Fifth Grade Complete

With a strong emphasis on applying subject concepts and skills in context, this complete, literature-based curriculum meets grade level standards in Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, Science, Physical Development and Fitness, Fine Arts, and Character Development/Bible. This curriculum also includes some additional instruction in areas such as keyboarding and sign language. See each semester’s description for an overview of individual subject’s skill goals.

Particularly in science, the information and skills introduced at this grade are impressive. For instance, children will learn body systems, cellular structure, scientific classifications, and more. Since children vary in abilities in math and language arts skills, allow yourself freedom to tailor material to your specific child’s needs. Suggesting a 4-day-per-week lesson plans with a fifth day for additional activities, this level transitions children toward more self-directed learning (and so is a little bit more “pick up and go”). Still, you’ll want to have some weekly prep time. Take special note of the materials used weekly (over 30). Then, there are over 130 additional items needed per semester. Most items are things found in a typical home, but some science items may prove particularly challenging, such as a beef liver, stethoscope, a drum, batting tee, a basic microscope, and a spirometer.

Math continues using manipulatives in individual activities, practical application, and practice with worksheets or individual activities. Math coverage is broad and may move more slowly in comparison with some programs. For example, in Semester 1, decimals are introduced in context with the subject of money. Semester 2 studies fractions in more depth, ending with an initial lesson on converting fractions to percentages. Yet, probability, statistics, graphs, and data interpretation skills are included. In language arts, students will complete short assignments, research, keep a journal to encourage expression, and more. Handwriting assignments use a traditional style (Uses a 2 for capital Q). Dictionary use and grammar diagramming begin in earnest. Science introduces the topics of life cycle stages, body systems, weather, invertebrates, and scientific classifications. Bible memory passages (using NIV, NLT, and NCV) range from individual verses to full chapters from the Old and New Testaments.

The full-year set provides flash cards, items for games, a palm-sized spiral journal, and daily work materials for one student. Appendixes content appears to repeat from previous levels. These include math fact practice pages, finger spelling, grading rubrics (for oral presentation, poetry recitation, and writing), recipes, songs, a U.S. and world map, and more. Personally, I find the semester 3” binders cumbersome and would immediately switch each unit to smaller binders.

Purchase the student refills for additional students. The consumable student pages use a text print size that appears smaller than the norm; the font reminds me of Comic Sans. Pages include writing space with ¼ inch writing lines, a potential issue for some students. As with the program’s other levels, you’ll need teacher prep time and should expect to be involved in the learning. Only pages with the panda symbol are reproducible for home school use only.

If you’re seeking a strongly interactive, engaging, literature-based curriculum that encourages thinking skills, this may be the curriculum for you. ~ Ruth

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