The year is coming to an end, and it is time to reflect on each child’s progress over the past year. I wrote about our second and fourth grade plans in the two previous posts if you want to check them out. Sixth grade proved to be a big year for Sims. Similar to Sawyer, he did not rock all of goals but he surpassed my expectations on a few other activities. Here are the goals that I made for Sims at the beginning of the year (hind sight is always 20/20. I put in writing goals for the older two but I had no plans work on writing this year. The plan was to focus on grammar. Just reminds me to make sure my plans and my goals actually will work together).
Sims (sixth grade): 1) Begin note taking with research 2)increase independence with reading and activities 3)time management skills 4)Vocabulary 5)Independent with writing a well planned 5 paragraph paper 6) Journaling
Wow, did I go wrong with these goals. In the beginning of the year, Sims did work hard on taking notes, doing vocabulary and writing. After Christmas, his enthusiasm to write did not remain. Thus goals and 1, 4, and 5 were not met at a level that I feel comfortable with. On the flip side, he found the love of reading!! I will take this over writing any day. He read more books than I was able to keep up with. He used to always kid Sawyer about how much she reads during the day until this year. He read the Hatchet series, the My Side of the Mountain series and many other books. I must say, once again, that I LOVE Learning Ally (If you have a child with a reading disability, I HIGHLY recommend checking into Learning Ally). Sims also really stepped it up this year with being independent and managing his time and work load.
Ok, onto curriculum!
Spelling: Sims started the year with Apples and Pears and quickly asked if he could find another program. I have to admit that this hurt a little bit because he was doing so well with Apples and Pears. The carry over with spelling into other writing is amazing. I researched programs and we decided upon IEW’s Phonetic Zoo. He loves it. The program is simple to use. Overall, Sims’ spelling improved over the year. Even better than improvement is his awareness of spelling. He wants to spell words correctly and really started asking how to spell words more this year.
Grammar: Growing with Grammar worked well for Sims as well as the other two kiddos. He easily read the lesson in the lesson book and then used new information to complete the assignment. The assignments were easily modified on days that he did not want to write as much (which were few). The lessons are written directly to the student so he only needed help when he didn’t understand a concept.
Math: Sims completed the first half of Teaching Textbooks level 6 and quickly became bored with the program. I guess he is feeling more comfortable looking at other curriculums because he again asked if we could look around for something else. We ended up with Math Mammoth Grade 6. He loves is. Overall, the content is more on a seventh grade level compared to the other sixth grade math programs that we looked at. The lessons are short but require some mind work. 🙂 He will continue to work through that book next year as of right now. Sims also used a lot of practical math this year with more hands on projects.
Main Lessons: We loosely followed the Waldorf Essentials sixth grade curriculum. Sims really enjoyed the lessons this year though. He worked through business math using the book Striker Jones which made the subject very interesting and appealing to a sixth grader. He LOVED Roman history. We spent way too much time on this and did not get through nearly as much Medieval History because of the amount of time we spent on studying Rome. Sims also thoroughly enjoyed physics this year. He worked with his Grandad using the Lego Technics Educational sets. He also did the physical science program from Education Exploration. Both were terrific programs. Sims also worked through geology with the other two kiddos.
Enrichment: Just as the other two kiddos, enrichment takes over! Sims took Adventure Journaling, hiking classes, survival classes, Boy Scouts, gymnastics team, drumming, art, wildlife biology,archery and horse back riding.
Overall, sixth grade was a year of growth for Sims. I cannot believe how much he accomplished this year. He keeps inventing new contraptions and working to improve items that he owns (most of the time, he truly makes improvements-sometimes, the “improvements” cost us). He fell in love hand crafts such as leather working, backsmithing and wood working. I enjoy watching him transform into an amazing young man!