Ready to homeschool the middle years? Here’s a list of 5th and 7th grade homeschool curriculum choices.
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About fifteen years ago I got the idea not only to teach my kids at home, but also to do it via the classical model of education. I read several books on the topic: Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning and The Well-Trained Mind when my only child was two and it just made so much sense.
Of course, what makes sense when you have a toddler doesn’t always translate into real life when the child is older. As the old cartoon says, “I did my best parenting before I had kids, too.”
So, while I love the ideals in classical education: learning different skills as is appropriate to age and stage of development, enhanced by classical literature, logic, and languages, we haven’t done it perfectly, thus my classical unschooler bent.
This year, I have two kids in the rhetoric stage (or high school years) who will be refining their skills of self expression. I also have two children in the dialectic, or logic stage, who will be learning to think through arguments.
Learning in the Logic Stage
Susan Wise Bauer explains the logic stage this way:
By fifth grade, a child’s mind begins to think more analytically. Middle-school students are less interested in finding out facts than in asking “Why?” The second phase of the classical education, the “Logic Stage,” is a time when the child begins to pay attention to cause and effect, to the relationships between different fields of knowledge relate, to the way facts fit together into a logical framework.
A student is ready for the Logic Stage when the capacity for abstract thought begins to mature. During these years, the student begins algebra and the study of logic, and begins to apply logic to all academic subjects. The logic of writing, for example, includes paragraph construction and learning to support a thesis; the logic of reading involves the criticism and analysis of texts, not simple absorption of information; the logic of history demands that the student find out why the War of 1812 was fought, rather than simply reading its story; the logic of science requires that the child learn the scientific method.