Sixth Grade already?!

Oh wow, has it really been a year?
Fifth grade is a memory. What worked? What didn’t?
Dolicini, didn’t. CPO Earth didn’t. We ended up coasting to the end of the year with a mash up of self-study in science. We did finish the year with the first three chapters of Jacobs Algebra. To be honest, we should have stuck with Dolicini.
K12 Human Odyssey worked well all year, although dd tired of the Ancient Geography workbook. It fulfilled its need, though, and we finished it. In place of the History Detective pages, we added narrations from the Old Testament using the DK Children’s Bible.
We finished the first half of Lively Latin 2, and decided to take a pass through Minimus 2 at the end of the year. We thoroughly enjoyed it.
October is a great time to do a “what we are doing this year” post. The chaff, so to speak, has already fallen away.
As I am back in graduate school and working quite a bit, we decided to try some outsourced classes for sixth grade. The outsourced classes are the “shiny” thing I’ve always longed for. Now that we are doing them, it is something of a mixed bag.
What we are doing this year:
Derek Owens Physical Science: We purchased this as a product just before he discontinued it. This is stretching dd in a good way. I would not generally recommend this for a sixth-grader, unless they are math and science strong (and really like those subjects).
PreAlgebra Review: Even though we already started Jacobs, I decided to review PreAlgebra this year because I want dd to go full speed through high school math, rather than spread Algebra out over two years. It’s a good plan, except she’ll likely finish Derek Owens PreAlgebra before Christmas. So I’ll need to figure out what to do with the rest of the year, and for Algebra next year. And I don’t want to even think about Geometry. We might just do Algebra 1 and 2 back to back to buy me a year to think about it. Online classes are not always the answer, and are surprisingly time consuming. Which leads me to;

French: Online G3. Likes: native speaker, deadlines. Dislikes: chat box during class, very little speaking opportunity, and I find I’m still spending a lot of time with dd with French. She has a very full social calendar, and doesn’t seem to need the social component available through G3.
I found Glencoe High School French 1, 2 and 3 teacher’s guides and a workbook and speaking cards for book 1 at a teacher’s thrift. With the accompanying online resources and DuoLingo, we’ll try it at home again in the spring. This will also give us more time for Latin.
Latin: is at a standstill at the moment. I’ve decided to tie our studies to the National Latin Exam, having dd take the Intro level this year. As she’s done two years of elementary Latin, we’ll review with the Memoria Press prep book after Christmas, and begin with a used set of Latin Alive! next year. I’ve accepted foreign language studies must involve me.

Language Arts: We skipped level 4 in Writing & Rhetoric. With level 5, we are not really able to do a lesson a week without skipping things. We’re stretching it out a bit, but the series continues to get the job done painlessly. We participate in a co-op for language arts. Dd read a stunning number of books over the summer, so literature is focused on middle ages, but I’m not requiring too much reading time until the winter weather sets in.
We are also using: Daily Grams Ultimate 8, Spelling Workout G and tried a Memoria Press Study Guide for one book for literature this fall. The study guide has been a good experience, but we’ll move on to something else in the spring. Spelling Workout has been a surprise winner. DD has a strong phonics background, so this is a relatively painless way to round out the last two years of spelling. We do skip editing and writing exercises.
History: We are continuing with Human Odyssey, finishing up book one as part of a Middle Ages history study. I bought Mapping the World with Art, which my daughter has lost. If it doesn’t turn up this week, I have a dreaded geography workbook on the shelf that she will need to use for the remainder of the year. Mapping the World can be done next year.
I did track down a copy of the student and teacher pages for Human Odyssey. I’m selecting writing exercises from the student pages (only one or two per lesson), and we continue bible narrations with the New Testament. We’ll take a break from bible narrations to do narrations to prepare for the National Mythology exam.
Day Planner: Hey, is this a subject? As a sixth grader, dd needed to begin keeping her own planner. We started the year with a bullet journal. Needing more structure, we’ve added in planner pages using scrapbooking adhesive, but this has been a successful addition to the year. We treat is as a planner, reading log, doodle journal and scrapbook, complete with stickers and die-cuts.
For me, I discovered planning when using “public school” textbooks is so much easier with tabbed Post-It Notes. I bought all I could find when my local big box store put them on clearance (meaning they won’t restock them), so I’ll need to find a replacement when I run out. My system is to tab a week at the beginning page and write that week’s assignment on the note. I can transfer those to weekly planners or write them up as a “to-do” list for students. Either way, I don’t need to do anything with them until few days before assigning them, making it quite flexible.
My dd doesn’t use many public school texts, but I use them in outside classes I teach, and she will continue to use more textbook-y things as we move into high school subjects. Frankly this system could work well with a living books style of learning, if you had spine books to tab.

Take away: I would love to see a Memoria Press style package or Ambleside Online type schedule that doesn’t espouse a creationist worldview for science, embraces classical writing, Latin and well- written literature following the National Exams for some of those subjects, and incorporates-but isn’t a slave to- the Well Trained Mind sequential study of history.

Anybody up for a Homeschool Curriculum Wiki?


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