New School Year

What are we doing differently this year?

I took on a lot of tutoring last year, so open and go became much more important, although glancing through the free resources I’ve linked, I’m surprised how many of them we used. This year we are doing fifth grade. We did American History last year- probably too quickly, but some of my tutoring students hadn’t had States and Capitals, or really any American History yet.

This year, we’re starting over with Ancient History. We’re using an Ancient History Geography book I found at a teacher’s store for around $5, the K12 Human Odyssey book, bought on a “black Friday” sale for $20 from Better World Books and free pages from  World History Detective Supplemental Pages. Additionally, we’re writing and outlining WTM-style, using my schedule sheets. Another good resource for ancients is: Classical House. We’re not using this one, though.

We’re done with elementary math, and using an old copy of Dolciani’s PreAlgebra, An Accelerated Course. Ours is really beat up (a $10 Better World Books) copy, so I’ve cut the answer pages out and stuck them in my teacher binder. So far, so good, although choosing it was agonizing. It’s a good, solid book, but it was my PreAlgebra text. I think I was having Middle School math teacher bad-tie flashbacks.

Science is CPO Earth Science. There are lots of good, inexpensive resources out there for science. We take advantage of many of them. I did buy a used teacher/ student/ lab set of the CPO Focus On Earth Science. A resourceful person could put most of it together with google search. I’m not linking anything because school districts do post whole e-books, and they tend to disappear and change links. CPO’s site does have lots of free resources (including lab sheets) for the regular edition: CPO Earth Science. We decided to use the Focus On series, only because I suspect we’ll be using Derek Owens for Physical Science, and his is based on the same standards as the Focus On books (mostly that Astronomy is in Physical Science instead of Earth Science).

Language Arts is largely what I’ve outlined in my Language Arts Resources I Like post. We are using an inexpensive spelling book this year (SpellWell). Our big purchase is CAP’s Writing and Rhetoric, which I just plain like. I could certainly spend less money, but this is my open-and-go time saver.

Scholastic’s Dollar Days come around regularly, and if using a writing-heavy history program (like the free one linked above), these writing books from Scholastic would do nicely: Tara McCarthy Writing Books. I’ve not used the novel studies that show up in the same search. I have seen the writing books, and they are useful. Another fun, useful (buy it when it’s on Dollar Days) series is the No Boring Practice Please books for mechanics.


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