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5th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices

5th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices 2017

Even though we’ve been homeschooling now for almost 12 years, each year our curriculum changes based on the child and something new that may have caught our eye. This 5th grade year for Kaleb will be one where we continue to focus on his independent reading and comprehension as well as handwriting and spelling. Typically in the fifth grade year we add in another independent subject (or two) and walk toward fostering as much independence as we can.

Kaleb is one who enjoys worksheets and things that are cut/dry in what needs to be done. He is our science and math boy. Reading and writing aren’t necessarily his favorite things to do, unless it’s on his terms (more on that below). I’ve tried to cater to those likes and dislikes to push him a bit and yet make it easier for him to grow in the areas he struggles and that can be a difficult balance at times. 

Below you’ll get a peek at our 5th grade homeschool curriculum choices – a look at the new (and favorite) programs we are using for the upcoming school year.

*feed readers, please click over to the blog for some of the additional links to curriculum

5th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices


As I mentioned earlier, Kaleb really enjoys the subjects that are do “this” and you are done. He struggles with his handwriting and keeping his letters smaller, so we are including several things that will help along those lines this year (Print Power Plus). While he hates writing overall (I typically let him dictate his stories to me and write them out), he loves copywork. Go figure.

That’s one reason you’ll notice several workbooks focused more on that aspect (Spelling You See D and Soaring with Spelling). All About Spelling Levels 3 & 4 will be our primary spelling curriculum, and the other two programs are more for handwriting and extra practice. :) 

Kaleb has also loved Nancy Larson Science in years past, and he is looking forward to using that again this year. Last year we held off on the Level 4 program because his reading needed a little more targeting, but one thing I love about this program is the focus on reading aloud (and following along) as well as learning study skills (see more on why we love Nancy Larson science here). He is also very much into learning how things work, so Little Bits and EEME projects are going to be a ‘bonus time’ at the end of each day for him for some STEM work.

Overall, we are SO excited for his year to start and see how he grows this year!

Co-op Learning

The fact that Kaleb is technically in middle school is about to make me cry. Our co-op class has a group of all boys in this age group, so Kaleb will be working on two classes with them twice a month. We are tweaking the classes we will do with the boys, but they will likely be science-based and we are hoping to do one with a little more cooking/science fun. Explosions and anything that involves eating is typically a huge hit with the boys!

I’ve listed some of the books we’ll be using to go along with our studies above (feed readers can see them by clicking over to the blog post). 

Curriculum in Year’s Past

In case you are interested in seeing the curriculum that brought us to this point, here’s a peek at what we’ve used with Kaleb the past few years:

If you are new to homeschooling and aren’t sure where to begin in choosing homeschool curriculum, please don’t let this post overwhelm you! Check out the entire Homeschool Basics series for answers to more frequently asked homeschool questions.


See What the Other Kids Are Up To…

I’ll be sharing more in the upcoming days and weeks on what our other kids are studying this year, so stay tuned for those posts. 

5th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices 2017



What subjects are you excited to work on this year with your kids?

Multiplication Worsheets

While our older children are able to use graph paper for their math problems, our youngest struggles with his penmanship size and also the graph paper doesn’t help him quite enough in keeping his numbers in the right column. Even though he may do his math correctly, when it’s time to add up the numbers – well, the columns don’t line up correctly and mistakes are made.

I tried adding lines to regular notebook paper, but that didn’t always do it either, so instead I put together a simple worksheet for him to use when he is working on multiplication facts (I’m working on a division one too, because that’s the next thing we need to straighten up a little). 

We love our Teaching Textbooks program

With the multiplication worksheet pages, he is able to use the sheets over the course of a few days to work through problems (he can note the problem number next to his work), and be reminded of where the numbers go. This has helped TREMENDOUSLY in cutting back on mistakes and frustration for him.

One thing I wanted to do as well – keep the main lines black and columns grey so he can get a better visual of how to line things up. Above is a little peek at how the worksheets are set up. 

There are two sets included in the free muliplication worksheet printables: one with and one without zeros as place markers to remind children where to place numbers. Each sheet has at least twelve spaces to work on multiplication problems and there are different sheets based on how many digits are being multiplied: 2×2, 3×2, or 3×3. 

