Our 5th Grade Curriculum

It hardly seems possible that I have TWO kids in middle school!  (In our town 5th grade is middle school even though many towns still have 5th grade with their elementary schools).

I can not believe that I have been homeschooling for 4 years now.  Time sure does fly!

Because curriculum choices are so unique and so abundant I do enjoy seeing what other people are using for their homeschooling and so this week I vowed to share what we're using...

These are our pick for Alec's 5th grade year.

We are a very eclectic homeschooling family and we tend to put 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:  
I had the hardest time picking out a math book for Alec this year.  He's quite picky about what he likes to do and all the suggestions I had were met with a frown.  We finally settled on finishing up last year's math workbook.  (It was a 5th & 6th grade book and he has about 1/2 the book left).  We also decided to use Introductory Geometry and Math For the Real World: Amazing Animals and The Great Barrier Reef. 

We also use The Thinking Tree Are You a Math Genius book and he completes one set of pages each week as well as one set of pages in Multiplication Games.

I know this looks like a crazy, ridiculous amount of work for one year but three of these books are left over from last year, two of these books (the Math for the Real World) are mainly story books reading about math and they're just 22 pages each and small enough that Alec can easily read them in a day or two.  So I do think it's quite possible we'll finish up with it all.  

For Reading:
We constantly have a family read aloud book going and right now we're finishing up The 39 Clues.  We also have books on CD going in the car most days.  Currently we're re-listening to The Heroes of Olympus series.  Alec is free to pick and choose what he'd like to read.  He is an avid reader and I have a hard time keeping up with all that he's reading.  He's currently reading The Five Kingdoms, The Unwanteds, Fablehaven, and The Spiderwick Chronicles.

For Writing:
I am the first to admit we are sorely lacking and behind in his area.  All of my boys have always been loathe to write and anything having to do with putting thoughts to paper.  This year we're continuing some sort of writing into our daily routine and we've found a few things that they actually enjoy:

The Draw Write Now series is fun with a step by step drawing and then four sentences of copywork.

Alec has been plugging away at cursive for a few years now.  We only use it once a week 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. Alec will be continuing with book two in this series that also incorporates art appreciation.

We have tried a few different spelling workbooks over the years and have yet to find anything that really sticks. So far my boys have been enjoying The Thinking Tree books and Alec will be finishing up his Fun Schooling Spelling Journal. We bought these in the spring so he has plenty of pages left.

Is a subject that we cover together by reading books, watching videos, and playing games.  They participate in our homeschool geography fair each year.  Picking a topic, reading a lot of books about the region, summarizing his findings, typing up some facts and displaying them for others to learn about.  This year I found The Complete Book of Maps and Geography at our local 5 Below store for just $4. and thought we'd supplement our traditional way of learning geography with any fun worksheets that they'd like to complete.

 We piece together as one of the kids shows interest in a particular topic.  We spent some time over the summer learning about the Hindenburg disaster; reading books about it and how that impacted our nation's history.  We've been working our way through the series History of Fun Stuff lately and they are just devouring them.

 We use a lot of science kits and explore nature at every opportunity.  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.  This year I purchased Science Experiments to Blow Your Mind and we'll use some of the ideas in the books to have some more fun with science this year.

My kids enjoy all sorts of arts and crafts.  We have many art kits for them to use.  We also talk about art history by reading about various painters and studying their works.  We've spent the summer working on  a 100 Days of Art Challenge and will be continuing with this through the fall.  They enjoyed our field trip to the art museum so much that we are planning a few more art related field trips for the coming year as well.

Linking Up With:


  1. What a lovely list. That math book looks great. I may have to pick that up.
    Blessings, Dawn

  2. This looks like a fun fifth grade year! I love that math book about animals.

    1. My middle son LOVES learning about animals so I am hoping that it will motivate him. Knowing him he'll read the whole thing in one day!

  3. Hi Moms
    Please help me understand better...
    Are some of you choosing your own books and curriculum entirely?
    You do not actually register anywhere or hold necessity for registered assessments or exams?
    I am going to start homeschooling next year and would love a few extra options. Maybe I could also do this free and unafiliated version in a relaxed advancement setting. Rather than definite time lines dictated and 1 program laid out only.
    I'm sorry but the information I,m finding online is rather limited. I,d love some help please. (Or maybe my old brain is not searching the right things)!!
    Anyone please?

    1. We have always chosen all of our books and curriculum entirely. I think partly it depends on the area where you live. I know in our state we don't have to report to anyone and we are free to choose whatever we'd like because we don't have to comply with any testing or anything either. So when my third grader wanted to learn about the periodic table of elements; we could! Start with searching for your state homeschooling guidelines. Even many states that say which topics need to be covered each year allow for parents to pick the program and the books they'd like to use to cover said topics. I found getting in touch with other homeschoolers in my state/area really helped me to understand what exactly I was required to do (lucky for me it turned that I wasn't required to do anything!) :)

    2. Thank you so much for your reply.
      I am definitely going back to the blackboard and try to find more info about this option.
      Thx a bunch


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