6th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Plan

Every year choosing the perfect curricula is a challenge.

Am I getting what she needs?

Is this enough?

Is it too much?

What about this?

The first year of homeschooling was a nightmare. I changed the plan seven times before beginning, only to come full circle to the original list.

This year, the planning began in spring because I knew we were relocating over the summer. Curriculum has been packed for a couple of weeks and I’m already itching to get it out and start my official lesson planning. It’s addicting.

Chronologically, my oldest will be a 6th grader, but in the homeschooling world, we know it’s all relative.

Here’s what we have so far:

English, Language Arts, Grammar:

Michael Clay Thompson (MCT) – The Magic Lens Volume I

MCT 4Practice I

MCT The Word Within the Word I

Editor in Chief (B1) and (B2) – The Critical Thinking Company

Word Roots B1 and B2 – The Critical Thinking Company

Think Analogies – The Critical Thinking Company

Writing:

Finish Writing With Skill. This program gets laborious and my child is not excited about repetition, but the general skills are provided. We don’t adhere to the 4 days/week schedule and supplement A LOT (we’ve even been known to skip a section or three if skills are mastered).

The Creative Writer

NANOWRIMO’s Young Writers Program – just for fun

History:

My own plan.

History of the Ancient World – Susan Wise Bauer (More meaty and accurate than Story of the World – I’ve found some discrepancies in SOTW).

Encyclopedia of the Ancient World (Usborne)

The Kingfisher History Encyclopedia

A few more ancient Asia, Egypt, Greece and mythology resources from the library.

Supplemental reading includes (all from Amazon):

The Samurai’s Tale

The Aeneid for Boys and Girls

The Children’s Homer

Greek Myths

Supplemental materials:

Khan Academy – Humanities and Ancients (Ancient Cultures)

National Geographic Archaeology Kit: Egyptian Pyramid

Mummy Excavation Kit

Still looking for a game that might fit.

In the works:

State History – North Carolina (since we will have just moved to the state)

Trip to Washington D.C. – just for fun

Literature:

My own plan.

I create my own discussion questions and essay questions. Socratic method is used. While most are read independently, I am a firm believer in reading to my child (DUH) – and as long as she’ll let me, I’ll still do it. A chapter before bed is cherished time.

All books purchased through Amazon – most are like new and cost under $1.

Search and Adventure

Call of the Wild

White Fang

Gulliver’s Travels

Invisible Man

The Time Machine

Adventures of Robin Hood

Adventures of Huck Finn

Strong Women – Overcoming Challenges

Island of the Blue Dolphin

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Diary of Anne Frank

The Story of My Life – Helen Keller

Mama’s Bank Account – Kathryn Forbes

Poetry – Maya Angelou, Emily Dickinson

2-4 Shakespeare plays – we will attend

Math:

Art of Problem Solving – Introduction to Algebra

Life of Fred – Beginning Algebra Expanded Edition

Life of Fred – Zillions of Practice Problems for Beginning Algebra

2-3 classes at Duke Tip – She chose two math courses and one forensic science class.

Philosophy/Critical Thinking/Logic:

Philosophy for Kids – Dr. David White (Prufrock Press or Amazon)

The Art of Argument (trying this one out for the first time)

Some discussion from Philosophy for Young Thinkers – Royal Fireworks Press (already had — good resource for teaching philosophy)

Building Thinking Skills Level 3 Figural – Critical Thinking Co.

Building Thinking Skills Level 3 Verbal – Critical Thinking Co.

Just for fun materials:

Dr. Funster’s Think-A-Minutes (CTC) – great brain teasers for early morning

Mind Benders (CTC)

Science:

ClassiQuest Biology (first year using this classical science program – still unsure and never satisfied with science curriculum – the curse of having a biology background)

Due to my uncertainty about the above curriculum, will add in:

Singapore Science – MPH Science 6A and 6B (the nuts and bolts)

Finish CPO Physical Science and start CPO Life Science (textbook in nature, but my daughter loves this program) – Books were found at Amazon.com

Supplemental materials for Biology found at HomeScienceTools:

  • Owl pellet kit
  • Blood typing kit
  • Sheep eye dissection
  • Worm, frog, grasshopper dissection kit

Lots of prepared slides for microscope viewing – hydra budding, frog sperm, frog ovary, insect legs (we may collect these), muscle types, and flower types (monocot, dicot)

Spanish

Considering Rosetta Stone through our Duke Tip access. My daughter is fluent in Spanish from the dual language program she participated in during her early elementary years at public school; however, she lacks formal grammar. Rosetta Stone is on the radar. Not sure yet. It’s still expensive, even with our discount. The practical side of me asks ‘why?’ when she knows Spanish, but colleges require formal training.

