Sixth Grade

For the middle school years, we’ve moved to being much more project based and more child led. That means that beyond the math and language arts plans, I have less to put here this year. However, I’ll try to be a good blogger and update it at the end of the year to let you know what we did.


Mushroom will continue using Jousting Armadillos from the Arbor School. Then he’ll move into Coconuts to Crocodiles. He will also practice problem solving and keep up his elementary math skills with Process Skills in Problem Solving grade 6.

BalletBoy will use MEP Math grade 6 and continue using Khan Academy.

We’ll try to back up and have a geometry focus this year with some geometry projects. We’ll use a variety of resources, including Zome Geometry and a lot of hands on projects.

Language Arts

We will continue using the Brave Writer lifestyle approach to language arts as a whole. We’ll be using Faltering Ownership for our writing projects, however, I choose our own dictation selections instead of using The Arrow or Boomerang. This means that we’ll have a routine for language arts:

  • dictation from literature twice a week
  • reading a nonfiction article and doing a written narration once a week
  • freewriting once a week
  • poetry tea once or twice a month
  • a writing project once a month
  • a short story once a month

We’ll be reading the MCT book Building Poems as part of our poetry study. In addition to continuing our short story routine and reading nonfiction weekly, we’ll read a few things for required reading. Last year we did two fiction books that we all read and discussed together. This year, I’m hoping to double that. I want them to choose a biography to read and I’m planning on The Giver and A Wrinkle in Time as two of our together fiction reads. As always, the kids choose their own books for independent reading time and the Husband and I continue to read aloud.

Content Subjects

Right now, we have two projects lined up to begin in the fall.

We’re going to use two spines for this: Philosophy for Kids from Prufrock Press and Philosophy Rocks! This will likely be a writing heavy project. We may also read aloud the classic book Archimedes and the Door of Science to tie in with this book in terms of thinking critically.

Evolution, Dinosaurs, and Extinct Stuff
This is a nebulous topic right now with lots of avenues for exploration. We’ll be joining the Coursera Dino 101 class, which has been highly recommended to us. I have a variety of books about the topics that we’ll start off with and then see where it leads us.

Arts, Movement, and Extras

We will continue most of the extracurriculars that we have in the past, in particular BalletBoy will continue ballet and Mushroom will continue theater. We are taking a break from piano and Mushroom still needs to decide for sure if he’s committed to soccer again.


7 thoughts on “Sixth Grade

  1. I always look forward to reading your curriculum posts. I think it gives a lot of us a way of thinking about how to shape what we do. Thank you.

  2. I’ve just discovered your blog, found through searching for secular American History curriculum ideas. Thank you for the rundown of AH materials! I’ve settled finally on the Joy Hakim series. A major worry for this Fall season has been allayed! Homeschooling a 6′ tall 14 year old, a theatrical 11year old, and a social butterfly 8 year old, all boys.

  3. I read an older comment of yours that you purchased curriculum from Global Village; I will assume because you were getting started. I am curious how you feel about that choice now. Was it a good starter for the Novice? Thank you I advance for any help you can provide.

    1. No. We never used Global Village. They’re a repackager, so it’s possible that I commented on something they sell as part of their package though. I’ve never done a box or all-in-one program. There are basically two types of all-in-one programs – the repackaged kind (Timberdoodle, Global Village, Homeschool Super Store or whatever they’re called – even Rainbow Resource sells some packages, I think) where it’s all different programs for one grade, slightly customizable. Sometimes it comes with a schedule or outline, but usually not even that. And then the original kind (Calvert, Build Your Library, Bookshark, etc.) where they are written all out for you with its own materials. My impression is that some repackagers have good stuff, but that you’re paying a premium for at least some items you won’t use and you’re not picking it yourself. It’s tricky though, because I know some people get overwhelmed when they’re starting and feel they need the hand holding of having someone else pick out your stuff. I think it’s better to choose your own materials, but I’m coming from a place of wanting to do that and feeling confident to. So that’s probably a wishy washy answer, but I think it depends.

  4. My previous comment was done with a misspelled email and I was unable to edit. I am only writing this so I can receive a response.

  5. Hey,
    I just came across your blog and found it very informative. It just has me second guessing and wondering if I’m doing the right thing for my 6th grader. I started off with The good & The beautiful for a few subjects and went with teaching textbooks for Math. I recently switched him Power Homeschool and saw what you mentioned about them. This is our first year homeschooling. My son has always hated school and was not doing well in school grade wise. I also have him do zearn and Kahn academy. Are there any pointers you could give me? I really want to get him to where he needs to be and make sure he is learning what he should be. Thank you

    1. I’m not religious and The Good and the Beautiful is newish, but I’ve only heard good things about it from religious friends who like it. As online programs go, Teaching Textbooks and Khan are both solid choices potentially, though Khan works better for practice than teaching for most students and Teaching Textbooks is on the light side (though that can be perfect for some students – depends on your goals with math and what your student needs in terms of challenge). I would take a big breath about homeschooling this year. Really, so little is learned in middle school for most students. It’s usually a time when content is solidified and reviewed and students are supposed to get deeper with it rather than move forward a ton. Schools do a good job of looking – but not actually being – rigorous during the middle school years. Most students are heading into the throes of puberty and big brain growth and they’ll have uneven development. For a student who “doesn’t like school” then I’d make recapturing a love of learning a priority over some sense of keeping up. Have you seen my book about homeschooling the middle grades? I’ve got a section at the end about what kids really need to know heading into high school and it’s not that much. The more important things are learning to learn and enjoy learning. The more rich experiences a student has, the better off they are… but the actual benchmarks are pretty loose. A lot of different programs could get you there potentially.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s