Fifth Grade Kinesthetic Learner: Curriculum and Organization

I’ve talked before about how this is a big year for each of our children. I shared our plans for preschool and first grade yesterday. Tomorrow is for my 8th and 9th graders. Today we focus in on my Middle Girl. Fifth grade. Upper elementary. Last year before middle school. Transitioning to dialectic. That’s big.

I’ve also mentioned the hodgepodge of learners we have here. My 5th grader, Middle Girl, is a creative kinesthetic learner. She loves to make things. Do things. Move. Participate. Give her a display board for a biography report. Let her make a salt dough map. She loves to color while I read. Crafts, creations, busy. That’s her.

And while I’m not an expert in learning styles, I do know my children. I have studied learning styles and have noticed big improvements when I tailor our studies to my children’s individual learning styles.

As you might imagine, this child spreads things far and wide. So, in an attempt to corral somewhat, we’ve turned to baskets. And they are working pretty well by making clean up easier. She has an overflowing basket in our school room – mostly for crafts and writing materials. (The one overflowing, with the lid propped open). Her grammar book and writing binder are stored together in one spot under the printer.

Making writing easy for her gives her a practical way to practice spelling. She can send a card to Grandma and Grandpa or to a pen pal, using all her creative juices. How do you spell….? she will ask. All without the aid of a list of words in a workbook.

I’ve read that kinesthetic learners do well in math. She does her Teaching Textbooks (TT) at the computer. And she loves math. Let me type that again. She loves math. She begged to have TT like big brother and big sister. She was right – she loves the computer based program. Especially the bonus round.

Each of the older three take turns completing a Teaching Textbooks lesson here at the chalkboard desk. Chalkboard makes for an easy scratch surface. Work it out, doodle!

On the other side of the homeschool room, she has her own ‘catch all’ basket for binders, spiral notebooks, a planner and more.

In the family room, she has another basket full of craft supplies. Notice the stack of duct tape on the end table? Along with the iPod earbuds…She is heavy into duct tape projects. (She’s also my biggest blogger – with a duct tape series). And all the papers left out from drawing and crafting while watching Olympics the night before. Plus, a favorite Where’s Waldo.

Since she is a piano student, she also has storage for piano books. Standing up from a school lesson and darting to play a piano piece helps. Keep those fingers busy.

Fifth Grade Curriculum

In summary, we decided to hit our home organization head on to meet the needs of learning. With Hodgepodgedad’s help, we’ve added storage in the most used rooms, right where we use it. We’ve done this over the last year with trips to IKEA. IKEA is a frugal and practical way to redesign and make things work. Their baskets are the best price for the sturdy – take the abuse – design.

Middle Girl’s just for fun stack of books. She’s challenged herself to read them all by summer’s end. Kinesthetic learners are said to not read for long spells. She reads in short spells a few times a day.

For a kinesthetic learner with many ‘things’ this storage helps keep her supplies handy. Plus helps keep this mama sane. This organization has been a big part of our homeschool planning. To meet needs. To make learning centers natural. And, many times, to make storage vertical!

Additional Resources

I hope you’ll be back! I invite you to subscribe to Hodgepodge so you won’t miss a post. Over the next several days I’ll be sharing the remainder of our plans for preschool, 1st, 5th, 8th and 9th grades plus those things we enjoy with multiple ages. Our Curricula 2012-2013:

 Are you homeschooling a kinesthetic learner?


  1. 1


    Tricia, I’m heading out today fora few more baskets and a little corner shelf for our dining room. I love the way you have identified your children’s needs and the way they are ‘bent’ and created. My 1st grader is not quite as far along as yours is…, we are definitely going way MORE tactile this year…he loves hands on….and I’m taking it easy. Reading your posts really helps me do that…. Thank you again for all of your encouraging words!

    • 5


      Hi Jeni – Thanks for wanting to subscribe! All you need to do it go to the box at the top of the right hand sidebar – where it says ‘Free Hodgepodge in your inbox’ – enter your email address. Then you will need to confirm your subscription by clicking a link when you are sent an email. That’s all there is to it. Thanks again, Tricia

  2. 6


    Love the baskets! What a great way to keep the “home” part in homeschool. We have used antique hutches with drawers and shelves, but I’m always nervous at the wear and tear they are receiving. Baskets would be a nice addition to prevent some of that. Oh well, the hubs reminds me that we are training children NOT creating a museum of antiques…wood, hay, stubble…

  3. 7


    Love the chalkboard desk. That’s a great idea! I’m heading to IKEA next week and I’m hoping I have enough $$ to get some of those baskets too. :) Love how you planned everything for your dd.

  4. 8

    Nana says

    Yes, that Middle One is beyond BUSY! Has been all her life…she is talented, smart, artistic and beautiful to look at….not to say the other Hodgepodge members are not beautiful (yes, you are to me) smart, artistic and wonderful companions…can you tell that I am a doting Nana??

    Forever & ever,

  5. 9


    My Mr. A is just this type of learner and still is even though he is out of high school. They make great lifelong learners because they just have so much to bring to anything they try.

    One thing you might like to keep in mind as she heads to upper science….Mr. A loved the lapbooks from Live and Learn Press. They are a little pricey but you have some still coming along that could use them as well. It made upper level science so much more kinesthetic with cutting, pasting, and folding the pieces and then using them to study from. He much preferred them to regular notebook pages or reviewing from the text.

    • 10


      Oh thank you, thank you for reminding me about the live and learn lapbooks! I had them on a list back in the spring and forgot about them. Perfect. And I completely agree with “they make great lifelong learners because they just have so much to bring to anything they try.”

  6. 12

    Rachel says

    My 4th grade daughter is a kinesthic learner . She is always drawing or making somthing.She is also my biggest musician. Doing English and history orally works best for her . It seems if her hands are moving ,she remebers better. Love your tips.

  7. 13

    Michelle H. says

    I am so thrilled to have found your website!!! My son is in fifth grade this year as well and has been through so much. He is a kinesthetic learner and I am actively searching for a new curriculum for him this coming year. As I was reading how you described your daughter, I was amazed at how much like my son it sounded. I would love to pick your brain for more ideas! Thank you for having this page!

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