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Next Year's Plans for a 5th grader

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    Next Year's Plans for a 5th grader

    Hello!

    I am reaching out for some advice from those who have been there / done that with older children. I am looking at what we've gotten done this year, what we still have to do, and what we are moving towards and trying to decide the best placement for my 5th grader.

    Background: This is a VERY YOUNG "5th grader". I brought him into MP at 5, and should have started him in K with his weakest "R" (which was, and still is the physical act of writing), but instead placed him where his reading and math abilities lay, which at that time was 1st grade. He will turn 10 this summer. He's gifted in Math, and spends 2-3 hours every evening studying chess, so I feel like I am working extra hard to make sure he is well rounded.

    We have done a pretty decent job with the 5th grade core so far this year. We have had an insane year with a million disruptions, so things have been done very well in light of the situation, but not nearly as well as I would have liked. He is on pace with CC (Fable) through MPOA, and is on track with all the literature, finishing up Lassie now. Latin we are moving ahead in, he just did the Unit II test and did well, I am planning on continuing this through the summer regardless because I don't want him to have the chance to lose it. Math he is well above grade level and very self motivated, not worried there either.

    The other subjects though are a different story. We are maybe 6 or 7 lessons in on FMOR, a few lessons in Christian Studies, and have barely touched Insects. Remember his weakest R is writing, so the writing for these answers after finishing up math, Latin, and literature (the 3 that I insist he does first every day) is such a battle. He is pretty spent on writing and I haven't have the chance to really push him like I should be. Geography has also not been touched after the first couple.

    Where would you go from here? I have 2 schools of thought and I would love feedback!!

    1: Keep going! Let him drop subjects as we finish them (Literature and Fable will be first to go) but finish up with all the content subjects over the summer. I like this idea because we're not going anywhere this summer, so it makes sense to keep working. I will have to pick up diligence though in having him complete the content area subjects. Perhaps schedule them at a lesson or two a week per subject, so he can see there is a plan and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Then in August start back up with the regular 6th grade core. He is continuing on with Narrative through MPOA, and plans to continue discussion with Vita Beata for literature and classical studies.

    2: Stop, take a break, reassess. Keep going with math (very self led at this point, I just check and grade), but drop the content area subjects and start them again for a new "5th grade" year in the fall. This would require a bit more manipulation on my part, but I was thinking I could use The Moffats, My Side of the Mountain, and The Twenty One Balloons as literature for next year alongside FMOR, Geography, Christian Studies II, and Insects. Latin I could either continue with FFL (he is doing well) and start him in SFL in the fall, or hit the breaks on that as well and start FFL again in the fall. I already bought the 6th grade consumables, but they're not going to go bad, so I can always store them.

    What would you do?? I am very torn between the two options, but also trying to decide ASAP so I can take advantage of the free shipping and order anything supplemental that I can today!

    Thank you in advance if you made it this far!!

    Michelle
    ~Michelle

    DD 13 (MP 8 - 4FL and Ref/Con through MPOA)
    DS 11 (MP 6 w/MPOA)
    DS 5 - MP K (My first Kindergartner with MP!!!)
    DD 2 - Board Books and Chaos

    #2
    Hi Michelle! Kids are waiting for a piano lesson to be over so they can go outside so I will jump in early and offer my view.

    Personally, I like your option number two. This is actually so similar to what MP opted to do to help kids age up by creating the current third/fourth pace, that I can see it being really successful for you. The key reason I like it is because it is the option that allows your son to simply age up - which is what he really needs to do. Don’t worry about math. Keep in mind to watch out for the appropriate ability to handle pre-algebra when you get there, but otherwise, you are not going to run out of math for him to do no matter how far ahead he gets. As for everything else, the problems you are seeing with him being able to complete everything should iron themselves out with time and patience. That’s what I think option 2 does for you better.

    One other thing I will add, is that he may not ever “get over” his lack of energy or enthusiasm for a lot of school content that does not feed his interest areas. Those subjects may simply remain things for which he has to develop persistence and tolerance. Don’t be surprised if even after the handwriting issue is resolved, you still end up with some drama over school. Do your best to keep those content areas in the plan, help him develop the character it takes to follow through on them, and be ready to outsource for the areas in which he really thrives.

    AMDG,
    Sarah
    2020-2021
    16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
    DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
    DS, 17
    DD, 15
    DD, 13
    DD, 11
    DD, 9
    DD, 7
    +DS+
    DS, 2

    Comment


      #3
      I also like option 2. This has been a crazy year for everyone. Lockdown gives you a great excuse for a reset.

      Since summer plans are being cancelled left and right, you could pick two of these other subjects to do over the next couple months (perhaps insects and geography?). This would give you even more of a transition year in the fall for building writing and school-day perseverance, without feeling like you're skipping anything. And he'd still have time to play and just enjoy summer.

      I'd let him continue math to his heart's content, and just keep at the Latin bit by bit, not worrying about staying on schedule.

