Friday, August 21, 2015

Home-Schooling 6th Grade

My youngest daughter is 11, and the only one remaining in my home school. I have a 19yo son that is living at home and working full time for the family business, and my 16yo son and 14yo daughter are going to a local private high school. This last year was rather difficult for everyone in our family, with our remodeling project absorbing so much time and attention, so we are looking forward to a more normal experience this school year.

Sixth grade means a couple of things for me. As the last year of elementary school, I want to make sure we are still doing exploratory, discovery, hands-on activities as a method of learning, with practical goals in mind. At the same time, being the last year before middle school, it's time to work on focus and discipline by working on some larger, longer projects.

One of the ways we will be practicing focus and discipline is by putting the cat in quarantine during school hours (so distracting!), and another is by following a preset schedule. I have the tendency to tweak curriculum and write my own, which was great fun in elementary and rather necessary during our house project, but can be hard to keep on top of. I'm excited to have Sonlight do this for me this year—it has been quite a while since I've followed a Sonlight core in its entirety.

The past few years we've been using Story of the World for history (with scattered assorted readers and read-alouds and various activities from their activity guides) and Total Language Plus for the bulk of our Language Arts. This year, moving on to American History, we will be greatly expanding the number of books we read, and enjoying having our literature and language arts tie in with our studies thanks to Sonlight Core D+E. I already own the majority of the books, though there are a few that I haven't read. I'd love to add in even more books but I'm trying really hard to not be an over-achiever, setting myself up for disaster.

For science we will be finishing up Chemistry with Science Odyssey, and adding in some science history with Hakim's Aristotle Leads the Way. We've been using Math Mammoth for arithmetic but will be adding in some Life of Fred this year for fun, and we'll continue studying spelling with Apples and Pears.

All in all, it feels like a very language-centric year and I'm excited about that. In addition to home studies, she is in an art class at a local art studio and in horse-riding lessons nearby, which we both enjoy. We don't begin until after Labor Day, but we are both looking forward to it already. Not least of all because it will mean that I will actually get some reading done!


  1. Some of my very favorite books are in that core! Johnny Tremain, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, Moccasin Trail, Little Britches, Caddie Woodlawn. Fun! I know you'll enjoy it.

    You know I just bought one of the books on the longlist for the Man Booker Prize and it's called The Moor's Assistant. The main character is the same as in Walk the World's Rim which I read several times with my children. It peaked my interest because of the subject matter. The Moor's Assistant also was a finalist for the Pulitzer.

    1. Walk the World's Rim and Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry are two of the four I haven't read, so I'm glad you mentioned them! My daughter has really fallen in love with reading this last year or two, so this year should be really special...I'm excited at the prospect of a year full of literature. :)

      I'll have to look into The Moor's Assistant - thanks for the heads up!


I'd love to hear what you have to say, leave a comment!