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4th/5th grade goals, anyone?!


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I remember a thread last year discussing academic goals instead of just the curricula used. It really helped me in identifying curricula that focused on what was important to us for the year. I'd love to hear what your goals are for your 4th/5th grader. My son is heading to 4th grade, and I haven't determined our goals yet but will post them as soon as I do. Hopefully, I'll be inspired by this thread.

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I'd love to see my daughter start handling her work more independently as a 5th grader. I tried it this year with giving her a weekly plan listing all her work by day, but she wasn't ready for it so it flopped. She's gained a lot of maturity in just the last couple months so I'm hoping I can try again in the fall.


I'm hoping to have my son work more independently as well.  He is a currently a young 3rd grader right now, so we'll see how it goes.

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This is not comprehensive for all subjects, but as far as Math, the California math standards are very thorough.  They are a good gauge for expected achievement.


On a personal note, we found it takes 6-7 hours per day in 5th grade to complete a rigorous classical curricula set.  DS11 is working to realize he gets less Lego time than his siblings.

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Goals for my ten year old, fifth grader.


Progress in learning math.

Learn to deal with making mistakes and recovering.


Be able to write a five paragraph style essay.

Learn to plan and organize time to accomplish a task.

Learn to not panic when something is hard.


Become more fluent in Japanese.

Learn to deal with a teacher in an academic subject that is not mom.

Learn how to deal with not being the best at something.

Learn appropriate classroom behavior.


Listen, learn, and read about science, geography/history and literature.

Find out about things he didn't already know and places he hasn't been.

Maybe discover that chemistry is cool...

Maybe find out that he wants to visit Japan

Maybe find out that The Hobbit was not such a bad book.

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What a great idea.  I had my son in school for 4th grade last year.  His math was great.  His reading comprehension has always been lacking, because he gets bored when he reads.  His grammar and writing needed a lot of work.  My goals were grammar, writing, music, and foreign languages.  I hit grammar intensively with Shurley during the first semester.  I use Memoria Press CC Fables stage to help develop his writing skills.  He went from hating it to loving it.  Because I have a scaled down approach, the kids now have time for adequate music and foreign language practice.  He is quickly becoming proficient on his drum kit and his band percussion kit.  He is also making great strides in French with Pimsleur.  I don't know if that helped.  I find that I emphasize different things different years, depending on what is lacking.  Another big one this summer will be encouraging the habit of reading independently.

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The main goals I have for the end of 5th (other than math and reading progression) are to be able to read for information, to collect simple but pertinent notes, and to synthesize info from multiple sources for a report. (In non-edu speak that means read 3 related articles, take notes from each one, and organize their notes into an outline and then write a report based on their outline.)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, yay. I was just browsing the 4th grade planning thread and feeling like a) my kid who will be ten in October is kinda 4th and 5th grade, and b) I have goals, not curriculum lists. Thanks for making a thread where I can get in on the fun!



Now that he can add, subtract, multiply, and divide with whole numbers into the thousands, I want him to start working with fractions, decimals and percentages. I'll start with concepts and it may take him a year just to master the ideas, not worrying about algorithms, as it did with the ideas of doing equations in the thousands by parts this past year. I'll loosely follow Developmental Math's sequence, using worksheets when he just needs drill, but mostly I'll teach by talking to him and showing him with drawings.


I want him to realize that punctuation rules actually always apply, so I'll be dogging him as he works through our usual weekly English routine of correspondence on Mondays, journaling on Tuesdays, book reviews on Wednesdays, and storywriter's circle on Thursdays.  At some point early in the year I hope to introduce the idea of carefully ordering where you place your thoughts in a composition, using a topic sentence to guide a paragraph, and we'll do that by organizing his letters, journal entries, book reviews and creative stories together before he puts pen to paper.

Literature, History, Geography and Visual Arts:
We'll be in the Middle Ages by then, maybe with some Roman history if our summer is unproductive. I read aloud a few books every morning, Sonlight style, but I pick my own titles, and we do projects on the last day of the week, art stuff related to the history lessons. I choose my own art projects too, from Pinterest and Artistic Pursuits. I haven't picked medieval titles yet. There are so many good choices for this period!

Here I am utterly stumped. I need a spine to guide my choices and I don't have one yet. We may do astronomy, geology, trees, the human body, meteorology -- I have no flippin clue yet. I do know that we'll read picture books from the library and do projects culled from many sources as well as a lapbook or two. 

