Friday, August 30, 2013
4th Grade Curriculum
We'll be starting another homeschool year after Labor Day and I'm in the last stages of preparation. I just have to organize and sort a few things and then we'll be ready to go!
We follow The Well-Trained Mind methods fairly closely and many of the programs recommended fit us well. It has been our guidebook since the beginning of our homeschooling journey (back when TJ was 3 years old!) and it has served us well. This year we're working on a bit more independence so TJ will have her own weekly checklist to keep track of her work (I'll have my own checklist as well!).
I like to start my planning by figuring out my goals for the coming year. Then I start purchasing curriculum and mapping out the year. Here's the curriculum line-up for 4th grade:
We'll continue to supplement with a combination of Horizons and Math Rider this year - just to work on speed in the basic operations.
We're also adding in a Life of Fred book this year just to see if we like them and continuing with Challenging Word Problems from Singapore Math.
TJ is in the beginning stages of writing her own narrations and we did a bit of key word outlining and writing from the outline with Teaching Writing: Structure and Style. She loved the bit of the included student workshops on the DVD and asked to use those for writing this year so we are going to use Student Writing Intensive A this year.
Languages: We are focusing on French and Latin this year and saving Greek for 5th or 6th grade. With French I am planning to spend more time working on conversational skills (something we need here in Quebec!) and set aside the "bookwork" part for the year. So we'll play vocabulary games, have specific times each week where we only speak French, etc.
Latin was a hit last year and we're looking forward to continuing. We'll be using Latina Christiana 1 this year and TJ wanted to use the DVDs as well (which will be nice for me because we are learning Latin together!).
Geography is a basic Canadian geography worktext that she'll work through once a week while we listen to music (a new composer each term).
Science & Healthy: The focus for science this year is physics and, much like last year, TJ will be working fairly independently. I picked up The New Way Things Work and that will be our text for the year and experiments will come from Physics Experiments for Children, a few TOPS books, and we'll finish out the year with a term of Snap Circuits. We are both looking forward to it!
For health we are using Prudence and the Millers.
Literature: This is probably the most anticipated part of our year. We are going to read and discuss (and cook and do projects about) The Chronicles of Narnia series. TJ is very familiar with the series having listened to the audio books, the radio dramas, watched the movies, and read a few of the books herself. We'll read the books, using the Veritas Press guide and Roar! A Christian Family Guide to the Chronicles of Narnia for discussion and activities and many of our read alouds for the year will be books that inspired C. S. Lewis. I don't want to kill her love of the stories so most discussion will be cuddle time on the couch, not papers to write or comprehension worksheets. I'm really looking forward to it!
Misc.: We also have a few miscellaneous things - TJ will start a typing program this year so, as her writing skills mature she can start typing her papers instead of writing longhand. She'll continue reading her Bible for morning devotions and we are using Bible Study Guide for All Ages for our family Bible study time. She will have recitation time every morning for poetry, Scripture, various facts, etc. as well as reading orally a few times a week. And we'll continue our Artist and Composer studies as well.
So those are the plans for TJ's 4th grade year! It's hard to believe we'll be starting in a few days!