Our Favorite Books for 5th Grade

Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. – Philippians 4:8


St. Joseph Baltimore Catechism No. 2

The Golden Children’s Bible with  Christian Studies II

Stories of the Saints I

King of the Golden City with this Study Guide

See this post,  The 7 Strands of a Great Religion Curriculum, for more details.



Primary Math 5A and 5B – At a minimum, use the textbooks and workbooks. I recommend using the test books and extra practice books as well.

For more info on this program, see Lesson Plans that Simplify Singapore Math

For free lesson plans, see Free Singapore Math Lesson Plans.

Alternatively, you might want to look at Saxon 6/5.

 Grammar and Writing

Voyages in English Gr. 5, 2011 ed. – This is the most comprehensive  grammar program I have found.  Each day, students learn and practice a new grammatical concept. They also analyze and diagram one sentence as part of a continual review. We use the textbooks, practice books, and test books. The textbook is so well written that my kids are able to use this program mostly independently. After reading the explanation in text, they do the work in the practice book. In each grade level, the same concepts are presented and expanded on. After a few years of using this program, my kids really know the rules of grammar and can identify all the different parts of speech within a sentence.

Note: The Teacher’s Manual is so expensive that I only get the answer key for the practice book and test book. Because we use IEW for writing, we do not use the writing part of the text.

One of the Theme Based Writing Lessons by the Institute for Excellence in Writing. I cannot recommend this writing program highly enough. The genius behind IEW’s program is that it teaches writing, which can be nebulous and subjective, with concrete and manageable steps. Students are given tools and vocabulary with which they can expand and develop their writing style. Parents are given checklists to help them objectively assess their children’s writing assignments.
Whether or not you use this writing program, I highly recommend listening to these free podcasts by Andrew Pudewa, the founder of the Institute for Excellence in Writing.

Spelling and Vocabulary

All About Spelling – If your child is new to All About Spelling, you may want to start at book two so your student will become familiar with the spelling rules. This is an excellent program and well worth the time you will need to spend teaching your children the rules.

Sadlier Vocabulary Workshop Level Blue (Gr. 5)  – Be sure to get the 2006 edition, unless you want the Common Core edition.  I usually have my kids write the answers in a notebook. This way they get practice spelling the words, and I can save the book for another student. Look for the teacher’s edition used on Amazon. They can be hard to find.

A good vocabulary alternative is Wordly Wise 3000, G.r 5.


Each week my children copy and memorize a new verse. At the end of the week, they recite as much of the poem as they can. This is an excellent way to fill your child’s mind with beautiful language patterns and imagery as well as sharpen his memory.

The Harp and Laurel Wreath  – This is a wonderful collection of poems presented by level.

Favorite Poems Old and New – This anthology has over 700 poems for children categorized by theme.

Reading Comprehension and Story Time

Encourage your child to read children’s literature on his/her own. One way to get a child hooked onto a book is to read the first few chapters aloud. If a book is really exciting or intruiging, they will be happy to finish it on their own.

 Also, continue to read aloud to your children. According to this study, reading aloud is the best way to help children develop word mastery and grammatical understanding. Perhaps just as important, reading aloud to your child is a wonderful way to bond with him and to develop his moral compass. It’s our favorite part of school. We usually read historical novels or picture books from our  history book list, saint biographies, and classic children’s literature.

Check out the free Read-Aloud Revival Booklist and the 1000 Good Books list for good recommendations.


Little Latin Readers – These are a very gentle, easy introduction to Latin. Begin with Primers A and B.

History and Geography

For History, see Gr. 3-6 History Lesson Plans. You will find lesson plans for  Ancient History, Early Church and Medieval History, and American history. All lesson plans contain lists of historical novels that you can assign as independent reading or read aloud to your child.


All of the Young Explorer books by Apologia are great for delving deeply into one subject. You can order experiment kits for any of the books at Setonbooks.com

For fifth grade we have  used:

Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Botany  and Botany Notebooking Journal

or  Exploring Creation with Zoology 3: Land Animals with the Notebooking Journal.

Many homeschoolers have posted quizzes on Quizlet for each of the chapters in these books. This is a great way for your students to learn the science vocabulary.

Art and Music

Drawing Textbook – This may be a simple little book, but it really works. My children teach themselves how to draw in 3-D with this book.

Paint by Number Museum Series – If your child has the patience and interest, this is a great introduction to painting.

Can You Find It? America – If your child is studying American history, this makes a wonderful supplement. This book can be a little challenging; your student will need to study the picture carefully to find the listed items.

Little by little, build a collection of classical music and play it for your kids. I give my kids their daily dose of classical music during breakfast.

If you can, encourage your children to sing in a choir or learn a musical instrument. It is so enriching and worth the time, money, and effort.