciting for me. Is that normal? I think it probably is for most homeschooling moms. It’s like Christmas, almost. Last year taught me a lot and I feel more confident this year. The Cathy Duffy Review pages helped send me in directions of what to look for. We have a local Homeschool Room shop that I went to and found some of my materials. I think all the best moms sit in the floor of these places and dig into the books. 🙂 I’ve provided links to everything I talk about so you are able to put ‘eyes on it’ and do your own inspection of materials and costs.

Here’s what I wound up with:


Apologia Exploring Creation with Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day with the notebook. We used their Astronomy Textbook and Notebook last year and loved it. The notebooks include copy work in print or cursive so, that took care of handwriting for my girl. The textbook we have had for years so, I just ordered the notebooking journal. They have a junior version also and leave their suggestions for what age or grade to use for each quite open so, I had a hard time determining which one. Reading reviews helped a lot on this one. I finally was able to peruse some pages on and chose to go with the older kid version.

(Don’t be too hard on my pictures now)

*Update- We really like going through these sets. I’m keeping my eye out for the Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day for next year. There are three to this set. The last being Land Animals of the Sixth Day.

Mystery of History Volume 1. First time using this but, a friend had one and let me look through hers. I liked it. To go with it I added The Student Bible Atlas and the Historical Atlas of the World.  Now, I also bought The Story of the World. From the reviews they suggested you buy the workbook to go with it but, that just seems too much for us. I did find a chart that will be extremely helpful in having these correspond. As well as a list of other reading materials. MOH says to have a 100 pack of white 3×5 index cards, a 300 pack of assorted colors pack of 3×5 index cards, a binder for them and sewing board for the timeline you will create. Oh yea! On Youtube this homeschool Momma made 4 video lists to go with Volume 1. Most are 2 to 5 minutes long. There’s a few that are around 30 minutes.


*Update-This I will be ordering for next year again. I have my reservations about Story of the World but, for now, I will plan on using it next year also. My reservations stem from it being a worldly point of view. It makes no qualms otherwise, I knew this. My girl needs some US History in there too though so, I’m doing some research on finding a good set of books to include next year. 

Growing with Grammar Level 5. Liking the way this is set up. Scope and sequence is downloadable from their site. You surely don’t have to use theirs but it gives you an idea of what your year will look like. My girl is a lefty so having the spiral at the top of the workbook is quite thoughtful of them. They even mention it on their site. This is the Revised edition. Sadly, I picked up the 1st edition student manual used not realizing there would not be a workbook I could order to go with it. My friend snagged it up and I ordered the 2nd edition. May not be an issue for everyone but, you gotta watch that stuff. Keeps you on your toes. Just as a quick side note: I’ve tried Easy Grammar, not a fan.


*Update- We will be using this next year. The diagramming was a little tough for her but, it’s thorough.

Wordsmith Apprentice. I looked at 3 or 4 different writing programs. The holy grail Writeshop just didn’t seem to fit, maybe in a few years. The comic book theme and newspaper article journalist feel sucked me in here. Let them have fun.



*Update-She has liked this as much as I had hoped.   Growing with Grammar and this made some of the work repetitive for her  I have looked into another writing set for next year: Apologia’s Jumped In and The Lifeguard’s Locker Set. I’ll let you know if this is what I wind up with or not.

English from the Roots Up Volume 1 with flashcards. This excited me. My girl went through phonics classes up to 3rd grade. This is gonna be fun. It’s not a lengthy subject, just a quick run through or spend as much time as you want really. Saved some money on these and got them both used. Here’s a link to one’s Mom’s week by week schedule.


*Update-this takes 5 minutes. So worth it. Getting volume 2 for next year. You could do more in the future with it. I’ll keep the set for this reason.

