One of my favorite things about homeschooling is picking out and shopping for our homeschool curriculum. For this school year, 2020-2021, I've added more onto what JJ was doing last year in 5th. Grade.
I'll explain each subject's curriculum in detail. I'll also link each picture in case you feel like this would fit into your homeschool and decide to check them out.
Let's start with our CORE subjects. For us these are: Math, Language Arts, Science and History/Social Studies. Again, we live in Texas, so these are like THE required subjects by the state we live in.
Math: Teaching Textbooks (TT) Math 6 version 3.0 which means it's online. Your options here are online, workbook or CD sets. We do online version because it's what my son liked best.
TT is directed to children in their lessons. It's pretty self-led. Lessons are short, simple and straight to the point. Throughout the lessons you'll notice they will often refer back a lesson or two as they advance in order to ensure they aren't forgetting what is being taught. I LOVE that it grades my son's lessons on its own. The interface is super user friendly for both child and parent. At the end of the year I can simply print out his grade book. I also have the ability to delete or "scratch" a lesson and make him redo it. It shows you if he used his two attempts at the question he got wrong (or right) and if he/she watched the explanation as to WHY their answer was wrong. Basically, it does it all for you MOM.
Just like math, we started our homeschool journey with THIS curriculum and we love it so much that we don't foresee switching to anything different anytime soon. As you can see, I purchase the book, the workbook (bigger book underneath reader) and the test booklet. Do you need all three books? NO, you can easily do with just the story book however, I highly recommend you get everything as a bundle if time is of the essence in your homeschool, seriously it will save you SO much time. What I love about this curriculum is that the workbook gives you additional reading suggestions so that you can totally go into it super in depth or not. It will also give you map work, coloring pages and other worksheets to complement each chapter. In addition, the workbook gives you at LEAST 3 craft or projct ideas with instructions and supply list after each chapter. This is my first year using this curriculum for multiple ages, 6th grade and kindergarten to be clear and it's super versatile as well and lends itself for it very easily.
This science curriculum is faith based, but it's done in a super gentle way though. It's not shoving a specific religion or idea down your throat but it is written with references to God being the ultimate creator of it all. Its chapters can long and packed with tons of information, which is good! However, we don't do science every day so it does take us like 1-2 weeks to get through one chapter. I always get the Notebooking Journal for my kiddo as well. It has copy work, crossword puzzles of the vocabulary, which he LOVES, and assists with note taking along with other worksheets and projects.
Language Arts and Literature: The Good and the Beautiful Level 6
Okay I REALLY like this one guys! Not only does it cover all of your LA & Literature essentials but it also incorporates Art and Social Studies. This too is faith based in that it has several references to God however it's not shoving a belief down your throat. It is intended to help your child transition into more independent work but still involves parent in helping with dictation. I got the whole package as you can see. Their Geography cards are super helpful and practical. The best part is that the company is SO ethical and conscious of just sharing education material. On their website (linked) you will find their K-5th grade LA curriculum is FREE. I don't personally know anyone else who does that!
I read about this curriculum on www.mommymaestra.com and I decided to give it a shot. Upon receiving it and looking through it I realized that it's pretty simple and the activities and games, even the songs are geared probably towards the smaller elementary grades. My 11 year old says he feels silly singing all these nursery rhymes in Spanish BUT then again, it's a good way to practice in general and immerse them in the language. Nonetheless he is practicing and learning so I still consider it a good buy. It's a little pricey at $140, I will do a review midway and once we finish and update you guys on our progress.
I have him read a page or two every day, he's almost done with them both so it's not a year long "curriculum" by any means BUT they are both super cute in explaining body changes and things without dumbing down important facts. I have found that having them read a book or article, helps them take things a little more seriously and feel less embarrassment by some of the topics than talking to mom about it. It's So Amazing does have body part illustrations so just make sure you're comfortable with that prior to handing them the book over. I love it though. My oldest read it at age 11 and now JJ is at the same age and bubby will read it too at that age.
The Learn Step by Step tablets I picked them up at Target on their dollar section for $3 each. I couldn't find those exact ones online so I linked some similar from Amazon.
Okay so I mentioned earlier that JJ's Language Arts & Literature curriculum teaches them art/art appreciation. It does teach drawing techniques and using various types of paints/colors as well so essentially all the basics to art. I use these books in various ways to supplement that. The Curious Nature Guide is more age appropriate for JJ because it uses everyday nature related topics such as weather to interpret into a mood or feeling sketch or drawing. It encourages heading outside when there's rain for example and write down what they can physically feel, what they smell etc., just to give you an idea. The learn how to draw step by step note pads I realize are super basic and easy for an 11 year old according to most, but JJ is not naturally drawn to drawing, art, or even coloring. Actually now that I think about it, the only one that seems a little interested in Dom, my oldest.
JJ is very critical of himself academically and often times gets mad or feels less smart when he feels like he CAN'T DO or GET a concept, so these super simple step by step guides are really helpful in encouraging him to go for it and succeed. It gets easier obviously the more you do it so he begins feeling confident and even inspired to create something extra! So I LOVE aids like these that help me in setting them up for SUCCESS!
Let me just say that I didn't know how to incorporate Poetry into our daily routine, so I just decided on a super simple way. I assign him a poem or act per week. He practices it every day for 5-10 minutes. Each one gives you like 5 vocabulary words, he studies those as well and writes a new sentence with each word every other day. On the last day, he will create an original poem using those words. That's it! It's not fancy, like at all, but it works. As he gets older we will begin reading Shakespeare books too.
Character Building: The Big Life Journal & meditation with affirmations
I LOVE this journal! As I mentioned above, my child is very critical of himself and for some reason, despite our conscious efforts of positivity and praise, he tends to compare himself to others in a negative light. This journal helps him see himself in a very different way than he normally does. It helps him embrace his uniqueness. It's really had a beautiful impact on my son and his self esteem.
Aside from this, we do 2 minutes currently of meditation and we spend an extra 2 minutes saying positive affirmations about ourselves out loud while doing yoga stretches.
For now, this is all we are including in our homeschool studies for the year 2020/2021. As the year progresses, I will update on our current picks and on anything that gets swapped out, replaced or introduced.
Disclaimer: This blog post contains some affiliate links which benefit me in the way of receiving a small commission for purchases made through links in this post. I will never share something I don't personally use or have used, please know that everything linked is because I highly and genuinely recommend it because we use and love it.