We are starting the process of wrapping up our current school year, and for my kids that means a ton more freedom. For me, it means getting next year all figured out and lined up. I have really struggled to find the right plan for my youngest for her upcoming school year. I went through site after site, catalogue after catalogue, blog post after blog post and NOTHING was giving me that “eureka!” feeling. Then the light bulb went on, and I thought about Oak Meadow – and after just a few moments on their site I knew that the Oak Meadow Sixth Grade curriculum was going to be the win I’ve been looking for.
When I was given the opportunity to do a review of Oak Meadow’s sixth grade curriculum, I knew I wanted to do a really thorough run-through of everything that is included with it. And so, here is my big fat Oak Meadow sixth grade review! It may get long, but I’m hoping to really give a lot of detail and information here – so pull up a chair, grab a mug of tea, and let’s go!
(While I did receive this product in exchange for my honest review, all thoughts and opinions in this post are genuine and I only recommend products that I genuinely believe in and think my readers would benefit from. For more information, please see our disclosure policy.)
There’s something really amazing that happens for a homeschool parent when they find a curriculum for their child that they know is going to be just perfect. We all know that there is no such thing as the perfect curriculum for every child, but I think every child deserves a school year that makes them excited, engaged, and eager to learn. Sometimes, that comes with an eclectic mix of resources, and sometimes that means ordering an all-in-one curriculum in a box. There isn’t anything wrong with either, and I think every curriculum or style has its season and its ideal circumstances.
My oldest, upon us discovering the Build Your Library Level 8 curriculum, is over the top excited for his upcoming year. I felt so relieved, and my heart was put at ease when we found that plan for him for next year. I knew that I wanted my youngest to have that same sense of excitement and for her eyes to light up when we finally found the right curriculum for her.
And then it happened. When I showed her the Oak Meadow sixth grade samples and online info from the OM website – – the excitement coming from her was almost electric.
My On-Again, Off-Again With Oak Meadow
I have to be fully honest here for a second, this is NOT the first time I’ve had an Oak Meadow curriculum in my hands. This isn’t even the first time I’ve had Oak Meadow sixth grade in my hands. Over the years that we’ve been homeschooling, I have had grades 1, 3, 4, and 6 in my possession.
I not only owned them, but I also sold them. I felt a little intimidated by some of the artistic components (I am not the artsiest parent around, to put it mildly), but mostly I felt a real pressure from some of my homeschooling circles to NOT use a boxed curriculum. That no kid ever fits a boxed curriculum, and that the best way to homeschool is to be eclectic and open to all sorts of options. Which is fine, but… I felt a tremendous sense of guilt and judgment whenever I spoke about wanting to use an all-in-one.
I second guessed myself all of those times, and never did go ahead and start the various Oak Meadow levels that I had at different times. Looking back, I wish I’d trusted myself and trusted my instincts. I wish I had just done what I’d wanted to, and worried less about what other people thought about my plans.
Why We Finally Chose Oak Meadow Sixth Grade
I have known I wanted to use Oak Meadow since my kids were still babies – in fact, my youngest wasn’t even born yet when I’d decided we would home educate, and that I wanted to use Oak Meadow. At first, the kids had to go in to public school because their father and I separated and later divorced. Now, in a place in life where we can home educate, I still didn’t trust myself to use an all in one. I didn’t think I knew what was right for my kids when we first started to homeschool.
This time, however, seeing how perfect the Oak Meadow sixth grade curriculum looks for my youngest, I’m committed. I won’t allow other people to make me second guess myself or my ability to choose the right curriculum.
My family is in a season of life where an all-inclusive curriculum is exactly what we need. I need to be sure that we’ll be able to stay on the straight and narrow even on days/weeks/months when my anxiety makes my days hard. My children both want more and more independence, and Oak Meadow is written mainly ‘to the student’ at this level, so this upcoming year my daughter can really be as self-led as she wants.
There are just times in a home educators life when getting your child’s school year to arrive on your doorstep, all in one box? Simply makes sense.
What Is Oak Meadow, Anyway?
Oak Meadow was first started in 1975 by a family who wanted to offer the home educating community a complete, secular, Waldorf-inspired, curriculum. In fact, they were the first (and for a long time, the ONLY) all in one curriculum that was truly secular. As far as secular homeschool resources go, Oak Meadow was way ahead of the curve.
From their website
Oak Meadow was founded by a group of parents and teachers seeking to reignite their children’s spark for learning. Believing that children are sensitive and intelligent and that learning can be joyfully integrated into life, their approach was progressive, compassionate, and child-centered.
In the earlier grades, Oak Meadow is heavily inspired by the Waldorf approach to education. As the grades progress, it starts to veer away just a bit from a traditional Waldorf program.
In each grade level package, they include ALL of the subjects and books that your student will require. Everything is broken down into 36 weeks of lessons. While they aren’t laid out day by day, this gives each family the room and flexibility to plan their week in whatever way works for their own family’s rhythms.
Oak Meadow Sixth Grade – What’s In the Box?
You guys, this was the first time I ever got to have a legit “box day”. You know, the day when your shiny new curriculum shows up from the publisher all in one amazing box.
I was so excited when I got to bust open my Oak Meadow box. Inside, was everything we’re going to need for the sixth grade curriculum:
- Sixth Grade Teacher’s Manual – this book contains the answers for English, social studies, and science as well as tips and ideas for you as the facilitator, to help guide your student through their studies.
- Sixth Grade Basic Life Science – 36 weeks of studies in life science, everything from what is the scientific method to plants and cells and on to animals and the human body. Each week, the student reads the lesson and then has a choice of assignments they can do to deepen their learning experience.
- Sixth Grade Math Coursebook – this is the non-consumable math textbook, written to the student, and includes a handy checklist of the tasks/assignments that need to be completed each week
- Sixth Grade Math Workbook – the workbook is consumable and includes all of the practice questions, skills checks, and tests. At the end of each lesson, there is a “learning checklist” that makes a handy assessment of where the student is in terms of understanding the skills in the lesson
- Sixth Grade English – 36 weeks of english language arts lessons that are tied to the 36 weeks ancient civilizations lessons. The lessons dig deep into a wide array of language arts skills, in a cross-curricular way that helps make the lessons more meaningful to the student.
- Sixth Grade Ancient Civilizations – over the 36 week plan, the students will cover everything from the Stone Age through to early world explorers like Magellan and Sir Frances Drake. What makes this social studies curriculum different from many others, is that it focuses more on the social and cultural aspects of each time period and of each different region.
- D’Aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths (recommended reading)
- Robin Hood by Roger Lancelyn Green (recommended literature component)
- The Rainbow People by Laurence Yep (recommended literature component)
Extras That You Can Order:
- Oak Meadow sixth grade art supply kit – includes all of the art and project resources your student will need for the year. It’s optional, and the individual components are easy to find locally. Though, it is a very nice option to just have it all show up in the box, ready to be used when you need it.
- Student Planner – a handy weekly planner for the student to be able to plan out their studies.
- Teacher Planner – you can purchase this school planner as a set with the student planner or on its own. A nice option to have a planner that is made specifically for the Oak Meadow curriculum
If you’d like to see my unboxing video, click on over to my Facebook page and watch the replay of a Facebook Live broadcast. I chat a little about what’s in the box and why we picked Oak Meadow!
A Few of My Favourite Things
I snapped a few images of some of my favourite bits in the Oak Meadow sixth grade curriculum books. There’s really so much to love about this curriculum.
Pros and Cons of Oak Meadow Sixth Grade
While I am truly and genuinely excited about our choice to go with Oak Meadow sixth grade next year, I thought it would still be good to go over what I thought were pros/cons of this curriculum.
- Everything you need, in one package
- Completely secular
- Weekly lessons leave flexibility for each family to plan their days however works best
- Encourages hands on, experiential learning while maintaining academic standards
- Top-notch customer service
- Distance education enrolment option allows for extra accountability and support
- Oak Meadow offers curriculum for Kinder through High School, allowing for continuity and consistency throughout the grades
- All the components of the grade level packages are available individually so families can piece together their year if they prefer
- Placing children into one grade level can sometimes be difficult
- Grade level packages can be costly when purchased new
- For some students, the science in the sixth grade curriculum may feel ‘light’
- Shipping to Canada can be expensive (but they ARE working on this, fellow Canadians!)
Overall, I’d say there are far more positives than negatives and while the cost can feel steep for many families – I really do believe that it’s 100% worth every penny.
I have a strong belief that as secular home educators, we should support the companies who support us. Oak Meadow, from its very beginning decades ago, supports homeschoolers of all sort. They were forerunners in the secular curriculum market, and still continue to offer us solid, academic, beautiful resources.
How to Order Your Oak Meadow Curriculum
If you’re interested in purchasing your own Oak Meadow curriculum, you can go HERE to check out samples and grade level info. After that, head to their BOOKSTORE and either pick your grade level package or the individual items and add to your cart.
Ordering right now is the best time – until the end of May, Oak Meadow is offering an amazing sale. 20% off their bookstore, and 10% off new distance education enrolments!!
Check Back For More Follow-Ups
Well, there you have it, guys. All the whys and whats about the Oak Meadow sixth grade curriculum. As we get started later this summer, I’ll be publishing regular posts showing how we’re getting on with it. I hope you’ll pop back in and share in the journey with us!