Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Phil 4:6-7

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

End of year review

While we are technically not finished for the year (as I say to Faith and everyone who says "are you on summer break?" -- "we're finished when the books are finished, unlike school-school") I think we are done enough to look back and see what worked, especially since I am already planning for next year.

We are also done enough to create, at the very least, a cover page for an end-of-year folder I'll probably not make (just being honest). I did the fun part anyway.

Photo by Eric Albrecht

About what worked for fifth grade:

When my sons were in fifth grade we used Seton neat. I realized when Faith started schooling that straight Seton would not work for her, so I started picking books from other established curricula. Each year is a new year and I enjoy seeing what suits her and what does not.

CHC Spelling -- It's quick and fairly painless (although oh the complaining when a dictionary is required). I haven't decided if we will use a spelling book next year. I have a friend who teaches sixth grade in Catholic school and spelling is part of the Language Arts curriculum, but not segregated. I might just use Spelling City next year, using words from vocabulary and reading, but then again, if I use a text, I know it will get done.

Seton Vocabulary -- Faith liked this book even though she had to use the uh...dictionary! I'll use the sixth grade book next year.

Saxon math -- I can't rave enough about Saxon's math. It saved my second son from failing in math, and Faith really doesn't mind it (though I'll tell you she rarely has to do the entire problem set, but that's the beauty of Saxon). Faith was a little behind, I felt, after using Teaching Textbooks in fourth, so we started with 5/4. We will move right into 6/5 over the summer.

Voyages in English paired with Exercises in English. This is one of my favorite book combos. We started using it with Seton and I used several different texts with Faith in her earlier years, but I love Voyages. I think my little old-fashioned girl loves it, too. We will use this combo through eighth grade.

Audiobooks from the library. While I admit my initial motivation for using audiobooks was to better train my little student to listen, I knew, deep down, she was not getting exposed to as many books as she should because she dislikes reading. She has better comprehension reading to herself, but she reads the very minimum. She "reads" a lot more books when we are running errands or picking Noah up from school when we are using mom-selected audiobooks.

Sure things for next year:

Seton Vocabulary
Saxon math
Voyages in English and Exercises in English
Science and Living in God's World paired with library books for illustrations
Finish Prima Latina and begin Latina Christiana
Religion for Young Catholics 6 and The Baltimore Catechism

Editor's Note: My apologies to dear Sarah of Among Lovely Things, whose darling idea I copied. In my hurry to publish as "the storm of the century" (not --thank goodness) was bearing down on us yesterday evening I forgot to link up. I can't wait to click over and see all the cuteness!


  1. Such a pretty picture of your girl!

    Do you use Voyages for both grammar and writing? Or just one component?

    I'm seriously considering Seton for my oldest at some point in the future. I have a feeling she'd love it. So interesting how everybody learns differently. :)

    1. Thank you Sarah. Actually, now that you mention it, I need to give photo credit. I really messed up this post. ;-)

      Seton was great for my boys. It's very straightforward. And I loved having lesson plans. But Faith likes a lot of the CHC books and I can't do Seton science in sixth and seventh again -- but I love their eighth grade science.

      I haven't made a decision on history for next year -- not my strong suit. Have you decided for Prim?

  2. LOL one of my boys was equally dismayed by the need for the dictionary. Like, there is no GLOSSARY Um yeah. That was sort of the point....

    Love the layout. Instead of thinking of the year in review book not finished, just consider you are working towards a great scrapbook for graduation with a lovely summary page for each year. In that sense you're being WAY proactive. : )

  3. LOVE the cover page! I got two done yesterday--two down, only five to go!

    (You'll laugh, I think, when you hear Camille's responses.)

    (You'll laugh, but they won't surprise you. ;)

  4. I can't wait. ;-)

    PS was that two cover pages or the entire books?

  5. Pretty pink and yellow pairing in this photo! Now that I see everyone's pics I want to do ours all over.

    I am tossing around Seton v. CHC for both spelling and grammar. Advice?

  6. Tracy,
    I am, essentially, using Seton English (I think they started publishing their own workbooks, but this what we used when the boys were Faith's age) and CHC Spelling. I love the old-fashioned English and I like my kids to learn diagramming. With Seton you definitely learn diagramming. And I think the CHC spelling book is more fun. You can check out all the books at the respective websites. :-)

  7. Oh, I love your cover page too!

    Our daughters could be taught together...there's a couple houses for sale on our block...come move next door and we could teach together! We have done the same things this past year and are doing what you are doing next year. Except for Science, I"m undecided on that one. I use Voyages in English made by Loyola Press, it's a different one, with the same name. We love it. I found the same thing with Teaching Textbooks, she got behind and we played catch up, I think she did good this year with Saxon though.

    We also love CHC Spelling. And Seton Religion.


I appreciate your comments -- sometimes I feel like I'm talking to myself!