6th Grade Curriculum Plan

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I can’t believe that AJ is in 6th grade this year! It seems like just yesterday she was in second grade I was contemplating bringing her home to learn. We have come a long way. I am still learning, but I feel confidant that this year is going to be a successful year for AJ. We will be schooling 4 days a week because honestly any more than that is just not realistic with our schedule, we do the same amount of work, but spread it over 4 days instead of 5. Here is what we have planned for the year.


We are sticking with Key To Math. Last year we finished Decimals and half of Fractions. This year we will finish with Fractions and complete Percents. Last year I planned too much and didn’t give time for those instances where AJ just didn’t understand a concept. Math came easy to me and instead of planning by topic, I planned by the number of pages. This year I have went through each lesson and scheduled based on difficulty not just the number of problems.

We will finish Key To Percents with about 9 weeks of the year left. For those last 9 weeks she will be completing a geometry and a pre-algebra workbook that I picked up for free at the Pay What You Want Sale.

She will be doing book work 3 days a week, and then a Fun Math that I make up on the 4th day. The Fun Math will be lessons to make sure she has a good grasp of skills to be ready for Key To Algebra next year. Some skills I will be addressing are; mean, median, mode, range, graphing the coordinate plane, different types of graphs, area, volume, probability, and equations. I plan on sharing each of the Fun Math that I create here on my blog the week after we finish it.


We will be using different workbooks for logic. The plan is to do logic at least twice a week.

  •  Penny Press Easy Logic Puzzles. This book is full of puzzles that will require AJ to think. They start off simple and get more difficult.
  • Flash Kids Problem Solving. We are doing the 4th grade book because we never got to it last year. It has a lot of fraction problems and because of the way she is learning math we hadn’t covered some of the skills necessary for her to complete the problems until the end of last year.
  • Math Logic for Middle/Upper Grades. I picked this book up for $1 at a local teacher supply store. It is full of great logic problems. We will use this book over the next few years.
  • Sudoku Puzzles. I don’t have a specific book, but she has asked to learn how to do Sudoku puzzles so we will start easy and see where it leads us.


We will be studying Earth Science this year. We will be using a few different resources.
    • We will use Creation Geology for the first part of the year, adding in lapbooks from Hands of a Child to go deeper into some subjects. We will be doing the following lapbooks; Rocks and Minerals, Volcanoes, and Earthquakes.

 We will continue or study of Earth Science with Creation Astronomy. We will use the Moon and Galaxies lapbooks from Hands of a Child to go along with our space study.

  • Weather on the Move from Homeschool Legacy. This is a once a week unit study that we have been reviewing. It is a lot of fun and brings science to life. We will be using it with the Weather, Extreme Weather, Hurricanes, and Blizzards lapbooks from Hands of a Child.
  • We will finish off Earth Science with Oceans and Water Cycle lapbooks from Hands of a Child.
  • Throughout the year we will be utilizing thec by Luke Gilkerson. This is an amazing star study that has short weekly assignments. I have never been one that could easily find different constilations, so we will both be learning with this neat book. I think it will be the highlight of our science study!



History will be the main subject this year. We are using……….

Diana Warring’s History Revealed Creation to Christ. We are so excited to start history this year; and that is coming from someone who hated history in school. AJ has never studied Ancient History, so I have a lot of hands on fun planned. This history uses a unit study approach and incorporates music, art and science into history.

Language Arts

AJ will be doing literature studies on a variety of books. See our book list here.
Writing is AJ’s weekest subject so we will use 2 main books to help her this year.
  1. Writing Strands level 3. We started this book last year but didn’t have time to finish it. I like the fact that the book breaks writing down into bite sized pieces.
  2. Jump In! After reviewing this a few weeks back I am confidant that it will help AJ to become a better writer.
The two programs are very different and I think by using both of them AJ will get the best writing instruction possible.
Last year we decided to take a break on formal grammar. This year we are diving in with the use of these books.

  • Sheldon’s New Primary Language Lessons. I reviewed this a few weeks ago, it is a gentle approach to grammar that includes; copy work, dictation, and picture studies. We plan to work on this book for 15 minutes a day. This book won’t last the entire year because AJ already knows some of the topics.
  • Painless Grammar. I found this at the Good Will for $1 and fell in love with it. It teaches grammar in a funny story telling tone. Before I was given Sheldon’s New Primary Language Lessons, I had planned on using this book exclusively for grammar. It is a wonderful resource so I plan to use the two together.
  • Flash Kids Language Arts 6. Despite being a hands on learner, AJ likes workbooks. I like the Flash Kids workbooks because the lessons are short and topic specific.


We will be using Bible Road Trip Year 1. See my review here.

It should be a fun year full of learning. What are you learning about this year?

I am linking up with Home and School Mosaic for their Compendium of Curriculum  link up your curriculum choices too.

I am also linking up with Our Busy Homeschool and the Not Back to School Blog Hop

Enough – Review

Have you ever read a blog post so amazing that you thought it should be made into a book? That is exactly what happened to Kate Conner. A simple post entitled, 10 Things I Want to Tell Teenage Girls, written on March 25, 2012 ended up being viewed over 2 million times in less than 2 weeks. Today, August 1, Kate’s book, Enough –10 Things We Should Be Telling Teenage Girls, has been released for sale.

From the back of the book:

In a book based on her run-away blog post “10 Things I Want to Tell Teenage Girls,” which garnered more than 2 million views in to weeks, Kate Conner calls us to action in Enough. We all have teenage girls in our lives who we love, whether it’s a sister, friend, or daughter. Kate had identified 10 things these girls need to hear today from someone who loves her. Peppered with wit and laced with grace, Kate’s list tackles relevant issues like Facebook, emotions, drama, tanning beds, modesty, and flirtation. Woven into each chapter is a powerful message of worth that transcends age, and will touch the souls of women, young and old alike.

Enough is a 214 page soft cover novel broken up into 10 chapters, one for each of the items listed on her original blog post. The book is written from a Christian prospective and the Bible is quoted many times throughout. The book is written to adults to help discuss some of the harder parts of life including modesty, drama, Facebook, and so much more. It has a suggested retail price of $15.99.

Enough is an easy book to read and has a lot of good advice, but I didn’t agree with everything. On page 54 of her book Kate stated that her mother use to give her things to read and tell her to “Read it with her filter on.” She went on to explain that her mother meant, “I don’t agree with everything in here, and you don’t have to, either. Take the good and leave the rest.” I feel that statement is really how I feel about this book. The first chapter was the hardest for me to get through, it was the chapter on modesty. Everyone has there own opinions and this time I really disagreed with the author. I thought about putting the book down, but was glad I didn’t. There was a lot of good points in the book and a lot of common sense.

Overall, if you are looking for a book to help talk to your daughter about hard issues this book may be the answer for you. Would you like to win a copy of the book Enough? Enter the rafflecopter below.
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Bible Road Trip Review

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The first part of a 3 year study of the Bible for all ages.

The Bible is something that needs to be a bigger part in our homeschool. This last year we looked up a lot of verses and learned a great deal, but AJ really needs more. Our history program this year is Bible based, and so is our science (more on those in another post) but I felt we needed a Bible curriculum. The problem I have with most Bible curriculum is that they are too religious and often there are things in them that we don’t agree with. After looking into a few different options I found a few that I couldn’t afford (really it needed to be free) and a few that just didn’t seem like a good fit. Then I was given the opportunity to review Bible Road Trip written by Danika Cooley.

What is the Bible Road Trip?

Bible Road Trip is a 3 Year Bible Survey for children and young adults, beginning in Genesis and progressing through Revelation. Year One covers the books of law and history in the Old Testament. Year Two covers the books of poetry and prophecy in the Old Testament. Year Three covers the New Testament. It is for preschool to adults with different assignments for each level; pre-K and K, grades 1-3, 4- 6, 7-9, 10-12.

When I began reading the introduction to the Bible Road Trip I was pleased to find the following statement.

“Bible Road Trip does not address specific theological or doctrinal arguments.”

