On The Trail

Homeschool Hiking

First Day of Sixth Grade


Its hard to believe but today we embarked on Sixth Grade! What a long way we have come and what a long way yet to go but this is a milestone midway along. Maddie is growing up quickly…sometimes it seems like its a couple of years in just a week! We are still enjoying every minute and sticking to traditions like the Back To School Fairy.


And headed outside for a few pictures before the day care kiddos appeared on the scene!




Maybe a few too many pictures!

Then we were off on the day! Unlike last year Maddie was used to the schedule and routine. She ate her breakfast and with only a little coaxing from me headed upstairs to get started.

So what are we doing any way?? We are in the second year of the “Logic Stage” of the Trivium. We are now fully into analyzing the information we are given, looking for slants to the story and asking a lot of questions.
We are using a new history encyclopedia this year since Maddie’s reading level is already at the high sixth grade level and history comes so easily for her. It was time to challenge her a bit! We got the DK History of the World. Just like last year Maddie will read a page (or pages depending on the topic of the week), make notes, make an outline then finish with a summary of the information. We are also using a pre-printed timeline called The World History Chart. We tried to make one last year but discovered that its really not our thing! Our time period is 400-1600AD, the Middle Ages. Knights, Shakespeare, Kings and peasants. Brian will also be working with Maddie on a book called Painless American Government. The goal is for Maddie to have a basic understanding of how our government is supposed to work.

English will also revolve around the middle ages. So Maddie will read books about that time period and also dip into Shakespeare a bit. I am excited about the book in the picture called How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare. We are going to learn how he wrote the language and do some memorization. We started All About Spelling this summer for spelling and it seems to be going well so far. I’ve noticed some improvement any way! We are flying along because we started at level 1. The phonics review has been a wonderful help! We are continuing with Writing with Skill Level 2. It worked well last year. Its not Maddie’s favorite thing but as she works through it I know she is gaining the skills she will need later in life. Not everything can be fun and wonderful! I did agree to let her try The Creative Writer this year as well and Maddie is really looking forward to that. The difference is that Writing with Skill is teaching her to write reports and summaries while The Creative Writer is all about writing stories. Figurative Language is about analyzing literature and knowing terms simile and metaphor. I felt we were lacking this and I think this little workbook will help. G.U.M. Drops is something we started mid-year last year and Maddie really enjoyed it. It is basically practice in grammar and spelling by proof reading. Passages have been taken from classic literature and re-written to the grade level and with mistakes. In fact she started reading The Call of the Wild because she read parts of it in GUM drops. We added in Analytical Grammar which is a multi year program that will end with Maddie having a grammar handbook of her own to use going forward. She has a very good grounding in grammar and we only need something to keep her skills sharp. I think this will be it! It has 10 weeks of lessons followed by 1 day of review every other week. I think it will be enough without being overwhelming.


Science this year is Astronomy and Earth Science. We will be using Elemental Science as we have in the last few years. I love how the program is laid out and it follows The Well Trained Mind. I had a chuckle when cleaning out last year’s books and binders to make room for this year’s set. Maddie insisted that her Nature Encyclopedia had to stay with her schoolbooks. A naturalist needs their resources Momma!!


We are continuing to use Teaching Textbooks. Maddie enjoys being able to work on her own with the math program and getting the immediate feedback is helping her a lot. We are going to continue along with Life of Fred Decimals. She finished Fractions over the summer. We are also going to work through a book to help her with word problems and a very short one from “Real Life Math” about The Erie Canal. Practice is the main thing with math!


Maddie will be continuing with Lively Latin this year. It certainly helps with her vocabulary and grammar. We have added in Spanish this year. If she continues along to become a National Park Ranger this will certainly help her out. She started that today and enjoyed it! The program is written as a story/mystery and she will solve it as she continues along.


This was a fun purchase for art and nature study. Even more fun was the book arriving and being a signed copy! We had no idea when we ordered it! I love the drawing lessons. I suspect Maddie will not be the only one using this book! We also got an art program called Art Adventures in Narnia. So maybe we will see some drawings of Mr.& Mrs.Beaver soon!


Maddie was excited about this purchase believe it or not! Although she doesn’t really like handwriting she knows she needs to practice to get better. This program will let her practice using quotes from Presidents. She has started with George Washington. This will run right through high school as well! Practice makes perfect and handwriting is becoming a lost art almost.

So our first day went well and we are looking forward to tomorrow! Hopefully we have smooth sailing this year!

3 thoughts on “First Day of Sixth Grade

  1. Those t-shirts are awesome! My son would love those.

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