We’re printing them off double-sided and using them over the course of the week. It’s already helped so much! Feel free to download a set by clicking below – enjoy! 


Still need a little work on multiplication facts? Check out these FREE Skip Counting Charts

Making a Simple Compass – Learning about the Earth’s Magnetism

making a simple compass and learning about the Earth's magnetism - HomeschoolCreations.net

As part of our history time this year, each week we are working on simple projects with friends to go along with our studies. One week we may make miniature teepees, another we tie knots that sailors use. This past week we talked more about how compasses work and had fun making a simple compass of our own. 


We’ve been learning about early explorers to the Americas and talking about how they used compasses to help them find their way across the wide ocean. Truly they were much more adventurous than I am, because I don’t believe I’d be willing to do what they all did (however thankful I am to be living in North America now). 

It only require a few simple supplies to put our compass together and the best part of all – it really worked! Granted, we won’t be taking our compass on any grand ocean expeditions in the near future, but the kids were so excited and carefully watched as it found north each time. We tried it with several different needles to see if there was any difference, but all three we tried worked well.  

Making a Simple Compass


Here’s a quick look at what we used to create our compass. You’ll need: 

  • a needle
  • a magnet (a washer-sized magnet will work as well – we used one the size of a domino)
  • a cork
  • a bowl and water
  • tape (optional)


  1. Carefully rub the sewing needle on the magnet at least 30 times in the same direction (be sure not to rub it back and forth). 
  2. Tape the needle to the outside of the cork. We didn’t have any tape handy, so instead we poked it into the side of the cork. 
  3. Place the cork in a bowl full of water. Be sure the bowl is wide enough to let the cork rotate and move around a bit. 
  4. Once the cork has stopped moving, check and see what direction it is pointing. Compare the location to an actual compass – don’t hold the compass too closely to your homemade compass because it can skew the results. Gently turn the cork again and wait to see where it is pointing this time (is it the same area?). 


Why it works: When the iron/steel needle is rubbed against the magnet, the particles line up and turn the needle into a temporary magnet. The needle then aligns with the Earth’s magnetic field. 

The entire project took us less than ten minutes – super easy and a great chance to talk more about magnetism and compasses. 

5th Grade Year in Review – Homeschool Curriculum Choices

5th grade homeschool year in review

When I asked Zachary what his favorite subject for the year was, he immediately said science. And grammar. (I’ll tell you it’s definitely not writing, although he is doing fabulous at that). This boy is incredibly hands on and our science choices (and additions) for the year were a perfect fit for him. That said, there were a few things that he wasn’t super crazy about – and that’s ok too!

Last year I shared a similar series of year end posts and it really helped me figure out how we would approach the upcoming year.  You can see all of our curriculum choices in this post here, but below you’ll get a good look at what we used for Zachary’s 5th grade year and how it all worked out overall. 

The 5th Grade Year Plan…


One of the biggest helps for him this year has been his weekly assignment sheets. They have been huge in keeping him on target and making him more accountable for his schoolwork – and what is (or needs to be) finished.

Here’s a quick look at the overall plan for our 5th grade year…



As I mentioned earlier, science is hands-down one of Zachary’s favorite subject areas. Christian Kids Explore Chemistry gave him a great opportunity to work more independently in this subject area. He had two days of reading and questions, a review day, and also a day for a hands-on experiment. He learned a LOT about elements and truly loved the course. A few of our favorite projects were building atom models and also making cookie skillet atoms

In addition to the chemistry course, one of his co-op classes worked on projects with KEVA planks


A few months into the school year we started working on the monthly subscription projects from EEME, and Zachary fell in LOVE with them. I shared last week how he learned to build an electromagnet, but there were so many additional ones as well. He especially loved (and continually uses) his Project Ampa real life amp that connects up with musical instruments or his iPod. That amp has been carted all over the house! 

While we already have our choice for science down for him next year (one that has a weekly projects as well), we definitely plan to continue using EEME for additional learning fun! 


