My son would be starting his year 5 academic year if he attended school so I thought I would give a summary of the different resources that I am planning on using with him this year (as always I will buy more items as we progress through the year but this is my starting point and it might give some readers a few ideas).
Even though he is starting Year 5 and his sister is starting year 8 he tends to do the same History, Science and Geography as his older sister. So we use the same student book and then I normally find worksheets that are more suited for him while his older sister often does the year 8 workbook or questions contained in her student books. Those worksheets tend to be a mix from Twinkl, Teachitprimary, TeachitScience, TeachitHistory and TeachitGeography. Now I know the last 3 teachit sites that I listed are geared towards older kids but I often download pages from those sites for him.
We also use the Oaka Topic packs a lot with him for these subjects. Again these packs are normally geared for KS3 ages but the Oaka style really makes it accessible for a wide range of ages. He loves the reading the topic booklets – he finds them easy to read and the colourful images are great for remembering facts. He also is a huge fan of the learning games that they include in the topic packs. For us, Oaka is a big win, perfect for covering a topic with kids of different ages. It just works really well.
He is also a big fan of their board games and even though we have had them for a few years now we keep going back to them and replaying them. These board games are one of the best revision activities that I have come across. And whenever we play one of the games, there is always something that someone has forgotten which they get reminded of or you get one of those lightbulb moments where the kids have had time to think about something and then suddenly it all clicks into place and they finally get it. So the Board games stay again this year.
The other item that I use a lot for these subjects are our Collins BIG CAT books. One of my absolute gems that I discovered a few years ago and I still can’t get enough of them. We are huge fans of the non-fiction titles and whenever I can I try and link these books to the Science, History or Geography topic that we are doing. My son calls them “bite-size fact stories”. What he means by this is there is just the right amount of detail in these books so he learns something but they do not go into excessive detail which would make them confusing. This can be a very fine line and so far all of the BIG CAT books that we have used have succeeded with this.
Okay so going onto English. English is probably my son’s least favourite subject. He loves reading and loves writing stories but he does not like spelling, grammar or punctuation. So I do try extra hard with English for him (his older sister has always loved English so it is a bit different the 2nd time around).
I am lucky in that he does reads a LOT and I do mean a LOT and he actually reads a wide range of books. He will often read something just because his sister tells him about it (like Shakespeare), so we encourage that just be trying to have lots of books available and going to the library as much as we can.
The other English activity which he really enjoys are the eBooks from Twinkl (if you have not heard of their eBooks here are some posts about them – The Man who bought a mountain, Pack of Pompeii, Wyrmstooth Crown.) He is a huge fan of these and Twinkl always create lots of themed English resources to go with each of their eBooks. So we do tend to do a lot of the eBooks and the linked resources. I have found it a great way of getting him to work on grammar and punctuation. I really cannot recommend these eBooks enough. They are probably his favourite English activity.
I also tend to download a lot of Twinkl’s comprehensions for him. Twinkl have a massive range of comprehensions on their site and I always manage to find one on a topic which he finds interesting. Again I have just found that if we link the English activity to something he enjoys it just works better and he ends up practicing a lot of skills by working through a comprehension. So for me it is another big English win with him
The range of English workbooks that we do use with him are the Schofield & Sims Understanding English range. But I don’t work through them page after page and I don’t do a page a day. I tend to dip in and out and use a page and then try and link it into a topic or eBook that he is interested in. It is a little bit more work for me but in the long run it means he engages more.
Maths. Maths for my son is actually not an issue, in fact he often picks up the maths that his older sister is doing so by the time I go to “explain” a concept he has often figured it out just be being around while she does Maths.
My main source of Maths pages for him is Twinkl. I like using websites for maths because you can always print off pages multiple times if you need to (like when he was learning his times table I often printed off the same page a few times and just gave it to him a few weeks later so he practiced more). For Maths I often use the Planit section and the year workbooks that they create (if you type in Maths Year x into the search bar you will get activity books / workbooks – eg Year 5 place value booklet, Year 5 addition and subtraction booklet, year 5 autumn themed booklet etc etc. There are lots that come up).
He is also a huge fan of their Maths Mysteries. I am also a huge fan of the Maths mysteries, they are fun and engaging and the kids end up practicing a wide range of maths in one go. If you have a Twinkl membership it really is worth searching for their Maths Mysteries.
I do use some workbooks, just for extra examples and ideas. And again the range I prefer is the Schofield & Sims range. I like their Understanding Maths range, their written calculation range and the mental arithmetic range.
And other bits and pieces. Well we bake/ cook a lot (making his own pasta is a favourite) so that will continue. We also have a History of Art book that I am loving and we will continue to read that and he is obsessed with drawing dinosaurs and animals so art also just happens very naturally in our house.
Oh and I must not forget the micro:bit – our way of doing some programming.
I know I have missed out a lot but I really can’t include every little thing that we will use over the next year so this is my starting point.