      Just my thoughts - hope that helps!
      Amanda - Mama to three crazy boys, teacher at St. Dominic Latin (FFL, TFL, 4FL, Traditional Logic 1&2), Memoria College student

      2021-2022
      9th grade - a mix of MPOA, Vita Beata, Lukeion, and AOPS
      8th grade - 8M with modifications
      4th grade - 4A

      "Non nisi te, Domine. Non nisi te" - St. Thomas Aquinas

      Comment


        #4
        Thank you both. I really appreciate the input. I think we are going to go with option 2. I just ordered new literature guides. Sometimes I need the reminder that it's okay to slow things down a bit and get a more through understanding of the material and time period, instead of racing through it all. He is so young I really do want him to build up the independence and writing skills. He comes back with beautiful oral answers for these subjects; however, when it comes to having him write things down if I am not on him I get as few words as he thinks he can logically get away with. I really appreciate the advice.
        ~Michelle

        DD 13 (MP 8 - 4FL and Ref/Con through MPOA)
        DS 11 (MP 6 w/MPOA)
        DS 5 - MP K (My first Kindergartner with MP!!!)
        DD 2 - Board Books and Chaos

        Comment


          #5
          I think you have a great plan with option 2, but wanted to add a thought about summer: what if you used summer to focus on building his hand and shoulder strength? I don’t know what you’re already doing in this area, but my crew really enjoys chair push-ups, wheel barrows, hand presses, and crab walks. Yard work and such helps, too. That would give him another boost in preparation for next fall.
          Jennifer
          Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

          2021-2022
          DS18: Almost done!
          DS17: MP, MPOA
          DS15: MP, MPOA
          DS12: Mix of SC 5/6 & SC 7/8
          DD11: Mix of 5M and SC7/8
          DD9: SC3
          DD6: MPK

          Comment


            #6
            jen1134 That's a great idea!! I feel like some is behavior motivated, where I need to remain consistent, but some is also physically motivated. We've started having him run on our treadmill to get energy out before the school day starts, I will incorporate some additional exercises to get him up there. Thank you!
            ~Michelle

            DD 13 (MP 8 - 4FL and Ref/Con through MPOA)
            DS 11 (MP 6 w/MPOA)
            DS 5 - MP K (My first Kindergartner with MP!!!)
            DD 2 - Board Books and Chaos

            Comment


              #7
              Age up...It's painful. Probably more so for you than the kiddo. I had a similar kiddo (my third son with a Sept birthday) who was okay in most areas, writing being the weakest - but his maturity was painfully behind. I decided to reboot K this year and treat the prior year as a Pre-K. It did work. His writing, attention span and retention are much improved. I feel confident as we round this corner of spring heading to summer that it was the best move for him because his own confidence in his ability to do the work has grown.

              So if you have a very young 5th grader...maybe taking a part-2 year for this year's studies isn't the worst idea. If CS2 is only 2 lessons in, take it 1 lesson every other week with quick reviews on the off-week. Use the 3rd Core as a roadmap to see how some of these lessons were broken out over the 2 year period since we still have a long way to Sept (about 19 weeks give or take).
              Melissa

              DS (MP4M) - 10
              DS (MP3A) - 8
              DS (1) - 7
              DD (Adorable distraction) 4

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by MBentley View Post
                Age up...It's painful. Probably more so for you than the kiddo. I had a similar kiddo (my third son with a Sept birthday) who was okay in most areas, writing being the weakest - but his maturity was painfully behind. I decided to reboot K this year and treat the prior year as a Pre-K. It did work. His writing, attention span and retention are much improved. I feel confident as we round this corner of spring heading to summer that it was the best move for him because his own confidence in his ability to do the work has grown.

                So if you have a very young 5th grader...maybe taking a part-2 year for this year's studies isn't the worst idea. If CS2 is only 2 lessons in, take it 1 lesson every other week with quick reviews on the off-week. Use the 3rd Core as a roadmap to see how some of these lessons were broken out over the 2 year period since we still have a long way to Sept (about 19 weeks give or take).
                I think you hit the nail on the head. It is very painful for me. Regular me wants to push push push get it done, let's go. I hate feeling like we've wasted this year. I need to reframe my narrative.

                Realistic me knows that he probably needs a few more months to grow up before he's ready for this kind of work. I am planning on starting next year the first of August to give us flexibility when the weather gets nice. That gives us 13 weeks. We'll continue Math and Latin through the summer and I think I'll assign read alouds so he is still reading good books. He enjoys reading too, so it's not something I really have to push.
                ~Michelle

                DD 13 (MP 8 - 4FL and Ref/Con through MPOA)
                DS 11 (MP 6 w/MPOA)
                DS 5 - MP K (My first Kindergartner with MP!!!)
                DD 2 - Board Books and Chaos

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by 3Blessings View Post

                  I think you hit the nail on the head. It is very painful for me. Regular me wants to push push push get it done, let's go. I hate feeling like we've wasted this year. I need to reframe my narrative.
                  NO wasted time! Not at all! Remember - there have been great, great minds who used only a handful of books in there entire lives to educate themselves (I think). But let's roll with that. Fact is, you have met your son where he was this year, with what he needed, and he did great. Hooray! And now you are simply trying to set a plan in motion for next year, taking into account all sides of what he needs. He is not just an intellect to be challenged. He has a will to shape and affections to be formed, too. The whole person - that is what you are shooting for!

                  I have a 6 year old who thus far has been full steam ahead, too. And I know that one of these upcoming years, we will be doing the same...building in time for her to simply age up. Not sure which year that will be...but I know it's coming for us as well. (insert thumbs up here)

                  AMDG,
                  Sarah
                  2020-2021
                  16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
                  DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
                  DS, 17
                  DD, 15
                  DD, 13
                  DD, 11
                  DD, 9
                  DD, 7
                  +DS+
                  DS, 2

                  Comment

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