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Fifth Grade Year in Review 2018

These wrap-up posts are a little bit late in coming, but something I still definitely want to do because we used a few new curriculum pieces this year and I’ve had some questions on how we liked it all. 

Overall, this was a definite year of growth for Kaleb, especially in the area of reading and writing. Kaleb is a kiddo that excels in math and science and could quite honestly care less about a few other areas. Over the course of the year his confidence has grown leaps and bounds, which is the most encouraging thing to see. 

 

5th Grade Homeschool Update

All that said, here’s a peek at what we are used this year and how it’s worked for us. 

Math – This is one of Kaleb’s favorite subjects (this and science). Teaching Textbooks is hands-down one of my favorite programs, especially now that they have an ONLINE VERSION, people! Math was the first subject Kaleb completed this year because he doesn’t mind working on more than one lesson some days. He even had fun helping his older siblings on some of their lessons. :) Especially when he would answer problems before they did. 

History – History ended up being so much better once we switched over to Mystery of History. Both of our boys retained more and really like the lessons so much better. We often incorporated a YouTube video with the lesson. Neither of them is thrilled with doing hands-on activities, so it was mainly reading and watching, but 100x better than how the year started! We finished off the first book and moved on to book 2 and worked through it as much as we could. 

HandwritingPrinting Power Plus was a great addition to our year. While we won’t be using the program next year, it was fabulous in helping Kaleb write smaller (and a bit more legibly). We used the keyboarding program that went along with it and he LOVED that, so we will purchase a higher level for him to work on in sixth grade.

Grammar/WritingGrowing with Grammar 5 was a daily subject and one Kaleb also finished early. We added in Soaring with Spelling this year and it was also great handwriting practice – and spelling/reading practice for him as well. This is another program we will be ordering again for next year to keep working on. 

We are definitely huge fans of WriteShop Junior as well. Next year we will include some WriteShop in our time, but are planning to switch up our curriculum in this area a bit as well (more literature-based for the year to incorporate reading and writing based on the books we read). I have some ideas for this and something we plan to use from WriteShop and will share soon!

Reading – We finished up All About Reading Level 4 – our last level!! This is bittersweet in a way for me, because this is our last kiddo to use the program. We did add in some additional books along with level 4 to round out the year, and that ended up being a great mix for him. 

Science – Kaleb’s favorite subject hands-down is science! Nancy Larson Science 4 was a great mix of reading and science for him. If you have a struggling reader, I really recommend their program since kids can follow along in their small workbooks and learn to highlight key words. It really has been good in building his confidence since he recognizes more difficult words, reads them in context, and in turn it helps boost his other reading. 

This year he had the chance to also participate in Lego League (we’ll do it again next year with the same group of boys) and he is really looking forward to working on that now that he better understands how the program works. 

We’ve been working on some robotics projects this summer from EEME (my arm has been slowing us down). I love that we can work on something simple over the summer, but it can still spark his interest and continue the learning. 

Bible – Truthfully, we didn’t work through the study I had printed off. I’ll admit that I got sidetracked with other things, but we plan to pull out the James study to work on this next year. 

Geography – This subject ended up being more included in our overall history studies than being a separate study of its own this year. As we look forward to next year, we are planning to use a Alpha Omega’s Lifepac for History/Geography that will encompass everything. 

Co-op – This was our last year doing this group co-op (a little bittersweet!!), but the boys had so much fun working on various projects together, mainly focused on science experiments and fun team-building activities (instant challenges).

Those were also wonderful to see the kids work together with a limited amount of supplies and quickly brainstorm to meet the challenge. 

Overall – another great year. We’ll definitely be tweaking some things for our sixth grade year and changing some things out (isn’t that always the case?). 

Stay tuned for updates on the other kids end of the year wrap up as well (better late than never!). 

How was YOUR year? 

Another Broken Something…Maybe – Homeschool and Life Happenings

So the weeks have been crazy-packed with lots of swim stuff happening and the girls at camp one week and the boys at camp the next. 

But they are all home now, laundry is in the wash, and I’m trying to take it easy. 

I did a little video update (below) but here are a few pictures over the last few weeks to share the basics: 

The girls spent the week at a volunteer camp and had a blast helping in the community, and enjoyed the fun nights too – they had a “decades” rollerskate night which led to the below…

Laurianna and I decided to take twinning to a whole new level. We visit the orthopedic doctor for her on Monday to find out for sure what is going on after she fell while rollerblading a little over a week ago. 

Kaleb is on his way to a stellar tan this summer thanks to a river fishing trip and wearing his swim jammers. 

Despite the 90 degree temps and all.the.sun, the boys had a great fishing trip with their Scouts troop, although they did tell me they were a bit homesick – for their beds and showers. One boy only showered once all week long and BOY COULD YOU TELL! Thank you Lord for soap, water, and deodorant. Amen. 

But – to keep it short, here’s the video update. Essentially, I got into a bit of trouble with the doctor (doing too much), I haven’t touched the schoolroom or curriculum since May 14th, and I’m learning what it means to rest…sorta.

The Broken Arm – Homeschool and Life Happenings

Typing is hard at the moment, so here’s a quick video update…

Vacation Wins – Homeschool and LIFE Happenings

This week it feels like we have been in a million different directions (which we have) and there is so much I want to share, but for now – vacation wins. And silly pictures. Because Paris was amazing, and this picture is one of my new favorites….

Tonight I’m going to sit with my family (immediate and extended) and enjoy our time together since we only have one week left before we are headed back home.

Hope you all are having an amazing week – talk to you soon! 

