Homeschooling

Our Homeschool Curriculum Choices for 5th and 7th Grades

Our homeschool year is going to be very different this year. Half of my children will basically be doing their own thing, leaving me with only two children who are truly at home full time.

My oldest daughter is in 11th grade and will begin dual enrollment at our local community college and her other courses are outside of our home. My 9th grader is beginning high school at a local public charter high school, so her school day is covered completely.

Only my 5th and 7th-grade boys will be home with me full time. I plan to use as much of the same homeschool curriculum with both of them so we can learn together throughout the day.

{{Some of the links below are affiliate links. Some are not. The choice to use these curriculums was my own. Read my full disclosure.}}

Homeschool Curriculum Choices for 7th and 5th Grades

I have always enjoyed incorporating as much family learning as possible. I know there are subjects and skills that must be individualized but I am always amazed by how much we can read and study together.

My 5th and 7th-grade boys will complete the majority of their subjects together with math being the main exception, so let’s begin there.

Homeschool Curriculum: Math

Seventh Grade Math. David will return to Mr. D math and continue with Pre-Algebra this year. He began last year with the intention of taking his time and completing it over two years.

We love Mr. D Math. I have explained how his program saved my sanity last year and why we will continue to use it this year.

Fifth Grade Math. Daniel will continue using Singapore math until he is ready for pre-algebra.

Homeschool Curriculum: History

It has been five years since we used a literature-based history curriculum and I have missed it. This year we are diving into medieval history and using the Junior High Medieval History Pack from Beautiful Feet.

This is our first experience with Beautiful Feet books and after over a decade of homeschooling, I am ready to try something new. The books arrived yesterday and I am so excited to dive in.

Homeschool Curriculum: Art

Our art curriculum choices connect to our medieval history selection so we can take a dive deep into one historical time period this year.

Take Time for Art. I found this gem of a company at our local homeschool conference this year and was drawn immediately to the creative art projects that coordinate with historical time periods. We’ll be using the Middle Ages kit this year and will spread the projects out over the year.

Chalk Pastels. This year we will focus on using the “I Drew It Then I Knew It” history courses from chalk pastels. We will incorporate the Medieval History Video Lessons as well as the Knights and Castles Video Lessons.

Art Appreciation. We will visit the local art museum at least 2-3 times this year. I like to take a trip to any new exhibits that arrive during the year. It’s a regular part of our art appreciation.

Homeschool Curriculum: English

We’ve made some changes to our English curriculum this year based on feedback from my older girls, finances, and my desire for something open and go.

Grammar

Everyone in the house feels inadequate when it comes to grammar so I am making some changes. We are going to use Fix-It Grammar and both boys will begin with The Nose Tree, which is book 1.

Writing

We have used Brave Writer for several years and I have no doubt my children have found their writer’s voice. They enjoy writing and have practiced great foundational tools, such as freewriting.

This year I have a few specific goals for them when it comes to writing. I want them to learn how to vary their sentence structure and then use their sentences to build a paragraph in their own unique style. I also want them to learn organizational writing skills such as outlining.

I’ve decided to pull from various resources this year, both old and new, to help me instruct them. I probably won’t use them exactly how they are written, but these books seem like they will provide a nice collection of ideas.

Writing and Rhetoric Book 2. I am completely ignoring the grade level on this book because I want to begin near the start of this program. I suspect we will accomplish this book in half a year and then we can move on to book 3 together if it is working for us.

Getting Started with Middle School Sentence Composing: A Student Worktext. My high schooler asked for help crafting more creative and complex sentences last year and we found this series. I decided to purchase the middle school version to use with my 7th grader this year. We’ll see how it goes.

Everyday Editing by Jeff Anderson is another writing resource I will pull from this year. Jeff’s lessons are based on copywork passages from quality literature and he uses these passages as a jumping point for students to develop their writing skill and craft. We dabbled in it last year and I plan to use it more systematically this year.

Vocabulary

My 7th grader has always enjoyed playing with language so I wanted to find something he might enjoy. After looking around, I’ve decided to give Vocabulary from Classical Roots Book A a try. I think he will enjoy playing around with Latin roots.

Spelling

We aren’t using a formal spelling program this year. I have found that regular copywork and vocabulary works well to teach spelling.

Literature

I am pulling together my own plan for literature this year. Each month I plan to read one short story and one novel with my boys. We’ll use our selections to discuss plot elements, theme, characterization, conflict, and other elements of fiction.

{{I’ll include a link to the list of book and short story titles as soon as they are posted}}

My plan is to explore various elements of literature and build a foundation for future literary analysis. We will read and study the titles at home and then meet for a Book Club Celebration at the end of the month.

