Homeschool Curriculum for 3rd grade through 6th grade
Forming appropriate goals and choosing curriculum for homeschooling can be stressful. I have created posts to share grade goals and curriculum. This post shares homeschool curriculum for 3rd grade through 6th grade.
Third grade begins the season of homeschooling where the child becomes a bit more independent and learns to facilitate his own learning. I still support his learning a great deal, but I work to help him become a self-learner.
Part of the reason I separated my curriculum choices for Preschool-2nd Grade from the later elementary years is because the early years are about introduction into learning, while the later years are about becoming proficient in learning.
One reason I choose the curricula that I do is so this process can happen. Some curricula put all of the burden on the teacher. Some, slowly increase the responsibility of the student as he is able.
As a mom who has multiple children in different grades, I need to choose wisely so that, at some point, my children don’t need me to hold their hand anymore.
Yes, I am always here to assist them when they need it, but they shouldn’t need me in order to understand every aspect of their learning. They should grow in their abilities to understand subject matter on their own.
As always, be sure to use what work for you and your teaching style. It’s very important to tailor your homeschool to your particular home! If you need more help with that, check out my post on Homeschool Planning!
And, if you need help with lesson plans, I wrote an entire post on Homeschool Lesson Planning with several free printables.
3rd Grade Homeschool Curriculum
3rd Grade Homeschool Goals
One of the best ways to start, and plan, a new year is by setting a few clear goals. What will determine if your year has been successful and what areas are you hoping to see growth in.
I will share a few simple goals for 3rd grade that might help to get your wheels turning.
- Grow in fluency with reading and expand his vocabulary– This goal requires filling his day with rich reading opportunities and spending time talking with him about his reading.
- Master Times Tables in Math and grow in his ability to complete many math problems every class period– These are both skills that require lots of practice and hard work on behalf of the student. Having a math curriculum that encourages mastery and also circles back to earlier concepts is what I look for in a curriculum. In the early elementary years, most of the concepts are new. Now, the student begins to review and build on concepts already mastered. This means that he should become quicker at doing problems and also be able to handle a bit heavier of a work load.
- Introduce a more formal Science curriculum– Up until this point, science was all about learning from experiencing. Third grade is the year when he will begin to learn science in a gentle, but formal manner.
- Spelling will become more focused– Third grade is the point when he will need to sharpen his spelling skills. He has been exposed to good literature and he has seen lots of words, but now he will learn to be careful in spelling those words. His phonics in those early years will help him to encode many words, but he will expand on those skills.
3rd Grade Language Arts
I have done different things with different kids in this area, but we have always stuck with either Abeka Language 3 or Rod and Staff Language 3. If you want a workbook, Abeka has one. Rod and Staff has a more “old school” text that requires students to write notes and answers on paper.
I have used, and loved, both in our homeschool classroom. Both Curriculums are thorough and well done, so you won’t go wrong with either!
For the literature component of Language Arts, I will choose a literature kit from Sonlight. As the year goes on, my child will work through the books. I could make up my own list, but to be honest, I’m not that privy to good literature, so I depend on Sonlight to pick the books for me.
I do preview the books before handing them over to my child, but I have had excellent luck with Sonlight thus far. Choosing one of their book kits makes this aspect of planning a bit easier.
3rd Grade Math
Saxon is what I stick with from second grade on up in Math. Depending upon the abilities of the student, I will either have him do Saxon 3 (workbooks) or Saxon 5/4.
If he needs more math support, level 3 will be a great way to revisit those skills. If he did really well in Saxon 2, I will move him up to Saxon 5/4.
Saxon 5/4 is for 4th graders or 5th graders that need extra support, but it can also be used for those advanced 3rd graders.
3rd Grade Spelling
Both Abeka and Rod and Staff carry good spelling programs. I have a tendency to use the program from Rod and Staff because it works better for us. The workbooks are simple and it doesn’t require a ton of time or planning.
