5GRD Do-Aheads

our lady of divine grace.jpg?zoom=1 - 5GRD Do-AheadsOf all of the years K-6, this one is the most intense, in my opinion.  Good luck!


  1. Read all of the front matter for each subject in the syllabi.
  2. Print out my supply list 5GRD Supply List PDF or in Excel.  It has every worksheet, fact card, map, everything for the year.
  3. Notice that the “minutes” schedule in the syllabus doesn’t include reading. The newer online versions don’t either, but they have it in the example weekly assignment page.
    1. Directed reading: In the Writing Manual and Language Arts Overview, sold by the school, it is clear that the “directed reading” and the history assignments are supposed to be separate, unless you have a reluctant reader. It is recommended that this time in the evenings, but that is not my life. So, we have done it three ways.  We either do it on audio, let them do it before bed, or just count their history reading.
    2. History Reading:  Check out History Reading Times 5GRD for how the pacing works out if you follow the assignment structure in the syllabi. Use the 3GRD fiction list.
  4. Bundle the memory work resources. Try to do it in one sitting. Print out my Master Memory Book. You’ll need 5GRD BC2 (not the same as 6GRD), K-5 poetry, the geography stats, and the Latin prayers (LC.)
  5. Copy your worksheets. Music Worksheets, Latin Quizzes, Saxon Math Fact Drills, Math Tests,…or at least as many as you can stand for now. Use that supply list to keep track of what you have and haven’t copied.  It will save your sanity.
  6. Order your blank books.  If this is your first year with it, see the bottom of THIS post to figure out how many books you need and what sizes.


  1. Read the introduction to the course in the syllabus. Notice that she mentions spreading out the lessons. We do one each week, not two.
  2. Get Draw Squad to at least SUPPORT the McIntyre drawing book. It’s JUST LIKE McIntyre (even names the exercises after him) but the instructions are step-by-step VISUALLY.
  3. Print out my4GRD-5GRD Art Paper. It helps to have a grid.

*If your kids already hit the wall on the McIntyre work, here’s a really great group game that practices a limited number of the drawings. We use the “basic shapes you need to know” as a periodic review.

Language Arts

  1. Consider getting the Writing Manual and Language Arts Overview from the school.  This year is a booger-bear on writing.  Tons of it everywhere.  That book will give you the big picture so you can know where to cut, if you start pulling your hair out.  There’s writing in history, art, and Language Arts.
  2. Check out my ILL color pictures.  Those assignments are way easier if it’s in color.


  1. Read the introduction to the course. She HIGHLY recommends the homemade version. I do too. Here are my printables for the “homemade” version.
  2. If you don’t use my homemade version, copy your outline maps for Ultimate Timeline and Geography. *NOTE: The maps, as listed in the syllabus, need to be HUGE.   They are generally a map of the whole continent, but the “map-it” items go down to the country level, so on a one-page continent map of North and Central America, it’s going to be pretty hard to map the everything listed for Canada unless you make that map BIG. (This site has them any size you like for free! OR print mine.) Seriously, get these done now.
  3. Be sure your atlas is reasonably up to date. I totally ruined one kid on this course by having him use my 1982 World Book for Asia.
  4. Print my cards for the dates, mountains, and rivers. OR use my memrise decks.  
  5. Book mark these memory hooks for mountains and rivers.


  1. Look over the history books and pacing in the assignments. We got a lot on audio.  Many are difficult and I couldn’t read all of them aloud. Check out History Reading Times 5GRD
  2. Trim GWW. It’s much too big for a child this age to get through in six weeks, usually. I cut out all the European history to make it manageable; it’s not the *Catholic* version of those events anyway, so pass an eye over to see how you want to handle that. Here’s an amazon review from another MODG parent that quickly explains the problems.
  3. Check out the writing assignments. We needed more time on these, especially with all the ILL and art composition.  Yikes. Peace be with you. FYI, copy work isn’t supposed to take more than about 5 minutes.


  1. LCII-Print or buy the cards. They can be pretty pricey, but it’s so nice to have the lesson numbers on them already.  However, if you need multiple sets, it’s hard to drop that much cash on them.  Writing them yourself is NOT FUN.  Hundreds of cards.  The next best option is to print them from Quizlet.
  2. LCII-Get your cards ready and filed according to Lesson #. If you don’t get that vocab AND FORMS nailed this year, next year is a killer.  I use the plastic walmart index card boxes and alphabet dividers; I number them with a sharpie marker. You will need lots of rubber bands. There’s lots of “Review your Lesson X cards, separate into difficult and easy.” The rubber band goes around the “known” stack in each lesson. You will need at TWO recipe boxes for the year.
  3. If you are using Beginning Latin, there’s a lot less physical prep, but if you are new to Latin, you’ll have to study up.


  1. Copy your tests. The old syllabus and the online ones have different #’s. The online ones changes sometime after I printed them this summer.
  2. Compare the facts sheets to what you kid knows. Daily facts drills on something they already know is BORING. I spread out the frequency when it’s a known skill.


  1. Bookmark my youtube playlist for 5th grade. Most of the assigned pieces of music are already linked for you.
  2. Make your copies. If you use the old “Ready to Use Music Activities” book, you have a LOT of weird copies to make. The new Alfred’s version is a much more gentle,; some think it’s too gentle. Also, the music selections are different, which is why my youtube list is HUGE now.


  1. Print the poems out again. If you did the memory book printing above, you already have them once. Print them out again and paste them in the notebook. That way, he can just put in the drawings as he finishes them.
  2. BUY an illustrated copy of Paul Revere’s Ride. It will save you both from frustration. The weekly chunks are HUGE!!!!


  1. Go to this post and make some notes. BC chapters come out of order this year, and currently the wording for the assignments is confusing. Go there to find out where new stuff/discussion is happening.
  2. Mark up your catechism. Only 35 questions this year have new parts. Only 11 on the final.  Knowing which ones are which is key. Go HERE; skip the first half and start with “No. 2 Part I.”


  1. Get ready for WRTR. Print my  “mini-lessons” pdf  (or the teaching cards version) so you have a script anytime you need to “teach this rule” or provide more practice (or learn it yourself). If you want to pace out your year and know the word lists ahead of time, get my pacing guide here.