We're now two weeks into our school year, and I'm happy to say I've finally figured out what curriculum my 5th grader is doing. Here's a rundown of what she'll be finishing up the rest of the year.
Language Arts: We are using the Level 2 Language Arts program by Michael Clay Thompson which includes Grammar Town, Paragraph Town, Practice Town, Caesar's English 1, and Building Poems by Michael Clay Thompson. (My 10th grader is also using some of the components of MCT's Level 4 program.) Joely will be reading Alice in Wonderland, The Wind in the Willows, and Peter Pan this year using the reading guide also published by Michael Clay Thompson. So far we're pleased with this curriculum, especially the poems book. The curriculum is not worksheet-based at all, so we spend the vast majority of our time just reading and discussing things together. She'll also be doing additional independent reading.
Math: Joely will be finishing Singapore Primary Math 5B, and based on how much she finished last school year, she'll probably get all the way through 6B by the end of this year. In addition to the core textbook and workbook for each level of Singapore, we also do the Challenging Word Problems for each level. Then next year (6th grade) I plan to have her complete Chalk Dust's Basic Math as well as Key to Percents and the first few three or four booklets of Key to Algebra in preparation for Chalk Dust Prealgebra in 7th grade.
History & Science: She still has about half of Journey into Africa to finish since we started the curriculum half-way through last school year. We're also starting History of Science from Beautiful Feet which is a combination history and science curriculum. Last year she eagerly made it through three of the Christian Kids Explore textbooks (Physics, Chemistry, and Earth & Space), so we're taking a totally different approach this year—a bit more laid back.
Spanish: We're going to try something that we've never done before and have a group of families get together for a couple of subjects. One of these is Spanish (the other is Logic for my 8th grader). And actually, we even have a Spanish major from our local college—who also happens to be our pastor's daughter—lined up to teach the class once a week to Joely and two other kids the same age. I found a Spanish curriculum published by All Bilingual Press that I'm very excited about called Español Para Chicos y Grandes. It's very interactive and includes a couple of cd's to help with the exercises and pronunciation.
We also dusted off our old Rosetta Stone Spanish software and Joely's been working with that in preparation for the other Spanish class to begin.
Physical Education: Joely will continue to take judo and tumbling classes once a week.
Music: She'll continue taking drum lessons.
Art: Joely would like to work on her drawing skills, so we're going to do some informal drawing lessons using some of the books we have in our own library as well as DrawSpace.com.
Have you tried Art Class from See the Light Shine for your daughter who likes to draw? That's what I'm going to use with my girls this year who like to draw for half a year and then do a quarter of photography.
How do you feel about the Singapore math program as a curriculum choice when the parent is weak in math ?? Math is and always was my weakest subject and frankly teaching with Singapore (although I have read very good reveiws ) scares the heck out of me. Currently my child in Grade 1 will be using Horizons math and Math Mammoth and my child going into Grade 4 will be using Teaching Textbooks and Math Mammoth. I went with TT because it is visual (which works for him) and the lectures make it very helpful and far less intimidating for me. Not sure if I could pull off using the Singapore math for my oldest ??!!
Joy @ Five J's says
SingaporeMath and Sonlight both have very helpful homeschool teacher manuals that give you step-by-step help in how to teach each lesson. If you are comfortable following instructions like that, I think that Singapore is totally doable if you're weak in math. In fact, you might find that you aren't weak in math after you finish teaching Singapore.
@Joy @ Five J's,
Thanks for the advice Joy ! That really is another benefit of homeschooling isn't it- you really do get to learn alongside your kids ! 😉
Butting in here a year later…I used Singapore this year with my 2nd graders and let me tell you I loved it!! I wish when I was teaching in a classroom we had used these books; I think my students would have understood and mastered concepts faster and with greater ease.