I was very excited that this program might be the right fit for us. I kept reading and was ready to start our trip, then we hit a road block. I didn’t realize that in order to use the curriculum that we would need an additional book. The additional resources vary by grade level, but we needed, What the Bible is All About: Bible Handbook for Kids by Frances Blankenbaker. The book is used throughout all three years and from the previews it looks like an amazing resource, but it isn’t in our budget right now.

So we looked over the curriculum and decided that with a little adjusting we could still use the Bible Road Trip. 

There are 32 weekly lessons to be completed however you choose. Each week there is a lesson guide that has suggestions for; Researching the Word, Reading the Word, Memorizing the Word, Notebooking the Word, Praying About the World, Learning More About the Word, and Crafting Through the Word. The Bible Road Trip retails for $20. To go along with the study there are also notebooking pages that are available for $20, but this week they are on sale for just $10.

There are a lot of great ideas in the Bible Road Trip, and I think the notebooking pages are beautiful. For now we are going to put the study on hold, but we will be picking it up when we start back to school. We will be doing the reading, memorizing, and praying (hopefully weekly) and throwing in some of the crafts as time permits. I think the study will definitely be a great addition to our homeschool.

We have now been using The Bible Road Trip for the last five months and we LOVE it. We were able to get a copy of the book we needed and the What’s in the Bible DVDs.  AJ and I have learned so much. We love using the note booking pages to fill in the information that she learns. It is a wonderful program that is all planned out and easy to use. We plan to continue with it this year and to use year 2 next year.

6th Grade Reading List

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I think I have finally finished picking the books that AJ will be reading this year. She will be going into 6th grade and was a struggling reader. She is finally starting to enjoy reading so I know that I need a good list of books that will keep her interest. This year we are not using a curriculum for literature, instead we will be using a writing and a grammar curriculum (review coming this week) and will then do studies on different books. I picked a variety of books; some books that I remember reading as a child, a few Newbery Award winning books, and some that just look like fun stories. Some of the books are below the 6th grade reading level but I think that is okay. I am trying to instill a love of reading and feel that the variety in this list will make our literature studies fun, meaningful, and full of learning.

Here is our 6th Grade Reading List

Fantastic Mr. Fox Here is the FREE Unit Study I created for this book.


Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Stuart Little

The Trumpet of the Swan

 Because of Winn-Dixie

 Pippi Longstocking Here is the FREE Unit Study I created for the book.

 Mr. Popper’s Penguins  You can find the Free literature study I created over at Home & School Mosaics.

 The House at Pooh Corner

 Abel’s Island

Super Fudge

The Sign of the Beaver

The Indian in the Cupboard

She will still pick some library books for free reading, but these books are the ones we will be reading together and picking apart. There will be some author studies and a few comparing and contrasting books and movies. We will be doing a variety of activities with the books. I have lapbooks and worksheets that I have found for part of the books. (That Curric Click sale was a blessing for us!) So far I have made my own studies for The Fantastic Mr. Fox and Pippi Longstocking. I still have a few more books to find resources for but the planning is in session!

So what is your plan for language arts this year?

Elementary Reading Lists

Experience History Through Music

Oh, Susanna, Yankee Doodle, Home on the Range, you  know the songs but do you know the stories and history behind the songs? There is so much history to be learned while learning about the music from the days of our ancestors. This year one of AJ’s assignments was to learn about the history of the song Yankee Doodle. I was surprised that there was not anything kid friendly that explained the history behind the song. Sure there were song books, but nothing that explained the song. We used a few different things and AJ understood the basics behind the song, but I really wished there was a better way to learn. Fast forward a few months and I was offered the opportunity to review Diana Waring’s Experience History Through Music. From the description it seemed as though these books would be exactly what I was looking for, and they were.

Experience History Through Music is a fun way to do just as the title states, learn history through music. There are three titles available in the Experience History Through Music series; Westward Ho! The Heart of the Old West, America The Heart of a New Nation, and  Musical Memories of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Each book  is soft covered and contains beautiful stories and pictures. The books each have between 13 and 16 songs and the stories behind them. Included in the back of each book is the sheet music and lyrics for the songs discussed in the book. There is not really an age requirement for these books, but older teens may find the music a little hoaky. AJ is 11 and enjoyed most of the songs.

Attached to the back cover of each book there is a CD. Each CD was professionally recorded with beautiful instrumental music and vocals.

AJ and I were given a physical copy of; the Musical Memories of Laura Ingalls Wilder, Westward Ho! The heart of the Old West, and all three CDs. We were given a digital copy of America The Heart of a New Nation.

Westward Ho! The Heart of the Old West contains music and stories that have a pioneer spirit. Songs include; Home on the Range, Gooey Duck, Westward Ho!, and many more.We both really enjoyed this book. It shows both the good and bad that happened during the times of the pioneers and really digs into American history. While we read the stories and listened to the songs AJ was learning so much, but she didn’t think of it as school work, she just thought we were having fun. Our favorite song in this book was Gooey Duck. Neither of us has ever heard the song before, but is is upbeat and entertaining. The story behind the song is really eyeopening to what the pioneers had to do to survive.

Musical Memories of Laura Ingalls Wilder was the book I was looking forward to the most. Songs include; Wait for the Wagon, Buffalo Gals, Pop! Goes the Weasel, and many more. The pictures and stories in this book would make a great addition to any Little House study. We loved being able to hear some of the music that Pa played for Laura while they were growing up. It is full of pictures of the Ingalls family and the places described in the Little House books. I do have to admit though that out of all the CDs, this one was the one we liked the least. Some of the songs were a little slow and in AJ’s words kind of boring, but that is just the type of music it is.

America The Heart of a New Nation was the book we spent the least amount of time on, mainly because we don’t really enjoy reading books on the computer. The stories were great and even include Yankee Doodle. Other songs included in this book were, Oh, Susanna, Polly Wolly Doodle, She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain and many more. This CD was a favorite around our house, and if we were only going to be able to buy one book I think this one would have been our pick. The music was upbeat and fun and the CD contains so many of the songs we already knew.

All of the books were full of great information to help you and your child learn history through music. The books are available separately for $18.99, but for this month only you can get all three books for only $50. If you are going to be learning about American history, or if you just want to add in a little bit of fun these books might be for you.

Learn more about Diana Waring and her other great programs here.

101 Bible Stories

From Creation to Revelation
*I received a free copy of the book in order to write this review*

101 Bible Stories from Creation to Revelation is a 217 page hardback story Bible. It doesn’t cover every story in the Bible, but gives a great overview. Story selections come from both the Old and New Testaments and include; Noah Builds a Boat, Baby Moses, Food from Heaven, Jericho, Queen Esther, Mary’s Gift, The Betrayer, Jesus is Coming Back, and so many more. Each story takes up two pages of the book. One side of the page has the story written in easy to understand language along with where in the Bible the story is found. The other side of the page is a full color picture depicting part of the story.

AJ really liked the book because it was written in such easy to understand language. She was excited to be able to read and understand the Bible stories and really enjoyed the fact that they were not watered down. After reading the story in 101 Bible Stories from Creation to Revelation, she was then able to read the same section in her own Bible with better understanding. It is the perfect story book for young independent readers. The illustrations in the book are gorgeous and really add to the stories.

The book is available from ZonderKidz and retails for $12.99. If you are looking for a new book that is more in-depth than a Picture Bible this may be a good buy for you. I think it makes for great bedtime reading.

The Berenstain Bears Keep the Faith

I grew up reading The Berenstain Bears books and have passed the tradition down to my little girl. When I found out they had a new book, The Berenstain Bears Keep the Faith, by Mike Berenstain I was thrilled to have the opportunity to review it. *I was given a free copy of the book from Zondervan in exchange for this review.*

Brother and Sister Bear’s friend Ferdy Factual loves science. Brother and Sister like science too. But when Ferdy tells Brother and Sister he doesn’t believe God created the world, the bear cubs don’t know what to think. What does it really mean to have “faith” in something you can’t see?

Through the book the bear cubs learn about faith and learn a little about the Bible too. The book is a full color soft cover book geared for kids ages 4 to 8. The story leaves the child with enough information to think about what faith means to them, but refrains from coming of in a preachy tone.

What did we think?

I personally feel a good book shouldn’t have an age limit. Even though AJ is 10 she really enjoyed The Berenstain Bears Keep the Faith. The illustrations are fun, life like, and really add to the story. Mike Berenstain  has kept the same fun inquisitive characters that his parents wrote about for many years. The story was cute and too the point ending in the realization that faith is, “trusting in his (God’s) love.” Aside from a few oddly written sentences, I feel the book is perfect. It helps to explain a hard to understand subject in a kid friendly way. Anyone who enjoys reading other books in the Berenstain Bears series will not be disappointed in this new title.

You can purchase the book here for only $3.99.

Alone Yet Not Alone- Review and Giveaway

When I first heard about the book Alone Yet Not Alone I was anxious to read and review it. I love reading books about faith and family and especially enjoy stories based on actual events. I think the best part is that the book is being made into a movie that will be in theaters this summer. Alone Yet Not Alone is a breathtaking historical fiction book about two young sisters who face unthinkable challenges.

About the Book: 

The Leininger family settled deep within America’s new frontier, in the Blue Mountains of Pennsylvania. They were celebrating their blessings, their faith, and a bountiful harvest when their family was torn apart by the Penn’s Creek Massacre. When Barbara and Regina are carried away and separated by Allegheny warriors, both sisters rely in their faith in God’s truth, even in their darkest hour. Rich in historical details, Alone Yet Not Alone is an inspirational, true story of a family caught in the cross fire of the French and Indian War.  

About The Author:

Tracy Leininger Craven loves history and retelling real-life stories in her historical fiction books. She also loves spending her free time in the great outdoors with her husband David and their three children.

What I Thought:

After reading the back of the book I decided that I would read the book myself and make sure it was age appropriate prior to having AJ read it. I tend to be over cautious, and after reading the book found that it would have been perfectly fine for AJ (she is 10) to read. There were violent parts including a person being burned alive, but sadly those types events really happened. Although there was violence, details were spared and I feel the book would be appropriate to read and discuss along with a parent. In fact I will be adding it to the list of the books that AJ will be reading next year. The book was well written and full of suspense. Each chapter left me wanting more and I hated having to put the book down to cook dinner. I cried, and smiled, and really felt connected to the main characters in the book. I would gladly read any other book written by Tracy Leininger as she is a talented author and wonderful story teller. If the movie is half as good as the book it will be a hit. I plan to see it when it comes to theaters in June.
Find out more about the movie :
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Read the book before you see the movie! Enter below for a chance to win. Open to US residents, if you win the same prize on another blog you will not be eligible to win again.
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The Sparkle Egg – Review

Aside from Christmas, my favorite holiday is Easter. I love the egg hunts, coloring eggs, and the baskets full of candy. While our family enjoys all of the fun we make sure to remember the true story of Easter. I recently received an adorable new book to review, The Sparkle Egg. It is geared for kids ages 4-8, but I feel older children will enjoy it too. The book claims to be “A Symbol of the True Promise of Easter” and I feel it lives up to the claim.

The Sparkle Egg - A wonderful kids book about the promise of Easter.

About The Sparkle Egg 

Easter is coming, and Sam loves Easter! But this year, he is upset about a lie he told his parents. Even though he apologized and they forgave him, Sam can’t shake the feeling that he is a bad kid for what he did. Meanwhile, his parents help him make a special Easter craft called a Sparkle Egg. His mom tells him to write anything he feels sorry about or ashamed of on a piece of paper and put it inside his Sparkle Egg.
On Easter morning, when he opens his Sparkle Egg expecting a surprise, Sam finds that it is empty! His parents explain that because Jesus died and rose again, we are forgiven. Like the tomb that first Easter Day, Sam’s egg is empty—and Sam’s wrongdoing is completely forgiven. Once he accepts this forgiveness fully, Sam realizes a truth: we can sparkle and shine with God’s light when we let God’s gift of grace into our hearts. This touching story will strike a deep chord with readers of all ages, and the Sparkle Egg tradition will help readers and their
families grasp the totality of God’s perfect grace
The Sparkle egg is 32 page a hardcover book with jacket. It was written by Jill Hardie and Illustrated by Christine Kornacki. The book has a suggested retail price of $16.99 and is available at Ideals Books.