Be sure to stop by WeirdUnsocializedHomeschoolers.com and hang out with some other moms who are sharing their day-to-day happenings. 

Our Adventure to the Netherlands Begins – Homeschool and Life Happenings

Last weekend was a flurry of last minute errand-running and making sure we had everything together for our upcoming trip. I’m so very thankful that we had some time on Monday morning to relax, recheck our packing, and clean up the house a little before we left. 

Our dog, Addie, was all over the place (especially our luggage) and in the middle of everything while we were getting ready. We have a friend staying at our house with her while we are gone, and apparently she is rather out of sorts and not very happy at the moment.

We brought lots of fun gifts to share with my cousin. She and her family are hosting us for the entire time we are staying in the Netherlands. So plenty in our suitcases on the way there! Two of ous weighed in just shy of the 50 pound limit. 

The big “discussion” on the way over was who would get to sit at the window seat, mainly because the girls wanted to take pictures out the window. The boys said they could care less, so Laurianna and McKenna switched off. 

Just as we were getting in line for takeoff on the runway, storms started rolling in. The line of clouds was crazy and within just ten minutes we could barely see out the window of the plane. Our plane ended up taking off about two hours later than expected. 

We found out later that the above is a shelf cloud – and there were some severe storms and a tornado warning in our area. This is where I will say I am thankful for the wonderful on-board entertainment KLM offers (we were on one of their newer planes) and the distraction that provided in the delay. 

Meanwhile, the rest of the trip – the boys slept ZERO minutes, so they arrived rather exhausted and konked out about 15 minutes into the two-hour car ride from Amsterdam. :) 

The first few days we spent relaxing with the kids riding bikes into town for ice cream. On Thursday we got together with one of my uncles and some of his family for lunch and then to visit a few places nearby. 

Our first stop was to visit a wooden clog (klompen) maker, Klompenmakerij ten Hagen in Winterswijk. His family has been making wooden shoes for four generations. (He told us he has three sons, so another generation can continue. :) 

We were able to watch the process from their start as a round of wood to the unfinished shoe. At this point they have to dry for several weeks. The shoes were made of either willow or poplar and damp when you touch them. 

A fun fact we learned: each klompen maker has their own pattern they add to their shoes. This is the pattern you will find on their shoes. The kids had fun trying on pairs but decided not to buy any for themselves. 

We later took a walk through a swamp area near the German border, not a common part of the Netherlands, but it was a nice walk to see some of the nature and different plants in their area. 

In a few areas there were border markers between the Netherlands and Germany, so Zachary took a quick trip to Germany while we stayed in the Netherlands. :) 

This next week we will be heading to France and Belgium with my cousin for a few days, and all the kids are looking forward to the trip. 

I hope you all are having an amazing week as well and would love to hear what you have been up to! 

Be sure to stop by WeirdUnsocializedHomeschoolers.com and hang out with some other moms who are sharing their day-to-day happenings. 

The Week of Running Here and There (and Everywhere)

In some ways it feels as though my bum has spent a good portion of the week in the van. We are trying to get as much as we can D.O.N.E. before we leave for the Netherlands in a few short days. You all – I made a five page list of all the things I wanted to do before we left (I only wish I was kidding). 

  • Pick up suitcases from friends  ✔
  • Get all the swim team stuff lined up before we leave – (mostly) ✔
  • Run to various appointments ✔
  • Finish up a few subjects with McKenna ✔

The bulk of it will get done, but I’m a little over-zealous to say the least. Just call me crazy. 

Meanwhile I’ve been busy sorting curriculum too since the Build Your Bundle sale is happening and I wanted to snag a few things for next year

We started off the week with a sleepover. One of the upsides to homeschooling – your friends can sleep over whenever the moms say YES. 

These two are hilarious together and one would think the world is coming to an end because they won’t see each other for a little over two weeks. So movie night and a fun day together after should hopefully be enough to hold them over until we see them again in June. :) 

McKenna and I have been working on wrapping up a few of her classes. She took her last biology exam and I helped her with a few geometry problems she hadn’t finished – so two more things checked off the list! She is *this* close to finishing history and Latin, but will likely have to wrap those up when we return from our trip. Meanwhile, McKenna is chomping on the bit to get her permit. Saturday is the earliest she can take her test, so guess what we’ll be doing bright and early in the morning? 

Kaleb finally had a chance to work on a model we gave him for Christmas, mainly because we didn’t realize we needed to buy practically every paint color the store had to work on it. Let’s just let it sink in for a moment that it’s been FIVE MONTHS since he received it, and we finally bought the supplies for it (because a certain mom kept forgetting). 

Laurianna has been reveling in the fact that she doesn’t have to drive anywhere this week. She has been trying to finish up her final two classes, Latin and Pre-Calculus. We’ve been using the Teaching Textbooks 3.0 version (which we love), and it was great when she was at the community college or at a friend’s house. Our internet at home lately has been horrible, so it’s difficult for her to work on the online portion. BUT – in early June we should have high-speed internet installed and we are beyond excited for that! 

Zachary only has a few more math lessons to go and he will be done, and Kaleb is almost done with All About Reading 4, which will finish up his year (YAY!!). I’ll be sharing more in the upcoming weeks with a year-end wrap-up for each of the kids, so stay tuned for those. 

Other than that, the kids and I have been stopping over at my parent’s house a few times over the week since they have the most adorable kitten. Now the kids want us to get another cat too (not going to happen). There are now approximately 1, 562 pictures of this kitten on my camera thanks to the kids. 

Be sure to stop by WeirdUnsocializedHomeschoolers.com and hang out with some other moms who are sharing their day-to-day happenings.