This year, my 2nd oldest child is moving towards a more independent learning plan. In the past, Mary (age 10) and Peter (age 8) have worked together for the content subjects. While this had its cozy moments, it also led to some conflict.
In some areas their abilities are neck-and-neck, in other areas she’s way (waaay) beyond him in cognitive ability, but then in couple of areas (spelling, composition, and art) he’s way beyond her.
They’ve made the fact that child development does not follow one particular stair-stepped path abundantly clear.
They also have very different interests. It only took me 7 years of homeschooling, but I’ve learned that while incorporating your kids’ personal interests into their education may not be necessary…it is advisable if you want to keep them fully engaged.
This is their education, after all, not mine.
So, in planning Mary’s 5th grade year, a lot of consideration has been given to where she is academically and developmentally, as well as what her personal interests are.
Her key interests right now: American history, wildflowers and other plants, and the domestic arts (specifically cooking and hand crafts).
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Apples and Pears Spelling Book B (and C if we finish)
Chapter Book Club with our local homeschool group
Life of Fred Fractions
From Sea to Shining Sea: The Story of America and notebooking
Complete Book of Maps & Geography
Various books on plants, plus learning to identify wildflowers using a guide and pressing flowers
She may also participate in science activities the younger kids do.
Recorder (Using the Nine-Note Method)
Ready-to-Use Music Reading Activities Kit
Handicrafts (sewing, crochet, needle arts, weaving, candle making, etc.)
Health and PE
Family Time Fitness (with the rest of the family)
Little Flowers Club
Find our 2014-2015 Learning Map for our homeschool here, with links to what the other kids are learning this year.
Update 9/27/14: After working with our original plan for a few weeks, it became clear that it was too much and we needed to simplify. We are now approaching a more peaceful and productive balance in our homeschool with the changes we’ve made.
Have you got a 5th grader this year? What are your learning plans?