3rd Grade Science and History
If you are looking for a comprehensive, Creation to Current History, program, Veritas is a great online option that we used for 3rd grade and loved.
I also like the Science texts from Rod and Staff. They are simple and concise, which means 3rd graders with excellent reading comprehension can read some of this independently!
4th Grade Homeschool Curriculum
Forth graders continue to grow in their independence and this is where the homeschool mom will begin to see their kids take off.
There is something amazing about all of the building those early years- building knowledge, building abilities, building desires for learning that really begin to blossom this year.
4th Grade Homeschool Goals
- Independent Learning– Independent learning will begin to form during this year. Look for him to be able to read instructions and begin work without being instructed every time. His base knowledge should be sufficient for him to move forward without needing every little thing explained.
- Expand vocabulary and begin to easily see root words and use context clues– His vocabulary will continue to grow and his use of context clues when reading (and in every subject) will grow. Help him to grow in these skills by asking probing questions when he is stumped to help him learn to dissect information on his own.
- Math– The skills in math will be built upon and many new concepts learned this year.
- Writing ability grows– Students should begin to form solid writing habits that will be built upon in the following years.
- Test and Quizzes– Simple testing will begin in 4th grade. He should learn how to memorize information and answer questions about it this year. This shouldn’t be stressful, but rather a gentle introduction into testing skills.
4th Grade Language Arts
From this point on, I have my kids use Rod and Staff for grammar. It covers everything my kids need to know, and some things I’m not sure will make much difference. Bonus, I guess?
One of my favorite parts is that this is a text book curriculum. My kids learn to write proper sentences as answers to questions and it is good practice for writing in a notebook neatly.
Rod and Staff also has writing projects woven within the curriculum, so you get grammar and writing in one text!
Literature is, again, a book list from Sonlight. Sometimes, I choose the history list and other times I choose the Literature list. I always look at the books to see which ones will interest my kiddo the most.
4th Grade Math
Saxon 5/4 is the equivalent to 4th grade math. If your child is advanced, go ahead and have him use the Saxon 6/5 book, which is for 5th grade. This curriculum will have daily fact sheets to improve speed on math facts, so make sure to get those workbooks, too!
4th Grade Spelling
As with 3rd grade, I use Rod and Staff workbooks for 4th grade spelling. My kids learn the process for working through them and it makes it an “hands off” assignment for me at this point, which is helpful with younger kiddos who need my attention.
4th Grade Science and History
I know a lot of homeschool moms who have their kids read literature for their history curriculum. So, in essence, literature and history are the same thing. I think that’s a great idea, but I like to keep it separate so I can ensure my kiddos are reading as much as possible.
For our 4th grade history, I use Abeka’s, “History of the United States,” book. It isn’t too long and I have my child read a section per day. Along with that, I typically try to make sure his literature corresponds with the same subject material to really nail down topics.
Science for 4th grade is another Rod and Staff textbook. I have my kiddo read a section a day.
5th Grade Homeschool Curriculum
This is the year when all of the hard work and consistency begins to really show. The kids have developed the skills to work for longer periods of time and the foundation for good scholastic behavior is in place.
5th Grade Homeschool Goals
- Reading for extended periods of time– 5th graders should have the ability to sit down with a book and read for long periods of time. This increases fluency and comprehension, as well as, the ability to not tire due to reading, which is needed when taking standardized tests in the future.
- Papers lengthen– The student should be able to write longer papers with more in depth details to create understanding and color to a story or subject area. As the year progresses, this skill will, also.
- Grammar understanding– At this point, the child has had grammar basics for a couple of years and much of this subject area will be review, but there will be some deepening of certain topics within those basics.
- Math difficulty– Math will be more difficult, but still manageable, as the kiddo starts to work multi-step problems. Basic algebra concepts will be introduced, too.
5th Grade Language Arts
This year begins to get a bit more in depth with the Rod and Staff grammar. By now, the child has seen the basic concepts multiple years in a row. Now, the book adds on to the groundwork.
