Last summer, I shared our 4th grade homeschool curriculum plans for my big guy. Now that we have only two weeks left in the school year, it is time to reflect on the year and share how it went.
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Big Fish enjoyed his Teaching Textbooks again this year, although since it is on the computer, we had some troubles with playing games when we were supposed to be doing math….sigh. While he learned a lot and did well on quizzes, I find his number sense to be weak when we are in real life situations. For this reason, we will be switching to RightStart Math like his brother for next year.
Spelling: All About Spelling Level 5
Big Fish has used this curriculum since 1st grade and he finished this level a few months. He is already about 8 lessons into Level 6! He has generalized what he has learned over into his writing for the most part, which is what we all want, right?
So we picked 3 fiction and 3 non-fiction books for Big Fish to read during the year for school. He has read 100s of books besides these on his own, but for these, my plan was for him to read them and then answer vocabulary, comprehension, and analysis questions. However, I found he was not really reading, but rather just looking for the answers to the questions in the book. This was frustrating since he loves to read! So we changed it to having him read me a chapter and then we discuss the chapter with the goals of learning new vocabulary and improving his verbal narration skills. This worked well for the rest of the school year. That boy keeps me on my toes!
We only made it through three of the books, but they were all really good. Here are the ones we read:
Grammar: Growing With Grammar 4
Big Fish has used this curriculum since 1st grade. While he does not love grammar, especially diagramming sentences, this program has served him well and he has a good grasp of what he has learned. I think, though, after four years, we are going to change things up for next year, just for novelty’s sake!
Writing: Write Shop Primary Level C
This was our first year with a formal writing program as Big Fish has always been a reluctant writer. However, he grew so much in this area this year!! I think the more relaxed, fun approach of this program helped a lot. It also provided a lot of structure, which he also enjoyed. We will definitely be doing the next level next year.
Keyboarding: Keyboard Classroom
We did not get around to this program this school year, but we are planning on using it this summer as I think Big Fish might have the maturity to work on it correctly now. (In the past, he has rushed through it and not practiced putting his fingers in the correct places.)
Computers: Code.org, