Choosing the Right Homeschool Curricula: What We Chose for Our 5th Grader & One Month Review.

Detailing our curriculum choices for our 5th grader, and what we think after one month.

One of the many blessings of homeschool is freedom. Freedom to choose our curriculum, freedom to teach our children biblically aligned values, truths, and sound morals; freedom to move about and adjust learning time to accommodate other equally important aspects of life, and the freedom to protect our children from toxic ideas and other things that may hurt their bodies and minds. These are more important now more than ever, as it seems our children are under attack from every angle. So if you are one of the many parents pulling their children out of public school and taking their education into your own hands, consider adding one of the following curricula to your homeschool bundle!

Apologia Science: Astronomy. I learned about this publisher from another homeschool mom, Laura from Joy Food Sunshine. I sat down with Layla and let her choose which topic she would be most interested in learning about this year, and she chose Astronomy! A month into it, and she and I equally enjoy this creation-based course. Bible verses, experiments, artistic exercises, and plenty of examples to drive facts and ideas into her memory banks make daily science class a joy for us both!

Math-U-See: Epsilon level. The decision to homeschool again was cemented when I discovered there are math curriculums designed specifically for right-brain learners! This was a revelation, as Layla (who excels at foreign languages, music, and art) has always struggled with public school math. In just a few weeks, she has gone from getting nothing but C’s and D’s in previous years, to being able to teach back to me what we are learning each week! Her confidence with numbers and operations has blossomed compared to the spring, doing public school virtually. This curriculum brilliantly focuses on one topic at a time and encourages educators to spend as much time on that topic as needed to reach mastery, before moving on.

Learning Language Arts Through Literature. Reading has never been Layla’s favorite activity. So it’s for that reason that I bought a language arts curriculum entirely based in reading! HA! It’s not as sinister as it sounds though, here’s why. My goal for this homeschool year is that she walks away with a love for learning and thus, reading. Reading is essential to learning by introducing new ways of thinking, increasing vocabulary, comprehension beyond just that of passages read, and developing critical thinking. We are in our first book study and I use this time to let the girls play or color while I read a few chapters aloud – which I enjoy just as much as they do! This curriculum is for 5th grade, but I feel Layla could have gone a level up, as what we’ve seen so far is a lot of review of previous years (such as how to make singular words plural) , of course it has only been about a month, so we will see how the rest of it goes!

The World’s Story: Ancient History. Another captivating bible-based curriculum that Layla selected herself. She has always had an interest in Ancient Egyptian history, and with homeschool, we are actually able to learn about things she finds interesting! From Adam and Eve, The Flood, and the origins of the nation of Israel (we’ve only made it this far), this curriculum teaches ancient history from a biblical perspective, and includes the secular research that aligns with and further validates with these biblical events. This course also covers geography, bible, and art, and though this particular course is meant for 6 – 8th graders, she is able to understand it and enjoys it just as much as her history-nerd mom does!

Living Language: French. I chose this curriculum for French mostly due to cost, as it’s extremely inexpensive – less than $50. Having a background in the French language myself has definitely helped. I don’t have any other homeschool language learning programs to compare this to, but I would recommend this curriculum to a parent who already knows at least the basics of French; pronunciation, and a few words and phrases. Aside from this, the book itself isn’t particularly engaging for a child – it lacks illustrations, colors, and overall seems more geared to adults, or teenage learners. Still, my girls are learning words and phrases and I am getting a nice refresher course!

Patriotic Penmanship. Layla already knows cursive from when I taught it in first grade, so this book – meant for 5th grade – is mostly to keep her skill up, and help her become a little bit neater. This would also be a great introductory book for an older child learning cursive for the first time, as there are plenty of practice words and phrases, and lines and traceable letters are pretty small, unlike the wide-ruled large-format cursive book we used in first grade.

As you can see, I personally hand-picked a variety of curricula from various publishers instead of just buying one program. I did the latter the first time around in first grade and it turned out that the curriculum was not at all conducive to the way she learns, or to the way I teach. We’re both much happier having taken the extra time to research and select each course based on what we believed we would enjoy the most. If you have any more questions about homeschool, or would like me to write about a specific homeschool-related topic, drop it in a comment below!

xo, Mia

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