5th grade!

Oh my goodness! I can't believe that my youngest child is in fifth grade already! Times flies! We started back to school about two weeks ago, though I hesitate saying that since we believe learning is a lifestyle and you should be learning something everyday.  I didn't have much planning to do since we are just continuing with a lot of the same books and curriculum as last year.


We will be finishing Saxon 5/4 and starting 6/5.


 Finishing up Story of the World volume 3 and starting Story of the World volume 4.  We are trying to switch over to more of a Charlotte Mason style homeschool this year. For history this means that we are focusing on narrations and starting a Book of Centuries.


Science was a hard subject to figure out for me this year.  Jack is a science geek. He loves it. One things he doesn't like is story science or little kid science as he calls it with pointless activities. He wants it to have experiments but not busy work experiments.  We decided to try Exploring Creation with Botany by Apologia.  I liked that it had note booking and made it feel like we were kind of following a Charlotte Mason approach and that it will help us along with our nature journals. He likes that the activities don't seem like busy work.


Geography:  We are doing the map work included with Story of the World.  We are also working through the Geography Coloring Book. The idea of a geography notebook intrigues me but I need to research more ideas for content.  We are also using Pin It Maps. Right now we are doing the Land and Water form map. We will also be working with the North America Map since it goes along with our history.

For our language arts studies, we will be using the following:

  • Easy Grammar- finishing up level 4.
  • Handwriting By George- right now this is handwriting and copy work. He likes George Washington and enjoyed learning about him. This was a win-win for both of us.
  • Bravewriter Partnership Writing.  We are using the method and doing the projects outlined where they fit. Right now he is working on a presentation about the Dalai Lama for a biography fair this week. Reading, taking notes, and writing cards for the presentation.


Foreign Language:

He is still working on Rosetta Stone German.


the geography fair

This past month Jack worked on a project for our homeschool group's geography fair. During our planning meeting one mom suggested  we pick a geographical location based on our heritage.  We all thought it was a wonderful idea and so did the kids.


Jack  did his project on Utah and our connection to a Sheriff that knew Butch Cassidy.  He really loved researching the wild west.


After reading a few book from the library, we watched Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.  A few days later we were able to visit one of the locations where the movie was filmed.






It was a really fun project to work on. It was nice getting to know a little more about the kids and families in our group and seeing all the different projects.  We are looking forward to doing it again sometime.


Weekly wrap up

This was our first week of school.  I am happy about how everything went despite schedule changes and general craziness. The amount of organizing that I did the past few weeks seems to be paying off big time.

Here is what we did accomplish:

History- 3 lessons covering general geography and habitats

science- 2 lessons- covering weather and clouds

art- 2 lessons- covering real vs. imaginary and portraits

language- 2 lessons- picture narration, poem reading

spelling- 1 weekly lesson- oi words

math- 3 lessons

Spanish- 1 lesson

games- Spelling All Stars, Monstermatics, ipad games.

Literature- Just So Stories- 4 chapters

Extras- Hip Hop, Acrobatics for dance, movie with a friend, not back to school party, park day and lots of Legos.

at the not back to school party

doing his first art lesson


playing games






I'm getting real creative with the titles of these posts. :)


The Colosseum is completed.  Jack has been enjoying geography a lot lately, especially when we have time to do projects.   This one was a leftover from before Christmas, something we just didn't get around too during the hustle and bustle of the season. It's good to have it done. He loves building and had been looking forward to it.  I need to make sure to incorporate projects for him. 

This week we are studying Germany,  we didn't get around to this before Christmas either.  Today we looked at pictures of castles and the Berlin Wall.  I think we will try and make pretzels for park day this week.  I am channeling my fifth grade teacher who drilled us with German songs and words. I never thought I would thank him, but I am now!  Although I'm not sure Jack feels the same way.


geography- United Kingdom

Last week we spent the week studying the United Kingdom. It was perfect since the highlight of our week was the Dicken's festival.

Here are some of the activities we did to go along with it:

  • opened Christmas crackers and talked about English holiday traditions
  • dipped candles
  • rolled beeswax candles
  • read Oliver Twist from  Usborne Illustrated Stories From Dickens
  • Tried shortbread cookies from Scotland.
  • Talked about A Christmas Carol-- This is one of our favorite holiday tales so he is very familiar with the story. We will watch our favorite version, Scrooge with Albert Finney, as soon as we can find the time.
  • Colored the UK flag.






Now we are on to the Netherlands!


traveling the world

The one thing I had not planned for this homeschooling year was geography. I had an ideaof what I wanted and thought I would just put it together myself, but then time got away from me. We did a little here and there but nothing consistent. After months of debating I finally purchased Expedition Earth by Erica at Confessions of a Homeschooler.  So far we are loving it! I can't believe I put it off for so long.

The week before last,  we worked on the continents and oceans. We used the additional hopscotch game from Spell Out Loud. We did the hop game, but mostly we danced between the continents while singing the continent song we were memorizing.

This past week we started our studies with China.

Here are the books we have been using:

Videos we are using:

  • Little Pim Fun With Languages Chinese
  • Wild China via netflix

Jack pointing to our animal classification wall.

His favorite part seems to be the animal study, but that is just who he is.


The map work page and the flag he colored.

A picture of his passport.


I had planned on moving onto the next country this week, but since there are more resources that we haven't gotten to yet and since he is still really into it, we will finish out this week on China and move on next week.

Things I'd like to do this week:

  • tangrams
  • re-visit the Great Wall of China with another project
  • make fortune cookies
  • make Chinese for dinner
  • finish watching Wild China
  • write our names in Chinese
  • and whatever else we can think of!

zǒu hǎo!