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Bored? Wanna play "choose curriculum for 5th grader new to WTM education"?


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Sorry, that's a long title.


DS is 10. We've been homeschooling for 14mos now. He is finally on grade level in math and gaining ground every day in reading. (He's gone from a 1.6 to a 3.6 in 14mos!) Teaching Textbooks 4 and lots of reading/remediation.


By fall of 2012, he will be on 5th grade level in all subjects (I anticipate) except writing. My plan for spring of 2012 is to work on writing, narration, and dictation - in addition to reading and math. Apologia Zoology 3 and Easy Grammar 3/4 round out our current curriculum.


We've been playing with SOTW vol 1, but I have read that ancient history is begun again in 5th grade according to WTM. So I'm considering doing something else - maybe geography - next semester so as not to burn him out on ancients.


For spring I'm also considering Winning with Writing 3 (as he has had no writing instruction at all) and Soaring with Spelling (we finished AAS 1 and 2 and burned out).


DS is under-motivated, largely an auditory learner, hates writing/using a pencil, and likes for me to be right beside him at all times during lessons. We need some independence and a gentle approach.


So what curriculum would you choose for a child in this situation?

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I would start with Ancients this year and then just move through the series over the next 4 years. Don't repeat Ancients, just move on. You can supplement with geography if you want (I do), but otherwise, just use lots of maps & globes with history and you should be fine. IMO, SOTW is not overly childish and could be used in middle grades with no problem. You'll want to add readings and activities at your child's reading level to bump up the challenge a bit.


In terms of well-roundedness, it looks like you need arts / music programs. These don't have to be hard! I'm following the Ambleside Online composer rotation bc they tell you what pieces to listen to from which composers, but you could do any other listening / theory / practical program that appealed to you. For arts, we're doing Meet the Masters, which I got inexpensively through HSBC, but now the offer is suspended. I'd still recommend the program - it is scripted and perfect if you don't know much about art. If you DO know much about art, feel free to do your own theoretical / practical art program instead.


Some people like to tie the art/music in with history, ie do ancients one year, medieval one year, etc. But I don't... I figure you'd be WAY too busy in the modern period year. :-)

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Thanks, FBA and Jennifer! I just saw that there was another 5th grade curriculum thread started yesterday that has lots of suggestions, so I'll look closely at those as well.


Jennifer, we belong to a small art co-op that studies together twice a month, so he gets some art. Poor thing has a mom who is hard of hearing, so we haven't done any music. I just don't enjoy music. I need to put that aside and find a way for him to learn to enjoy it. Thanks for the reminder. Ambleside - being told what to listen to - would be right up my alley! Thanks for that link.

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I also really like the MP packages, but if you ask on their Forum they recommend starting with Greek Myths. You could use D'Aulaires Greek Myths with Famous Men of Greece for History and follow the rest of their plans for the other subjects.


Another great choice I keep looking at is Veritas Press self-paced History. It looks awesome for auditory children especially.


My son adores books on tape period. Get whatever you can with audio.

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Have you listened to SWB's about raising an independent homeschooler audio lecture? She has some great, concrete ideas.


Writing - Have you looked at WWE? It is all set out for you. Very easy to get all your copywork, narration and early writing work in. My undermotivated, pencil hating ds is fine with it. He loves Down Write Funny. It's a book of fairly silly writing prompts. He also likes Hot Fudge Monday. It's a grammar book that is also fun. (We also do R&S for a more formal and complete grammar.) He actually chooses to do these two books. Huge for this one. For formal writing we are using The Elegant Essay. Mainly for my older son, but 10 yo. is doing it, too. It is very clear and easy to use.


I wouldn't worry about history. Stick with Ancients and just go from there. You will get stuck in some time periods that just fascinate your son. Try to think of this as built in extra time.

Edited by MSNative
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Like the others, I suggest you keep going with SOTW, since it's working for you. It doesn't matter what year you do ancients. The point is to work in an orderly manner, weave in skills (writing, reading quality literature), and bump up the thought process when they hit logic stage. But you can do the 5th grade specified skills using any of the time periods. The reading lists also flex up and down a bit.


Your list seems overall very good. If you want some music, you might find the Vox Music Masters cds a good fit.


Like MSNative we did some prompt-writing about that age, and it was a lot of fun. We used the prompts in the Jump In tm, but that Down Write Funny sounds fun. Lots of good sources.