Phys Ed:
I think we all need to transition to the ancient Greek mentality of working out every day just the same way we'd clean our house every day or read and write every day. I don't know how to incorporate that yet, because we are homebodies who ain't nevah gonna join no gym, but we'll figure out something. We have to. We need our bodies to be strong and flexible, the same way we need our house to be clean, and not having a routine for upkeep is just slightly oppressing us all round the edges a little.

I would really love it if this was the year kiddo became able to independently manage his fiddle. He'll keep working towards that goal, anyway.

I want to start a morning basket routine and stick some books about philosophy, worldview, and religion in there, just to get us all talking about big ideas together. 


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My goals for 5th grade, in addition to continuing to learn subject content:


Math: making a habit of showing work neatly and not all over the page

Composition: able to write an entire story, and continuing to work on dialogue-related grammar

Logic: start a formal study

Life Skills: focusing more on library skills, as well as chores; we'll also try to spend time on Girl Scout badges outside of meetings;

Culinary arts: she has her own recipe binder now and in addition to expanding her repertoire, by the end of next year I'd like to have her planning and cooking one dinner a week.

Literature: she will be in charge of her reading log

History: discuss current events with me once a week

Science: explore topics more in depth than a standard elementary textbook

Art: work on drawing more realistically and encouraging artwork in her journal

Foreign language: hold a simple conversation in Spanish, and read Spanish readers

Study Skills: This year, in 4th grade, she started using her own student planner. I showed her how I take a weekly plan and break it up into daily chunks, and she'd copy from my planner. Next year I want to move toward handing her a weekly plan, and letting her decide how to arrange her own days. I predict sitting down with her and having the rock/pebble/sand discussion on time management.



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I'd love to see my daughter start handling her work more independently as a 5th grader. I tried it this year with giving her a weekly plan listing all her work by day, but she wasn't ready for it so it flopped. She's gained a lot of maturity in just the last couple months so I'm hoping I can try again in the fall.


My oldest kid is 7.5 (he's actually the one in the pic with me... really should update pic), so I haven't done this yet, but when I was in school we got a weekly to-do list with thing that had to be done. At certain times the teacher would make everyone work on math or on language arts, but other times he'd say to go work on one of the things on the to-do list. So, not a daily to-do list with the entire day to be arranged by the student, but a weekly one with the days partially managed by the teacher and partially by the student (and with the ability to work ahead in some subjects or to spend more time reading/drawing as long as the other stuff got done too). 


Not sure if that's clear, but for things like memorizing the capital cities of some continent, it might be on the to-do list for the week, but it was up to the student to decide which day to do it. For math though there were scheduled times to work on it and a couple of hours a week that we had to schedule in ourselves. Of course, which subjects you'd want to schedule in would depend on the kid... if you have a kid who will do math all day and who will not touch e.g. language arts unless made to you might just leave the math scheduling completely to the kid but schedule some language arts time every day. And then over time you might leave larger and larger portions of language arts scheduling to the kid as well, once successful in getting the other subjects done on the weekly to-do list.


Again though, this was how they ran the school I attended... I have not tried this at home.

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Well, I have all my curriculum choices made and now my goals pretty much revolve around them.  Of course I want my 4th grader to succeed in her subjects, enjoy them, and retain a good amount of what we study :).  

Beyond that, I hope to see character formed as we read wonderful books and interact with the characters, as we learn perseverance through difficult subjects, and as we surround ourselves with truth and beauty.

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For 4th:





More specifically:

Increased attention span

Neat writing

Good attitude


Nitty gritty:

Master all 4 sets math facts

Complete next level math

Learn to write a good paragraph

Learn cursive

Review and deepen understanding of grammatical terms

Continue plugging away at spelling


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My biggest goal for 4th/5th grade has been for my kids to increase their stamina and independence. I have done a big jump in terms of expectations. It looks like this:

1st-3rd: I read aloud literature/history/science. They narrate orally. I hold their hand throughout the day (sitting beside them, telling them what to do next). 2 hrs daily schoolwork.

4th: I still read aloud literature/history/science. They write summaries. All work is now in cursive. They have a checklist they work through during the day. 3 hrs daily schoolwork.

5th: They do all reading independently. They outline their history and science reading, and they write science reports every month. We add logic. 4 hrs daily schoolwork.

6th: They start learning to write essays. We add Latin. 4 1/2 hrs daily schoolwork.


I also have many specific goals for individual subjects, but my main goal for 4th/5th has been to transition from the gentle learning of early elementary to the more rigorous, independent learning of middle school.

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