Fifth Grade Curriculum and Homeschool Learning Objectives


If you are looking for fifth grade curriculum options for homeschool students, we have our favorites listed here. We also have a list of learning objectives that any fifth grade student, whether homeschooled or in a traditional school setting should know.

Once you have all the information about your child’s learning objectives, it is much easier to make sure that the curriculum that you purchase or design yourself will keep your child on track for what they should be learning at their current grade level. While we know that many homeschool parents are not concerned about grade levels, we still think it is important to make sure that children are not falling behind their peers.

What are Fifth Graders Expected to Learn?

There are a lot of differences between the education you provide for your children at home and the education they would receive in a public school. One thing that remains the same either way is the basic fifth grade curriculum that all children are required by your state to learn. You will undoubtedly teach these basic learning objectives in your own special way, and you may even enhance your child’s education by adding your own objectives.

Some states are more regulated than others when it comes to spelling out what children are expected to learn in different grades. You need to look up the guidelines for your state (your state government website is a good place to start), but this overview will give you a general idea of what fifth graders should be learning regardless of location or fifth grade homeschool curriculum that you choose.

Fifth Grade Basics

Fifth graders are ready to work hard on projects and tasks that require them to use the skills and strategies they have been learning as they have progressed through elementary school. As the teacher, you should begin to challenge your fifth-grader with long-term projects that require planning and organization to complete.

The social life of fifth graders can overshadow what they learn as puberty begins. Just be aware that hormones may be about to travel through your fifth grader’s body, inducing both excitement and anxiety at the same time.

While it may feel slightly different in a home school setting, fifth graders will be preparing for middle school, which can both excite and overwhelm them. As the teacher, you will play an important role in listening to their concerns and supporting them as they start to figure out who they are.

Reading/Language Arts Objectives:

  • Identify plot, setting, characters, and other elements of literature
  • Discuss the purpose of different texts and relate stories back to their own life
  • Understand how text is organized
  • Identify all parts of books (table of contents, chapters, glossaries, etc.)
  • Begin editing, revising and rewriting their own texts and stories
  • Employ creative thought to write short stories, poems and creative nonfiction pieces
  • Enjoy reading as a source of pleasure, rather than an objective of learning
  • Use reading and research skills for projects that take days and weeks to create
  • Learn rules of grammar so writing is more polished
  • Incorporate personal opinion and all of the senses for more evocative writing

Fifth Grade Curriculum Mathematics Objectives:

  • Division of larger whole numbers with and without remainders
  • Understand percentages
  • Correlate and convert percentages, whole numbers, fractions, and decimals
  • Multiply and divide fractions and decimals
  • Introduce basic concepts of algebra
  • Introduce concepts of statistics
  • Skillfully use rulers and other tools of measurement
  • Learn to solve problems about time, measurement and money

Fifth Grade Curriculum Science Objectives:

  • Begin performing experiments including collection of data, forming hypotheses, and testing
  • Work with microscopes and other basic science equipment
  • Understand more complicated aspects of the solar system, organic life, weather, and other topics
  • Learn about the processes of living things, like photosynthesis and digestion
  • Look at the Earth and its resources and how people affect and use those resources

Social Studies Objectives:

  • Start learning early American history
  • Learn about colonial times and Native American history topics
  • Compare and contrast different cultures and different periods of time

Cognitive Skills

As your fifth grader navigates new territory, several cognitive skills are important for him or her to master.

  • Abstract thinking – the ability to go beyond the concrete and visible is important in math, for example, your student will learn more complicated processes where he or she will have to rely on their mental skills more than just a pencil and paper.
  • The ability to argue more logically – this will be important especially in writing, as your child will begin to write several different types of pieces, including a persuasive piece where he or she has to logically support their opinion.
  • Shows curiosity – this is one of the most important characteristics students can possess. This will help them discover why things happen, what happened, what will happen and could happen. Building an interest in a specific topic can often lead to research and new interests.