About the Author 
Jill Hardie’s first book, The Sparkle Box, ignited a new Christmas tradition that helps center Christmas in the true joy of the season. Now Jill is hoping to touch lives with a new Easter tradition with The Sparkle Egg. She lives in North Canton, Ohio.

About the Illustrator
Christine Kornacki illustrated the highly acclaimed The Sparkle Box. She has a love for painting and a knack for bringing stories to life. Christine received a BFA in illustration from the University of Hartford and spends most days painting in her studio, which adjoins a charming café in New Haven, Connecticut.
What did we think?

I enjoyed the story and loved the message behind the book. It has a strong moral tone and helps you to remember the true reason for Easter. As I was reading it with my 10 year old she was excited and couldn’t wait to get to the end of the book, she wanted to know what was going to be inside the sparkle egg. She loved the story and pictures. We have been having a little problem with lying around here and I believe the story made her really think. She now wants to make a sparkle egg for Easter and I think we may have a new family tradition.

When I first read the book I could not take my eyes off of the breathtaking pictures throughout the book. They are so vibrant and full of life that it is hard to believe they are not actual photographs. The amount of detail in each picture is amazing and really helps to bring the story to life. I really enjoyed the fact that depending on the colors of the picture the text was either black or white making the book extremely easy to read.

Overall I found it to be a well written family friendly book with a great message. If you are looking for a great new family tradition this may be the book for you!

Asia its People and History Review

Post Contains Affiliate Links Is Asia a mystery to your kids? When I think of Asia I think of the the well known countries like China, Japan, and North and South Korea. When studying history we normally take a unit study approach, so AJ has learned a little bit about China and Japan, but she hasn’t studied too many other Asian countries. She is a hands on learner who doesn’t like your normal dry boring history books. I am always looking for ways to make history come alive.
Book Cover of Asia its People ans History

We were given the opportunity to review a new book, Asia its People and History written by Bonnie Rose Hudson.

Photo of Author

We reviewed the downloadable version of the book which is available here in e-book format or here for the paperback version. The book is a 16 week homeschool history and geography book that is meant to introduce you and your child to the people of Asia. It is geared for kids 8-12. (although I feel older students would enjoy it as well) Throughout the book you visit 6 different countries; Laos, Bangladesh, Nepal, China, Iran, and Vietnam. You learn about the country’s geography, a little history, how to pray for the people, and what life is like for Christians who live there. While the course is meant to last 16 weeks it can easily be adapted to fit the needs of your family by speeding up or slowing down as needed.

The layout for each country is a little different. Each country starts with a story about a young person living in the country. Then you learn about the geography of the country, a brief history, what life is like for Christians, and the people that live in the country. At the end of each story there discussion questions that are thought provoking. There are different activities to complete as well. AJ found them to be fun and enjoyable while I found them easy to complete and enjoyed the fact that there was little to no preparation needed from me. Some activities included cooking, puzzles, writing a letter, and a matching game. AJ’s favorite was the Bangladesh Animal Safari Game.

One thing you would see a lot of around Bangladesh is animals.

This book was very eye opening for both  AJ and myself, she couldn’t believe that people would be so mean and hateful just because someone believed in Jesus. Asia its People and History is full of stories that make you think. Sometimes they make you cry and other times they make you reevaluate your own life, problems, and relationship with God.  This book doesn’t sugar coat the bad things that happen throughout the history of the countries, or what it is like for Christians today, but it is written in a way that spares a lot of details. It gives a very human look at history by not just listing facts, but telling the story of children who are living in those countries . AJ enjoyed this book and learned valuable information that we other wise may not have learned about.

I would recommend this book to any homeschool, Sunday School, or co-op. The lessons are short and sweet but full of useful information. I honestly couldn’t find anything that I did not like about this book. It didn’t require a lot of writing (which is a huge plus in this house) and the lessons were very engaging.

E-book available now, printed version coming soon