North Central WV Grade 5 Homeschool Group

I will be leading a homeschool group starting September 8. About me.

You can contact me at

Why this group?

Some of us are concerned about the health risk of having our children return to in-person schooling at this time, but did not have a good experience with school-provided “distance instruction” in Spring 2020, and want something better for our children.

How is this better?

What is required? Are there any limitations? Can I afford this?

Other considerations

Our Curriculum

We will follow WVDE content standards such that we closely parallel work done by West Virginia public school students. It will be different work, but covering the same requirements. It is my firm belief that our students will be very well-prepared to resume public school whenever that is.

Curriculum and lesson plan documents below are continually having content and detail added, and always may be subject to change. They are presented here only to help you decide if our program may be a good fit or your child.

Our planned curriculum for each of the core “classroom” subjects is available below, though I am still working on it. The curriculum is described as a set of implementations of the West Virginia Board of Education Content Standards.

For the “out of classroom” subjects, we will not address physical education, except we will meet for outside activity such as hiking or bike riding (probably on Friday) weather and health concerns permitting. (These events will be optional, and parents are encouraged to supplement with their own activities.) We will have music and art once a week, utilizing various forms of creation software. Techniques will be demonstrated using such free programs as GIMP and Inkscape for electronic art, and Noteworthy Composer for musical composition. Note that these subjects may not adhere to WV BOE Content Standards.

Core classroom subjects

Content Implementation for Grade 5 English Language Arts (ELA). docx PDF

Content Implementation for Grade 5 Math. docx PDF

Content Implementation for Grade 5 Science. docx PDF

Content Implementation for Grade 5 Social Studies. docx PDF

Resources for core subjects (under development)

Lesson Planning for first ELA text, When Stars Are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed

Lesson Planning for first Social Studies text, Two Miserable Presidents Steve Sheinken

Our online chemistry book, What Stuff Is Made Of, will begin our Science studies in support of Science Standard S.5.GS.1. This is a largely-visual introduction to basic principles of chemistry at a 4th–7th grade level.

Most of our Math implementation is based on Khan Academy, but we will augment this with:

Elective subjects

Fifth grade is an excellent time for students to improve their keyboarding skills. I will be comparing online options and hope we can stimulate some friendly competition and offer some small rewards to students who choose to pursue this.

Other ideas are welcome.

Technology Plans

We plan to use the following technology/platforms. None of these incur any charge to participants.

Texts and Materials Used

I anticipate using 4 paperback books for the upcoming semester, two of which I have already selected (below). It is hoped these are affordable. (I would be happy to order these for you with my Amazon Prime Business account to save you shipping costs.)

Our first Social Studies text is Two Miserable Presidents by Steve Sheinken. I also anticipate using Sheinken’s Which Way to the Wild West? later in the semester.

Our English Language Arts (ELA) semester will begin with When Stars Are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed. This is a non-fiction narrative in the format of a graphic novel. Our ELA work this semester will also include a full-length work of fiction which I have not yet selected. In addition I will be sharing selections from my extensive collection of short stories and essays, which I will make available via

At this time I do not anticipate requiring a Science text. I am writing the elementary chemistry text with which we will begin the semester, since I could not find anything with which I was satisfied. For the remainder of the semester, there appear to be ample online resources for our subsequent work, which will also include experiments, research, and data analysis. I will be demonstrating experiments via webcam. Students may obtain materials for experiments if they wish to do them themselves, but it is not required.


We just started our 2nd week. We were slowed by technical issues last week, but we’re ahead of schedule in our ELA book, When Stars Are Scattered. We’re moving ahead well in our first Science unit on ecology. Having learned about the vital role of photosynthesis in every ecosystem, we made a small jump ahead into our next unit, Chemistry: What Stuff is Made Of, using to look at water, carbon dioxide, and glucose. We are skipping practices and going right into the quizzes on decimals in Khan Academy. Depending on how that goes, we’ll decide if we need to do the practices or we’re ready for the unit test on decimals. We also had some friendly competition racing through some logic puzzles, which went well on the first set, but I entered the wrong correct answers on the 2nd set. ☹ I will be even more careful next time!