Curricula 2013-2014 - 5th Grade

Monday, July 29, 2013

I am really looking forward to our new school year in Heart of Dakota. We had such a fun year together last year! It was Aedan's first year home from school last year. I was a little intimidated to do separate guides last year. I'm really glad we combined our school. The boys really had so much fun together. Part of me hates to separate them, but I know that their skill levels really are so different. I am a more confident teacher going into this year, and think running 2 guides at their individual levels is the best choice. I really agonized about where to place both of my boys for this coming year. That is kind of an understatement. I might have driven my husband crazy. I bought all of HOD Preparing thinking I would move Silas forward with Aedan. Aedan learned so much last year, but I really know he needs more of a challenge now going into 5th grade. I chose to skip Preparing and head into Creation to Christ. I'm starting to see a maturity developing in him that I want to nurture. Once I finally made it, I was excited and at peace with my decision. I really look forward to learning alongside him!

The bulk of our studies will be drawn from Heart of Dakota's Creation to Christ. This course covers ancient history from a biblical perspective. We will cover the history from the garden to the birth and resurrection of Christ. This is the CtC Basic package. It includes our history spines, bible study, and geography book. We will study the geography of the holy land, and listen to Diana Waring's audio about this period in history.

This is the CtC history interest set. I love that HOD uses living books to help us connect with the time period we are studying. I have always loved historical fiction. I wish I had been able to learn history this way.

This is the CtC Extensions set. Aedan is just barely within extension reader age. He is a very strong reader, and I think he will really benefit from reading these books. If it becomes too much, I can always drop them.

These are books I have picked up along the way that will enhance our study of the ancients. Each week there is a research topic. These books will be a help in finding information about various topics, or just be read for enjoyment.

CtC has a daily bibly study quiet time built in for students. This is the optional NIV Bible. Aedan is a very visual learner. He has always liked DK type books. He is really excited about being able to use this bible. The instructions during bible quiet time ask the student to highlight the bible passage we are studying. I told Aedan that that was part of the assignment. He was horrified that he would have to mark in his Bible, so I think he'll skip that part :) We will also be memorizing Philippians 2. The audio CD will help with that.

This is CtC's Science Adder set. Last year we added additional science. I don't think it will be necessary this year. Aedan really loves the Apologia science books. I have collected a few, and sometimes see him reading them on his own. I really love the hands on, and living book approach to science that HOD uses. Aedan is such an animal lover. I think he will really enjoy his studies this year.

These are our language arts selections for the year. We did R&S 3 last year. CtC schedules half of R&S 5, and the last half is covered in HOD RtR.  I asked around if it would be a bad idea to skip level 4, and pretty much everyone thought a 5th grader could handle level 5 without having covered the 4th grade book because there is plenty of review. I am giving Write With the Best a shot even though it has mixed reviews. I'm also a fan of the Brave Writer approach to writing, so we'll see how it goes. We will continue with R&S Spelling 5, and HOD dictation level 4. I look forward to our poetry study that will include a watercolor project each week.

We will continue to use HOD's Drawn into the Heart of Reading. This year Aedan will read level 5-6 books. This is most of the level 5/6 Boy Interest Pack with a few substitutions. He will use the level 4/5 DITHOR Student book, and the Grade 4 Book Projects to Send Home book.

Aedan was somewhat behind in math when I brought him home from school last year. We started out in a 4th grade book last year, but then kept hitting walls. I decided to take a break, and work on math facts the last part of the year. I really want to take the time to build his confidence in math. We are giving Christian Light Math a shot this year. We worked through some of the 4th grade light units over the summer, and Aedan admitted that he liked it. That is saying a lot! Working through some of the books through the summer each year should get us back up to speed. The beauty of homeschooling is that we have the opportunity to work at the right level. We will continue reading the Life of Fred math books together. My boys adore Fred, and so do I. They are so worth the money. This year I did score 4 books for 10 each at a used sale, so I was thrilled about that. I sell our homeschool books at the end of the year. The Life of Fred books are the few that I will keep around for grand kids.

I started homeschool thinking I was more of a classical homeschooler. I still hold to many of the classical ideas about education, but love Charlotte Mason even more. Having read a little too much about classical education, I have Latin guilt! I bought English from the Roots Up and Flash Cards used. I also found really great weekly schedule, notebooking pages, and tests that a homeschool mom made to go with the book. I know there are more intensive Latin books, but they would be too much to add to what we're already doing.

These things are just extras. We will be studying the holy land for geography, but these workbooks are easy and fun. I love Pentime cursive as well. We will be writing much of our student notebook pages in cursive, and Aedan still needs a little more practice. If any of this gets to be too much we will drop it as well.


http://blog.discoveryeducation.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2012/04/animationish-boxshot.jpg 
  Aedan is an amazing artist, and loves to do animation. He used to like to work on a free online site called Sketch Star, but they recently shut it down. Animation-ish is a great alternative. Aedan has been saying since he was a child that he wants to be a cartoonist. I want to nurture his love of art, and give him an opportunity to expand his skills. I look forward to sharing some of his animations with you!

I'm so excited to be following a mainly 4 day schedule this year. It will give us more time to get outdoors to do nature study on Fridays. We love The Nature Connection. Most people have no idea where to start with nature study. This is the best book to direct you to find great things to do every month. Our new home is nestled next to a beautiful wooded area. We used to have to drive to do any kind of nature study that was interesting. We often see deer, turkeys, every kind of bird you can imagine, and even a coyote! I'm so thankful that nature study is accessible where we now life. I know you can do it in your backyard, but it is fun being a little off the beaten path to be able to discover even more. We look forward to walks with our nature backpack and art supplies.

I will hopefully get around to sharing our 2nd grade plans for this year. Here's to a great year!

1 comment:

  1. This is a great blog you have going! I am new to HOD... very undecided because of the whole jumping off to the unknown issue. This year we did MFW Culture and Country, this coming yr will be Creation to Greeks... so I figured HOD's CTC would fit in nicely instead, since I really like the fact that HOD is very detailed. My dilemma is that my two are just 2 and 3rd graders (7-8 yr olds) we've already done the American pioneers two yrs ago, and they know too much for any other HOD.. the logical route would be CTC but it's a 5th grade curriculum. Thinking it might be too advanced and the ones lower we've already done. I plan on following your blog for more insight! Thanks!

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