Boyschooling Homeschool Curriculum for 5th and 12th Grades (2017-18)

I have another senior. How is that possible? It’s really, indescribably true when you hear that time flies and your kids will be grown in the blink of an eye.

So, this year I’m boyschooling a 12th grader and 5th grader.

These boys keep me so busy with music lessons, sports, and more that I rarely know whether I’m coming or going. But it’s all good and I treasure (almost) every single moment I have with them.

I just know we’re going to have a great homeschooling year – even with all the bumps that will inevitably come.

Boyschooling Homeschool Curriculum Choices for a 12th grade entrepreneur and a Charlotte Mason inspired 5th grader. #homeschool #curriculum #CharlotteMason

Boyschooling Homeschool Curriculum

Since my boys are so far apart in age, we aren’t doing too much as a family in homeschooling anymore. Caleb is off doing his own independent work – and rightly so – while Eli and I plug along with his elementary lessons.

Many days still find us all together at the breakfast table reading the Bible, and Caleb still loves to join us for brain training games. Otherwise, it’s an “each to his own” environment these days. While I sometimes miss the fun and chaotic family learning times of years gone by, there is something to be said for uninterrupted, one-on-one time with a single child.

Whether I’m gently guiding a senior in his final year of homeschooling or working hard with a 5th grader, it’s always abundantly clear that I’m teaching boys. These wonderful boys of mine are active, creative, strong, busy, talkative, opinionated, forever moving, easy to distract, full of jokes, and full of spunk. They’re farmers, landscapers, builders, creators, chefs, and entrepreneurs. They are learning to be gentlemen and how to stand up for righteousness at the same time.

I’m wildly in love with these boys. And I take the challenge to train them as future leaders seriously. It’s a lot of pressure, but also a lot of fun. I just have to remember daily that much really can be learned in the midst of movement and noise.

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Student-Led 12th Grade Curriculum and Plan

As with our daughter, Caleb pushed hard to have most of his transcript requirements out of the way before his senior year. This allows him a full year to really focus on some of the things he’s passionate about. You might remember our daughter spent much of her senior year doing an equine internship.

There happen to be two things that spark the interest of my Caleb: guitar and entrepreneurship. He’s serious about both and I’m very obliged to help him craft a school year that fosters them.

Guitar – Caleb has been playing the guitar for 5 years. What started as “just” music lessons has blossomed to so much more. He loves it, works hard at it, and he’s good. Recently, he started taking lessons with a man who plays studio guitar in Nashville. Yeah, this kid has big dreams.

Because he’s very serious about his craft and his dream to play “big” someday, we are allowing him to pursue in-depth guitar training and practice as a large chunk of his senior studies. Besides weekly lessons with his teacher, he comes home with several hours worth of homework. Additionally, he plays quite often on the worship team at church and attends those practices and events as well.

Entrepreneurship – Having grown up with entrepreneur parents, I’m not at all surprised Caleb is ready to begin dabbling in his own businesses. So, we helped him set up an LLC, open a business bank account, and register his business with the state and federal departments of revenue. Now for the good stuff…

Over the course of the year, Caleb will take a variety of online courses. In the end, he will have learned how to sell retail goods on Amazon and how to create a business website. He’ll also take courses that will prepare him to become a realtor once he turns 18. I know this sounds like a lot, but there are many courses available these days on various subjects (like selling on Amazon, for instance) that only take a few weeks to cover.

Consumer and Business Math – No high school transcript is complete without a good understanding of the real math of everyday life. We are using the Consumer Math Success Kit during the first semester and A Beka’s Business Math during the second semester.

Consumer Math Success KitBusiness Mathematics in Christian Perspective (Work-Text, Student Edition)

Constitutional Literacy – Because of the political climate in our world, I want my children to at least have a good understanding of The Constitution of the United States as it relates to today’s laws and policies. Caleb is casually going through the 25 videos from HSLDA’s Constitutional Literacy course and we use the workbook for discussions.

Michael Farris Presents Constitutional Literacy (2nd Edition)Constitutional Literacy Workbook only

Free Choice Reading – Reading makes people smarter. I’m not at all worried about what Caleb reads this year, but he must read daily.

