Our Favorite Books for 6th Grade

The most basic element … is parental love, which finds fulfillment in the task of education as it completes and perfects its service of life.
– Pope John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio

RELIGION

St. Joseph Baltimore Catechism No. 2

The Golden Children’s Bible with Christian Studies Book 3. By this age, some children prefer to use a real bible instead of a children’s bible. The Catholic Youth Bible is a great choice.

Stories of the Saints, Volume 2 OR Golden Legend of Young Saints

Friendly Defenders Flash Cards – Here’s an easy introduction to Apologetics.  Have your child memorize one card a week and discuss it with him.

MATH

Primary Math 6A and 6B – At a minimum, use the textbooks and workbooks. I recommend using the test books and extra practice book 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 7/6.

GRAMMAR AND WRITING

Voyages in English 6, (2011 Loyola Press) – text, practice book, testbook, and Gr. 6 Practice/Assessment Key. This is an expensive but excellent program. I have not seen many grammar programs that are as thorough or analytic. The Daily Maintenance exercises in the Practice book provide daily practice with diagramming and continual review. To reduce the cost, look for a  used textbook at Amazon. My kids read the textbook on their own and do the exercises in the Practice book. Thus there is no need for the Teacher’s Manual, which is very pricey.

Fix It! Grammar, Teacher’s Manual Book 3 – If you think your child needs practice with Editing, this is a great book. Purchase the Teacher’s Manual and you will be provided with a code to print out the student book. This is meant to be a complete grammar book on it’s own and is an excellent complement to IEW’s  writing lessons. Since we only use it for editing, I do not have my kids do all the other activities, such as labelling clauses, prepositional phrases, sentence openers, etc.

For writing, use 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. 

Alternatively, IEW’s Student Intensive Writing, Level B  is a set of DVDs where the student can watch Andrew Pudewa teach a series of writing lessons. This is a great resource if you feel overwhelmed at the thought of teaching your child how to write. Be sure to watch along with your students so you know exactly what they need to do for the 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.

Nurturing Competent Communicators and The Four Deadly Errors of Teaching Writing

VOCABULARY

Sadlier Vocabulary Workshop Level Blue, 2005 Ed. – student book and teacher’s manual. To save the books for younger siblings, I have my kids write the answers in a notebook. This gives them additional practice in spelling the words.

Or Wordly Wise 3000 Book 6

POETRY

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

Reading 6 for Young Catholics Thinking Skills

Check out this post: What to do About Reading Comprehension.

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.

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

LATIN

Little Latin Readers – Level 1 (Italia) and Level 2 (Vita Mariae) , possibly Level 3 (Christus  et Apostoli) as well.

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.

SCIENCE

Behold and See 6 by CHC. Textbook and workbook. You can also purchase Daily Lesson Plans.  My children have enjoyed this book which is written in a conversational style.

ART AND MUSIC

Draw and Write Through History series. Choose a book that corresponds to the time period in history that your child is studying.

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

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.