Looking for 5th grade homeschool curriculum? You’ve come to the right place! This comprehensive list gives you everything you need for a successful year!
Before I give you my opinion on the best 5th grade curriculum, please note that not everyone agrees with me! There are many differing views on what should be taught and when it should be taught. I’m not seeking to refute anyone or call names. I’m sharing only what has worked well for our homeschool after combining my experience in the classroom with teaching at home. Remember, that’s your job, too. Seek out what works best for your family and don’t worry about what everyone else says!
How many hours do you homeschool a day?
I know you are wondering about this because everyone does. It typically takes 2-3 hours to complete a 5th-grade homeschool curriculum. Isn’t that wonderful? In the classroom setting, kids are expected to focus and pay attention for much of the day, but at home, you don’t have to do that. There’s no need to stand in line, sharpen 28 pencils, or participate in that fire drill one more time.
At home, your fifth grader gets undivided attention on his/her level, so it really only takes 2-3 hours to get everything done. If it’s taking longer than that, chances are, you are frustrating your child.
Of course, this doesn’t mean your child is finished learning in 2-3 hours a day and will waste the rest of the day vegging into the land of no knowledge. If you encourage enriching activities (and limit screen time), your child will literally NEVER stop learning. Kids at this age are like sponges. They can’t help but learn!
What should my child be learning in 5th grade?
Fifth graders are so much fun to work with. This is the year where your child will continue taking on responsibility to ready themselves for middle school. It’s a BIG DEAL! If you haven’t yet, I highly recommend that you make responsibility your focus in fifth grade.
Fifth graders are eager to take an assignment and then complete it on their own. Most of the time, they’ve gained all the reading skills to do so. If you don’t know where to start, this post will give you 5 simple steps to teaching responsibility.
You’ll still want to focus on reading and math, especially if those aren’t strong. If your child is doing well with those things, feel free to dig deeper with social studies and/or science.
Typical 5th grade homeschool subjects.
- Language Arts
- Social Studies
- Physical Education
- Life Skills
The most important subjects in fifth grade remain the same as they were in all the grades up to this point: reading and math. Until you’ve conquered these, keep making them your focus. Don’t worry. Your child isn’t behind. If you press ahead, they won’t get the necessary foundation to build upon.
In the next section, we will take a look at each subject’s recommended curriculum, as well as when and why you should teach it.
But first, we need to make sure you are legal. It’s very important that you consult with your state requirements. The most reputable place to find these laws are the HSLDA website. Note that I didn’t say to ask your friend who has been homeschooling for many years (that’s a big mistake- look them up yourself).
Most states are pretty light on requirements for elementary school. Some have general guidelines for core subjects. Occasionally, you’ll find a strict state that requires specific hours to be completed. Again, the only way to know what rules you have to follow is to check the site yourself.
One thing to note is that even if you are required to teach science, for example, it doesn’t typically say that you must use a textbook that covers 180 days’ worth. As homeschoolers, we have the freedom to teach the way our kids need us to teach them!
5th grade homeschool Language Arts curriculum.
By 5th grade, your student will be getting much of their reading from science and history. So they don’t really need a specific reading curriculum. Instead, I have my kids keep a journal.
There are 30 different, half-page writing prompts to get kids thinking about what they read that day. The purpose of reading is to understand. Find out more about creating your own DIY Reading Curriculum Journal here.
You also might consider adding Reading Eggs. It’s a systematic method for teaching reading using a computer program, particularly if your child isn’t reading as well as you’d like. It’s not free, but it’s great fun. The kids don’t always realize they are learning and mom can focus on the others during this time, too. That’s always an added blessing for little ones who aren’t independent learners just yet.
If you’re looking for book ideas, here are some other great reading resources for kids:
- Best Children’s Audio Books Your Family Will Love
- Good Horse Books for Kids
- 11 Wholesome Chapter Book Series Your Kids Will Love
- Free Printable Homeschool Booklist For Every Age Level
Once they reach the 5th grade we are using IEW’s Phonetic Zoo. We use this program through middle school. There are 3 leveled CDs that are self-paced for independent learning. They teach rules and jingles. Kids write the words and keep practicing them until they are mastered. This program was a game-changer for my 5th grader who really struggled. I won’t say she’s now perfect, but it helped tremendously.
Once these CDs are mastered, spelling is no longer a subject in our homeschool. Occasionally it comes up naturally in writing and we learn from there, but no additional curriculum is needed.
Grammar and Writing
We have enjoyed using IEW or Institute for Excellence in Writing as our writing foundation. The method they use to teach seems a little weird at first, but when you compare it to the way we learn to speak, it makes the most sense.
At this time, we also add in a grammar curriculum. Between 5th grade and high school this is a skill you want to focus a bit more time on. This will enable you to focus on writing killer essays when it’s crucial instead of needing to figure out an adverbial clause in the thick of it.
5th grade homeschool Math curriculum.
There are probably 100 great 5th grade homeschool math curriculum options out there. But if you skip to that, you’ll miss the point. Math is a subject systematically built on tiny blocks of information. If you miss the foundation, the top will crumble. Period. Sadly, this is why so many kids struggle in math.
Math Mastery is About Basics.
Hopefully, you took the time to lay a solid foundation in the early years! By now, you want your 5th grader to know addition/subtraction facts without thinking about it at all. You also want him/her to be on the way to mastering multiplication and division. Yes, there are LOTS of other skills in the math book, but if you don’t get these down perfectly, the rest of the book will just be frustrating.
For multiplication/division math facts, daily practice is required. Be careful, because most math curriculums do not cover this in-depth enough. They move on to other topics and kids are lost. Don’t let that happen. Focus here EVEN if nothing else gets done. Remember, math is a cycle and the same concepts are taught year after year. They just go a bit more in-depth as kids get older. If you focus on getting the basic facts very strong, the other stuff will be simple to pick up on.
We use Xtramath for daily fact practice. I’ve used so many different things, but this one wins every time because each child has a log-in and is able to practice the exact facts he/she is struggling with. The website is smart and that makes mastery much easier. Oh, and it’s totally FREE!
I’ve used many fun programs and apps in the past (like Math Bingo), but this program far surpasses its rivals in that it’s tailored to the specific facts that your child needs to work on. It’s like personal flash cards with a built in accountability system to go along with it.
Favorite Curriculum for Math
Teaching Textbooks is literally the best math curriculum out there. We love that the computer teaches the lesson and that there aren’t 500 problems to answer when the lesson is finished.
As a mom, I love the instant grading feature. This makes my homeschool day so much easier. I also love that my kids are getting immediate feedback when a problem is incorrect. So often students do the whole page wrong, only to learn they have to start over again. Teaching Textbooks doesn’t allow that to happen.
One final thought: If math really is more than you can handle as a homeschool parent, rest assured you can always outsource it to a co-op or online class. Sometimes taking the subject outside of your realm is good for your student and your relationship!
5th grade homeschool Science curriculum.
In the early years, our science and history curriculum is literature-based. In fact, we typically don’t buy a curriculum at all. We just load up on awesome books at the library. By 5th grade, we typically go ahead and pick a more traditional curriculum. But again, only if math and reading are going well. If not, stay light on science and focus the bulk of your efforts on getting the basics down.
We also love Master Books science. It’s Charlotte Mason-inspired, featuring living books in many cases. I love that it’s lighter in content, but gives kids plenty of opportunities to dig deeper. You can choose from a variety of topics, but this is the one we have often done in 5th grade.
5th grade homeschool History curriculum.
Fifth grade homeschool curriculum is a great time to lay a foundation that cultivates interest and excitement for the history of God’s world. Be careful about buying too much curriculum. It’s easy to weave these topics into your day using great read-alouds or short simple studies. I would also recommend the use of audiobooks. They are engaging and teach so much! (See our list of books below to help get you started.)
To Every Nation
To Every Nation is a study of missionaries, countries, and biblical truth. I wrote this to help us focus on these crucial elements of faith, as well as develop a compassion for the world. The study covers the lives of 12 different missionaries using a Charlotte Mason approach. It can be done in 12 weeks or you can go deeper with the novels of each missionary and enjoy it for the whole year!
America’s Story is a fabulous option for parents who want a little MORE history without going overboard. Written by Master Books, it’s a trusted resource with a strong biblical worldview that provides simple assignments for elementary kids and engaging activities to supplement. This history curriculum is inspired by the Charlotte Mason method of homeschooling.
Bible curriculum for 5th grade.
Our Bible studies teach on a wide variety of topics including sibling relationships, the power of our words, contentment, guarding our hearts, and more!
Our goal is to get kids into God’s Word in an effective yet fun way. We hope to equip kids with the tools they need for a lifetime of engagement with the Bible.
We’ve designed our Bible studies for all age levels! Your 5th grader can dive into God’s Word in a simple yet powerful way.
It’s never too early to start teaching kids the life-giving truths about God and how He instructs His children in His Word.
5th grade homeschool curriculum for electives.
Elementary electives are generally disguised as “extra-curricular activities.” Families often do music lessons, sports, or similar opportunities. This is GREAT! Just be sure you keep your purpose in focus. At this age, it’s less about perfecting a skill and more about dabbling in things your children might want to pursue when they get older.
Try to expose them to all of the fine arts (music, art, drama) through homeschool classes, museums, and shows. You never know how God has gifted them! Exposing elementary kids to sports tends to be easier, as there are so many teams to choose from.
Just remember to keep your purpose in focus. I always remind myself that Michael Jordan didn’t even start playing basketball until he was in junior high. Forcing a four-year-old to play soccer against his desires won’t create a prodigy.
Use the elementary years to dabble and explore. Take field trips. Participate in one-day classes. Work hard on life skills. You’ll be thankful you took this approach.
Here are some courses I recommend:
Fine Arts Electives
Still Singing: Hymn Stories for Every Season
Still Singing Hymn Study is a music appreciation curriculum that includes language arts and history too!
- Voice Lessons (here’s a place that does online lessons)
- Piano Lessons (we take local lessons, but this online option is interesting)
- Art Appreciation curriculum is for grades 4-8!
- Artistic Pursuits
- Academy of Arts Ministries (drama)
- Bits Box (computer coding)
- Latin for Children
- 4-H gardening, animal care, etc.
- Sewing, crocheting, knitting, etc.
- Care of their space (make their bed, tidy their room, empty the dishwasher, etc.)
More Christian Homeschool Curriculum
Using my expertise as a certified educator and 12+ years of homeschooling, we’ve created a comprehensive list of the BEST Christian homeschool curriculum for each grade level. You’ll find each of them linked below.
- Preschool Homeschool Curriculum
- Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum
- First Grade Homeschool Curriculum
- Second Grade Homeschool Curriculum
- Third Grade Homeschool Curriculum
- Fourth Grade Homeschool Curriculum
- Fifth Grade Homeschool Curriculum
- Sixth Grade Homeschool Curriculum
- Seventh Grade Homeschool Curriculum
- Eighth Grade Homeschool Curriculum
- High School Homeschool Curriculum
Still stuggling to see how everything fits together? Get a better overall vision for Christian homeschool curriculum in this post.
Through practical tools & Bible-based resources, Kim Sorgius is dedicated to helping your family GROW in faith so you can be Not Consumed by life’s struggles. Author of popular kid’s devotional Bible studies and practical homeschooling tools, Kim has a master’s degree in education and curriculum design coupled with over 2 decades of experience working with kids and teens. Above all, her most treasured job is mother and homeschool teacher of four amazing kiddos.