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Our 5th Grade Homeschool Curriculum

We're now two weeks into our school year [1], 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 [2] 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 [3], 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 [4] for each level. Then next year (6th grade) I plan to have her complete Chalk Dust's Basic Math [5] as well as Key to Percents [6] and the first few three or four booklets of Key to Algebra [7] in preparation for Chalk Dust Prealgebra in 7th grade.

History & Science: She still has about half of Journey into Africa [8] to finish since we started the curriculum half-way through last school year. We're also starting History of Science [9] 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 [10]. 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. [11]