While it can be a challenge to teach your children at home, the years do go by quickly. Your fifth-grader is now in her last year of elementary school/primary grades. Whether this is your first year homeschooling or you’re now a veteran homeschooler, you might be wondering what your child should learn this year. Of course, there are curriculum packages you can purchase that cover every subject for the grade level, or you could put together your own curriculum with your favorite resources. You might follow the textbooks exclusively, or you might choose to supplement with a number of library and reading books. Whatever method you use to teach your fifth grader, find the one that works best for you and your child. As a general guideline, some skills your fifth grader should learn by the end of the school year include:
- Identifying different types of poetry such as haiku, cinquain, limericks, and free verse
- Identifying different genres of fiction such as historical fiction, science fiction, mysteries, and fables
- Reading familiar text fluently and with appropriate rhythm, pacing, and expression
- Identifying antonyms, synonyms, and homonyms
- Learning and using new vocabulary in the appropriate context
- Using context to determine the meaning of a word
- Organizing writing into a logical sequence that is clear to the reader
- Revising and editing a rough draft by rearranging words, sentences, or paragraphs and changing word choices
- Using proofreading marks to indicate errors in the text
- Using a dictionary to correct spelling errors
- Writing legibly
- Using descriptive words and phrases
- Using literal and figurative language where appropriate
- Writing simple and compound sentences
- Using dialog in writing
- Using capital letters and punctuation marks correctly
- Writing expressive, expository, persuasive, and functional texts
- Adding and subtracting decimals through 1000ths
- Multiplying multi-digit whole numbers
- Measuring angles between 0 and 360 degrees
- Formulating scientific questions, predictions, or hypotheses based on observations
- Designing and conducting scientific investigations
- Analyzing and interpreting scientific data
While students this age enjoy the hands-on activities that go along with science and history courses, it’s sometimes hard to fit them into your fifth-grader’s school day as there are other assignments in math, reading, and language arts that need to be completed. If you find yourself struggling to teach one or both of these subjects, consider these curriculum choices:
Social Studies Made Simple, Grade 5
With this series, children participate in interesting projects and activities designed to reinforce the lessons. Topics covered in Grade 5 include Ancient Americans, European Explorers, The American Revolution, The New Nation, The Industrial Revolution, World War I, The Great Depression, World War II, and more.
Social Studies Skills Made Easy Grades 5-8
This workbook was originally intended to be used as a supplement for middle school teachers. Topics covered include the Physical Geography of the U.S., States and Regions, Graphs and Charts, Cities and Capitals, Population, and U.S. Historical Developments.
The Story of the World with Activity Book
Following the classical style of education, this series of books by Susan Wise Bauer follows the four-year cycle. You can begin with any book, though it’s recommended by the author that you begin with the first one in Grade 1, repeating the cycle again in Grade 5.
Chicago Review Press
This publisher produces a number of history books for children that incorporate activities into the lessons. You can find many of them at your local library. Titles available include Days of Knights and Damsels, Classical Kids, Isaac Newton and Physics for Kids, More Than Moccasins, Colonial Kids, George Washington for Kids, The American Revolution for Kids, Abraham Lincoln for Kids, The Civil War for Kids, World War II for Kids, and many others.
A Reason for Science Level E Complete Homeschool Kit
It includes everything you need for the fifth-grade year of scientific study. The kid includes a 36-lesson student workbook in full color designed to help develop critical thinking skills. Each set of weekly lessons begins with a hands-on activity, followed by discussion, journaling, comprehension questions, and more. The kit also comes with a teacher’s guide, lesson notes, and the supplies for the activities. Level E covers such topics as life cycles, stimulus and response, eye structure, air pressure, and geology and weather.
The Apologia Young Explorers Series
It is designed for second through sixth graders by homeschooling mother Jeannie Fulbright. Titles in the series cover Botany, Astronomy, and Zoology. Influenced by the Charlotte Mason approach to teaching, each lesson features narration, notebooking, and hands-on activities.
The Usborne Science Encyclopedia IL (combined volume)
It is designed for ages 9-12 and contains information from the study of physics, biology, Earth science, chemistry, and astronomy, as well new scientific fields including genetic engineering and nanotechnology. This book includes over 1500 illustrations and diagrams and more than 140 experiments and activities.
Whatever curriculum you use, be sure it’s one that will help you reach your educational goals for your child. As you plan this fifth-grade year, however, don’t forget to take advantage of the experience of other homeschooling parents. Not only can they give you input regarding curriculum, but they will also be able to offer support and encouragement as your homeschooling journey continues.
Guest Blogger: Samantha Bell
Photo from Waechor