Fifth Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices for 2021-2022
In this blog post I will be sharing my fifth grade homeschool curriculum choices for the 2021-2022 school year.
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So far I have shared my Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum Choices and my Third Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices.
Today I’m sharing my fifth grade homeschool curriculum choices!
Just like with other curriculum posts, I’m going all out on this post because I like to have too much information rather than not enough. If you’re with me on that, then this post will be for you.
Now before I dive in and share my fifth grade homeschool curriculum choices I want to explain a few things.
Home educating our children really is an amazing privilege!
I’m sure you know this, but it’s always good to be reminded of it, right? You get to hand-craft your child’s year and choose what curriculum and resources you will use to help your child grow in wisdom and in stature with both God and man.
Can I encourage you for a second to not lose sight of that?
Don’t lose sight of the enormous privilege it is to not only home educate your child, but to get a front row seat and unfettered access to helping shape the character of your child.
If you need some help thinking through how to go deeper in your homeschool, then let me offer you a resource:
- Your Intentional Family: A Yearly Homeschool Planning Guide by Leigh Ann Dutton (that’s me!) – I developed my yearly homeschool planning guide to, well, guide you in setting your priorities for each year (and to save you from buying curriculum you’ll never use). It’s easy to lose sight of WHY you started homeschooling in the first place, and this guide will help you keep focused all year long. Plus it will give you the tools you need to think through the unique needs of each of your children and craft your curriculum choices around the areas you most want to see them grow in the coming school year.
Now, some notes on how we homeschool (this will vary from family to family, child to child):
- This year I have a 5th grader, 3rd grader, kindergartener, and soon-to-be toddler. We don’t do a lot of group learning in our home. I love the idea of a one room school house, but it doesn’t work for us. Therefore, each of my children have their own work for each subject, and on a rare occasion we might come together for a lesson or two. However, it is more common that I will pair my third grader with my kindergartener or my third grader with my fifth grader rather than all of us learning family-style.
- If I had to choose a homeschool philosophy, it would be Charlotte Mason style homeschooling. Do I adhere to all of her methods for all the things? No, I don’t (mostly because I haven’t learned how yet). However, at the core of my curriculum choices, you will find it’s heavy leaning in the Charlotte Mason philosophy. As a matter of fact, we primarily use Ambleside Online to craft our homeschool curriculum choices right now. You’ll see how that works out for us below.
- My fifth grader is highly advanced in reading skills, so this presents an on-going challenge for me. However, discovering Ambleside Online has been a true gift. It’s the perfect fit for him, and for the most part I adhere closely to their outlined schedule. The only problem? I dabbled in it with him for so long that I’m all mixed up in years, so this year you’ll see that I’ll be pulling from Year 4 and Year 5 for his fifth grade homeschool curriculum choices. My goal is to be lined back up correctly by Year 6. Again, you’ll see how that works out for us below.
- We homeschool four days a week + a homeschool co-op day. We front load our school work to Monday-Wednesday. Those are heavy homeschool days. Thursday is for homeschool co-op, and Friday is for finishing up what we didn’t get to during the week. My fifth grader will use Fridays to finish up any readings he didn’t get to during the week, and I will likely work with him on his writing skills (he’s determined to write books one day – I don’t mind!).
What else do you need to know?
I think that covers it, so let’s just get to the fifth grade homeschool curriculum choices for this year, shall we?
Fifth Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices 2021-2022
(4x/week; approximately 15 minutes a day + one-on-one time 1-2x/week)
I have decided to focus this year on continuing to help both of my boys develop the habit of a personal quiet time, as well as broaden their understanding of who God is and how much He loves them.
For my fifth grader, I’ve already taught him the basics of the S.O.A.P method of Bible study. This year, I want to layer in some inductive study skills, but I’m not a fan of the resources available. Therefore, I will teach him myself. Additionally, I will be using other Bible studies for kids as he becomes ready to further his study skills.
Also, he will spend some time just reading the Bible as a story each day. He will read through the Prophets and Kings using the Ambleside Online Year 5 schedule.
Bible Study Resources I will be using:
- The Kids Devotional Method from Not Consumed (free course!) – This is for you the mom to take and implement in your home.
- Developing a Quiet Time Bible Study (This is her resource to the go with the course. I bought one packet, and instead of handing it to the boys, I’m going to walk the boys through this together.)