In addition, we will read one essay every month. At this point, I simply want to enjoy reading and discussing essays with my 5th and 7th-grade boys.

Literature Resources

Annotating Literary Elements from Rooted in Language. I plan to use this guide to explore literary elements and create a plot arc for the titles we read this year.

Trees in the Forest from Rooted in Language. This is another great resource I’ll reread to help guide my boys to deeper comprehension.

Less is More: Teaching Literature with Short Texts is a resource I have owned for a few years. We’ll use this one to narrow down our short stories and select ones that focus on particular literary elements.

Breakfast on Mars and 37 Other Delectable Essays is a collection of essays written by your favorite children’s authors. These essays make essay writing look fun so I plan to read them with my boys and talk about what makes a great essay.

I plan to use appropriate guides from Teachers Pay Teachers. Lauren Randazzo is one of my favorites.

Poem of the Month from Learning Through Literature. I am so excited about this FREE resource. The monthly PDF guides are a perfect addition to our literature routine.

Handwriting

7th Grade. David will continue to practice cursive using a cursive copywork book that happened to in the house. In addition, I will continue to have him practice signing his name every day in his morning notebook where he also writes the date.

5th Grade. Daniel wants to learn cursive so he’ll start this year with a basic workbook. He will also write the date each day and will eventually add his signature.

Homeschool Curriculum: Science

Physics. We are trying Elemental Science Physics for the Logic Stage this year. This is brand new to our family and I can’t wait to see how it works.

We probably won’t do all of the suggested writing, but I am glad they suggest teaching how to create an outline from a non-fiction text. This was one of my goals this year and I am glad we can accomplish it in our science program.

Chemistry. As a follow up to our year of Chemistry last year, I have ordered MEL Science chemistry kits. We have completed the experiments included with our starter kit and recently received the second set. It doesn’t match with our year of physics, but we are having fun so I am good with it.

Homeschool Curriculum: Extras

Current Events. We will continue to watch CNN 10 every morning to start our day.

Curiosity Stream. This is a great source of relevant documentaries and informative shows. I’ll be diving in for documentaries related to the middle ages for sure!

Field Trip Journals. We have a copy of the Navigator Level (level 3) journals for both of my boys this year.

I am excited to try so many new things, though a bit overwhelmed with getting started.

This week I am sitting with all of the teacher’s guides for the year so I can plan our weekly routine. We’ll make adjustments as needed, but we have to begin somewhere.

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Mary Wilson

Mary is a writer and mother to four kids ranging from elementary to high school.

She believes that creativity, laughter, and fun are the backbone for engaging and inspiring homeschools. You can find her encouragement and tips on this blog, Mary Hanna Wilson.

She is an enneagram 7 and an extrovert. She enjoys traveling, tea (iced or hot), good conversations, and books. You can connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.
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7 Comments

  • Reply Amy H. August 9, 2019 at

    Mary, I would love for you to do an in-depth post or video about how exactly you’ll implement Rita’s programs. I have the two you mentioned and I just can’t get my head wrapped around it, but I really really want to use them with my kids this year.

  • Reply Michelle August 9, 2019 at

    Hi Mary, I’m looking forward to seeing how you implement all of your writing, grammar, and vocabulary choices. We will also be in the Medieval time period next year(2020/2021), I’m curious to find out how you like BFB.

  • Reply Heather A. August 9, 2019 at

    I remember we did that same BFB level when my kids were 7th and 5th! They still remember that year of history fondly 🙂 Elemental Science pairs so nicely with BFB as well. I agree with everyone else, i’ll Be looking forward to hearing how LA goes. We are about one month into The Nose Tree with my current fifth grader and LOVE the simplicity! Altho I hear the next level really increases in challenge, so we will take our time. Lol! I have had that Everyday Editing, Less is More, and Breakfast on Mars books sitting in my amazon wish list for quite some time, so I will be anxiously waiting to hear how you used and like them! And thank you for the Poetry of the month resource! That will be a great addition to our year.

    • Reply Mary Wilson August 13, 2019 at

      I am glad to know that the BFB and Elemental will work well together. I am looking forward to something new for sure. I’ll let you all know next week how I have laid out the plan for language arts. I have a planning day scheduled.

      • Reply Mary Wilson August 13, 2019 at

        Mine completed through 5B and I think it was adequate. I had read the same thing and it seems to have proven correct.

  • Reply Holli Adams August 14, 2019 at

    Do you have a post that outlines your routine or schedule for each day? I’m always shocked how much you get done with your kids! 🙂

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