For All About Spelling we typically worked on one lesson a week (a few chunks where we did every other week). We didn’t push hard, but over the last year he has shown remarkable improvement in both spelling and reading but did see huge improvements in the area. We also worked on All About Homophones, but that was more of an occasional lesson (maybe seven throughout the year based on what we were learning). For those of you who know me well, you know that it is our favorite homeschool spelling program, hands down!

Reading & Read-Alouds


Having a set shelf for Zachary to see what books are in the line-up for him to read over the course of the year has been a big help for both him and me. We managed to get through almost all of the books from Zachary’s 5th Grade Reading list, with the exception of The Silver Chair by C. S. Lewis (which he is reading this summer). After most of the books, he would complete a book report  and we would discuss key points of the book using this helpful guide

The Dragon and The Raven audio adventure from Heirloom Audio Productions

We did listen to some great audio adventures from Heirloom Audio as well, and those CDs have been in the boys’ room during their rest time to listen to over and over.  



Teaching Textbooks is definitely another program we plan to use next year with Zachary. It has been a perfect fit for our family. We added in some fact learning fun using Times Tales (we used the download version). This program helped the boys focus on some of the harder times tables and we’ll keep the videos on hand to review next year as well.  


Grammar is another of Zachary’s favorite subject areas, especially Daily Grams.  There honestly isn’t much to show in this area, but it is one thing he is determined to work on each day. (grins)

For vocabulary, we worked through several cards a week and will continue to use the cards from Marie’s Words next year. All of the kids really enjoyed the visual part of learning the words. 



Zachary loves drawing to go along with history, so our comic strip illustration printables were helpful (especially since he would rather draw than have to write notes). He is able to keep up better with the lesson – both of our boys are not a fan of anything that involves physical writing. Any chance we had to build or do something hands-on was also a huge help. The above miniature Stonehenge kit was one of those things the boys loved and had a blast recreating (and then watching endless YouTube videos on different theories).  

Next year we will be switching up history a little bit – not because we don’t like Mystery of History 1 and Story of the World 1 – but we are going to try to tie in our learning with our high schoolers so we can go on some fun field trips together for US History. 


Zachary worked through the WriteShop Junior E program this year and it was a great pace for him. We have loved their programs, but will be using something different next year for him as he isn’t quite ready for the next level of WriteShop. 


We took it slow and easy with Grapevine’s New Testament Overview (as a group) and also added in Big Truths for Young Hearts each morning. The latter is one we will continue working through since it’s more of a family discussion time and has about 52 weeks of reading. 


Zachary is not an art lover at all. Despite that, we will continue it next year (because art is important!), but this time we’ll do it as a co-op class with a small group of kids. Being a part of a group of kids will likely make a big difference in his attitude toward it as well. :) 



While the cursive program (and memory verse learning) we worked on this year was great, next year Zachary will be moving into more writing overall, so we may skip out on a full handwriting program. 

The Bust Subjects

Although I had grand plans with geography for the year, we focused on what we learned through history and didn’t on a specific program. Waiting until next year on this one.


Co-op pictures-9 
Between two different co-ops this past year, Zachary had a variety of classes, including a lit/science class based on the Mad Scientists’ Club book, a law/court class (learning how the judicial system works), PE, and a STEM building class. I truly love the chance to get together with other families and work on different classes we might not normally fit into our year. Next year we will only be participating in one co-op (for my sanity). 
Science Fair Project electromagnet-3-2
One of the classes (Mad Scientists Club) allowed Zachary the chance to put together a science display for a small science fair, where he shared how electromagnets work. He put together a board explaining more about them and walked everyone through building one using his recent EEME Project Attraction
CKC Message Refugees-49
A highlight for Zachary was also taking part in the co-op musical where he had a solo and one of the speaking parts. Typically the kids have to wait until their 5th or 6th grade year to have a speaking part, so he was excited to be a part in this way.
The kids were also a part of a year round swim team, and while they started off enthusiastically, by February/March, their energy was petering out. If we decide to do it again in the upcoming year, we will likely choose a shorter time-frame for the kids. Zachary truly loves it, but it involves a lot of driving and time in the evenings, so sometimes finding the balance is tough! 
While this isn’t necessarily school related, in a round about way, it is. Zachary was eligible to join Boy Scouts earlier, but we held off until he was showing a little more responsibility in areas at home and school. He has absolutely loved joining up and finished up a week at Scout camp – and had a blast! 