- A Content Heart: Finding Godly Contentment in a Me-First World from Not Consumed
Another aspect of our year together will be family devotions and one-on-one discipleship time. That sounds fancy, but really it’s just talking about the Word with our children, and doing so in an intentional systematic way. My goal is to do one-on-one time with my fifth grader 1-2 times a week.
Discipleship resources I’m pulling from for my fifth grader:
- God’s Names (Making Him Known) by Sally Michael
- Indescribable: 100 Devotions for Kids About God and Science by Louie Giglio
- Our 24 Family Ways: A Family Devotional Guide by Clay Clarkson
We will continue doing Scripture memory as a family as a semi-regular part of our family Bible time that we do after breakfast. I haven’t chosen these Scriptures yet because we are still in a season of LOUD around the table (aka, a baby is in our house learning to eat at the table, and therefore, we give ourselves a lot of grace when we don’t have the mental capacity to take on Scripture memory – this too shall pass).
However, for my fifth grader, he will memorize the Scriptures that come with the A Content Heart Bible Study, as well as the Developing a Quiet Time Bible Study. Each of these studies include four Scriptures to memorize. I will also choose some Scriptures to memorize when we walk through God’s Names (Making Him Known).
My boys both have time set aside during the week for memorizing poems, so adding Scripture memory will tuck right into that spot in their day seamlessly.
Poetry & Shakespeare
(4x a week)
He will be reading poems by Rudyard Kipling, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, John Greenleaf Whittier, and Paul Lawrence Dunbar this year on his own. In addition, he’s been asking to memorize Shakespeare together, so I’ll incorporate that 1-2 times a week.
Poems to Memorize
(3-4x a week)
He’s been working through memorizing the poems in this book for the past couple of years. He should finish Level One and move onto Level Two pretty quickly.
If you haven’t noticed, my fifth grader loves to memorize anything and everything! He’s memorized Hamilton and The Greatest Showman. He memorizes piano pieces and facts read in a book. He memorizes everything that has to do with words (and loves it!). But please don’t expect him to know his math facts. ha!
Speaking of math…
(4x a week)
I explained in my kindergarten and third grade homeschool curriculum choices posts that math has been a difficult area for me to feel confident in over the last eight years of homeschooling. I have tried A LOT of math curriculums over the years, but none of them left me confident that my children were getting what I wanted for them in this area of their education (especially this child).
Math does NOT come naturally to my fifth grader. Therefore, I decided to go with Right Start Math this year, and we’ve already started Book D together. I’m already so pleased with the progress he’s been making. I love that Right Start forces him to really understand what he’s doing rather than just filling in the worksheets and moving on.
After some initial discouragement, he’s thanked me many, many times this summer for choosing Right Start Math for him. He’s being challenged, but he’s also starting to understand that math is doable for him. To believe you can do something, and changing the narrative of “I’m just not good at math” is 90% of the battle, so I am pleased with how it’s going so far.
(3-4x a week)
To understand how I approach language arts at this age read this. If this seems like something you’re interested in trying, then read Know and Tell by Karen Glass.
He will continue to narrate everything he reads either verbally or written. He will complete at least three written narrations a week, and we will choose one written narration a month to edit.
For copywork, I will be choosing passages from his weekly readings for him to copy. He’ll do this three times a week.
For right now, I’m having him finish up Spelling Workout, Book D. When he’s finished it, we will begin dictation using his copywork passages. I’ll make this up as we go.
For grammar, we’ll talk about it as we go. He’s just not ready for a grammar curriculum yet. Plus, as a writer, I’m committed to training them to simply get the thoughts out of their heads onto paper. The grammar is something we’ll work out quickly in middle school. You can read more about grammar here (I agree with them).
(4x a week during school time; daily during R&R Time)
- The Age of Fable by Thomas Bulfinch
- Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson
- Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
- Kim by Rudyard Kipling
- The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
- Paul Revere’s Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
- Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving
This list is mostly Ambleside Online’s choices for Year 5. The only swap I made was Kidnapped (Year 4) for King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table (Year 5). My son picked up the latter over the summer without me knowing and read it. ha! So, it made my choice easy to choose Kidnapped from Year 4 to replace it since it was one we missed.