Basic Tips for Homeschooling Fifth Grade:

  • Independent work is essential in 5th grade curriculums. At this age children should be working through lesson plans, reading, researching, and creating long-term projects largely on their own. Parental guidance should be more vocal than hands-on.
  • Pay attention to things that catch your child’s attention, as many children will start to take strong interest in particular subjects and concepts at this age. This is a great time to go for field trips that your children will enjoy while enhancing their understanding of the above listed objectives. Different children may end up doing different projects at this level, and that is the beauty of homeschooling.
  • Fifth graders are ready to start learning about the world and their place in the world. Relate lessons back to their own lives and your community more than you did at earlier grade levels. Allow them to express themselves more and explore the world around them.
  •  It is important to recognize that many children will be hitting puberty around the fifth grade, so they will be going through many changes and their attitudes may adjust throughout the year. This can be a trying time for growing children, so be understanding yet stable.

How Fifth Graders Operate

Remember that fifth graders are like to think of themselves as mature and independent, but can often revert to immature behavior when they want something or are afraid to ask about an issue. Many fifth graders spend much of their time learning the complex social rules for interacting with their peers. While this is the case to some degree for homeschool students, their peers will not be a problem while they are working on schoolwork at home. This is yet another advantage of homeschooling – it is easier to keep your students focused on academic tasks rather than trying to fight the distractions of classroom social drama.

By this stage, fifth graders have developed the ability to think logically about concrete problems. This means that when they look at a problem, they can figure out the needed facts and strategies in order to solve the problem. They can even move those thoughts around in different ways until they figure out the best way to use them.

Hitting Puberty

While traditional classrooms will have a broad mix of maturity levels, you will be well-acquainted with where your own fifth grader is in his or her emotional and physical development. If you have a boy, he may still be a couple of years from beginning to mature. In any case, be aware that hormones (even in just your one student!) can create mood swings within just a few minutes, which can distract them from their classroom tasks.

Fifth-Grade Pressures

What others think of your fifth grader is beginning to become more important to them. They may be self-conscious and insecure about whether they fit in with their friends; even if they are the only student in your homeschool, they will have friends in other places. If they start to struggle in their schoolwork, this could lead them to isolated and embarrassed.

As the teacher, you should recognize this and help your child build upon his or her strengths in order to help them with their weaker areas. Don’t forget that even as a homeschooler, finding extracurricular activities is an important way to feed their true interests and help them excel. This gives them a sense of pride and accomplishment.

Complete Curriculum Favorites for 5th grade:

Alpha Omega Life Pacs   This worktext based curriculum is a favorite for its all-in-one curriculum for fans of a traditional school-at-home homeschoolers.
Alpha Omega Switched on Schoolhouse –This is a big favorite for 5th graders and their parents because of the interactive lessons and automatic grading.
Sonlight Curriculum — The Sonlight programs are a favorite for its ability to make history and reading come to life.

Math Curriculum Favorites for 5th grade:

Saxon Math — The mastery learning method of this curriculum makes it a favorite of both homeschoolers and traditional classroom teachers as well.
Horizons Math — The spiral learning method makes this a good fit for homeschool kids in 5th grade who are bright and want a challenge.
MathUSee — Fifth graders love to “see” the math problems come to life with this math curriculum.

General Homeschooling Information

Homeschool Central
Homeschool Central offers good resources to homeschoolers, especially those looking for support groups in their area.

Home School Legal Defense Association
This nonprofit advocacy association defends the rights of parents to homeschool their children. Their site provides good information on homeschool guidelines for each state. You can also check out the “My State” page of their website for information on homeschool legal issues in each state.

National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI)
NHERI is a great source for statistics and facts about home-based education.

Classical Homeschooling

Classical Homeschooling Magazine
This free online magazine highlights the basics of classical homeschooling, including the Great Books movement, the Socratic Method and poetic knowledge.

The Well-Trained Mind,” by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise
Susan Wise Bauer, a home educator and literature professor, and her mother wrote this step-by-step guide to homeschooling in the classical tradition.

Do you have a favorite 5th grade curriculum for homeschool?
Share it here.

We hope this collection of information about homeschooling fifth graders has been helpful to you. Homeschooling is a monumental challenge, but it is one you can meet with preparation and determination as you figure out the best way to educate your children for their good!