Do you plan to homeschool your child at the fifth grade level? Are you feeling uncertain about where to begin or which materials to use? Because no single curriculum is a perfect fit for every family or even every child, homeschooling allows for the freedom to choose materials that work for each individual. Although I have generally used the same materials for all my children, I have added or removed some items along the way. But, in general, I use a variety of workbooks and other resources for my fifth grade homeschool curriculum. The following are the materials that I used with my first child and will use with my second, third, and fourth children. If you are interested in any of the materials, easily find copies on Amazon via my affiliate links.
I begin homeschool preschool with each of my children around the age of three. After two years of preschool work, I start kindergarten with each kiddo around the age of 5. After completing the kindergarten work, first grade begins around age 6 a year later. Second grade homeschool then begins in another year around the age of 7 followed by third grade another year later around the age of 8. Fourth grade then begins at roughly the age of 9. Each kiddo then begins fifth grade around the age of 10 followed by sixth grade approximately a year later.
For each grade level, we do approximately 180 days of work. For the first week of each month, we do 5 days of work. For the other weeks of the month, we do 4 days of work each week. If we need to take a day off here or there, we make up the missed day the week before or the week after. Each grade level requires approximately 42 weeks.
Originally published on July 30, 2020. Updated on August 16, 2022.
I continue using the Treasures series from Macmillan/McGraw-Hill for fifth grade reading. The 784-page Treasures: A Reading/Language Arts Program (Grade 5) textbook includes a variety of readings along with comprehension questions and other reflective activities. Each unit includes a writing section after the reading passages, so the textbook also counts towards our writing curriculum.
After completing the Treasures textbook, we use two printable workbooks from Education.com for additional reading work. Incorporating both reading and writing skills, Figurative Language focuses on descriptive language and metaphoric phrases. Haunting Plots focuses on reading skills through read-and-respond passages from famous horror literature.
Because of the many errors and problems in the grammar books for fifth grade currently available, I wrote my own fifth grade grammar workbook for my children. A Form-Function Grammar: Level 5 is the fifth workbook in the elementary series that builds up to A Form-Function Description of the Grammar of the Modern English Language, a textbook and workbook that provides a descriptive grammar that strives to provide an objective description of English as used without value judgements.
The goal of Level 5 is to reinforce the word classes (parts of speech, grammatical forms) of English taught in Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, and Level 4. Level 5 includes nouns, determiners, pronouns, verbs, phrasal verbs, modal verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, coordinating conjunctions, correlative conjunctions, subordinating conjunctions, and interjections. Level 5 reinforces noun phrases, determiner phrases, adjective phrases, adverb phrases, verb phrases, adverb clauses, and adjective clauses. Level 5 also introduces count versus noncount nouns, absolute adjectives, grammatical case, grammatical voice, passive voice, postpositions and postpositional phrases, separable phrasal verbs, relativizers as direct objects and indirect objects, complementizers, and noun clauses.
Level 5 is recommended for ages 9 to 10 in fourth grade through fifth grade.
The answers to all the activities are located at the end of the workbook.
For punctuation lessons, I use portions of the 112-page Grammar and Punctuation, Grade 5 workbook. The black-and-white workbook covers 25 grammatical and punctuation topics including end punctuation, commas, quotation marks, underlining, and italics that build on the topics learned in the fourth grade edition. Each section includes four pages of instruction and activities for a total of 25 instructional pages and 75 practice pages. As with the fourth grade workbook, I again use only the writing and punctuation portions because of errors in the grammar sections.
For formal writing lessons, I chose to add the Spectrum Writing series to our curriculum starting with the Spectrum Writing Grade 5 workbook. The 136-page workbook teaches basic writing skills such as the writing process, story writing, informational writing, and opinion writing through a variety of creative writing prompts and writing practice activities. We continue the series through eighth grade.
My fifth grader then continues the Weekly Real-World Writing series with Weekly Real-World Writing, Grades 5-6. The workbook provides practice with real-world writing with activities that demonstrate thoughtful and effective writing strategies. We use the first half of the workbook in fifth grade and the second half in sixth grade. The real-world topics include letters, journal entries, product opinions, advertisements, directions, and interviews.
For writing practice multiple days a week, I also include The Writing Prompts Workbook, Grades 5-6 in our fifth grade writing curriculum. My fifth graders complete the first 100 prompts followed by the second 100 prompts in sixth grade. The workbook provides a collection of imaginative situations and questions that get children writing. Do note that the prompts are not entirely secular but do include some questions about religion.
Rather than using word lists for spelling, I continued with word study using Structured Word Inquiry in fifth grade. For my main resource, I use the InSight Words (Volume 1, Volume 2, Supplement, and Inflections) decks from Linguist-Educator Exchange.