In addition, Ambleside Online recommends reading Shakespeare plays and Plutarch’s Lives in Year 5. With a baby in the house, and adding a third student this year…I think I’m going to hold off and start those next year. We’re just going to memorize Shakespeare together and call it good.
For free reading during R & R, we’ll be mixing the free reads for Year 4 and Year 5 to cover the ones he hasn’t read yet.
Natural History & Science
- Nature Study, at least once a week: Currently, we are working through John Muir Laws, Nature Journal Connection series on YouTube (The video series accompanies this book.).
- Apologia Exploring Creation with Chemistry & Physics
- Wild Animals I Have Known by Ernest Thompson Seton
- The Child’s Book of Nature, Book II, Animals, by W. Hooker
- Great Inventors and Their Inventions by Frank P. Bachman
- The Ocean of Truth by Joyce McPherson (a make-up from Year 4; I’m going to put in his afternoon R&R basket)
- Always Inventing by Tom L. Matthews
- Biography of George Washington Carver by Janet & Geoff Benge
- Our Homeschool Co-Op: There is an entire months dedicated to STEM, science experiments, and more, which should be loads of fun.
We will follow rather closely the Ambleside Online schedule for Year 5. The only change I really made was to eliminate Madam How and Lady Why and replace it with Apologia Exploring Creation with Chemistry & Physics. I felt he just needed something less antiquated (even if it pained me a bit), and something a little more fun (this is my love language anyway).
- Minn of the Mississippi by Holling C. Holling
- Beautiful Feet Map for Minn of the Mississippi
- The Complete Book of Marvels by Richard Halliburton (The Occident and The Orient) – He’s very excited about these books! I think it was the MARVEL in the name (ha!).
- Map Drills
- Geography Terms from A to Z
- Elementary Geography by Charlotte Mason (more of a resource for me)
We’ll follow the Year 4 schedule for reading Minn of the Mississippi. We’ll follow along with our Beautiful Feet Map (we love these!). We’ll follow the Year 5 schedule for reading The Complete Book of Marvels.
In addition, he’ll do map drills online with a focus on learning the states abbreviations, and then we’ll move onto learning the countries of Europe.
I’m also trying out something new this year using the Geography Terms from A to Z book. Each week-ish, we’ll add a geography term to our Geography Notebooks. We’ll talk about the geography term; then, my third grader will draw a picture of the term in his notebook and label it. So far this is a huge hit with the boys!
History & History Tales and/or Biography
(4x a week)
History: 1700’s up to the French and American Revolutions & 1800-1914 up to WWI
- This Country of Ours, by H.E. Marshall
- Answering the Cry for Freedom: Stories of African Americans and the American Revolution by Gretchen Woelfle
- George Washington’s World by Genevieve Foster (He LOVED Abraham Lincoln’s World by the same author)
History Tales and/or Biography
- Trial and Triumph by Richard Hannula
- Of Courage Undaunted: Across the Continent with Lewis and Clark by James Daugherty
- Theodore Roosevelt by Janet & Geoff Benge
History is where I’m most upside down and inside out on his schedule. This is where my dabbling in Ambleside Online got me mixed up. However, we’re resilient, and we’ll get sorted out and ready to tackle Year 6 by the end of this year. He really loves these books, so spanning a much larger part of history won’t bother him.
Music & Art
(2-3x a week)
For artist study, we will be using Ambleside Online 2021-2022 schedule. My boys love doing artist studies! It’s always a highlight for them at the end of the year.
Finally, we’ll be listening to music as we go about our days. We’ll follow Ambleside Online’s 2021-2022 schedule for our composer study, and we’ll also learn some new hymns and folksongs (not on their schedule though).
He will also continue taking piano lessons and practice at home at least 5 times a week. It is also likely that he’ll be able to take guitar lessons, which he has been asking to do for a couple of years. He has to reach a certain goal that he and his dad agreed on before he can start those.
I let the boys choose what language they wanted to learn. He chose Spanish. Duolingo is free and he can do it on his own.
All in all, I am really looking forward to our homeschool year. It’s always fun to see how each child grows and changes throughout the year.
What about you? What homeschool curriculum choices did you make for your third grader? I’d love to hear your thoughts and questions! Just leave them in the comment box below!
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