Ever since my oldest was in first grade, I have forgone using a traditional math curriculum in our homeschool in favor of my minimalist approach. Rather than doing tons and tons of math problems every day, my kids do ten problems a week. Each week, those ten problems are selected from ten different categories. Over the 36 weeks of school, the problems in those ten categories get progressively harder. My theory is that if by the end of the year, a child can do all 360 problems, they will have a thorough understanding of what they are expected to know.

These problems were written after I took notes on index cards on a variety of different curricula such as Saxon, Singapore, Kumon, and Mammoth Math. I then divided the problems into categories and arranged them in order of difficulty. I used my stack of cards for each category to create 36 problems in each category for each week of the school year. You can learn more about my methodology here.

The categories covered by this fifth-grade curriculum are:

- Understanding Numbers
- Word Problems
- Graphs, Charts, and Tables
- Geometry
- Fractions
- Decimals
- Units and Measurement
- Rounding and Estimation
- Ratios and Percentages
- Calculations

In addition to these worksheets, I also have my kid do a logic puzzle each week to help with their critical thinking. In the past, we have used Mind Benders (easier) and Logic Safari (much harder). My goal is to play math games with my kids a couple of times each month as well to help with their math facts, but this doesn’t always happen. My favorite math games for fifth graders are Zeus on the Loose and Prime Climb.

As my kids are getting older, I admit that I find myself questioning if they are doing enough. Because of the 2020 pandemic, my kids were not tested at the end of the last school year, so I do not know for sure if they are still on track. However, I do see progress. While my younger kids typically need help with all or most of their problems, I find that my oldest usually only needs help with 3 or 4 problems each week. For the other problems, I just check and explain if he made a mistake.

Since my kids do not have all the repetition found in a traditional curriculum, it takes a little longer for skills to be mastered. However, I find that they have to think more critically about the problems which may actually lead to a deeper understanding in the long run. They are definitely not doing their math on autopilot.

Occasionally, I find that I need to give my kids a concentrated lesson on a topic. Since there are so few problems, these sheets highlight areas that a child might be struggling with. Recently, I had to review simplifying fractions with my fifth grader. To make sure he understood, I had him do about 5 practice problems on scratch paper. Sometimes, repetition is undoubtedly valuable, but I still question whether it is always necessary.

While my family uses these sheets as our math curriculum for the year, I have had several families tell me that these worksheets are a great review either at the beginning or end of a school year. However you decide to use these sheets, I hope they are helpful to you!

Another fun way to explore or practice the exact same problems as this Fifth Grade Minimalist Math curriculum is by using my math cards included in my Patreon membership community. Patrons can also download a mastery checklist to can keep track of which problems in the curriculum are tripping their students up. You can pull out specific cards to review later or to practice with through fun strategies such as Game Show Math or Treasure Hunt Math.

**Recommended Age Range:** Fifth Grade**Time Required:** about 30 minutes per week**Difficulty: **starts off fairly easy and gets harder as the weeks progress**Cost:** Free printable

**Materials**

paper

**Instructions**

Print out the curriculum and help your child complete one worksheet each week for each of the 36 weeks of school.

**Free Printable**

Minimalist Math – Fifth Grade Curriculum

Click here for all the **Minimalist Math curricula** available for different grade levels.

### Related Links

Math Activities for Kids

Minimalist Math Curriculum Methodology

Learning Activities for Kids

Betsy @booklovefamily

This is brilliant. Thank you for sharing! I wish you had done this for middle school and high school. Too bad your kids are younger than mine.

Michelle

Hi Betsy! I haven’t posted it on my blog yet, but I have curricula for 6th grade which my oldest has used. I should also have 7th grade done soon, though I won’t have an answer key for a while. You can send me your email address using the contact form: https://researchparent.com/contact/

Julie

This is amazing – thank you so much! I will totally be using this for my daughter this year!!

Michelle

I’m so glad you can use it! There are probably a few typos. I am planning to go through and proofread them more carefully in the next couple weeks in case you want to wait to print them!

Bethany

I’m very excited to check these out further! I noticed with the 5th grade curriculum, both links are to the answer key, thought I’d let you know!

Thanks for sharing these :)

Michelle

Thank you so much for letting me know! I just updated the files yesterday after I found some typos, but I clearly messed up! I just uploaded the file without answers, so the links should work now. Thanks again!

Carol Federoff

Could you help me please? We are loving these sheets. I’ve contacted you before as I’m using them with my older son and they are perfect as it’s building his confidence since he’s able to do over half himself and only ask for my help with a few. So we are reviewing easily things he knows, reviewing things he just needs a little help with and learning a couple things that were skipped with other curriculums. Perfect.

Now my questions – Gr. 5 Week 8. 9 cows and 5 horses. The answer for how may times fewer horses there are is 9/5 times fewer horses. Why? I’m not familiar with this type of question. Are you just looking to write the problem as a division problem? I’m not sure how to explain this.

Michelle

Hi Carol, I’m so sorry it took me almost 2 months to get back to you! 🙈 I’m doing my student teaching at the moment, so I’m taking a break from blogging! You are right…this is a very unusual question. You are definitely not the first person to ask about it. Honestly, I don’t think this is something that kids need to fully understand. I wanted to make sure that kids saw it, because it was included in one of the curricula I used and I like to make sure kids see EVERYTHING, but honestly, questions like this one are not in most curricula. The way I explain it to my kids is that if there were 10 cows and 5 horses, then we would say there are 2 times as many cows or 2 times fewer horses. This makes sense to them since we’re dealing with a whole number ratio. However, math doesn’t care about whole numbers. To find the number that would go into the blank in the phrase “_____ times as many cows or _____ times fewer horses” you still have to find the ratio. Since you did 10/5 to get 2 in the case that made sense, we will do 9/5 and leave the answer as 9/5 (or 1.8 or 1 and four fifths) for our problem. I hope that helps!

Megan

So, where is the teaching? Or is this just worksheets and not actually curricula?

Michelle

Hi Megan! This is definitely not traditional curricula, but this is all I use with my kids for the whole school year. Each week on Monday I give them one of the 36 sheets with 10 problems. They do as much as they can on their own and then later in the week we sit together and talk about how to do the ones they don’t konw how to do. I give them hints rather than telling them the answer as much as possible, but there are times when I have to just tell them (like how many ounces are in a pint). My answer keys, which are really more like solution guides particularly for the older grades, are available on Etsy and Patreon if you need help explaining how to do the problems. For older kids, you could also just give them the solution guide. (That’s what I had to do with my oldest last fall, because I was working full time.) I also have task cards on Patreon with the same 360 problems so we can set aside and review the ones that are giving them a lot of trouble. The questions build on each other each week, so I don’t think it’s necessary to have them do all the problems again, even if they get a lot of help. Each week they revisit the same 10 concepts, so even through there is not a lot of repetition on a daily basis, there is spaced repetition that personally I think is more helpful. If they master these 360 questions, they will have a solid grasp of all the math they should understand for that grade level. I hope that helps explains my approach!