All About Spelling Level 5. This one seemed to be such a wonderful fit because of the phonics also. She liked the set up and said she could handle the words. Hope it’s not too easy for her but, the break down of the each word is involved and what I wanted for her. If you could start off with this one at the ground floor and go through all of them your kiddo would have a wonderful rounded understanding of English spelling rules. This is the Level 5 materials only. Didn’t think we would need the interactive kit.


*Update-Yep, getting this next year too. The board with all the little letters isn’t necessary unless you just have a hands on kiddo. They have a kit you can buy for this. I made my letters out of index cards and used our train/lego table. It really just got in the way. She just writes on paper instead. 

Teaching Textbooks Math 6. Using the placements test on their website it didn’t take long for me to realize we needed to go up one for my girl. This seems to be common but, I think she would have done fine if we hadn’t. The Math 5 has a lot of multiplication which was really good for us. Drives it home. We started with Abeka 4 last year and she was frustrated. So was I. From my understanding of the way Teaching Textbooks is set up that if you keep with it they will be well rounded. So, don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t cover enough of what you think it should. Her grade at the local private school was in a different place than us during math and I started to get concerned but, was appeased to realize TT covered it thoroughly through the whole course. (I taught a phonics course for one hour a day and she went to her 4th grade class for that time) Since we started with a different math I am having her continue her TT 5 through the summer. I really like this program and they are expensive so, I buy used. They do replace CD’s for $12.00 so, if you find a set that has a scratched one that won’t play, no worries. Talk them down on the price and order a new one. Oh! and if the numbers say they have been used too many times, just call. They will reset them, no charge!


*Update-Yea, for sure. Next year. Totally. Easy choice. 

For reading the plan is to do some unit studies on City of Ember, The Secret Garden, The Chronicles of Narnia, Anne of Green Gables, Little House on the Prairie and whatever else she finds. I’ve found the movies to go along with the books which makes for a great comparison!


*Update- This has been one of my favorites! We started with The Secret Garden.  I suggest skimming through the chapter beforehand to find your vocabulary list to go over with your child. We liked the movie a lot. It isn’t exactly on point with the book but, it is a good adaption of it.

Then, City of Ember. Loved the book. We have the whole set. The movie is nothing like the book. Weird in fact. We were both disappointed! It does really test them in knowing the differences between the book and the movie. She really knew when something wasn’t the same. A quick Pinterest search will bring up plenty of unit studies to go with it. Some free, some for a slight fee.

A Little Princess (Spoiler Alert), we both enjoyed so much! You’ll need to skim through for a vocab list on this one too.

Again, the movie is so different. We got the Double feature of this and The Secret Garden for cheap. The movie adds a ‘story’ that is narrated by the main character of a hindu god and princess then, it changes to have the dad still alive! 

Currently, we are on Little House on the Prairie. I’ll be ordering the first season to watch when we get close to finishing. If she likes it maybe we can order more seasons. There are 9! I remember watching some as a kid.

We take turns reading aloud to each other. There is a big difference in my daughter ability to read aloud from when we started to now. The pausing and use of fluctuation in her voice has improved greatly. 

I added these a few months in. It’s a bit too advanced for her age so, we skim through it lightly. I’ll go through it again in the future. First, with The Fallacy Detective and then, The Thinking Toolbox.

(Getting better at taking pictures, yea? No more fan light glare)

The Fallacy Detective really does well to explain the fallacies and give examples. I just don’t agree with some of the examples it uses. Seems as though they might be putting their opinions in there. That may just be me. I told my daughter when I didn’t agree with their examples and skipped over some that I thought were too adult for her.  I do have Art of Argument but, I really do like the way this one is set up better.

*Update-We have slowed down on The Fallacy Detective. It has gotten to be a bit much for her understanding. We might start over at the beginning and reinforce what we have already learned. I do like them very much still which will make for great lessons in the future. We have not started on the The Thinking Toolbox yet so, I’ll let ya know what I think when we get there.

Alrighty, hope you enjoyed. This year is gonna be great.


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