End of Our Homeschool Year 2015-2016 (5th Grade)
So we aren’t officially, officially done with school yet but since we are so close (and since this roundup is going on now) I thought it would be nice to look back at our 2015-16 homeschool year.
The Sweet Peanut finished up 5th grade with our core curriculum of BJU Press this past year.
We started off with a bang using everything in the box until the Schoolhouse Review products started arriving….
Spelling. We started out using the BJU Press spelling but that quickly became to easy and we moved on to Phonetic Zoofor a more challenging spelling curriculum. BJU has done so well teaching my daughter to read and spell that she was acing each week’s spelling test. I wanted to give her more of a challenge this year so after a few weeks we moved on to Phonetic Zoo Level C and have used that up until lesson 9. This really challenged her and gave a nice new vocabulary!
Handwriting quickly went by the wayside this past school year due to time constraints but I think that was a mistake. The Sweet Peanut’s handwriting has really suffered this past year and I won’t make that mistake again next year. We did pick up a Vintage Typewriter and that has helped a lot with reports but I don’t want her to lose neat handwriting as a skill so…next year, next year.
Science wasn’t as fun this year as it has been in the past but that was my fault. We learned a lot but didn’t do enough experiments. We did a few but since every chapter contains an experiment or two I should have made provision to do more. I could have even found easier versions or something. Again my fault. But she did still enjoy it and doesn’t know how I’m feeling about this. The body part study at the end was a lot of fun.
Math was much better this year. I really focused on using the review products from the Schoolhouse Review Crew and also some past products which we purchased. Most specifically IXL. My daughter loves that program and I’m glad I upgraded her Kindle so she could use the app. We also made a bit of headway in the communication department as far as math is concerned. After tears and wasted days in 4th grade we, okay I talked a lot about communicating when she didn’t understand something so I could help her through it. Pretending to understand and then failing was a waste of time and energy. We also stopped doing EVERY worktext and sheet that came with our curriculum. If she mastered it then move on. Math shouldn’t take hours. If she came to a concept she had trouble understanding we used IXL and Mommy to get better clarity.
In English the Sweet Peanut took off like a rocket due to the introduction of the gift of a Vintage Typewriter that her father brought home. She has mentioned for years that she wanted one but I did not take her seriously until this past year and put the bug in her dad’s ear. It’s been a wonderful addition and we’re now on the lookout for another one to bless our homeschooling friends who’s kids have a taken a shine to our daughter’s. They’re kind of pricey if you try to buy them on eBay or Etsy but that’s another option.
Reading was a mish mash and we ended up tabling the boxed curriculum (since she had read the book before we even started 5th grade) and read several review items this year.
All in all it was a good year. I discovered that a soft answer gets much better results. Encouragement helps a lot. Old tools discovered as new (the typewriter) can make a world of difference. And homeschooling isn’t for the faint of heart 🙂
We grew a lot during this school year and I am seeing my students mature so much. My little guy still needs that parental ‘eye’ in order to stay focused on his work, but not as often as ever before.