I can’t really believe that another year has come and gone. I’m also having trouble believing that we are planning for sixth grade! Its one of those pinch me, this can’t be real moments.
So in fifth grade we made a very large shift to putting the daily work on Maddie’s shoulders. I gave her a list at breakfast of what we expected her to accomplish that day and sent her off to do it. She still worked with me at times, especially on writing, but mostly it was up to her to get things done and learn them. This was (no surprise!) a hard transition for both of us. By the end of the year however Maddie was up to speed and able to get things done without my hollering up the stairs every half hour to see what was happening! As always her history and reading went along beautifully with little help from me. Science was a bit trickier as she had tests this year. When I questioned her later about the things she got wrong on the tests she generally knew the answer. I think we have to do more discussion together each week about her reading. She still worked with Brian on math problems and geography since they are able to have time together on Mondays and Wednesdays.
We had to make some changes mid-stream too. We started out using Voyages in English for writing. I changed it up after a month to Writing With Skill The writing assignments in the first program were very disjointed without follow through to actually complete a written piece. Writing with Skill was a challenge. We found out in February that Peace Hill Press decided it was geared more to sixth grade but we kept going. In the end Maddie wrote a paper on Thomas Jefferson that was just over 1000 words long (roughly 4 1/2 typed pages) and was very proud of herself for accomplishing that! We try very hard not to compare what we do to what happens in public school but I can’t help and wonder if the fifth graders are writing reports of that length with that research.
The other change was in math. We are still using teaching textbooks as they seem to be a good fit for Maddie, but we wanted a little more. So we added in Life of Fred. Here we miscalculated and got the fractions book. Maddie struggled with it so we went backwards a bit and did the intermediate books: Kidneys, Liver and Mineshaft (yes, you read that right, those are the titles!). Fred is a 5 year old college math professor. The books tell stories about what he is doing and creates math problems from them. Now she is working on the fractions book over the summer and doing much better.
So now its on to summer break however I am making some plans for her then too! And sixth grade in August. I simply cannot believe it!