Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Mid-Year Update: Homeschooling Sixth Grade

We are officially on week 19 of our 36-week homeschool year...right where we should be in some subjects, behind in others, and ahead in just a few. So I am planning a series of posts to update you all on how things are going in our homeschool! I posted an update for my third-grader last week; this week's update is devoted to my sixth grader, James (you can see his original sixth grade plans here).

We have made a few tweaks as this year went on, mainly in order to combine some subjects with his siblings and ease my workload a bit! I'll explain as I go. James is doing much of his work independently this year, but I check in with him throughout the day. 

Here's what he's doing...

  • Analytical Grammar ~ We started the year by working through Season 1 of AG together. It took until just before the holidays. Now that he is finished, he does the AG review book independently, completing one exercise every two weeks. I reviewed Analytical Grammar here
  • Teaching Textbooks 6 - I talked a  bit about how we use this program here and hereBut basically, James does his lesson independently, then I go over it with him briefly to make sure he understood it. I check his grade on the computer, and if needed, go over any incorrect problems with him. 
  • Duolingo French ~ he spends about 10-15 mintues a day puttering around on this site to learn some vocabulary. 
  • Literature & history readings - We are doing this a bit differently than originally planned. The original plan was to  use BookShark's Eastern Hemisphere. Instead, we changed things up so he and his older siblings could do more together, with a focus on modern history.  

Currently, I am reading aloud to him and his older siblings from these books each day:

He also reads to himself each day; he has been reading some books from BookShark's Eastern Hemisphere and some others we had on hand from the general time period we are studying. 

Currently he is reading:

After he reads, I quickly skim his reading and have him narrate a bit to me, or if he is reading a BookShark book,  I use the discussion questions in the instructor guide. 

Moving on to science ~ James does a Home Science Adventures experiment twice a week or so along with his younger sister. We are using the Astronomy-Birds-Magnetism Triple Set.  I'll have a review of this program up in the next week or so and hope to start posting reviews of other programs we're using as well. 

And that's it for the day! After he finishes, he usually has chores to do, takes a shower, gets ready for practice, or just putters around. On Fridays, he usually spends the whole morning doing art - he is using Drawing Lab along with Christopher. After he does a lesson or two from that book, he often draws on his own until lunch-time, after which we are generally done for the week!

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