Thursday, August 25, 2011

Our 4th Grade Curriculum

I'm not really ready for school to start this year.  As not at all ready.  I'm feeling a little accomplished in that I've narrowed down our curriculum for this year...pretty cool in that we start on MONDAY!  Ugh!


Last year went pretty well for us so we are going to stick with what worked for T and add a little extra (Editor in Chief, Word Benders, Greek & Latin Roots) here and there.

For grammar we will use Daily Grams 4 (a nice little 5 minute warm up to the day) and First Language Lessons, Level 4 (T loves diagraming sentences...really).  I think we are supposed to use Daily Grams with Easy Grammar, but First Language Lessons just seems to work for us.


Last year we used Mammoth Math (loved it!) and supplemented with lots of games and books.  It was a great year and it reignited T's love of math.  So, of course, this year I'm going to mix it up.  I know.  I'm nuts.  It just seemed as though Mammoth Math 4 would need a whole lot of additional teaching to keep up with our state standards.  I am in no way asserting that our state's standards are the be-all for math, but she is ready for more.  So....

We are using Teaching Textbooks 5 and will supplement with Singapore 4 (last year we supplemented with Singapore and it seemed like a good balance).

If you do decide to use Teaching Textbooks, be certain to use their placement tests.  My not-really-a-math girl placed higher than I thought she would.  I may end up bumping her up to 6 mid-year (thank goodness for our charter school's financial support of our curriculum!!).  We'll see.


We have worked on geography the last couple of years just through our travels and history.  This year I wanted to be more deliberate in our study.  We are going to try Daily Geography Practice, Grade 4.


We have fallen in love with The Story of the World.  This year we will use The Story of the World, Volume 4.  There are some weeks that we just read, talk, and take the test (boring) and other weeks we do a bazillion activities (fun!) to go along with the chapter.  I like the flexibility and I'm thrilled that we'll be going through it again.


We will create our own science units again this year.  Last year was a ton of fun and we learned a lot. Our topics this year will be water/oceans/waves, chemistry, and horticulture.  We are going to include some our homeschool friends in our studies so it should be even more fun this year.


I cannot recommend Harmony Fine Arts enough.  We loved her guidance last year and we were thrilled to visit museums and actually see some of the artists' work.  It was like a celebrity thing.  The rest of the museum visitors thought we were a little nuts...but whatever.


We are going to keep working with Typing Pal with a little lot more diligence this year.  I even have it on my schedule so I don't blow it off. : /


We went to a homeschool conference this year (my first) and heard Susan Wise Bauer (loved her!).  We stopped by her booth and found that she had a bible workbook, Telling God's Story, Year One.  It seems to be in the same vein as The Story of the World with activities for each chapter.  The book is set up to be a group (Sunday School-ish) or a homeschool workbook.  We may slow it down and do a chapter every two weeks.

Boy, it seems as though we've added quite a bit since last year and have yet to cull anything.  Yikes!  We may end up slowing down a lot of the extras.  We'll see.  Last year she was wanting more.  It's always a struggle to find that balance.  Thankfully with homeschooling we can have the flexibility to be....well....flexible!

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