Typing/Computers

No formal program, just a lot of practice.

This year we will be in a new city and state with lots of opportunity for exploration. We have field trips planned for nearly every Friday throughout the year. All trips are low cost and workable with a toddler (more on this later).

What are your plans for the new school year? Have any curriculum favorites you’d like to share?

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Comments

  1. 1

    Theresa says

    Wow. You do a lot more than we do.

    I am going to check out Word Roots – we love Critical Thinking Company.

    Also, glad to hear History of the Ancient World is out–adding that to my list!

  2. 2

    Missy Homemaker says

    I also have a 6th grader this year. I applaud you being so organized. We have chosen the Robinson Curriculum. My son loves to read, but gets overwhelmed with a lot of changes/switch-overs so we felt this would be a good fit. His schedule will be reading, writing, math, science experiments/observations we do together, and hands on learning in our home and doing service projects. We are using Duolingo-a free online foreign language app. Colleges don’t necessarily require formal foreign language. Practical knowledge often suffices. Your daughter could also take CLEPP exams to test out the requirement and earn college credits as well.

  3. 3

    Lynn says

    I have a 6th grade daughter too. She is my 3rd. My oldest is starting college, and I have a 10th grader too.

    We are doing Cadron Creek’s Where the River and the Brook Meet (Anne of Green Gables)
    Teaching Textbookx 6
    SpellingCity.com (free)
    TypingWeb.com (free)
    Apologia Astronomy with the notebook (I teach science classes)
    art, sign language, Easy Grammar and a YWAM missionary biography class (at our school co-op)
    Piano lessons (with me)
    sewing classes (with a friend, we’re trading. I teach her kid science, she teaches mine to sew)

    I always maintain a quality literature list. My kids are required to choose 1 book/month from the “required list” which includes many of the books you list above. We’ll probably read Island of the Blue Dolphin together.

  4. 4

    monique says

    my plan is similar….i have a question , how are you scheduling this…are you doing everything everyday or somethings on alternate days ? …how many hours will your day be ?

  5. 5

    Theresa says

    You have helped me get excited about the new year! We use a lot of Critical Thinking Company and Susan Wise Bauer books.

  6. 6

    Candace says

    I have never heard of the Michael Clay Thompson curriculum until I saw your post. I am very intrigued by it after going though his website. I was wondering why you do not do the whole curriculum for Language Arts? Is it too much? I think I’d like to give it a try but it does look very intense! What are your thoughts about it?

  7. 7

    dawn says

    I am a stay at home mom. My husband and I have decided to home school our 11r old. She is a 6th grader. I am extremely nervous about hs. I feel a bit lost and at times overwhelmed. My daughters education and future rides in my hands I feel. I dont want to fail her. I was hoping maybe someone could let me know where they started their first year of hs or if any suggestions.

    • 8

      Katrina says

      Hi Dawn,

      Nine years ago I began homeschooling almost exclusively with Math U See and Sonlight. While I still use Math U See for my sixth grader, I will be switching my 8th grader to Jacobs Elementary Algebra because I am concerned about Math U See for the upper level math.

      As for Sonlight, I switched out pieces and parts little by little and am now completely weaned from the “bundled” curriculum. A couple years after beginning, I changed out their Language Arts to Shurley English (we enjoyed it, but it was too time consuming with two children in two different books). So, we moved to Easy Grammar for two years (we also enjoyed this, but I feel it was time for another switch). This year we’ll be trying out Michael Clay Thompson (so far, I’m very happy with the grammar, vocabulary and writing books. I hope my kids will enjoy it as much as I do).

