My youngest son is moving on to third grade this year in our homeschool. Each year, I make a grid with all of the subjects we plan on covering for the school year and then fill in what curriculum I think I want to use. I explain more about this in A Simple Way to Plan Your Homeschool Curriculum.
This year, we are really going to focus on Little Fish’s reasoning skills. He has several learning challenges that we have been working through and we have identified that delayed reasoning skills are underlying these challenges. Recognizing patterns, connecting information together appropriately and making plausible predictions are all areas we will be working on throughout all of our subjects this year.
Here is what we decided to use this year for his curriculum with some notes about how we are working to better develop a variety of his skills.
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Math is where Little Fish really struggles. We tried a few different approaches before finding RightStart Math two years ago. It made such a difference! For the first time, he started to ‘catch up’ in his math skills. However, his skills are still really scattered. For example, he can add multi-digit numbers, but he is slow to remember facts so it takes him a long time to add the multi-digit numbers and accuracy can be an issue.
So we are going to stick with Level B at the beginning of the school year and continue to target his number sense so that his speed and accuracy can improve. Level B is more aligned with 1st grade. If you are interested in this curriculum and want to see where you should start, their placement test is very helpful.
3rd Grade Spelling
Our family is in our sixth year of using this curriculum. Little Fish really took off with it over the past year and spelling is now his strongest subject! He started level 3 earlier this calendar year. We will finish Level 3 about mid-year and then move on to Level 4. To read more about why this program has worked so well for him, check out Homeschool Spelling Curriculum that Makes Sense.
3rd Grade Reading
We no longer use formal curriculum for reading. Near the end of last year, we started reading James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl and will finish it up this fall. This book has been great to practice our reading comprehension skills, develop our knowledge of descriptive language, build our vocabulary, and improve our understanding of grammar.
We will continue to read Roald Dahl books this year in the same manner moving on to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and then BFG next. We also have Who Was Roald Dahl? to read as I imagine he was quite an interesting person to create the stories he did!
Several books related to history and science will also be sprinkled in throughout the year.
Here are some of the resources we are using:
I also purchased a 3rd grade reading comprehension workbook for Little Fish. We rarely use workbooks in our homeschool, but I wanted him to have some practice finishing an entire task independently. He also needs to work on connecting pieces of information as this is an area of challenge for him. This reading comprehension workbook will be a good way for him to work on those skills in a subject he enjoys.
3rd Grade Writing
This past spring we resumed using a structured writing program with Little Fish. We had taken a break because he really needed to focus on his spelling and his use of capitalization and punctuation. Once that improved, we started to use the Writeshop Level C program I had used with my oldest son. It may have been a little bit higher than the ideal starting place for Little Fish. However, it offers different ways to support writers and I knew I could adapt it to what he needed. And it was already paid for!
Little Fish completed three units in it last year and we will complete the other seven units throughout this year. He is learning to plan his writing using graphic organizers, answer the wh- and how questions within his writing, provide descriptions and to write a variety of genres such as fictional stories, book reports, and non-fiction articles.
Cursive: Handwriting Without Tears
Little Fish also wants to learn cursive this year so we will be working through the Handwriting Without Tears: Cursive Workbook.
3rd Grade Geography
A couple years ago, Little Fish joined his brother in learning about the US States. However, none of it seemed to stick. His visual motor and processing challenges definitely has made it hard for him to picture where states and countries are in relation to each other on a map.
He has made a lot of progress in his visual skills, though, so we are going to try working through the states again. Check out Fun and Easy Ways to Learn the US States to see the resources we will use.
3rd Grade History
We have always learned history as a group in our homeschool. However, Little Fish has not shown much interest in this subject so the two boys are years apart in their knowledge of history. Therefore, we are not going to cover it as a group subject any more. I let Little Fish pick what he wanted to learn about and then we are going to DIY unit studies about the different topics. We are first starting with the Ice Age and then will move on to Native Americans.
3rd Grade Science
At the beginning of this calendar year, we started the R.E.A.L Science Odyssey Physics curriculum, which is designed for 3rd through 6th grades. We had used their Chemistry curriculum the year before. We like their curriculum because each concept is taught with a short story or article that I read aloud to the boys and then there are hands on labs to follow up each concept.
Little Fish has been following along with the lessons, but sometimes he doesn’t finish all of the lab as they can be too high level for him. He enjoys exploring each concept with his hands, though. So far we have learned about matter, Newton’s Laws, friction, and some simple machines. We will finish the simple machine unit and move on to sounds and waves, magnetism, and electricity and hopefully finish it half way through this school year.
We have also been reading related biographies to hold his interest:
Read more about Teaching Physics to Your Children and see the review of this curriculum.
My main goal for art this year is for Little Fish to look closely at the details of what he is drawing and use the elements of shape to draw them. We will start by watching simple drawing videos from Art for Kids Hub. My oldest loves to watch these videos and draw and Little Fish will follow along some times with prodding!
If I feel he is ready, he may join his brother with the Beyond the Stick Figure drawing lessons, which his brother started this summer. They provide daily online videos to develop art skills. You can read more about it at Beyond the Stick Figure Drawing Course Review.
Do you use any of this curriculum or have others you have loved for 3rd grade? Comment below!
If you are interested in seeing our curriculum choices from last year and how they worked out, check out:
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