Having trouble finding a reliable 5th grade science curriculum for your homeschool? How about one that is not so pricey? My first year homeschooling, I went with a popular science curriculum and hated it. So, I researched online for another curriculum. I, then, found a great curriculum but it was just too expensive.
As an ex-math teacher, I decided to see if I could teach my boys without a formal textbook/workbook curriculum. I am always reminded by that quote from Good Will Hunting “…you dropped 150 grand on a (***) education you could’ve got for $1.50 in late charges at the public library.”
Now, like the quote, I decided to see if I could wing it with absolutely no money. While I did this during their 3rd grade year, this same approach, applies to all grades.
Setting Up A Plan Using Your 1st Free Resource
The first thing you may want to do is to look up your state’s Standards of Learning for a particular grade. There are two reasons I did this:
- I am not a science teacher and have no idea what kids were learning in school these days.
- If something ever happens to me and my boys have to be put into the public school system again, then at least they will be up to date if not more on their learning.
So here is an example Virginia’s Standard of Learning 5.2 that deals with sound and the one that I will use to demonstrate how I put our science lessons together.
You may want to print these out but you don’t have to. First, highlight the main topic. Some of our topics included sound, light, animal and plant cells, the ocean, and rocks. Using your lesson planner enter these topics. I entered one topic per month (we do science twice a week).
Your 2nd Free Resource: The Library
Next, highlight the different concepts involved with the topic. For sound, this included compression waves, vibration, wavelengths, etc. These will become the keywords you need when looking for books on the subject in your local library.
When I looked up these keywords at my library, you wouldn’t believe the amount of books I found on this subject and most of them were in the kid’s section of the library. A few of those books also dealt primarily with creating simple experiments testing sound theories and concepts.
Creating a Detailed Plan
This part of the teaching will require some time on your part. You want to look through those books you get from the library and see which ones are best to use. I suggest making sure that it is age appropriate. You don’t want your 5th grader reading a board book meant for a pre-K student.
You want to make sure that the books have a glossary with essential vocabulary. Also, look for those books that have vivid, colorful pictures explaining particular concepts. In the case of sound, I looked for pictures demonstrating how sound waves travel.
If you have a great library, then you will have found a book or two with experiments you can try. Pick a few that you can do. Many may not require anything more that what can be found around the home.
After you have selected the books you want, enter the book name, pages to be read, and experiments to do into your lesson planner. Don’t forget to make a list of any supplies you need for experiments a week before. Again, many of them require things you can use around the house but you wouldn’t want to find out you don’t have something the day you are set to do an experiment.
Other Free Resources
You can easily search online for free science worksheets. Pinterest not only has links to free worksheets but you can find lots of ideas for experiments. So give them a try.Let others know how they can teach 5th grade science homeschool without a curriculum by clicking here.Click To Tweet
Creating a Unit Study for 5th Grade Science
Depending on how many days and time you allot for science, you can also create a unit study out of your topic. Here are some suggests that one could create for sound:
- history: read and discuss Alexander Graham Bell
- writing/cursive: write out a quote about sound
- language arts: write an essay about Alexander Graham Bell
- music: use an instrument to demonstrate a high pitch and low pitch
How Did We Do With This Approach?
In the end, I wish I could tell you that no money was spent but then I would be lying. However, the small purchases I made here and there were, in my opinion, a good investment. I purchased some items knowing that we could use it over and over again as we revisit these same topics in the years to come. And I assure you that I did not spend nearly close to what I spent on that first failed curriculum.
So here are some products I highly recommend.
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links that I have provided for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.
I had purchased Notebookingpages’ lifetime membership a couple of years ago and it has been the best investment I made. It has saved me so much time when creating sheets for different subjects and looking for images. And it covers almost every topic under the homeschool sun. You can try it yourself. They have a free sampler available for you to try. Click here to visit their site and learn more about notebooking pages.
Here are some examples of how we use these pages.
This will only cost you the price of a binder. I let the boys create their journal covers with ‘science’ images from the internet. This is where we keep all of our work.
I hope you found this helpful. If you have any questions or comments about this post, please feel free to write them below in the comment section. I’d love to hear how you teach 5th grade science.
Plus, check out our other 5th grade curriculum posts:
- 14 Awesome Resources You Should Add to Your 5th Grade Homeschool
- 5th Grade History Curriculum Reviews
- 5th Grade English: Homeschool Curriculum Review and Switch
- Growing Crystals for Science Homeschool
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