 

Charlotte Mason Inspired 5th Grade Curriculum

Math – Saxon 6/5 is on the docket for textbook math! Eli works through this approximately 3x/week. with logic, problem solving, and Prodigy Math (a free online game) filling in the other days. What I’ve included below are just a few of the resources I’m pulling from for the logic & problem solving days.

Saxon Math 6/5: Homeschool Kit, 3rd Edition (Student Textbook, Tests and Worksheets, Solutions Manual)The Great Chocolate Caper: A Mystery That Teaches Logic SkillsOne-Hour MysteriesBuilding Thinking Skills Level 2, CompleteMind Benders Grades 3-6+ Book A3: Deductive Thinking SkillsLogic Safari Book 3Logic Liftoff, Grades 4-6Super-Fun Math Problem-Solving Cards (Grades 3-6)

Language Arts – Now that Eli is a great reader, he has a large supply of books at his disposal for daily reading. I also still read aloud to him daily. We’re giving Writers in Residence a go for writing and grammar this year, with the addition of some Mad Libs and Fix It! Grammar during morning time. Morning time also includes some vocabulary practice using Rockin’ Root Words and Wordly Wise. I throw in a little copywork (for cursive practice) each week, as well as some narration. Eli completes one lesson of Spelling Classroom each week, too.

I know this sounds like a lot. Remember that we aren’t doing everything every day! Think about the morning time resources – a couple of grammar books and a couple of vocabulary books. I do a 3-5 minute activity of either grammar OR vocabulary each day. That’s all!

As for the other language arts resources, besides daily reading and read alouds, he either does Writers in Residence OR Spelling Classroom + copywork. He isn’t overwhelmed at all.

Writers In ResidenceBest of Mad LibsFix It! GrammarRockin' Root Words: Book 1, Grades 3-5Wordly Wise 3000 Book 2

Science – Besides weekly nature study, we’re also studying chemistry this year. Eli and I are working through Christian Kids Explore Chemistry once or twice a week and every Tuesday we’re meeting with a chemistry club and going through the free experiment-based lessons from You Be The Chemist.

NaturExplorersChristian Kids Explore ChemistryYou Be The Chemist

History – We’re still plugging along in Story of the World for history. We have a month or two left in The Middle Ages and will move right into Early Modern Times. Of course, we always fill up our read alone and read aloud shelves with history go-along books!

The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child: The Middle Ages: From the Fall of Rome to the Rise of the Renaissance (Second Revised Edition) (Vol. 2) (Story of the World)The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child, Activity Book 2: The Middle Ages: From the Fall of Rome to the Rise of the RenaissanceThe Story of the World: History for the Classical Child, Volume 3: Early Modern TimesThe Story of the World Activity Book Three: Early Modern Times

Instrument Lessons  – This is Eli’s 2nd year of drum lessons. He’s doing great! My ears, however…

Service – Every other week, Eli helps at our local food pantry. He and one of his best buds work together and love every minute.

 

How Is Morning Time Different Than The Rest of the Day?

With only one kiddo consistently taking part in morning time, how is it any different than the rest of the school day? Well, I suppose it’s not really. It’s just my way of organizing it in my brain. Morning time activities are quick and often game-like, while “the rest of school” is about the bulkier, more independent learning.

During morning time you will find us reading the Bible (or something that supports Bible study) then moving on to a brain training game. Afterwards, we typically go through a set of flashcards or a memory song quickly (these might cover math facts, history events, spelling rules, vocabulary, Presidents, geography, or Bible.) Next, I either move to the whiteboard or pull out a workbook to quickly do another exercise or two (these might be diagramming or editing sentences, Mad Libs, Latin roots, a problem solving question, an atlas or mapping quest, or an impromptu spelling bee.)

Next, we move into something “beautiful” like art, music, poetry or morning time nature study.

All of morning time takes us less than one hour.

Afterwards, we move on to the bulkier work of math, language arts and science and/or history. Oftentimes, Eli has read his own books before our school day ever starts. If not, he reads after the rest of his work is finished. After a nice break from school work, I read aloud to him sometime in the afternoon.