I also created the Teach a Student to Spell: Level 5 workbook for spelling lessons as a follow up to Teach a Student to Read. Level 5 consists of 36 lists of one to four bases each. The number of bases in each list depends on the size of the word family. The activities focus on the four questions of Structured Word Inquiry: (1) What does a word mean? (2) How is the word built? (3) What are morphological and etymological relatives of the word? and (5) What are the sounds that matter? What are the letters doing? The goal of Level 5 is to study the spelling of English words using the Structured Word Inquiry framework. Level 5 builds on the spelling rules introduced in Level 3 and Level 4. Level 5 also reinforces the prefixes, suffixes, and connecting vowels from Level 2, Level 3, and Level 4 while introducing additional prefixes and suffixes.
My fifth grader completes the first 18 lists of level 5 during fifth grade.
After completing the previous book in the series in fourth grade, my children use 101 Lessons: Vocabulary Words in Context (Grade 6-8), to expand their vocabulary in fifth grade. The 112-page workbook includes 101 lessons that teach a total of over 300 vocabulary words. The lessons use a variety of activities to teach the words in context. While labeled as recommended for six through eighth grade, we use the entire vocabulary workbook in fifth grade.
For fifth grade math lessons, we continue using the Singapore Math series with Singapore Math Level 5 (US Edition). The two textbooks in Level 5 teach mathematical concepts, and the workbooks provide additional independent practice. The US Edition has been minimally modified from the original Singapore edition to teach American money and include American English spellings. The textbooks follow a unique pattern of moving from hands-on demonstrations to picture drawings (concrete examples with pictures) and finally to the abstract (numbers and symbols) in a natural, easy-to-understand progression. The program aims to teach children to learn to think mathematically rather than just being able to solve math problems.
We complete all of Level 5 during the first two-thirds of fifth grade. We then move on to 6A of Singapore Math Level 6 (US Edition) during the final third of grade 5 math. (We complete 6B in sixth grade and then move on to prealgebra.)
For science lessons, we continue using the Scott Foresman Science series that we started in fourth grade. For fifth grade, we use the Scott Foresman Science textbook and the accompanying workbook. Each lesson includes questions at the end, and the workbook includes further questions for study. The end of the workbook includes additional activities to use with each chapter.
After finishing the grade 4 social studies textbook and workbook, my daughter moved on to the Macmillan/McGraw-Hill Our Nation Grade 5 textbook and the accompanying workbook. The 635-page hardback book covers various social studies topics such as community, geography, history, and culture. The accompanying workbook is essential for reinforcing the lessons in the textbook and covers vocabulary, writing, and other activities.
In addition to the textbook and workbook, we continue using the DK Workbooks: Geography series for practical geography skills. For fifth grade, we use DK Workbooks: Geography, Fifth Grade, which is a 60-page workbook that includes map-related topics such as physical and political maps of each continent, time zones, and using longitudes and latitudes.
After completing the History Pockets: Colonial America and History Pockets: The American Revolution, my daughter and I moved on to History Pockets: Explorers of North America Grades 4-6 and History Pockets: Moving West Grades 4-6. The reproducible activity books teach information about each time period complete with illustrations, arts and crafts projects, and writing activities. My children complete each section over one or two days with a culminating portfolio to show their study of time period in history.
For health lessons, we continue using the same Harcourt textbook series that we began in first grade. In fifth grade, we use the 448-page Harcourt Health & Fitness: Grade 5 and the accompanying workbook. The accompanying workbook provides practice that reinforces the information from each lesson. Most of the worksheet pages cover two or three lessons per page.
After completing the health textbook and workbook, we continue onto the ScienceWorks for Kids: The Human Body workbook from Evan-Moor. The workbook presents information and investigations on nine anatomy concepts.
For art lessons, I continued using the 13 Children Should Know series of books. For fifth grade, I used 13 Art Mysteries Children Should Know, 13 Art Illusions Children Should Know, 13 Photos Children Should Know, and 13 Fashion Styles Children Should Know. We also used YouTube, trips to art museums, and other resources to learn more about various artists, artworks, and art styles.
For more formal lessons on music starting in fifth grade, I use Help Your Kids with Music: A Unique Step-by-Step Visual Guide. Recommended for ages 8 to 12, the guide covers core topics such as melody, rhythm, chords and harmony, intervals, scales, and keys, styles and genres, and the instruments of the orchestra. We use the first four of the nine sections in fifth grade followed by the final five sections in sixth grade.
Also for fifth grade music, we use The Story of the Orchestra. Recommended for ages 8 to 12, the interactive and colorful book teaches about composers, the orchestra, and conductor through a cheery narrator named Orchestra Bob. The narrative introduces students to classical music and includes access to audio that accompanies the text. I have the original 2001 version, but an updated 2019 version is also available.