      Now, about the only thing I can never seem to find a good fit with is science. We’ve used Sonlight Science, God’s Design for Science, and Apologia. While I like bits and pieces, nothing has fully caught me. So,this year we’re giving BJU Life Science (for my 6th grader) and BJU Biology (for my 8th grader) a shot. So far, I like what I see, but only time will tell what my kids think.

      One other thing we opted to do this year was some online classes through Veritas Press Scholars Academy. My 6th grader spent the summer working on a self-paced history course (she loves it and she is retaining what she learns!). In the fall, she will take a live Literature course and my son will take a live Latin and Logic course, along with a self-paced Omnibus course.

      As you can see, homeschooling is flexible. While I understand your concern (I have these same concerns every year!), just be willing to adjust your curriculum to meet the needs of your daughter and your family. If necessary, start with a bundled curriculum (BJU, Sonlight, etc . . . ) and adjust as your needs and desires change. Before purchasing, look at the materials, seek out reviews and ask yourself if it is something you can work with for the year. If your daughter is willing to participate, engage her in your “short list” (mine rarely take much interest, so they get what mom picks). Finally, if something isn’t working for you and/or her after a month or two, don’t be afraid to try something else.

      Oh and one other thing . . . I usually opt for teaching DVDs whenever possible. It takes the teaching burden off of me and I am able to sit alongside my children and learn with them. I’ve gained an incredible wealth of knowledge over the past years. But, I’ve also learned that I still have so much more to learn. So, relax and enjoy the ride. It will not always be easy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

      Best wishes to you!

      Katrina

  8. 10

    KAte says

    I have three kids and I try to do as many subjects together. We are doing Latina Christina 1, Apologia Who Is God?, Apologia Physical Science and Astronomy, Razzle Dazzle Level C and Expository Writing, Penmanship, and Teaching Textbooks Math for each kid at grade level. I sort of wrote my own American History & US Geography.. I’ve pulled elements from AOP American history LifePac, Critical Thinking Colonies to Constitution, Homeschool in the Woods Time travelers lapbooks Colonial Life and The American Revolution. Plus videos from Learn Our History and Drive Thru History. We’ll hit the library for add ins. I’m using Trail Guide to US Geography and Eat Your Way Through the US. This is my busiest year yet.

  9. 11

    Kristin says

    I have a first grade, a second grade, and twins in 5th. We will be doing the full Abeka grade kits for each grade, and adding in The Story of the World, along with typing lessons from Typer Island. We have been using Typer Island for 1 year already (haven’t done it in a few months) and it is great! They have all shown progress and the older children type over 20 words per minute. We will be doing the worm, frog, grasshopper, dissection kit from Homeschool Science Tools. My children will continue with ballet lessons and piano once a week which I consider part of their schooling as well. We do a variety of art projects throughout the year and go more in-depth with our science and history by watching related documentaries each couple weeks. We also play lots of games and misc. cool stuff I find on Pinterest since anyone who is familiar with Abeka knows it can get a little dry. My middle child will also be taking her first communion this year so that will be an added challenge. If I make it through the year I will be patting all of us on the back, it’s harder than it looks, like all you ladies well know – excited to start the new year – good luck to everyone!

  10. 12

    Melissa says

    I would love to know what you think of Abeka curriculum. I have a 6th grader also but we are so busy during the day, there’s not much time for fun or extra subjects. My 4th grader hates school. We have been using Abeka and Apologia for 10 years now. Kind of afraid to change, but….

  11. 13

    Jenna says

    when reading your list, and noticing your idea of learning Spanish using Rosetta stone, did you know there is a similar free on-line program called Live Mocha? My friend has the Rosetta Stone one (and I borrowed it this summer), but I had been using Live Mocha previously.. while there were layout/specific order of content difference, I couldn’t tell a difference overall.. check it out at livemocha.com
    :D

  12. 14

    Rebecca says

    I also have a 5th grader this year, who I’m seriously considering homeschooling starting next year. She goes to a Spanish immersion elementary school. I’m very nervous about this whole thing and terrified she may lose her Spanish. Where do I start???

  13. 15

    says

    I absolutely love all the resources but with homeschooling three kids, i can’t afford even half of what all of this would cost! Any recommendations?

  14. 16

    Shannon says

    Did you get both the student and teacher’s manual for MCT Word within the word? I was wondering if I needed both! Thanks!

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