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

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!

Year 5 Homeschool Progress Report
Part Three: The Unexpected

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Bible & Character

  • Pureflix This wasn’t part of the original plan but when I heard about this Christian version of Netflix we decided to give it a try. Like I said in the last post, this is what thoroughly distracted us from some of our other Bible resources, but there is so much content – we just couldn’t help ourselves! In any case, my boys have gone through the entire What’s In the Bible? series on Pureflix so I feel better about the wheels falling off the rest of our original Bible study plans for this year.
  • Church-wide Bible Study – Just recently, our church started a church-wide, month-long Bible study and they provided amazing study guides for adults plus coordinating workbooks with Bible study guides, games and puzzles for each age-group of kids. I wasn’t planning on it but it has already helped get us into a better routine with our family Bible studies!
3 Journey Through John Bible study workbooks for adults and kids
Unexpected but awesome Bible study workbooks from our church!

Math

  • Kahn Academy – I planned on using Kahn to supplement our math this year but I didn’t expect to be using it exclusively for my 4th grader’s math curriculum! It’s been a life-saver for him since he really needed a break from MUS Delta but I didn’t want to buy another whole curriculum. I do think we’ll need to add in some written practice soon but for the last couple months it’s been a perfect (and FREE!) solution for us.
  • Life of Fred – We’ve enjoyed the first few books in this math series in the past but I hadn’t really planned on it for this year. After my kids brought out the three we owned and got all excited about them again, I finally caved and bought the rest of the elementary series. I’m so glad I did – they LOVE these books! They ask for it and want to read it for bedtime reading! So awesome!
10 book spines - Life of Fred math curriculum series for elementary students
We love Fred!

Reading

  • Sibling role models – Obviously this isn’t a curriculum but I wanted to include it because I was totally and pleasantly surprised by the impact her brothers’ reading has had on our toddler. Our youngest sees them reading all the time and they read to her, too. She’s surrounded with it and, because of that, she loves her books! I’m so grateful that the love of reading is so contagious! 

Grammar

  • Kahn Academy (again) – So, in the last post, I mentioned how my 4th grade grammar plans were crumbling to sad little pieces. But just like with math, Kahn Academy came to our rescue!! They have a comprehensive (and, yes, FREE!) grammar course with videos and online practice exercises and my 4th grader is loving it! He says it’s now one of his favorite subjects! A few of the concepts are over his head (and mine) but most of it is within reach for an older elementary student. It’s a great overview and it’s giving him a broad foundation in all the grammar and mechanics basics which I see him now using in his IEW writing work. {happy homeschool mom squeals of delight} Thank you Sal Kahn!

Writing & Handwriting

  • Gratitude Journals – In my recent New Year’s post I mentioned that we started using gratitude journals (this one for me and this one for my kids). They weren’t intended to be for extra writing practice but it has turned out to be a great real-life-writing experience for my boys. Don’t tell them but it’s part of a long-term plan to work them up to journaling. 
  • Homemade books – We’ve done homemade books here and there in the past but this year my 1st grader has really taken off with them! It actually came out of a moment of desperation when the writing prompt pages I mentioned in the last post weren’t working. He didn’t want to write a story on the lined printable but asked to make his own book. In a moment of clarity I realized he was ASKING TO WRITE A BOOK and I decided to go with it (flexibility is key, remember?). Since that time he’s made several more – sometimes writing more in one day than I had planned for him in a week! Go figure!

History & Everything Else

  • Schoolhouseteachers.com membership – I’m super excited about this because I’ve been considering this for a while now but I ended up WINNING a 1 year membership during a recent webinar hosted by The Old Schoolhouse. I don’t usually win things so I’m probably a little over-the-top excited about this – some people like winning money or vacations… I like curriculum sites, what can I say? Anyway, I’m hoping we can fill in some gaps we have in US geography and supplement other areas of history plus art, health and music. I’ll keep you posted!

Looking back on this 3-part Progress Report, you’ll see that most subjects have some things that are working well, some things that need adjusting and a few unexpected turns. I’ve found this to be true of our homeschool every year so far.

I hope this glimpse behind-the-scenes helped you see that beneath every polished plan there is still uncertainty and imperfection. No matter how carefully we prepare, alterations WILL inevitably need to be made… and THAT’S OKAY! If you expect the unexpected, you won’t be thrown for (as much of) a loop when the unexpected happens (and it will).

I encourage you to make a mid-year review part of your homeschool traditions. Celebrate the good, acknowledge and adjust for the bad, and embrace spontaneity when it seems to be working! Happy Homeschooling!!

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Year 5 Homeschool Progress Report The Good, The Bad & The Unexpected - Part Three title on colored stripe background