6GRD Do-Aheads

our lady of divine grace - 6GRD Do-Aheads


  1. Gather supplies. I have them all listed on this 6GRD supply list pdf (and excel) every notecard, map, and worksheet.
  2. Construct a realistic schedule.
    • The reading assignments are uneven.  Check out  History Reading Times 6GRD for a realistic view of the history assignments pacing. Here’s my rewritten one. 
    • Music: The performances are HOURS long, so schedule accordingly on those weeks. We do well with watching the videos at night.  “Fake Chinese” is a favorite. We get Panda Express and eat it watching fake Chinese people on Mikado on Prime.
    • Discussions: It is assumed, though not scheduled, that you will make time for regular discussions for history. In multiple resources, Laura says she did this twice a week. Also, that means you need to have read the books.  It’s confusing, even if you read them, to get oriented, since the “read this many pages.” Maybe make yourself a cheat sheet?  I will be doing that this summer for 7GRD and 8GRD.
  3. Bundle the memory work resources. Try to do it in one sitting. Print out my Master Memory Book. You’ll need BC2 #1-149, K-6 poetry, and the Latin prayers (if you do LC). Alternatively, we have found that Quizlet works well for Mom-child BCII review.  It shuffles the questions and I read them aloud.
  4. Copy your worksheets. Music Worksheets, Latin Quizzes, Saxon Math Fact Drills, Math Tests, Egypt outline maps, Science Worksheets, Editing….or at least as many as you can stand for now.


  1. Order calligraphy supplies early: The syllabus mention getting chiseled markers, but we didn’t see that until we’d already bought the real thing. If you aren’t going to do markers get a nib, holder, and washable ink.  The ink is pricey and hard to find.  And it took a while to get here.
  2. Read the assignments and the book and see what you think.  We got a different book this year.  The kids really struggled with the recommended one.
  3. Bookmark my youtube playlist for 6th grade music (includes the recommended Gregorian chant for calligraphy class).

English (Voyages)

  1. Get your outlines ready. Maybe they’re in the teacher’s manual, but I don’t have it. The first one or two are done in the assignments for you in the online syllabi. The rest are not.  Surprise!  And they were a beast to generate on the spot. You can print mine, if you like.
  2. Scan the text book. Make yourself notes where you need to brush up before the lesson.  My 6GRDer found it really difficult to be patient while I was re-learning “predicate nominatives” during his lesson.
  3. Diagrams at the end of the year. Starting in about Week 23, there are “diagram five sentences” in the exercises and no key.  You will need to make one. (Here’s mine.)
  4. We now use Easy Grammar 6 because the kids can do it independently. However, there is a LOT of repetition. So, here’s my schedule. We skip a lot of the duplicates. They do them on Friday if they bombed something. Also, we may not do the second lap on punctuation and capitalization. It depends.


  1. Look over the history assignments and the books themselves. Some books are either/or, but we didn’t know that and bought them all!  Regardless, look them over next to the pacing in the assignments and see what you think. Here’s my rewritten pacing.  We got a lot on audio.  If you want to have any kind of decent discussions, you need to read most of the books yourself.  Summer reading for you!
  2. Make plans for you timeline. It’s not a simple task and it will catch you both off-guard if you haven’t already got it laid out.  See how I set up mine HERE. Timeline images HERE. Detailed instructions HERE.
  3. Get your Egypt map and key ready. We didn’t prepare and the first day was really frustrating. They aren’t obvious in the recommended book. Watching me fuss at the book wasn’t good for morale.  The Near East Map shows up 1/2 way through the year. You could do that one now or later.  The links in this step are my versions that you can print.
  4. Check the Egypt paper assignments. This is more of an “lemme tell you what I know essay.”  They are supposed to experience the file folders that have accumulated in the mind as they read all of those books. I that sounds like nonsense, the best prep is to take the 6GRD class from the school. The Writing Manual and Language Arts Overview mentioned in #1 will tell you how to gently guide the child through revisions.  Plan for revisions in your schedule.


  1. If you do LC, get your cards ready and filed according to Lesson # If you don’t buy them, you or your child will be making a LOT of cards this year (~400)  You will need both LCI and LCII sets.  I use the plastic Walmart index card boxes and alphabet dividers; I number them with a sharpie marker. You will need 20+ 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  THREE recipe boxes for the year.  Lessons 1-5 vocab takes up one box on it’s own. (EDIT: We switched to the Beginning Latin series, not NEAR the vocab.  Whew!)
  2. If you are the teacher, read at least the first 5 LC lessons and make notes.  It’s not NEAR as novice-friendly as the previous volumes.  You might need to study up.  Find out now before you get surprised! (No surprises if you are on Beginning Latin.) We switched to Beginning Latin by Laura’s daughter. Love it. Will report later.


  1. Bookmark my youtube playlist for 6th grade music (includes the recommended Gregorian chant for calligraphy class).
  2. Make Opera rental plans.  Pirates of Penzance is rentable/buyable on Prime.  I have an BBC animated version of the Magic Flute* bookmarked in my 6GRD music playlist. Mikado is free on Amazon Prime.  It’s the recommended one and it’s old as the hills.  40′s, I think?  Anyway, make plans for those viewings to be a family movie night.  They’re too long for anything else.  My kids now beg to get Panda Express for dinner and watch Mikado.  There’s something hilarious about eating Anglicized Asian food while watching British folks pretend to be Asian.

*The recent Brannaugh version of Flute is rentable on Prime, but there is an unfortunate costume choice in the first fairy scene. In every version, the fairies fall all over Tamino, but here they are dressed as battlefield medical personnel…NUNS. It’s gross and they flash a lot of chest at one point.


  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.


  1. Mark up your catechism or the print out.  Half of your questions this year are IDENTICAL to BC No. 1.  Knowing that improves morale and shows you where to put the effort. Go HERE; scroll down to the title “No.2, Part I:  Creed” and follow the instructions.
  2. Learn the difference between a retelling and a summary. The Writing Manual and Language Arts Overview will explain it.  I spent the first half of Luke doing it wrong.


  1. Make sure you have everything for TOPS. TOPS supply lists sent in by Kristin, thank you! Balance, Pendulums. I did Electricity and Magnetism this year. We found that preparing for a trimester at a time ensured we had enough on hand.
  2. Put it in a dedicated box; be a nazi about it.  I seriously had a “hands off” roll of foil.  Science only!  It’s the only way to make sure you have the right supplies on the day.  TOPS supplies are commonly found in the home, but they are also commonly USED UP in the home.
  3. EDIT: This year we started using Snap Circuits 300 (30 minutes twice a week, as many experiements as you like, in order) and narrating one story form Secret of Everyday Things by Fabre (out of order, he picked the subject each time, btw first few stories BORING.) That worked MUCH better. Also, the How It’s Made series on Youtube was great.


  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.

Every printable referenced in this list is available HERE.