5th Grade - All the world is a laboratory to the inquiring mind.

5th Grade

All the world is a laboratory to the inquiring mind.  ~Martin H. Fischer

We have had a fun summer off being really lazy, reading  and playing way too many video games.   It's time to get back to work and actually start following a schedule again... somewhat.  Our schedule is flexible and we go with the flow many days. Some days we start lessons as soon as father walks out the door to go to work.  Some days we meander through them slowly and other days we sit down and work until everything is done.   Like the quote says above, "all the world is a laboratory to the inquiring mind."  James is forever asking questions and I am forever providing answers or leading him in the process of discovering the answers for himself.  Life is full of teachable moments and happens regardless of the time, the place, the situation.  Learning has no boundaries.  It is not relegated to the hours of 9:00 to 3:00.   Learning takes place 24/7 in our household.  James and father end up having some interesting bedtime chats after I've gone to bed even though a certain party is supposed to already be asleep.    It works wonderfully when you have a mom who is a morning person and a dad who is a night owl.  

What do we have planned for 5th grade?   This year we're mixing it up a bit.  Instead of continuing with Voyages in English grammar and Spelling workout and writing with ease, we are taking it easy this year and using Learning Language Arts through Literature.

LLATl incorporates grammar, reading, spelling, vocabulary, writing, creative writing, thinking skills, etc.  It's a softer gentler approach and includes 4 book studies: Carry On Mr. Bowditch, The Bronze Bow, Big Red and The Horse and The Boy.  We are going with the 6th grade Tan book, instead of the 5th grade because 1) I know he is capable of doing the work and needs to be challenged and 2) the book selections are geared towards stories boys will enjoy versus the girlie books in the purple book.

We will be having fun working on deductive reasoning skills using Mind Benders and Detective Science.

For history, we are shelving This Country of Ours and going with unit studies about the Heroes of Invention and California Early History.   The Heroes of Invention will cover several interesting topices including Laurence Cosler (type Printing) Johann Gutenberg, William Lee, Inventors of Cotton Machinery, James Watt, Mongolfiers and the Balloon, George Stephenson (railway locomotive), Robert Stephenson (bridge builder), Robert Fulton (steamboat), Charles Goodyear and Men of Iron to name a few.

For geography, we are going to use A Child's Geography: Explore the Holy land and learn all about Turkey, Israel, Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Jordan.  

We will continue using Saxon for Math since it seems to be working so well.

Science this year is all about the body and will be using Head to Toe Science, some fun Dvd's from Rock N' Learn and the humongous book of Human Anatomy that Father bought us a couple years back.  

For Faith,We are going back to using the Faith and Life Catechism Series and continuing working on Character.

Special projects coming up will include learning about Stop Motion Animation since James loves making movies.   And since he really needs to learn how to type, he will be typing up his fan fiction stories for his Bowser Jr's Fan Fiction Blog.  He will be posting at least one chapter a week, so stay tuned.   We'll also be working into the schedule some assigned reading, read alouds and free reading time.  We have a wide variety of books and he's really into graphic novels now.  I actually found a resource of historical and science related graphic novels so we'll see how those work out.

He will also be working on getting his Arrow of Light for Webelos by the end of the year. Throw in a few field trips, special projects, side trips into where ever James brain takes up and 5th grade is shaping up to be a very interesting year.


  1. It looks like you've got a nice year planned. I'll be looking forward to reading more about over the school year. Have a good weekend!

  2. I enjoyed reading your plans and look forward to reading more during the school year!

  3. Looks like a great year. You are so right about taking the time to learn through out the day and life. Thanks for sharing your plans.


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