Year End Review – 5th Grade

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We are done 5th grade!!! I decided to end our year a week early. I just have too much work to do at the  moment. We had a good year over all. I wish we could have done more, but with a new baby this year, it was a lot more difficult to implement the extra stuff. My plan is to make it up next year, and hopefully incorporate lots of the fun stuff we had to leave out this year since I was more focused on getting math, reading, and writing done. What did we finish this year? Life of Fred Fractions: loved it, there isn’t a lot of practice but I loved how M1 was able to learn about fractions in a different way. The Story of the World: Early Modern Times: loved it as usual, this is why history is M1’s favorite subject. We’ll be using the next book next year. I’m not sure what we’ll be using once the series is done though. We used the maps, narration questions, and coloring pages for M1’s notebook. I also liked the literature suggestions to help plan my library visits. We didn’t do the activities, M1 was not interested in any of them. It is aimed at the younger crowd, and I found the diagrams to be very simple.
story of the world early modern
Story of the World notebook
Elemental Chemistry, sort of, we finished the unit of the table of elements but was not interested in the second half of the curriculum.We like the Fizz, Bubble & Flash! and M1 was very interested in chemistry. The second half of the curriculum uses Adventures With Atoms and Molecules which I liked just fine but the lapbook portion of elemental science was so simple, I felt M1 could have just drawn the pictures himself and didn’t print out any of the minibooks. I had also had the baby and was not up to setting up any experiments so we spend the rest of the year using brainpop, Bill Nye and Jeff Corwin videos. We began Ellen McHenry’s Elements and I will continue with that in the summer. I really like her curriculum. There’s a fun reading section then some kind of game or activity to reinforce the information we just read. Writing with Ease – we were working through level 3 and I think M1 was doing well enough with his dictation and narration skills that we moved onto something else.  I loved having the instructor’s guide because I was able to pick out dictation sentences from his own reading which he was much more interested in. English from the Roots Up: we finished the first half of the book which was my goal. I’m actually planning to start Latin next year at M1’s request so we won’t continue on with this unless Latin doesn’t work out. I don’t see the point in studying both. L’art de lire: we finished level 3 and will continue to level 4 next year. I’m going to have M1 keep reviewing his vocabulary and verbs so he doesn’t forget everything . I had bought all the levels up to 6 used at a great price so all I have to purchase is the workbooks which I can download online. What we started with but did not finish. Singapore Math – although it is a great curriculum for a mathy student, it was not working with M1, he needs more practice. I know Singapore users will say that there are plenty of addition books for practice, however, I was not willing to spend more money on extra books when I wasn’t in love with the program. I actually have all of the 5A/5B program to use next year, however, we’re going to switch to Saxon 7/6 instead. Saxon’s weakness is in their word problems so I’m going to continue with Singapore’s Challenging word problems. I found that I really like Math Mammoth in the way that it teaches a new concept and builds up with it. I’m glad I had it to use once M1 ran into trouble with Singapore, it ended up being our main curriculum for awhile. All About Spelling: We finish level 2 before Christmas break and while I love the program, M1 had already learned all the words. There are 6 levels at about $40 each and I wasn’t looking to spend that much money on a spelling program to whiz through it and catch him up. It was too expensive. I am going to keep it and use it with M2 though. What we’ll continue on with: IEW All things fun & fascinating: I like the exercises they have in there and it’s a more directed approach to writing oppose to writing with ease’s narration summaries. I hope to finish this over the summer. Spelling Power: This program met M1 where he was and he is learning to spell. I reinforce it games on spelling city using our weekly wordlists. Spelling is so much easier now. Meet the Masters and Mark Kistler: we were not able to get to art as much so we’ll continue on next year. Mark Kistler’s drawing lessons and just fun so M1 will continue with it as long as I have the subscription.
world war I lapbook
Lapbooks: M1 completed a lapbook on world war I and II and the American Indians. He loves lapbooks and we’ll continue on using those next year for history and science. Things went well this year overall and I didn’t go all curriculum crazy like last year. Now I already have the majority of books that I want to use next which will be easier on my wallet.

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