I’m LOVING our schedule this year. (Secretly, I’m also loving that I’m not “on duty” as often as I used to be. It’s very nice to be able to walk away knowing the work will still be done. And typically done well.)

P.S. Have you been wondering whatever happened to that first child of mine who flew the homeschooling coop a few years ago? She’s doing great! She earned an associates degree in equine studies (with honors) in May and then enjoyed a 6-week internship at Kildangan Stud in Ireland. Her junior year is underway with a new focus on earning a bachelor’s degree in business. The equine industry is still her end goal.

I hope you are having a wonderful school year!

Other posts you might like:

 Planning Homeschool Bible Time How Do Boys Study Nature? Character Building Books for Boys

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10 Comments

  1. Enjoyed reading about your schedule & the books you are using. We too have a drummer in the family – my husband bought him some mutes but he only used them once & decided he would rather practice without them. It is so good when they become skilled in an instrument when you’ve had to bear with some of the awful sounds at times. I must say that the violin was the hardest to listen to in the early years!

  2. Carol, that’s hilarious! Eli, takes his mutes off every single time he thinks he can get away with it. (Both boys are dabbling in piano a bit now, which means a whole new instrument to bear since they don’t play well yet. Ha!)

  3. Have you heard of Math Beast by Art of Problem solving? It truly is a good program for gifted children. The books are done comic book style. And it teaches multiple ideas about how to get an answer instead of one “common core”.
    AoPs website has the next level math. My son loves the online class once a week and the problem challenges. It is extremely time consuming though and moves quickly.

  4. Carissa, I have heard of Beast Academy, but have never seen the curriculum in person. The samples on their website are very intriguing, for sure! I didn’t realize AoP incorporates Next Level Math. It looks very challenging. I’m glad he loves it. It makes me so happy to hear about kids who love math rather than loathe it.

  5. Your info seems very interesting and the method you use sounds very nice. My two concerns are from the religious aspect and the cost. I have a 7th grader I’m currently homeschooling using an online program and a 5th grader who seemed to do better in public school but has become a bit sickly of late and I’d like to possibly homeschool him too. I suffer from anxiety and felt I couldn’t possibly homeschool them both especially since the younger needs a more hands on approach. I believed I’d get overwhelmed with figuring things out and then not giving them both what they need. As far as the religious aspect, we deeply value the Bible but I believe some doctrines we don’t agree on so my question is about whether the Charlotte mason way and the curriculum and products you use teaching bible lessons or just showing you how to schedule bible study time? And I see there are many many books involved, about how expensive do you think it would be to follow what you do for your 5th grader? I’m sorry for the looooong message but I do respect all that you do and how you put it out there to help others with this scary leap into taking control of your child’s academic education. I like what I’ve read thus far and I just wanted some clarity on these two points that are vital to me. Thank you.

  6. Kimberly,

    Thanks for your questions. I always preview samples before buying any Bible resources. Unfortunately, there are still some that slip through that aren’t completely doctrinally sound. I just revise as necessary or ditch the resource.

    As for the cost of this particular set of resources we used for 5th grade, I can’t be completely sure. Most of these products were used with my older children and were bought several years ago. If I were to estimate, I’d say $300ish??

    I hope you have a wonderful year!

  7. Thanks for responding. I have priced most of the items you suggested and it does come out to about $300 but I know I don’t have to buy them all at once. Perhaps a logic book at a time as long as I get started on the main subjects. Also the books last across multiple grades so it’ll last a while. I also appreciate the steps you take to consider that people have different beliefs but we all want what’s best for our children. Even in your nature guide courses I see how you have it made in a way that you can use what you want. It just gets a bit overwhelming because there’s so much out there as you already know. Thank you again for helping me to feel that I can take charge and not overload myself or kids and we can be flexible.

  8. Yes! Don’t worry at all about overloading your schedule and always try to be flexible. Also, one logic book will be perfectly fine to start with. And, you’re absolutely right that the main subjects are your first priority. You CAN do it!

  9. shannon cox says:

    Hi! I would love to read more of your high school post and science for the horse lover… How do I become a member?

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