Our 2018/2019 Relaxed Homeschool Curriculum for 5th, 6th, and 7th Grade

Textbook-free relaxed homeschool curriculum

Another week has rolled by, and I’m keeping my promise to share next year’s relaxed homeschool curriculum for 5th, 6th, and 7th grade, aka “the middles.”

Last week when I shared our curriculum choices for my littles, I explained the fact that our homeschool philosophy is pretty much, “The less textbooks, the better.” Nowhere does this hold true as much as it does with my middles because next year, in fact, they will be using no textbooks at all. None. Not even a workbook. 

Textbook-free homeschool curriculum

(This post contains affiliate links.)

So…if you’re looking for a plethora of textbook recommendations, you won’t find them here. What you will find is an assortment of more holistic homeschooling materials and some other helpful homeschooling tools, as well.

Are you ready??

Our Textbook-Free Relaxed Homeschool Curriculum for 5th, 6th, and 7th Grade

Language Arts

For language arts, we simply will be continuing what we are doing this year by using various forms of notebooking. Rather than separating this subject into reading, writing, and grammar and boring the pants off of my children, all of these facets of English will be seamlessly interwoven through a rotation of copywork, journaling, and interest-led notebooking. (See my video below for a more detailed description of how we do this.)

People often ask how I cover grammar without a textbook. Simple! There are three techniques I utilize in order to do this:

  • Instructing them to underline the verbs, circle the adjectives, box the nouns, etc. in their journal entries
  • Mad Libs
  • Integrating grammar activities into our unit studies

The only subcategory of language arts my children will do separately is spelling, for which they will be using Natural Speller.

 

Math

Life of Fred has, unfortunately, lost its luster with my children, so they will, instead, be using CTC Math.

Au revoir, Fred Gauss. Until we meet again!

 

All Other Subjects

Everything else will be covered with the three techniques that have become the signature of our homeschool:

We tend to skip around quite a bit with the resources we use for this area, simply because the change in routine every now and then really helps keep my children engaged. The three resources I’ve chosen for next year are:

Since these three techniques are all cross-curricular, there is no need for a dozen textbooks for each child. I always say, life isn’t separated into subjects, so why should my children’s education be?

Now that’s staying true to our simple homeschooling philosophy!

 

Now it’s your turn. What are your curriculum choices for next year? Leave a comment!

 

 

 

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Author: Shelly Sangrey

I'm Shelly, a Christ-following, homeschooling Mom of eleven children ( okay, not ALL children. My oldest is 23.) I met my husband right after graduation, and we've been together ever since. Though my life can be hectic at times... okay, ALL the time, I wouldn't change it for anything.

18 thoughts on “Our 2018/2019 Relaxed Homeschool Curriculum for 5th, 6th, and 7th Grade”

  1. I loved this post and your video! I have a preschooler and one starting 1st grade in August. I am working towards becoming a relaxed homeschooler so your posts have been informative and eye-opening to me. It’s like I have been giving permission to just slow down and RELAX and have fun with my boys and before, I didn’t even know that was an option! 🙂 I have a lesson planner, but don’t plan out beforehand what we will do, I just write it down afterward to keep up with what is done. My issue has been, since we are required to do math, language arts, science and social studies, my planner is broken down like that and at times I struggle knowing where to write something we did that might cover more than one subject. It ends up stressing me out because it looks like we don’t do much in a day because I can’t fully describe what we did and all the areas it covered. I do like writing things because it keeps me accountable. Also it helps me keep up with our days to make sure we do the 180 days (sometimes if we are busy or out and about, I don’t count it as a school day if I feel we haven’t done enough). I want to relax more in this area but not sure how. Any thoughts?

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    1. When I used to keep a log like that, if something covered more than one subject, I wrote it down in every subject it met. One thing to remember, especially with children as young as yours, is that they learn every single day, without fail – even if it looks nothing like school. In our home, I always say every day is a school day because if kids are awake, they’re learning. This video might give you ideas for keeping records: https://youtu.be/YpR0NClJ3_M

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  2. Thank you so much! I agree they are always learning. Mine are constantly playing games together, building with legos, looking at books, and my 6 year old loves to “teach” my 3 year old from the Bible. My husband is a pastor, so Gabriel likes to immitate Daddy 🙂 Some days, we don’t even touch textbooks, but we spend hours outside flying kites, riding bikes, identifying birds, digging in the dirt and exploring in the woods. I have always had a hard time knowing if that could still count as a school day. I guess if someone from the government ever asked me to show their work, I have the idea that I need to make sure I have something to show. Maybe that is a wrong way of looking at it, though.

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    1. When my kids are learning in ways that don’t easily provide samples, I take pictures. I always say my Instagram account can act as a portfolio. As long as you follow your state homeschool laws, you should be fine. Even of anyone ever asked you to show proof, you wouldn’t need to show from the entire year. Some samples and your records would suffice. That is highly unlikely to happen, though. 😊 Does your state have compulsory attendance laws for children as young as yours?

