How is it time for another round of middle school already? It’s a little surreal for me, but I’m wrapping up 5th grade with my youngest kiddo and planning the lineup for her upcoming year. Today I want to share the Charlotte Mason-inspired homeschool curriculum selections we’re using for 6th grade.
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Technically we’re still working through the final weeks of her 5th grade year, but 6th grade will be here by the end of the summer. Since it’s just around the corner, I’ve finished most of my curriculum shopping and am super excited to jump into this new stage of homeschooling with her. Here’s a look at what’s in store:
OUR CHARLOTTE MASON-INSPIRED 6TH GRADE HOMESCHOOL CURRICULUM PLANS
I mentioned in last year’s curriculum post that we shifted away from using Ambleside Online as the spine for her learning and moved back to Five in a Row. One year later, I can say for certain this was the right move for her and the gentler pace of FIAR was exactly what she needed.
Because it was such a good fit for this season, we’re continuing with FIAR for her 6th-grade year. That’s where Five in a Row Volume 5 comes into the picture. We’ll use its literature-based unit study approach to cover geography, social studies, science, art, and some language arts through a combination of wonderful chapter books and picture books.
Through Five in a Row, we’ll read
- The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner (This one is a re-read for us; it’s a favorite of hers.)
- The Raft by Jim LaMarche
- Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin
- Betsy Ross: Designer of Our Flag by Ann Weil
- The Gullywasher by Joyce Rossi
- Minette’s Feast by Susanna Reich
We’ll also read and work through the bonus studies like The Bravest of Us All and Paper Lanterns if I can find them. (I love that these bonus studies are included for out-of-print or hard-to-find books!)
And lastly, we’ll continue notebooking our way through these books, which my younger kiddo LOVES, and use it to document our FIAR time.
6th Grade Math
For math, we’ll be shifting to Life of Fred. We’ve used it throughout the years, but more as a supplement rather than a standalone. For 6th grade, we’re letting Fred be the focal point of our math studies. She finished the elementary series last year, so we’ll dig into Life of Fred Kidneys, Liver, and Mineshaft in the upcoming year.
This series of three books serves as a bridge between the elementary series and the upper levels that author Stanley Schmidt recommends for later in middle school, high school, and college prep. In other words, the first year of middle school is the perfect time to add these to our lineup.
With that said, this kiddo has used a mix of Math U See and Life of Fred since her kindergarten year. If we need to keep that mix for whatever reason, I’ll grab the Math U See Zeta resources from our storage facility and combine them with Life of Fred.
6th Grade Language Arts
It should come as no surprise that we’re continuing with Learning Language Arts Through Literature for 6th grade. I shared about using it for middle school recently and look forward to digging into it with my girl.
In addition to LLATL The Tan Book, we’ll keep going with our Homeschool Book Club. It’s been a great way for her to read and discuss books with friends, while also giving me a chance to add some additional light notebooking opportunities when they’re warranted.
6th Grade History
Along with the history covered through FIAR, we’re adding The Mystery of History to the mix this year for a few days each week. We had a wonderful experience working through the series several years ago, so I’m excited to jump back into it for a second time now that she’s older and can process the lessons on a different level. (She was a preschooler the first time around!)
Related: 3 Things that can make or break your homeschool middle school experience
This year we’ll dig into ancient history with The Mystery of History Volume I. I’m especially looking forward to this because it’s a great way to bring a lot of the Old Testament events she’s familiar with into the overall timeline. It’s also helpful in making sense of how these events were intertwined with other things happening in the world.
6th Grade Science
Five in a Row is great for meeting our science needs, but we’ll use some additional resources for science because it’s one of my kiddo’s favorite subjects. Because of that, we’ll incorporate some of The Waldock Way’s science unit studies.
In particular, she has asked to work through the human body study and the new ocean unit study, so I’m in the process of having them printed for us to use in the coming year.
And, as always, we’ll sneak in nature walks when we can and continue using Our Journey Westward’s Outdoor Science Labs to help us make the most of our time.
Art and Enrichment for 6th Grade
I’m planning to keep things pretty similar to our plans for last year when it comes to all things art and enrichment. That means we’ll turn to Five in a Row, along with Masterpiece Society for art inspiration and Music in Our Homeschool for music (though we’ll be finishing a couple of music courses from last year).
I’m leaving a good bit of room in both of these areas because she’ll also cover them through a local arts program. She took pottery and ASL through this organization last year and is weighing her options for the upcoming year. As of now, she’s leaning toward world music and ASL II with this group, but won’t make her final selections until fall.
To round it all out, we’ll turn to KiwiCo for some rainy day hands-on learning fun. We order directly from the KiwiCo store rather than relying on a subscription. That allows my kiddo to choose the projects she likes the most, which means we’ve got The Science of Ice Cream, Levitating Lantern, and Slime Circuits kits in our cart.
Beyond all of this, we’ll just see where the year takes us and learn as we go. Even so, I’m so excited to jump into her 6th-grade year of homeschooling. We’ve got lots of good stuff waiting for us. 🙂