Home Learning Year by Year
DIY school curriculum
When we homeschooled we were more into unschooling — ditching a formal curriculum — rather than replicating a school at home. Still, much learning benefits from structure, progression, and well, a curriculum. You’d like to have a good text book for geometry, or grammar. Or some order to present science concepts. There’s a huge industry selling extensive and expensive curricula to anxious new homeschooling parents. My advice is to get this book and assemble your own.
For each grade from pre-school to high school, the author and novelist Rebecca Rupp outlines reasonable skills and knowledge a pupil could master at that stage for different subjects. Rupp then recommends a refreshingly diverse set of resources for that subject and level, including the best textbooks that work at home, expansive readings around the subject, and even video series when available. You select from her highly curated selections and find the ones suited to your child(ren). In our experience her recommendations and options are excellent. They will likely be on the challenging side, rather than dumbed-down. And unlike many (if not most) homeschooling guides this one is not hampered by a dogmatic religious perspective.
Even if you are not homeschooling, kids learn at home, and this book would serve well to enlarge your child’s formal schooling.
This guide supersedes the author’s previously recommended Complete Home Learning Source Book, which is a bit outdated and not as well organized.
Grade Six: Language Arts
Read a wide range of age-appropriate fiction and nonfiction materials. Kids should read a mix of classic and contemporary literature, novels and short stories, myths and legends, fables and folktales, poems, plays, essays, magazine articles, and newspapers. Literary experience should be enhanced with a range of supplementary resources, including biographies of writers, audio and video performances, and hands-on and cross-curricular activities.
At this grade level, kids should learn the techniques of writing an effective multiparagraph essay: defining a main purpose or thesis, supporting the thesis with evidence and examples, distinguishing unsubstantiated opinion from proven fact, using relevant quotes from attributed sources, and providing a bibliography.
They should be able to tailor their writings to a chosen audience or purpose: personal, academic, or business, for example.