Year 5 Homeschool Progress Report: The Good, The Bad & The Unexpected – Part Three

Year 5 Homeschool Progress Report The Good, The Bad & The Unexpected Part 3 on colored background

So far we’ve seen what’s worked and not worked of my original plan for this year. But there have also been some unexpected resources that have ended up being some of our new favorites! 

As hard as it is for a planner like me to admit, sometimes embracing spontaneity is the best plan of all!

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Year 5 Homeschool Progress Report: The Good, The Bad & The Unexpected – Part One

Year 5 Homeschool Progress Report The Good The Bad & The Unexpected Part 1 on striped colored background

A lot of homeschool bloggers like to post their yearly curriculum choices (like I’ve been doing in this series) for their readers. Over the years, I’ve found it incredibly helpful to see what other families are using.

But sometimes these “what we’re using this year” lists give the impression that choosing curriculum for the year is a once-and-done kind of thing. 

Totally not the case!   

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Essential Non-School Apps for Your Homeschool

Essential Non-School Apps for your Homeschool with iPhone home screen apps

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Homeschooling is more than a method of education – it’s a lifestyle. 

So it’s not surprising that there’s overlap with other areas of life when it comes to the best tools to use for the job. For example, when it comes to digital tools, I’ve found that all kinds of non-school-related apps have helped our homeschool.

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Top Handwriting Resources for Homeschoolers on a Budget

Top Handwriting Resources for Homeschoolers on a Budget

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When my oldest son had some pre-writing work under his belt and was ready to start learning how to write letters and words, I researched the depths of the internet in the hopes of finding the one right, best method for teaching handwriting. 

Long story short, there’s no such thing.

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Achieving Handwriting Success with a Skill-Based Approach

Achieving Handwriting Success with a Skill-Based Approach on dark background with pencils on table

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One of the beauties of homeschooling is that kids can work at their own pace based on skill mastery rather than age or grade level. This is helpful for all subjects but especially ones with physical coordination aspects like handwriting. Kids are all over the map when it comes to physical development.

Is your kindergartener’s printing better than your spouse’s? No need to hold them back with a “kindergarten” book! Does your older student need extra printing practice before tackling cursive? No worries! You can use whatever resources meet him where he’s at based on ability, not necessarily age. 

At the end of the day, the goal is to have kids who can write neatly (or at least legibly) to communicate in written form. 

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Our Curriculum Choices – Year 5

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If you haven’t done so yet, read the first post in this series here and check out Our Curriculum Choices – Year 1, Year 2, Year 3 and Year 4.

Year 5 Snapshot

If you’ve been following this series of posts, we’ve now caught up to real time. I wrote about the first four years retroactively because I started this blog just before we began our fifth year of homeschooling. 

Since I can’t summarize a year that hasn’t happened yet, this snapshot will be a look at how our year has started so far. Later this school year I hope to post about lessons learned during Year 5… but I have to learn them first, so stay tuned. 

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5 Reading Incentive Programs and How They Can Work for Your Family

5 Reading Incentive Programs and How They Can Work for Your Family on cartoon background with boy reading book

There’s an ongoing debate as to whether or not reading incentive programs are a good thing. (Just so you don’t get your hopes up, this blog post isn’t going to settle the matter). 

Some parents and educators say reading incentives have absolutely helped motivate their reluctant readers. The kids just needed a little outside motivation to get them started and now their love of reading has taken off.

Others point to the dangers of external motivation and warn that incentive programs backfire. They say the programs are essentially bribes and when the incentives stop, so does the reading.

In my experience, there’s truth on both sides. 

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Spotlight on School Supplies: Paper Cutter

Spotlight on School Supplies: Paper Cutter with Fiskars paper cutter background

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A Cut Above the Rest

Other school supplies on my Top 5 Must-Have Homeschool Supplies list boast frequent use and a variety of applications. 

Paper cutters are more of a one trick pony. And it’s a pony that stays in the barn most of the time. So you might be wondering how they made my Top 5 list. Allow me to explain.

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Our Curriculum Choices – Year 4

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If you haven’t done so yet, read the first post in this series here and check out Our Curriculum Choices – Year 1, Year 2 and Year 3.

Year 4 Snapshot

While we were (and still are) far from having it all figured out, Year 4 was the first year I felt noticeably more confident in our homeschooling. 

After several years of educating our kids at home, I now had some data to work with – some proof that this was working. We could look back on work from the years past and see tangible evidence that growth and learning were taking place. Phew!

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