Does he have anything he *likes* to do that you could weave in? For instance last year my dd got a calendar with an origami a day thing. That was really fun. They make them for airplanes and all sorts of interests. When you bought the printed one, it came with a subscription to an online one as well, which has been fun. So just a little thing that he looks forward to each day can make a big difference.


Now I'll just throw this out, and you do with it as you wish. Sometimes "not motivated academically" and "pencil phobic" actually are codes for some LDs or physical problems. It's always good to consider evaluations. The ps will evaluate, but they don't necessarily turn up *everything* as it's not in their interest.

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I am aware of some "glitches" that he has - there seems to be some kind of auditory processing disorder (which seems out of whack with being an auditory learner, but I swear he is!). For example, he absolutely canNOT hear rhyming words. He can SEE that words should rhyme (same endings) but he can't HEAR it. We've done a lot of Dianne Craft/Brain Gym exercises in the last six months. I don't know if those are working or what, but he's made amazing strides in reading. We are working on fine motor skills and hand-strengthening exercises too. I will look into PS testing as well. Thanks.


MSNative, where are you from? We moved from NorthEast MS last spring (Tupelo). I grew up in Columbus, and my parents lived in Pontotoc until Mom died a few years ago.


I will check into Down Write Funny. And fun grammar? Sounds good to me!


5 Hikers, we do lots of audio and DS listens to an audio book as he falls asleep each night. And in the car - we both enjoy those!


I just wanted to say thanks again to all of you for your encouragement. I've gone from being indecisive and a bit apprehensive to actually enjoying the thought of taking our time in Ancients and moving forward. Isn't it amazing what a few kind words from (experienced) strangers can do for the outlook?


Thank you!

Edited by TammyH
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Tammy, have you thought about heading over to the SN board and asking for suggestions on this? What you're saying is pretty significant, and he should have some evals for this. We haven't done an auditory processing eval, but several ladies over there have and can steer you about it. They could tell you whether you want is an audiologist or a neuropsych first. It might be you need both eventually. I'm just saying you have a lot more options and help out there than just the Dianne Craft stuff. Head on over. :)

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DS is 10. We've been homeschooling for 14mos now. He is finally on grade level in math and gaining ground every day in reading. (He's gone from a 1.6 to a 3.6 in 14mos!) Teaching Textbooks 4 and lots of reading/remediation.



That's great progress!




I have some phonics/spelling/vocab ideas.


First, if you have not already, I recommend my syllable division rules and exercises from my how to tutor page (linked at the end) and also my phonics lessons. If there are any guessing problems from sight words in school, I also recommend some nonsense words from my phonics concentration game, also linked from my how to tutor page.


Also, for anyone of that age still needing some phonics and spelling work, I highly recommend Marcia Henry's Words. It also has some root study. The samples are from early on, it goes up to middle school/early high school level words by the end. The book is usually cheaper from Pro Ed than other sources.




I also like old Readers for building up vocabulary and reading abilities. For someone who struggles more with pronunciation than vocabulary, I like the 1879 McGuffey readers, you can get them all online free from Gutenberg press. For someone who needs more vocabulary building, I like the Parker Readers, they are linked at the end of my Webster page.

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Math: TT or MUS (I personally use CLE Math with my auditory learner with no problem.)


Grammar: GWG (We have tried the rest. Easy Grammar did not explain things well and seemed to skip around. R&S is excellent but gets on ours nerves for many reasons.)


Spelling: SWO E or Soaring with Spelling and Vocabulary (I have not found a resource I love here.)


Vocabulary: Not needed but you could start VfCR bks 4 and 5


Writing: Writing with Skill (Hands down the best I have used. This is SWB's new upper level program.)


History: History Odyssey Level 2 by Pandia Press (WTM history all laid out. My audio guy loves it. Go easy on the writing. We cut 5x7 index cards in half for our timeline. He writes the date and draws a cartoon. We tape the cards to our hallway and move them as needed. At the end of the course, I laminated the cards in order on cardstock pages and 3 ring punched. Love it.)


Science: I have not found a good resource for us though many people like Apologia. I am looking at Rainbow Science for mine.


Logic Prep: Not needed but you could grab a couple of computer games. I am ignorant here so maybe others will suggest some?


Art: Atelier Art either with or without the DVDs


Music: Beetohven's Wig (Nope cannot spell) 4 CDs, Story of the Orchestra

Edited by Guest
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