I have been absent from this space for weeks. It’s not that I’ve lost my mojo, as much as lost any sense of routine and ability to sit down and write for “fun” at all. But, school started this week, and while it is always difficult to adjust to a new routine, it also feels good.
Education for our little earthlings is once again, this year, a mix and match of educational choices. Apollo (sixth grade) is homeschooling, Avi and Tucker (10th grade) are attending a brand new charter school. They are part of the founding class, and Hezekiah (12th grade) is doing Running Start at the local community college as well as taking band at the local high school.
We survived our first week of school. My days are now bookended by driving Avi and Tucker to school. Once Tucker has his license, he will take over school bus duties. For now, the structure of needing to start our day earlier and the discipline of getting to school on time has been good for us all. Once Apollo and I are home from the morning drop-off, we begin our homeschool day.
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Curriculum Choices for Homeschooling Sixth Grade
Apollo has never been a particularly easy kid and homeschooling him has been no bed of roses. Despite that, we had a great start to our homeschooling year. Due to some major work here on our house (I will share about that soon) I didn’t have a lot of time to plan our first week of school. Despite that, we read every day, worked on math, and art. Most importantly, Apollo enjoyed it.
Sixth Grade Math Curriculum
I cannot say enough good things about Life of Fred for kids who don’t naturally enjoy math. Every lesson is old as a story. We have been reading a chapter a day in Life of Fred Farming and doing the practice promblems. In addition to that we have been reviewing basic math facts to make sure he is sharp.
These are short biographies of mathematicians who made major discoveries. This is the perfect union of history, math, science, and geography. I also love how it shows mathematicians are regular people who were once babies and kids and maybe weren’t even good at math in school…
Unfortuantely, these books are out of print, but I encourage you to scoure used book stores to find a copy.
We will be using fun resources from both from my own store (I often create resources for Apollo and then sell them on Teachers Pay Teachers) and from other talented teachers.
Apollo loves watching the how-to-draw videos on Art for Kids Hub. You can read about our favorite colored pencils here.
We will be reading books that Apollo chooses. I won’t have Apollo keep a reading log (you know how I feel about those) but I will keep track of the books we read for school for my own personal homeschooling records.
Currently, we are reading Matilda by Roald Dahl, and next, he wants to read The Twits by Roald Dahl. He has read both before and really enjoyed them. As a fun side note, Tucker (15) recently said he wanted to learn to draw in the style of Quentin Blake (Dahl’s illustrator). I started to do a little research, mainly to see what other books Blake has illustrated, when I found this little gem, Start With a Scribble: Quentin Blake’s How-to-Draw Book for Kids and Adults. I quickly bought a copy for both Tucker and Apollo. I can’t wait to see what the book inspires them to draw. As you know, I firmly believe that drawing should be taught as a core class in schools and I am always looking for great new resources to inspire drawing.
Writing will mostly be done with resources I have created, such as my 5th Grade Opinion Writing and Letter Writing 101. As the year goes on, I will add more units. I am working on a Palindrome unit and some other fun wordplay units as well.
Science History and Geography
Science curriculum…where to start and where to end? The more years we homeschool the more I realize science, history, geography are all around us. I am not thrilled about breaking our learning down into neat little categories…but here is some of what I have planned.
Food Science and Culinary Arts
Hezekiah, Tucker, and I had so much fun with our Chemistry in the Kitchen class that I decided to write a Food Science curriculum aimed at 9-12-year-olds. This is such a great age to have kids in the kitchen learning to do more than stir the soup and lick the spatula. I will definitely sell this in my Teachers Pay Teachers store. I will likely release each unit as I complete them. The current plan is to meet once a week with our homeschooling buddies for cooking and a food science lesson.
We will also be using Exploring Creation with Astronomy, and really whatever else captures our interest along the way.
History and geography will be taught through books and documentaries as we study our other subjects. We will also be hiking, playing with LEGO bricks, and making weekly trips to the library.
For now, that pretty much sums up our homeschooling curriculum choices for the 2021-2022 school year.
What are your your education plans for this year?