Posted in Covid-19, French, Grade 6, Homeschooling, Language Arts, Life, Reading, Science, Space, Writing

Exploring the Solar System (week 5 homeschooling)

Week 5: Solar System Reading Comprehension

One of the science units for grade 6 is space and the solar system. So this week was focused on learning about the rest of the planets. Steven had already read about a couple of them over the last couple of weeks. They were easy to fall back on when he was struggling with math and I had to work.

This week, Steven completed the solar system reading comprehension activities found here this week. He also completed the key terms and solar system worksheets in this workbook. I bought the bundle that covers all the science units for grade 6. I then had him use these worksheets to make a plan for building a model solar system. I’m sure I’ll have lots of photos of that next week.

I also printed off this resource to help him understand how to answer the “main idea” and “supporting details”. He was struggling with understanding that last week. He has been a little intentionally silly with the answers. Probably a side effect of having mom as a teacher. So I have been discussing the material and questions with him to make sure he understands.


I noticed that my yearly payment to Curiosity Stream went out this week. I had completely forgotten I had access to this resource! Steven and I have been watching all the space-related documentaries we can find. It looks like they have some that will be relevant for the other science units too.

We also discovered that there are a lot of shows on Netflix that you can watch in French with (or without) English subtitles! We started watching one of the Pokemon series in French because Steven has watched them all multiple times. I’m hoping watching something he’s familiar with will help him pick up some vocabulary. I also noticed that Amazon Prime Video has a lot of French content for kids. Unfortunately, most of what I found there doesn’t have the subtitle option. It might be good for kids who are a little better at French than Steven is. I’m planning on looking at those shows again later in the school year when he knows a bit more.


I wanted to mention that next month we will be participating in NaNoWriMo! They have a young writer’s program for kids and a workbook that’s free to download (though I did purchase a printed one). I haven’t done it in years, so I decided I’m going to write a novel too, but to whatever Steven’s word goal ends up being. Then we can proofread each others’ novels.

The plan is to start on the workbook at the end of week 8 (around October 22) so that we are totally prepared to start writing on November 1st. In the workbook, we’ll be at “Back to the Beginning” on November 1st. Then we’ll write for 1.5-2 hours per day and do about half an hour a day of other language arts work that might help with the novel writing. There are a lot of worksheets in the workbook provided by NaNoWriMo for this, and I’ve added a few others I found online. I plan to spend the last week of the month just writing, so that we can reach the word goal. Then we’ll put them away for most of December and come back to the editing parts of the workbook the week after Christmas.

Once we’ve figured out word goals, I’m going to post trackers in the sidebar on the right.

Website stuff

You might have noticed the website looks different! I think I have finally settled on a template I like. I drew the background myself. It’s nothing special, just some Halloween doodles, but I like the aesthetic. I’ll just do new doodles and update the background periodically. Let me know if you’re having any trouble with it. It looks fine on all my devices, but I’ve only tried it in chrome.

I also noticed my grade 6 resource page is getting a little out of control! I think I’m going to split it up into more pages to make things easier to find. Not sure how long it will take me to do that, but hopefully it will be done in the next month or so.

Covid-19 News

I haven’t been mentioning the news much. Mostly because I’ve been avoiding it. 2020 is just too much. But there were some announcements this week that are just unavoidable and should be mentioned here.

The first is that we (Ontario) are officially in our second wave. I don’t think anyone is really surprised by this. It was inevitable, in my opinion, with kids returning to school and most businesses opening up again and so many people just returning to life as normal because they don’t care anymore.

I understand that everyone wants to get back to normal. Not everyone is as happy or comfortable being stuck at home as we are. But now we’re all being told to stay inside again… but nothing (except a few schools and probably businesses where there have been cases) is being shut down again. It will be interesting to see how big the numbers have to get before the government goes back on their promises. When they released the reopening plan they said we wouldn’t go backwards, we would just go forward slowly and cautiously enough that we wouldn’t need to go backwards. Obviously that hasn’t happened.

Second, Trump and Melania (and some of their staff) tested positive for covid-19 on Friday. We actually had Steven do an “emergency” current events assignment because we felt it should be covered. He has been following the news throughout the past 6 months or so and has heard some of the ridiculous things Trump has said about covid. In Steven’s words, from his assignment: “Kinda surprised he did not get it sooner […] Trump is known for not being the best at the masks rule or most rules that keep him and the USA safe so he did not wear a mask. He shook hands with people […] he even ridicules people who wear masks regularly and avoid contact with people.”

I think that’s it for this week. Stay safe!


Just another parent stumbling through the ridiculousness that is 2020. I'm lucky to be able to work full time from home, which gives me a bit more time to figure out this homeschooling thing. I started this blog mostly as a personal journal, but I hope it might help some other parents out <3

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