Last year I started out with a recommended package for curriculum. It was put together by out local homeschooling store and it is quite good. I made changes to it last year after a lot of research. This year with a year under our belts and a better understanding I will be even more particular about what I buy.
Last year we had a workbook that simply was boring for him. Fill in the blanks is not his learning style. This year we are going more the living books, Charlotte Mason style. I have two Christian Heroes , Then and Now Books. One was in the Recommended Package. I liked the looks of that one and they had one for C.S. Lewis that I had to buy it as well. Since Philip read and loved all the Narnia Series last year he will love this.
I also bought Mother Teresa’s biography. It is going to be some heavy reading but he is up to it. It will certainly bring up some questions and thoughts for him.
He will also continue to attend Catechism. We will also be reading a Children’s Missal for the weekly readings and commentary.
We are going to continue with Student Writing Intensive. It made a huge difference in his writing last year and we didn’t finish the course. Writing is not his strong suit so the changes we saw with the bit of the course he did do was amazing. The best direct use was when he took notes for an essay. He copied whole sentence and the essay was sounding to much like the source. I had him go back to the notes and apply the three word exercise to each sentence and then rewrite based only on those words.
We also have two books for the reading part of English. These will by no means be the only thing he reads but they are the ones where he will have to complete some sort of project on.
We use IXL. It is really designed for practice but I have a heavy science and math background. He works through it until he hits something he can’t figure out then he asks and we go over it. Math is also one of his best subjects.
We have three area to cover. The first is extreme environment for life. I plan on using this one to examine the possibility of life on other worlds. What is the minimum they would require. This will mostly be online resources including some of the podcast from Astronomy 141 by Prof. Richard Pogge. Philip has listened to some of these before. My expectations for the knowledge gained has to be lower than what the course would require but he still gets loads out of them.
The second is the diversity of life from single cell and up. We also have to cover the kingdoms. This will likely be largely rolled in with the first and mostly online resources.
The third is electricity and electronics. We have cover a lot of this area before. One of the recommended items is a Snap Circuits Kit. These are wonderful and I highly recommended them but we have had one for years and he has already done all the experiments. We will start there to reinforce and make sure we have all terms worked out. I also have an Arduino micro-controller board that we are planning on using over the summer. I just need to make sure that I keep track of our summer projects for portfolio purposes.
The majority of Grade 6 is comparing countries in a number of ways, from culture, laws, government, demographics, rights, economy, quality of life and society. We are going to be doing three countries. The first is our own (Canada) of course. The second will be China. That one was picked by Philip. He has long had a fascination with China. The third, picked by me, is Pakistan. I plan on having him read Malala’s story. She has a book coming out in October that should be very informative. The Canadian stuff we will probably look up online and discuss. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is available online and is only 2 pages long. The Chinese will probably be mostly online as well although I am looking for a book for him to read, preferably a living book.
I will be enrolling him in the Rosetta Stone Mandarin course provided by our Distance Learning provider. It worked well last year so we will continue with level 2. I also found that the local Chinese Association has language lessons. I am planning to give those a try over the summer. I want to see how well he is doing in a more real world application.
This is always the one that is most up in the air. We covered the requirements last year with Irish Dance and a little bit of drawing. I would like to add more drawing to the schedule and some music. My wife has the musical talent in our family. It looks like she will do something with the kids in the morning before going to work.