My middle daughter will be moseying on up into 6th grade this year. Three years ago when it was the first-born’s turn, I was fretting all over the place to ensure we got all the right prep done in middle school so the transition to high school went smoothly…the idea of high school being only three years away freaked.me.out. This time around, no sweat. Been there, done that. 😉
My middle child has a very different learning style than my first, so while some things get repeated child to child, I get to revamp lots of things every year for this child. She is not big on textbooks and loves to read a variety of books on the subjects she’s studying and is happy to narrate to me (Charlotte Mason-style learning is her happy place). So, I get to experiment a little more with her. And also that’s why her stack looks so tall…
6th Grade Curriculum Choices 2016-2017 (11 year old girl)
Morning Time (Resources not pictured)
We will continue our Morning Time routine this year as a family. I plan to dedicate a post to our MT plan soon. But, basically we will be studying the Bible/Catechism, Cultural Literacy/Current Events & memory work daily. Then looping we will be studying Shakespeare/Plutarch, Geography (this year’s focus is Africa & South America with review of the rest of the world previously studied), Nature Study, Poetry (both through memory & Art of Poetry), Art & Music appreciation, and Logic (Art of Argument).
This year we will be using Latin Alive Book 1 as a group (minus the 5 year old…this is when she will do read-alouds with Dad). The older girls will also be using Duolingo to study either French (beauty) or Spanish (practicality). I’ve been using it for 2 years now and am approximately “50% fluent” in French. I’m still conflicted regarding our family modern language choice.
This year the rubber is going to hit the road for this child. Sustained attention in the area of math has never been a strength for this whimsical, artistic child. My oldest just didn’t “get” it the first time but excelled with practice, but this one “gets” it then promptly forgets it, then starts thinking about mermaids or baby seals or who knows what. So, we have used the Life of Fred series for her since about 2nd grade. It definitely keeps her attention and the 5-10 mostly word problem questions at the end of the chapters keep things short, sweet, and challenging. However, when new concepts need drilling we have to supplement.
This year she will finish the last few chapters of LOF Decimals & Percents then move into Pre-Algebra O with Physics. To balance it out I’ve pulled out our old Teaching Textbooks 6 and she’ll go through the applicable lessons for extra practice. IMO TT was just not challenging enough & didn’t teach my oldest daughter how to think mathematically. But LOF will fill in that part so I think this will be a good compromise.
History: Ancients through Medieval with Literature
We finished our second four-year cycle of history this past year, and for middle daughter’s middle school I’m doing an abbreviated 3-year cycle. This year is Ancients through Medieval history and I created my own plan for this year: HISTORY_Ancients-Medieval_6thGrade_Overview using Critical Thinking Co’s World History Detective 1 as a “spine” and for written assignments with Story of the World 1 & Story of the World 2 to fill in. I know these are “easy” for 6th grade but the plan is for her to read-aloud, or at least narrate, the SOTW content to my 5 year old. Additionally, I added in readings in Discovery of New Worlds (Synge), Journey through the Bible, Peril & Peace, Monks & Mystics, 100 Scientists Who Shaped World History, and the Kingfisher Ancient & Usborne Medieval History encyclopedias we have on hand (mostly for pictures & internet links). We also use a Commonplace Book and Book of Centuries.
We also have a stocked “book basket” full of titles that coincide with this historical period.
Balancing it out are many other books, which will count for her literature component:
- Fifty Famous Stories Retold
- The Pharaohs of Ancient Eqypt
- Mara, Daughter of the Nile
- Theras and His Town
- Archimedes and the Door of Science
- Robin Hood of Sherwood Forest
- Master Cornhill
- Adam of the Road
- Catherine, Called Birdy
- Girl in a Cage
- The Midwife’s Apprentice
- The Beduin’s Gazelle
She is allowed a few vetoes on some of the books as long as they are replaced with good books. I think she has Little Women, Penderwicks in Spring, and Emily of New Moon on her short list for this year.
This year she will be continuing Classical Academic Press’ Writing & Rhetoric program moving into Book 4: Chreia & Proverb & Book 5: Refutation & Confirmation. She has loved this program so far. It is so easy to implement and builds slowly for mastery. This year will ramp up the essays so I’m guessing I will hear less enthusiasm as the work increases but this is a solid program and my daughter loves reading all the imitation pieces.
Additionally, she will be using The Magic Lens I for grammar (new to us this year) and All About Spelling Level 7 for spelling. She will also continue cursive practice weekly as well as typing practice.
This year we are trying something new. Since my daughter loves reading lots of books on the subjects she’s studying as well as doing experiments, we decided on Science in the Beginning. We liked the layout and the general science overview it gives, plus full color is a plus and it was relatively inexpensive. So, she will do 3 lessons a week, completing the labs on her own with her little sister. She will keep a science notebook to answer the end-of-chapter questions, define vocab, add drawings/diagrams, and track the experiments using the good old scientific method. This will leave plenty of time to explore any of the topics in greater detail.
Daughter 2 dances almost 3 hours per week and plays volleyball in the fall and spring. I also get her exercising with me doing yoga & pilates.
So, that’s about it! I can’t wait to see how some of the new resources and schedules will work for my 6th grader and watching her independence with learning grow. For more info on our homeschool plan this year see my post on our 9th grade homeschool curriculum.
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