Monday, February 8, 2016

Our 6th Grade Curriculum

I realized that in my weekly middle school posts I have yet to go over what we actually use for teaching 6th grade.  Because curriculum choices are so unique and so abundant I do enjoy seeing what other people are using in their homeschools and so this week I vowed to share what we're using... starting with Ian.


We are a very eclectic homeschooling family and we tend to out together most of our own work but there are a few books that we use and try use on a fairly consistent basis and here they are:  



For math:
We discovered the Key To Series last year and Ian really enjoyed them.  This series is broken into 6 parts and each part tends to have three or four small workbooks with 40 or 50 pages so they do not feel overwhelming.   This year we are working on the Key to Decimals and the Key to Percents.  We've been working in these books at the same time since there is a lot of overlap between percents and decimals.

We also use The Thinking Tree Are You a Math Genius book and he completes one set of pages each week.
When we're looking for some fun and easy review work for learning on the go we use Quilt Math and we'll sprinkle in some pages from The Thinking Tree Multiplication Games workbook as well.



For Reading:
We constantly have a family read aloud book going and right now we're finishing up the Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom Trilogy.  We also have books on CD going in the car most days.  Currently we're listening to the Chronicles of Narnia series.  Ian is free to pick and choose what he'd like to read.  He often combines fun picture books about trucks and sports with thicker chapter books like The Hunger Games, Divergent Series or the ones he's reading now: Treasure Hunters.

For Writing:
I am the first to admit we are sorely lacking and behind in his area.  Ian has always been loathe to write and has struggled with writing, spelling, punctuation, and anything having to do with putting thoughts to paper.  This year we're adding some sort of writing into our daily routine and we've found a few things that he actually enjoys:

The Draw Write Now series is fun with a step by step drawing and then four sentences of copywork.  We find Ian is very comfortable with copywork.


Journaling- We use a lot of reading books to get inspiration for story ideas but when he's really stumped with what he can write about we use Unjournaling to help him come up with silly, fun writing ideas.

Cursive:
He's been plugging away at Cursive Writing Practice Jokes and Riddles for a few years now.  We only use it once every couple of weeks because I don't mind if my boys aren't completely fluent in cursive writing but I did think it important that they learn to read it, know how to sign their names, and be familiar with it.

Spelling: 
We have tried a few different spelling workbooks over the years and have yet to find anything that really sticks.  We've been using The Thinking Tree Spelling Time book for a few weeks now and he seems to really enjoy that.  This week we added in The Thinking Tree Four Seasons Spelling Time workbook.  Though it is meant for elementary ages I think it's a good mix of words so that some will challenge him and others will be "easy" helping him gain confidence.



Geography:
Is a subject that we cover together by reading books, watching videos, and playing games.  Currently Ian is studying Australia for a local geography fair.  He'll read a lot of books about the region, summarize his findings, type up some facts and display them for others to learn about.

History:
 We piece together as one of the kids shows interest in a particular topic.  Currently we are finishing up a unit on the French Revolution.  We've been reading books about the time period and the people in it as well as watching a video about Versailles palace.

Science:
 We use a lot of science kits and explore nature at every opportunity.  Just in these last few days Ian has put together a wind powered car and a remote control vehicle.  He examined the gears and pieces and seemed to intuitively know how they would work.  We use our microscope often and take frequent field trips to science museums, zoos and discovery museums.  We also watch a LOT of science shows and movies.   We read books about nature, animals, science, and find a lot of great books of experiments to try out through our local library.  Our favorites have been Steve Spangler's books.


Art:
My kids enjoy all sorts of arts and crafts.  Ian enjoys painting, putting together model car kits, and making loom bad or paracord bracelets. We have many art kits for him to use.  We also talk about art history by reading about various painters and studying their works.  We really love the Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artist series (which we can usually find at our library!).  We also enjoy the Spot the Difference Books; a really fun way to study famous paintings.  We've also tried to copy the master's painting styles and works a few time.



Linking Up With:
My Full Heart: Junior High Junction


”Homeschooling

4 comments :

  1. Thank you for sharing these resources! We're using the online math program from UC Davis' Neuroscience department (developed for visual learners) called ST Math. It stands for Spatial-Temporal math. My son is autistic and good at computation, but got lost with the complex verbiage of the curriculum as taught at school. ST Math lays it out visually, gradually substituting numbers, until the student is solving the problems. It transitions from a full curriculum to a supplemental or remedial curriculum in Middle School, so I'll be looking for more material soon. He's about to transition to 5th grade math.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by to read about our resources! :)

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  2. I think I may look up more on the Key To series for math. I am always interested to see a new math program and see if it might fit a need better than what is currently used. My oldest is also in 6th grade work this year so I enjoyed looking through your list.

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    1. So glad it helped! We have really enjoyed the Key to series so much.

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