Saturday, August 14, 2010

Our 3rd Grade Curriculum

Last year had quite the learning curve for me.  I am so list oriented that there were times when I forgot about the learning and just focused on the accomplishing.

A lot of what we used last year wasn't a great fit.  I wasn't confident enough to change midyear, but I did give a bunch of different stuff a try at the end of the year.  Most of the new stuff that we have chosen to use this year seem to come from Kris at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.  Thank you, Kris!  T especially thanks you!!

We enjoyed First Language Lessons for the Well Trained Mind last year and we'll use level 3 this year.  It's funny, T did a great job utilizing what she learned in her writing...if only you could decipher what she was spelling!

This year, however, I've only purchased the Instructor Guide.  We ended up not using the Student Notebook last year because the lines were much bigger than her writing.  She found it easier to use her Handwriting Without Tears paper.

We are also going to use Daily Grams (grade 3).  I found that they were a great way to start the day and fun review for T.


This year we are going to stick with Step Up to Writing.  Last year we used Writing With Ease, but it was a bit monotonous for us.  We will continue to use the narration skills we learned last year when we do our history.

I am also going to try to encourage more creative writing.  We are working through Small World's WordSmithery.  Last year, her program reignited the passion lost while we struggled through Writing With Ease.

We are going to try out All About Spelling (level 3).  We weren't thrilled with our choice from last year and are ready for a change.

For vocabulary we will continue using our fun folders for Greek and Latin Roots by Trisha Callella.  It was relatively painless and she has been able to use what she has learned in other areas.  I love to see the relevance!

This year we are going to play more...and use Mammoth Math (grade 3 Light Blue Series).  I printed some of the free worksheets for her and then ended up purchasing it through the Homeschoolers Buyers Coop at a huge discount.  We started using it at the end of last year after we had finished Singapore 2B and T enjoyed it.  I think that I am going to have the whole thing printed and bound.  Sometimes it's just easier for me to have it in hand rather than on the computer.

I didn't love science last year.  T didn't love science last year.  Zero fun.  This year I was thinking that I would try to develop my own science, but now I have cold feet and we're going to try R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey.  I'm going to get Life and Earth & Space to fill in the blanks (she has already done a bit from both in the last two years).


We are sticking with The Story of the World (vol. 3 Early Modern Times).  We were maniacs last year and went through vol. 1 AND 2!  We loved it.  The not-very-creative me loved the student activity pages.  It was a treat and we just couldn't seem to help ourselves from going on to the next chapter.  I don't think it was the wisest of decisions, though.  This year, I think that we will try supplementing with even more books and activities in hopes of going deeper, not faster.

We mix it up with me reading aloud, T reading aloud, and listening to it read by Jim Weiss.  We have supplemented it with Sonlight's Book of Time (a blank timeline book from 5,000 BC to the present) and their timeline figures (stickers to color).  We also reference The Kingfisher History Encyclopedia.

BIBLE/MEMORIZATION:  I am still on the hunt for an appropriate Proverbs study.  I am considering using the Generations with Vision Proverbs Study Guide, but I'd like to slip through it before I buy.  I would like to tie in our study with memorization.  We are big on memorization and will also memorize some poems and other verses from our Bible.


  We are going to use Harmony Fine Arts for music and art appreciation.  We also took Jimmie's suggestion to purchase the Art Page-a-Day Gallery Calendar from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  I tried to use this last year, but they were already sold out when I read her post.  Ours for 2011 just came in the mail last week.

For our Nature Study we are going to use Harmony Arts Handbook for Nature Study.  She posts challenges each week and that seems about our speed.


We will continue working through her Handwriting Without Tears workbook, but I will quickly transition to an emphasis on keyboarding.  I know that may be a cop out, but the act of writing is laborious for her.  Her hands don't work as quickly as her brain.  We need to find a work around for her.


I would like to be more deliberate with T's PE this year.  Last year she did swim team, but this year we are not going to always be in town so I need something we can take with us.  So far I have hiking and yoga.  It's a start....right?!

So that's it.  That is going to be our year.  We'll be back in Alaska for the first part of the school year and who knows where for the rest.  I am adjusting to our vagabond style of making a fact, I may prefer it!  I'm enjoying the new sites and I'm ok with our new definition of "home;" it's definitely the people, not the structure or the geography.

If you are interested, here is 2009-2010 curriculum choices.

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