I have finished our plans for this school year and wanted to share our 4th grade curriculum choices with you! Each year, I make a grid with all the subjects we plan on covering for the next 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.)
I started this earlier this year for our youngest son who is starting 4th grade this year. And, I have finally finished. He has some learning differences and challenges so his skills are actually scattered among a few grade levels. But, “4th grade” is a good average.
In addition to developing his academic skills, we are continuing to develop the following “soft skills”, which are super important to prepare him for middle school and beyond:
Using his resources
Organizing his thoughts and ideas as well as materials
Managing his time
We will develop these skills while working through these curriculum choices…
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*Click the orange links to learn more about the curriculum!
3rd Grade Homeschool Math
Math is Little Fish’s most challenging area due to vision difficulties he has had since birth so we are using a 3rd grade curriculum. (I had never realized that math is so ‘visual’!) After stumbling around with several math programs in the early years, we finally got on the right path with Rightstart Math about three years ago. This program really builds the visual piece of math as well as number sense.
Level C starts to lengthen the child’s worksheet and decrease the amount of time the parent spends teaching. We still introduce each lesson and spend a moderate amount of time teaching. Then, Little Fish works through a worksheet for most lessons. These are sometimes followed by a game that reinforces the learning. Sometimes, we save the games for our Fun Friday homeschool days.
Since we started Level C in the spring, we will be finishing it up and moving on to Level D around the new year. We used this placement test when determining where to start in the program.
Little Fish is joining in on his brother’s science curriculum this year because it easier to adapt it to him than teach two whole different science curricula!
This is the third science curriculum we have used from Pandia Press and the first one of their Level Two series, which is for middle and high school. We started this curriculum in the spring after we finished their Physics curriculum, which the boys loved.
The biology curriculum is meant for 6th-10th grade, so it is a big jump up from their elementary curriculum. However, it still has plenty of hands on lab activities where we explore with a microscope or model a concept we are learning. Here are models we made of cells during one of the early chapters:
We are taking our time with this curriculum and making sure we really understand each unit so it will definitely take us the entire school year.
Adaptations I am making for Little Fish include sitting with him during the lessons and showing him what to highlight as we read. We are repeating concepts a lot and I often draw them on the board during our lessons. Our Biology Vocabulary Concept of the Day cards I have been making help us repeat concepts daily. At the end of each chapter, I help him take the quizzes. My goal is just for him to understand the big concepts and not necessarily the smaller details his brother is learning.
4th Grade Homeschool Writing
We have used Write Shop writing curricula with both boys for several years now. Each unit follows a pattern that starts with introducing a new skill, working with this skill through games and other activities, and then using it while creating a writing project. Parents are guided how to model the use of the skills and lots of graphic organizers are used to help children organize their thoughts before writing.
Little Fish started Level D near the end of last school year and will continue it throughout this school year.
4th Grade Homeschool History
A Little Bit of This and A Little Bit of That
No, there is not a history curriculum called “A Little Bit of This and A Little Bit of That”! 🙂 Little Fish loves a good story, but he does not particularly care how those stories fit into the greater world or a timeline of history. I looked at several different history curricula for him and decided he really wouldn’t enjoy them. And if he doesn’t enjoy them, then he is not going to learn much.
So instead of a formal curriculum, we are going to pull different books and unit studies together this year that focus on American history. Our first one is going to be to study the US Constitution. (You can grab the free unit study we will be using here, if interested.)
He has also expressed an interest in learning about the women’s rights movement so I have purchased some biographies and books related to that.
And, we are reading aloud from Howard Zinn’s A Young People’s History of the United States once or twice a week as a family.
I also plan on creating some kind of timeline of US history in the classroom for us to refer to as we are learning.
4th Grade Homeschool Reading
Little Fish’s reading assignments will be pulled from different unit studies we do on our Fun Fridays. We will especially pull books from our country unit studies to give him a greater understanding of other cultures in our world. I usually make up comprehension questions for him to answer or try to find some online. One challenge he is working on is skimming through a chapter to find answers to questions.
He is assigned reading each day to do as ‘homework’ so that he has some practice managing his time in the late afternoons/evenings.
I also purchased a 4th 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.
We also are using this Word of the Day app for vocabulary. I write the word and its definition on our whiteboard each day and then we discuss the different parts (prefixes, roots, and suffixes) and relate it to something in our lives.
4th Grade Homeschool Geography
Little Fish is working through this map skills workbook this year.
We are also covering one continent a month with our Around the World Series of country unit studies. We completed the studies from Europe and Asia over the summer so we are starting off with Africa. Then, we will move on to South America, North America, and Australia.
4th Grade Homeschool Grammar
We started working with Level 3 of Growing with Grammar part way through last year and are continuing it this year. While our writing program has a grammar component, Little Fish needs extra practice with his grammar. This program is a good way for him to work on the soft skill of ‘using his resources’ as he has to read and then refer back to the student manual while he completes a page in his student workbook.
4th Grade Homeschool Spelling
Our family has used this spelling curriculum from the beginning of our homeschooling career! Spelling is a strong subject now for Little Fish so he is actually working above the 4th grade level. Although, we are still working on generalizing those good spelling skills to our writing! To read more about why this program has worked so well for him, check out Homeschool Spelling Curriculum that Makes Sense.
4th Grade Homeschool Schedule
His schedule is organized so that he does math and spelling every day and grammar, writing, and geography three times a week. He reads each night for his homework. Time spent on history varies and we do science about three days a week along with his brother.
Do you use any of this curriculum or have others you have loved for 4th grade? Comment below!
If you are interested in seeing our curriculum choices from last year and how they worked out, check out: