This year our “official” grade levels are 5th & 7th, but our actual academic levels are all over the place. That is one of the joys of being a homeschooler.
For the most part, we use the same curriculum and I adapt it to meet the kiddo’s needs. Exceptions are made in ELA and Math.
Middle school starts in some areas at 5th and some at 6th. We have a mix in our own district. For the most part, we will be describing our middle school curriculum plans (although the 5th grader might technically be upper elementary).
If you want to know how I plan and organize our homeschool year, check out my planning post by clicking here.
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English Language Arts (ELA)
All About Reading Level 4.
We have gone through the other levels slowly. One of my kids has dyslexia, but these have really worked for him. We have used All About Reading from the pre-reading level up.
We continue to work on fluency with my dyslexic kiddo. He is not happy about it, but it is necessary.
We switched to sequential spelling last spring. I love All About Spelling, but it just wasn’t clicking for them. We kept getting to the same point and they would hit a wall. We are taking a break from All About Spelling and using Sequential Spelling for now. Typically extrinsic lessons are necessary for dyslexic kiddos, but I will review a spelling pattern when we get a new word list. That is working right now.
This is a vocabulary book. This was left over work from a couple of years ago, but it lets them gain confidence in their vocabulary and practice writing answers and critical thinking. This is especially important for my 5th grader who is a fast reader but can struggle in comprehension.
Writers in Residence
This is the writing curriculum that fits this season of our lives. I have tried several out, but this one has explicit instruction and works in very small steps to build skill and confidence. There is a good mix of sentence structure/ grammar and composition without feeling meaningless. You can read my full review here.
I will be using extension activities for these books from some of my favorite bloggers and resource creators.
- A Wrinkle in Time
- Esperenza Rising
- The Incredible Journey
- Bud, Not Buddy
- Mr. Popper’s Penguins
Variety of Historical Novels for Tutorial:
- Mara, Daughter of the Nile
- The Children’s Homer
- The Roman Ransom
- Detectives in Togas
We go to a weekly tutorial that covers literature and social studies. This year we are covering ancient history through the Renaissance. I will be using Story of the World and Project Passport for teaching at home.
We are continuing with RightStart Math and supplementing with CTC math. We have used other programs, but RightStart clicks with me and my kids. It is teacher intensive so if you are looking for something that the kids can do without you, this isn’t the curriculum.
I am using my own curriculum this year, The Lab Bench is our spine and supplemental materials from The Science Circle. This is an integrated science approach, which means that we talk about all the different types of science (there is a lot of overlap) rather than just astronomy for instance.
I will also be supplementing with materials from other resource creators.
Both my homeschool kids have started band this fall. We attend PE 1-2 times a week. They are both on soccer teams (fall and spring)
The resources I have used and loved over the years are diverse.
Getting and Staying Organized
My favorite resource that has simply saved our homeschool is the Ultimate Guide to Homeschool Organization. I can’t say enough about the difference that this has made in the overall attitude in our homeschool and the amount of work that gets done each week. I no longer feel like I am spinning my wheels and the kids have clear expectations. You can get some specific planning tips and review of this course by clicking here.
Last Minute Resources
I can’t tell you how many times I have jumped on TPT to grab a quick resource (although I will admit that clipart and fonts are my new obsession). Just make sure that you aren’t investing too much money on a single purchase.
Keep in mind that most of these resources are developed with teachers in mind that will use it over and over. Your single use or possible 2-3 times is probably not going to get the same return on investment. Check out my post on choosing resources.
A computer AND printer
I really admire homeschoolers that can do it without a printer. While I am currently working on learning more about paperless classrooms and my hubs would be ecstatic, I couldn’t live without my printers. I have two. I use a black and white laser printer and a color inkjet.
A Support System: Coffee, Chocolate, and Good Friend
I need to be honest here. There are good days and bad days homeschooling. The stress of being both the parent and the teacher can be hard. Get a friend to vent to and don’t ever forget that chocolate and coffee make life better ;-). Self-care is essential in this busy crazy world.
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