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erin327

Need some 6th grade advice - science and writing composition

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As my oldest will be in 6th grade next year I am thinking it is time to move her into something more formal for both science and writing composition. Agreed? Both of these things we have done organically in the past.  We do museum programs, state park programs, snap circuits, travel journals, mystery science, language lessons, and so on but nothing formal. I'd love any suggestions of 6th grade writing composition program and science curriculum options. For science we will want a Biblical worldview. For both, I don't want anything overwhelming or incredibly time consuming. 

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You might like Wordsmith Apprentice.

I think what you've been doing for science is just fine, even for an 11yo. 🙂 The most important thing about science before high school level is that children learn to love science, so that when they get to the big sciences 🙂 they say, "OH, kewl! Biology!" instead of, "Oh, man. More science."

You might find something on Cathy Duffy's site that looks good to you.

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Have you looked at Memoria Press? It's not scheduled every day and I think they study Trees in 6th, but you could do Birds too if that is of more interest. It definitely wouldn't be overhwleming and she would really come out of it knowing a whole lot about the subject. MP is great at depth-if there's a topic she'd be interested in.

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For science I think continuing with what you've been doing is great. We start Apologia in 7th for more structured science, but in elementary I don't think you need to do that if an organic approach is working for you and your student.

For composition, we like IEW a lot and it's been great for both me as a teacher (to feel like I know what I'm supposed to be doing) and also for my students (who are growing by leaps and bounds in their writing). But it's definitely a more structured approach and might not be a good fit. And it's expensive. We have also had good success with the Wordsmith series mentioned by a PP, but only with my very self motivated student who grasped the writing process very intuitively. Not sure if I'd use it with a struggling writer or not.

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We follow the four-year cycle for history and science. We started with ScienceFusion this year for sixth grade. It turned out not to be our cup of tea, so that left me scrambling around Christmastime. I ended up ordering the sixth grade earth science-themed LightUnits from Christian Light Publications. I don't think they are traditionally recommended here, but they ended up being a great fit for us this year. They are to the point, take about 30 minutes or less per lesson to complete, and have low-key, mostly independent experiments/activities sprinkled throughout the books. Grade six was redesigned for this past school year, so that's a plus!

My DD has some writing composition issues plus a low tolerance for frustration. She can be a creative writer, but she needs a method to fall back on for everyday writing. We've been using The Paragraph Book series a couple times a week this year. (We split each lesson into two days.) We've both been pretty happy with it. 

Edited by pitterpatter

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For writing, I think easing into doing more can be good. I'll second Wordsmith Apprentice as a very gentle start. If she's motivated, you could go with something else, of course. And there are other gentle programs, like Brave Writer. I do think if a student can emerge from middle school able to write a half decent paragraph, able to basically organize a classic 5 paragraph essay, and able to correct their work so that it's mostly readable... then they're in a good shape headed into high school.

For science, I totally disagree. I think if you have an interest in doing more formal science or a local opportunity to take a science class, that's great. If your dd wants to do more science, then I'd respond to that. But I don't think you have to do "formal science" in middle school. 

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I love the Memoria Press sciences too. They're worth a look. 

In 6th for writing, we used Rod and Staff English which covers grammar and composition. 

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