Other Year-end Reviews

3rd grade homeschool year in review
Take a peek at our other year end reviews for 3rd grade. I’ll be sharing our 7th and 9th grade soon, so be sure to check back – as well as our plans for the upcoming year!  

5th Grade Mid-Year Homeschool Curriculum Review

Last week I shared our 3rd Grade Mid-Year Review, and today I’d love to share what our 5th grader has been up to. Pretty much everything we had in our initial homeschool curriculum choices has been wonderful, but we have tweaked (or held off) on a few things – and I thought you all might like to see what Zachary is enjoying the most as well!

One of the main focuses for Zachary this year was helping him become more independent in his learning – and also more focused. That means less of mom needing to remind and constantly nag, threaten, cajole, or want to hide in the closet and more of “Hey mom! My work is done and you didn’t say a thing!”

We may still be working on that last one, but most days are a step in the right direction. Hallelujah.


5th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices

Here’s a look at the overall plan for our 5th grade year…


Zachary is most loving history, Christian Kids Explore Chemistry and the various EEME projects (especially Project Amp). One of the biggest helps for him this year has been his weekly assignment sheets. They have been huge in keeping him on target and making him more accountable for his schoolwork – and what is (or needs to be) finished. The special STEM projects are also incentive to get his overall school work done. It may seem mean, but unless his assigned work is completed, he isn’t allowed to work on any other projects. Typically this has been amazing motivation for him to get it all done (and fast).


One thing that is so exciting to see is Zachary’s desire for reading increase. In addition to the books he is reading for fun (yay!!), he is willingly pulling other books off the shelf to read for school. A little over a year ago this wasn’t the case, so it brings such joy to my heart.

Our combination of Mystery of History and Story of the World has been great. Zachary really loves the comic strip illustrations for taking/drawing notes and cracks me up with his drawing. Although we are cycling back to an era of history we have covered before, we are covering some new material and refreshing what we learned before (which is always good!).

The vocabulary cards are another favorite as well. Zachary and McKenna are remembering so much and Zachary specifically enjoys the picture reminders. He’s usually first to jump in with an answer and remind me when we don’t review the cards.

What We’re Adding (or already have)

  • Bible – We have been using Big Truths for Young Hearts to start our week and will begin Grapevine’s New Testament Overview this week.
  • Times Tales – To help out with the upper times tables, both boys worked through Times Tales (we used the download version)
  • PE – The kids decided to participate in swim team for the year. Zachary has practices 3-4 times a week, depending on our schedule, and he has really enjoyed swimming. Within the first few weeks he was bumped up to a harder level, which has been very good for him on so many levels.
  • Boy Scouts – While this isn’t necessarily school related, in a round about way, it is. Zachary was eligible to join earlier, but we held off until he was showing a little more responsibility in areas at home and school. He has been over-the-moon excited to begin, and we are thrilled too, since our church has a Scout troop that is amazing with wonderful godly leaders from our church.

What We’ve Put Aside & Postponed

  • Geography: Although I had grand plans with this for the year, we are focusing on what we are learning through history and not working on a specific program. Waiting until next year on this one.

What Mom Needs to Focus More On

Read-alouds – Much of our read-aloud time was spent with audiobooks in the car, but was also hard since one child was here and another was there and no one wanted to miss out on anything. We’ve decided instead to push along in a book and later tell the missing sibling what happened when they were gone. That way we can cover more ground together. Having the kids DOING something (like building with LEGOs or drawing) has been a huge help.

Being Calm – If there is one of my children that can push my buttons quickly, it would be this one (and another one). Sometimes it’s very hard to be firm and know when to let something go. There has been a fine balance of figuring out when to let boy wonder be accountable (because he seems to think he knows best) and also pushing to ensure the necessary is completed. And stay calm in the process.