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      1. In Georgia, for my 6 year old, he is required to do 4 1/2 hrs. a day (180 days) and the 4 subjects they say are math, language arts, science and social studies (isn’t that just history??). My understanding from fellow homeschool moms is that we don’t have to do every subject every day, but sometimes the whole time length is complicated for me because I don’t keep track of it well. Our book work doesn’t take long, then they just play.
        A lot of times, they do educational things even on Sundays, just because they enjoy reading, being read to, they have crafts and lessons at church, and they play outside. To them, Sunday is a fun day, because we don’t do phonics or math, but sometimes I still count them because they are learning just the same. Even in the summer they are learning. That’s why keeping track is tricky for me. When our legal homeschool year ends (as reported to the state), the very next day the new year starts, so when we go on educational trips or outings even in the summer, I can count it towards our 180 days. Maybe I am way too technical about it. I just haven’t known another way.

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        1. From what I understand about homeschooling in GA, you just have to register your kids as being homeschooled each year and do standardized testing every 3 years. Is that right? As for the 4 1/2 hours a day, I think you may be overthinking it, which I used to do, as well. Here’s a link to a post I wrote about keeping track of homeschooling days – https://redheadmom8.wordpress.com/2017/05/02/keeping-track-homeschool-days-pointless/ Keep in mind that I’m in PA, one of the strictest homeschooling states as you read it. Another post that may help you us this one – https://redheadmom8.wordpress.com/2017/11/14/homeschooling-101-teach-kids/ If you’re on FB, consider joining my group. I know there are people from GA in it, and they could answer your questions, too. Here’s the link for that – https://www.facebook.com/groups/309910162791440/

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  3. That sounds wonderful! My boys do each have a math book and next year we’re introducing a writing program since they are all such reluctant writers and it’s a skill we’ve been neglecting for years. Other than that we don’t plan on using much in the way of textbooks either.

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  4. For 7th grade , we’re trying notgrass history and literature mixed with is usborne books. For English I’m trying iew but I don’t even want to look at the package again, it seems so confusing.

    6th grade went well for us. We used bob jones heritage for history and if a chapter got boring I downloaded something fun from teachers pay teachers.
    We used abeka reading books which I really liked but didn’t like he spelling vocabulary so we switched to worldly wise for vocabulary and used random spelling words each weeks
    For science and health we used abeka, it covered everything but I don’t think it explained a lot of things clearly so I made my own power points for some subjects but it was good, abeka health was good. We also read most of the books for sonlight F, but I didn’t do the worksheets
    Misc workbooks – grammar, paragraph editing, math 6 workbooks , journal prompts
    Teaching textbooks for Math but I’m wondering if I should move to Saxon I also found a great math download on tpt with a new math concept to review each day, that took about 5-8 minutes a day it’s math a day I think
    For bible we either read a chapter a day – Samuel – Kings or download a study from bsf international .
    And just for fun , we added classical conversations review 10-15 daily.

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  5. I just recently found your youtube channel and it has been refreshing to listen to you! I love your approach. I worry about college and college entrance exams though. I feel like I must do a rigorous course of study for them to do well on those tests. I think they are stupid tests, but we want the kids to get as much scholarship money as possible. How do you get your mindset away from that? I started my year off with BJU distance learning for all subjects. We were pretty much burned out by November. After Christmas we ditched all BJU and went with all of The Good and the Beautiful and it has honestly been great. However, that little “your need to be doing more” monster recently jumped on my shoulder and started yelling “you have to do a more rigorous english program or you will fail your kids” “your need to do textbook history and teach them to take notes or they will fail in college” you get the idea. I am losing sleep trying to figure out what to do! UGH. I have 6 kiddo’s… 3 have graduated-2 from pubic and one from private. My remaining children are ages 13, 11 and 8 and will be in the 9th, 6th and 3rd next fall. This will be my first time to homeschool through high school and I am pretty much freaking out!

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    1. What I’ve found with my own kids is that despite us not teaching to the test at all (I don’t even give my kids tests and grades), my kids always perform better than their public schooled peers on the required standrardized tests they have to take every couple years. Homeschooling affords children the opportunity to learn at their own pace and in their own way. It also gives them a chance to learn in the real world instead of just through the pages of a textbook. This learning is more meaningful. So…to be honest, I don’t worry about those college entrance tests. My oldest daughter just graduated last year. She didn’t do much actual school work her senior year because she was working, yet when she took the exam, she tested out of reading and ended up in a higher level math class despite pretty much hating math and thinking she was really bad at it. If you’re interested, I went more into this philosophy here – https://youtu.be/TIjvtI_3Vns

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