I have been homeschooling my four children since the fall of 2014. My oldest two have so far finished preschool and my third will finish this fall. My oldest two have also finished kindergarten while my third will begin sometime in November. My oldest has also completed first grade, second grade, third grade, fourth grade, and fifth grade while my second will begin third grade in October. My oldest will finish her grade 6 work by the end of the year. If you are interested in any of the materials, easily find copies on Amazon via my affiliate links.
Originally published on August 15, 2020. Updated on August 19, 2023.
I continue using the Treasures series from Macmillan/McGraw-Hill for sixth grade reading. The 736-page Treasures: A Reading/Language Arts Program (Grade 6) 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 finishing the Treasures series, I introduce the Language of Literature series from McDougal Littell. We begin Language of Literature (Grade 6) in sixth grade. The 1120-page textbook includes a variety of texts. We also use the comprehension and critical thinking questions along with the vocabulary exercises. We complete Unit 1 in sixth grade.
Because of the many errors and problems in the grammar books for sixth grade currently available, I wrote my own sixth grade grammar workbook for my children. A Form-Function Grammar: Level 6 is the sixth 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 6 is to reinforce the word classes (parts of speech, grammatical forms) of English taught in Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, Level 4, and Level 5. Level 6 includes nouns, determiners, pronouns, verbs, phrasal verbs, modal verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, postpositions, coordinating conjunctions, correlative conjunctions, subordinating conjunctions, and interjections. Level 6 reinforces noun phrases, determiner phrases, adjective phrases, adverb phrases, verb phrases, prepositional phrases, and postpositional phrases as well as grammatical functions such as subject, predicate, direct object, indirect object, object complement, noun phrase modifier, verb phrase complement, adjective phrase complement, prepositional complement, and adverbial. Level 6 also introduces determinatives, appositives, functional versus lexical verbs, complex predicates, and compound subjects and predicates and delves into deeper detail of the internal structures of adjective clauses and noun clauses. Level 6 finally introduces sentence structure and extraposition.
Level 6 is recommended for ages 10 to 11 in fifth grade through sixth 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 6 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 fifth 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 fifth grade workbook, I again use only the writing and punctuation portions because of errors in the grammar sections.
For formal writing lessons, we continue using the Spectrum Writing series in our curriculum, using the Spectrum Writing Grade 6 workbook in sixth grade. 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.
After finishing the first half of the workbook in fifth grade, my sixth graders continue the 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 then finish 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 sixth grade writing curriculum. My sixth graders complete the second 100 prompts in sixth grade after having finished the first 100 in fifth 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 covers grades 5 and 6. 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 sixth grader completes lists 19 to 36 of level 5 during sixth grade.
For vocabulary expansion in sixth grade, we use McGraw-Hill Education Vocabulary Grades 6-8. Focusing on a particular subject and including ten or more vocabulary words related to that topic, each vocabulary list includes definitions and example sentences followed by activities for practicing the words.
For sixth grade math lessons, we continue using the Singapore Math series with Singapore Math Level 6 (US Edition). The two textbooks in Level 6 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 completed during the final third of grade 5 math, so we complete 6B in sixth grade. We then move on to Prealgebra from Derek Owens. The online course covers the topics normally covered in a middle school prealgebra course and is designed to prepare students for Algebra 1. We start the Prealgebra course after completing Singapore Math and continue into seventh grade as needed.
For science lessons, I selected the 824-page textbook Science: A Closer Look Grade 6 and the accompanying workbook. Each lesson includes questions at the end, and the workbook includes further questions for study.
After finishing the fifth grade social studies textbook and workbook, we continue on to to the Macmillan/McGraw-Hill Our World Grade 6 textbook and the accompanying workbook. The 669-page hardback book covers various social studies topics focusing on worldwide 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 sixth grade, we use DK Workbooks: Geography, Sixth Grade, which is a 60-page workbook that includes map-related topics such as map reading, compass directions, continents, countries and states, borders, and bodies of water.
We finish sixth grade social studies with two History Pockets workbooks from Evan-Moor: History Pockets: The American Civil War and History Pockets: Ancient Egypt. 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 sixth grade health lessons, we continue using the same Harcourt textbook series that we first started in first grade. The 480-page Harcourt Health & Fitness: Grade 6 covers a variety of health topics that lead to a lifetime of good health. 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 finishing the textbook and workbook, we complete the Human Anatomy Coloring Book for additional information about the human body. The coloring book offers 43 pages of the major organs and body systems including skeletal, muscular, circulatory, respiratory, nervous, digestive, urinary, reproductive, endocrine, lymphatic, and skin. Coloring the body provides a fun and artistic break to typical health education.
For art lessons, I continued using the 13 Children Should Know series of books. For sixth grade, I used 13 Architects Children Should Know, 13 Buildings Children Should Know, 13 Skyscrapers Children Should Know, and 13 Bridges 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 and continuing into sixth 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 complete the first four of the nine sections in fifth grade and then continue sections five through nine in sixth grade.
After completing Help Your Kids with Music, we continue with The Usborne Story of Music. The 32-page book introduces music history from prehistoric times to the present day. The last two pages additionally list music to listen to with each section.