That’s about it for our 5th grade mid-year curriculum review! How is your year going so far?

Take a peek at our 3rd grade5th grade, 7th grade, and  9th grade curriculum choices for the year as well! Click on one of the images below to look over their curriculum piles.


3rd grade homeschool curriculum choices from Homeschool Creations


EEME Project Amp Review

Project Amp from EEME - build a working amplifier and learn how it works  Homeschool Creations copy

One of the best motivators for our 11 year old to get his schoolwork done the last few weeks has been the promise of working on his latest EEME assignment: Project Amp. He is a boy who loves listening music, learning about electronics, and enjoys building, so this project was PERFECT for him. 

We’ve worked on several smaller projects from EEME in the last few months, and Zachary honestly cannot get enough of them. The hands-on aspect and opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at how electronics really work (and understand the process) has been worth every moment spent on the projects.  Both he and I have learned so much about

When EEME released a larger electronic project and asked if we would be willing to try it out, the answer was a resounding yes – especially when Zachary found out he would have a full-sized speaker amplifier that he could hook his iPod shuffle up to and play his favorite music nice and loud! We absolutely love

What is Project Amp?

Project Amp-51

Project Amp would be a perfect gift for children 10 and up! When fully completed, your child can plug their mp3 or iDevice into the amp and play his favorite music. It is a full speaker amplifier system that is 12.5" x 6.5" x 6.5" – and it can be LOUD if certain children decide they would like it to be (don’t worry moms, there is a volume control knob!).

Project Amp-8

Everything your child needs to build the amp is included in the box – from wire strippers down to every last nut, bolt, and wire needed from start to finish. The lessons are all online video-based, so your child will need to have access to internet to follow along with the lessons.

There are 55 short lessons to watch on the EEME website in which your child will work through the building process for the amp and learn about:

  • amplifiers
  • how sound waves work
  • direct current vs. alternating current
  • capacitors as sound filters

The build time for this project is between 4-6 hours, depending on your child’s ability and focus. Recommended for children ages 10+.

Our Thoughts on Building Project Amp

Project Amp-47

Zachary is completely thrilled with his finished amp. It has been continuously playing music (perhaps loudly) since its completion and has been proudly toted around to show his friends what he made. For real – the above picture made us laugh out loud because it was his real reaction when he had everything hooked up and was ready to put the rear panel onto the back of the amplifier. He had tested it at various stages during the building process, but hearing and seeing it all at the same time was so much more fun!

Project Amp-7

The overall building time and process on this project was a little more intense than past projects we’ve worked on for EEME, partly because it is a larger project, and partly because there were a few times that Zachary had to stop, re-watch a video lesson, check and re-check his work, and then move on when he figured it out.  Overall for us the build time was closer to the 6 hour timeframe, mainly because he would think he knew what to do and wouldn’t listen to the lesson closely enough – and do it incorrectly.

Project Amp-19

As with previous projects, the step-by-step videos and instructions were very clear and understandable, each one was short enough (and could be paused to work on the step), and components were explained in great detail so Zachary was learning the how and why the amplifier works.

Project Amp-32

Along the way, Zachary had different opportunities to test out the amplifier and see how it worked, as well as understand the different concepts presented, such as how the sound waves work through the cones of the speakers.


Zachary wanted to share a little bit more about the amp with you all as well and give you a peek inside the amplifier to see how it is all put together. The video doesn’t give an accurate depiction of the sound the amplifier truly puts out – the sound is much better than what you hear.

This is definitely a completed project we will be using and enjoying for years to come – and one I would recommend considering for a birthday or Christmas gift. It is one that would be not only used, but the recipient would enjoy the time learning and creating their own working amp!

Save 25% on Project Amp from EEME

Save 25 on Project Amp from EEME

For a limited time, EEME is offering a 25% discount along with FREE shipping toward Project Amp to my readers. All you need to do is follow this link.

Learn More About EEME

We’ve worked on several other projects from EEME. If you’re interested in learning more about their monthly subscription program, be sure to check out the below posts for more information:

The projects from EEME are perfect for 7 to 12 year olds ready to learn about real electronic components – no experience required!