Thursday, July 28, 2011
Ben ~ 5th Grade
Here is a detailed look at Ben's 5th grade year:
Math: Ben will be using Saxon Math again this year, Saxon 6/5 with Dive CD. Ben does well with Saxon math. He enjoys watching the lesson on the DIVE CD and he is usually able to move right into his work without any help. Ben is assigned to do all of the lesson practice problems (usually 3-6 problems in that section) and every third problem in the mixed practice section. If I notice any problem areas I go back and assign more problems, but this is usually not an issue with Ben. Math is his strongest subject.
Science: Ben and his sister are moving into the second Zoology book in the Young Explorer's Series this year, Zoology 2: Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day. We had so much fun completing Zoology 1 last year, that it was an easy decision to move into the second book this year. Ben has the accompanying Zoology 2 Notebook that he will be working in as we work our way through the text. Even though Ben is not a fan of crafts and hands-on activities, he does enjoy the "try this" and experiment activities in this science program.
Language Arts: This year one of my primary goals with Ben in the area of language arts is to develop good writing skills. He is going to be working through the Institute for Excellence in Writing's All Things Fun and Fascinating: Writing Lessons in Structure and Style. I've been preparing for this (and Gavin's IEW course) by watching the Teaching Writing With Structure and Style seminar by Andrew Pudewa. For grammar Ben will be working through Easy Grammar, grade 5. Easy Grammar is a new program for us this year, but I think Ben will enjoy the straightforward - no frills - approach to grammar. He will once again be using Wordly Wise (book 4) for vocabulary, Spelling Power for spelling, and A Reason for Handwriting.
Bible/History/Literature: Ben is going to be completing Sonlight's Core E (formerly Core 4): Intro to American History part 2. We are doing this along with Core 100 so I am modifying the core slightly to make a combined American History program for both boys. For Ben, this simply means that instead of hearing readings from Landmark History and The Story of the USA, he is listening to readings from the Core 100 spine, Joy Hakim's books: A History of US. The Bible and reader portions of the core are planned as written in the Sonlight schedule.
Electives: Ben will continue karate training this year. Despite major changes in the dojo (his Sensei moved and as a result the karate school closed), he has continued training under another Sensei and is working towards earning his brown belt, and then his black belt. Ben will also be working on improving his keyboarding skills (using Typing Instructor).