A look at homeschooling fifth grade – with an only child.
I survived the 1st week of 5th grade!
We have many new & different programs this year so I decided we’d work on just a few things at a time, adding in a little more each week until we’re at a full load 3 weeks into the school year. I am SO GLAD that I made that choice. Between all the new programs and our new daily schedule it was an overwhelming week. We didn’t have a ton of work to do but settling into a new routine and finding our sweet spot with each program (how and what to do each day in each subject) takes quite a bit of time.
But I can already see that things are going to go so well this year. I love our morning meeting – it gets our day off to the perfect start and segues perfectly into TJ’s independent time. We’ve already had some great discussions in our morning meeting and during our afternoon studies (it’s a history week for us). Here’s a look at our daily schedule.
- Timelines! It’s one of our new things this year – a timeline book for all the details and timeline figures and a small one on the wall for an overview of the year.
- Notebooking! We’ve done a few lapbooks but never really got into notebooking. But we’re back at the beginning of our history cycle and I thought it would be the perfect time to give it a try.
- Books for morning meeting: During our morning time together we are reading our Bibles, discussing Scriptures, reading poetry, and lots of good stuff. In our pile this week: Grandpa’s Box and Tales from Shakespeare.
- (5&6) Studying history with the Old Testament: We’re beginning our history studies with the book of Genesis and using the Old Testament Activity Pak from Homeschool in the Woods. Love!
Thanksgiving in Canada
More sniffles and sneezing this week – Nick and I caught TJ’s cold. On top of that I woke up with a horrible headache one morning. Thankfully Nick was available to step in – he covered the basics with TJ while I took some Tylenol and went back to bed. The rest of the week went well though I’ll be happy when we’re all fully recovered!
It’s Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada so ‘Happy Thanksgiving’ to all my Canadian friends. I’m not sure yet if we’re taking the week off next week (well, Monday is off for sure!) since we’re heading to Florida in a month. I’m leaning towards taking the days off (we all need a break!).
- Working on Megawords – we’re using it as a vocabulary program (and to solidify spelling rules).
- Tourtière for dinner – this has got to be one of my favorite Quebec dishes!
- It’s an interest-led week here – which means we spent time reading literature selections (The Magician’s Nephew) and she spends 1 hour each day on the subject of her choice. She wanted to study Frozen so we read The Snow Queen, books about Hans Christian Andersen, and learned about Norway. It was a pretty fun week!
- Spelling lesson – she’s giggling because I kept trying to take her picture and she kept making faces.
- Working on possessive pronouns with Treasured Conversations – the grammar review and copywork is just perfect.
Almost time for Christmas break
We successfully completed the first week of our third term. One more week until Christmas break!
Things are moving right along, no major snags. Some days she’s diligent in her independent work and finishes quickly. Other days she’s still sitting there while I’m cooking dinner. Ah, the joys of a slow mover.
In other news, I finally entered modern society and got a cell phone (and joined Instagram!).
1. TJ is guinea pig sitting for friends this week. According to her, homeschooling is much more fun when you’re snuggling a little fur ball.
2. Working on some tricky/trouble words in spelling. We’re taking 5 words that TJ struggles with each week and working on spelling strategies. Love All About Spelling!
3. It’s a history week. This term we’re beginning our journey into ancient Greece with Crete and Mycenae.
4. A little trouble with fractions. TJ is having a few struggles with fractions. She didn’t tell me and I’d been slacking on checking into the gradebook on Teaching Textbooks so I didn’t catch the issue until this week. So we spent some extra time going over the things she was struggling with. Note to self – keep an eye on the gradebook.
5. Working on translating Latin verbs. TJ likes to work on the whiteboard and she’s created her own system for quickly translating the various endings. Slowing down has given us more time to work in more practice.
It’s snowy and cold here so we’ve been spending most of our time indoors – school, movie nights, read alouds – it’s been nice and cozy. Thankfully, cabin fever hasn’t set in yet.
We’re wrapping up our 19th week of 5th grade – past the halfway mark, yay!
1. Coloring while we finish up reading aloud Black Ships Before Troy – two more weeks of studying ancient Greece and then we’ll move on to ancient Rome and the early Church.
2. We’re taking a little break from Teaching Textbooks for a bit – TJ needs more time to cement her fractions (multiplication and division) so we’re using Horizons for awhile.
3. TJ is enjoying her new history book – Pages of History from Veritas Press.
4. Working on some finger knitting – making headbands and ear warmers (I love our multicolor yarn so I have about 4 skeins of it to use up!).
5. Learning some spelling rules for -ence and -ance words – and reading from a few word lists in All About Spelling.
Spring is on the way
We had more snow this week! (Gotta love living in Canada…) Thankfully it melted quickly and we’re slowly seeing some of the larger snow piles melt away. Our driveway is still icy because it’s on the north side of our house but it’s just about time to pull out the rain boots.
I’ve just about finished ordering almost all our school books for sixth grade – just a few odds and ends and other items left to pick up throughout the spring and summer. The next big job is to tackle the bookshelves and start clearing out old books and bringing in the new.
We have a relaxing 4-day weekend ahead of us – no school today or Monday and Nick is off too so we’ll be going to church, visiting with friends and relaxing together. I’m really looking forward to some nice quiet family time.
1. Working on summarizing with Writing & Rhetoric Narrative II – we are in love with this series (especially this book) – it is just an all-around wonderful writing program.
2. Playing the DragonBox Algebra app – I can’t recommend this highly enough. It teaches algebra in such a simple way that kids just naturally understand (and this math-phobic mom does too).
3. Reading about Rome – we’re studying ancient Rome right now and TJ is looking through her favorite books in the You Wouldn’t Want to… series about Rome.
4. Checking her spelling work – she’s getting more independent all the time. Now I just have to read the words for her weekly spelling test, she checks them to see how she did, and corrects any mistakes.
5. Using the thesaurus to find interesting words – another bonus to using Writing & Rhetoric – learning to use the dictionary and thesaurus to craft well-written sentences.
Wrapping up homeschooling fifth grade
Back home and getting back on track… I looked through our books and we are on schedule to finish within the next few weeks – we’re in the last few lessons and sections in most of our books. Our minds really aren’t on schoolwork, but I’m keeping it to the basics and we’re working our way through.
1. We’re working on words that end in ‘gue’ and ‘que’ in All About Spelling this week. Just a few more lessons to go and we’re done.
2. A Moose! We had to stop on our drive home from Maine last week and wait for him to get out of the road. He had 2 friends down in the woods beside the road but we didn’t see them until we started slowly inching by this fella.
3. Finishing up unit 9 in Rod & Staff English. We still have one more unit to go after this.
4. Crazy kids in the pool. It’s too cold for me still, but they were willing to jump in. I totally forgot to put sunscreen on them so they are a bit red today.