There will be a lot of diagramming sentences and mining written work to learn how grammar works. Writing will also improve as this text moves along.
Literature is a book list from Sonlight.
5th Grade Math
For this grade, you will either do Saxon 6/5 or, if your child is ahead, Saxon 7/6. 6/5 is for 5th graders on grade level and 7/6 is for advanced 5th graders (or 6th graders).
Saxon is a spiral curriculum, which means it is always coming back to old concepts and adding on to what was previously learned. This is why some students can move on to the next book and be “ahead.”
If you’re ready to move on, then take the leap and move forward. The concepts will always be revisited throughout the year and the next!
5th Grade Spelling
Rod and Staff spelling is what I have my kids do for 5th grade. Abeka has a great program, so if you’re wanting a change, that’s what I’d suggest.
5th Grade Science and History
For 5th grade, I use Rod and Staff science to nail down concepts. This curriculum isn’t too difficult and touches on the basics of creation and the earth. I love this book because my 5th grader can read through it without any assistance at this point.
Abeka covers “Old World History” in 5th grade, which is always a fun year for my kids. It goes way back and touches on early history through the fall of the Soviet Empire.
Plus, it has a geography lesson to help solidify those basics. I also like The Good and the Beautiful geography cards. I have used those with my kids and we love them!
6th Grade Homeschool Curriculum
This is a huge transition year for students. Some families might consider this elementary, while others call it middle school. Either way, a lot of growing happens in sixth grade as expectations are raised and the work load increases with it.
6th grade is also the year when you might start to outsource some of the learning for your kiddo. Maybe you have a limited amount of time, with homemaking and educating little ones. Or, maybe you have a limited amount of knowledge and you want some support for that reason.
Whatever the reason, this is an excellent grade to explore online curriculums. It offers you a break and allows your student to learn from someone other than mom. Keep that in mind, in case you find yourself feeling the pull to outsource.
6th Grade Homeschool Goals
- Research papers will be introduced– This an appropriate grade to begin researching and learning how to site sources.
- Independent work– 6th grade students should be able to have short instruction and then be able to work independently.
- Reading– Reading should be fluent and effortless. Students should be proficient at decoding the written word.
- Maturity– A lot of changes happen this year, not just with school, so love on those kiddos. Their abilities and knowledge have grown, but so are their emotions and bodies. A goal of mine is to help them transition from childhood into teenage-hood.
6th Grade Language Arts
This is the last year that we spend an entire year on grammar. By this time, most things have been learned and this will be a year to tie up any loose ends and come back to those concepts that are a bit more abstract.
This Rod and Staff grammar book is quite comprehensive, but it does touch on the early basics, so if your child already knows them, skip to the lessons that might require a bit more time and camp out on those.
6th Grade Math
Saxon 7/6 or 8/7 is a great curriculum for 6th graders that reinforces all of the concepts learned in the previous years. This is the last year for practicing math facts with the fact sheets. Next year, if your student does well this year, he will begin Pre-Algebra, which is pretty exciting!
6th Grade Spelling
This is the last year for spelling. Rod and Staff is still what we use for 6th grade spelling.
6th Grade Science and History
6th grade is when I made the transition away from Rod and Staff science and turned to Abeka science. Abeka is a bit more intense, when it comes to science, so be prepared to help your child work through this curriculum.
History is also the Abeka “New World” history and geography. This has proven to be a very good program for our homeschool classroom.
I hope you found this curriculum roundup helpful. Let me know if you have any questions and be sure to use what works for you and your family.
This is a common question and it varies from child to child and curriculum to curriculum. For grades 3-6, schooling for 5 hours/day seems to be the average.
Yes! If you chose a homeschooling curriculum and you realize half way through the year that it isn’t a good fit, change it! That’s what’s great about the flexibility of homeschooling. It is completely customizable.
Each state will have different requirements, so you can look at your state’s education website for guidance. They will, usually, share grade level expectations. You may also check with HSLDA to see what is expected for each grade.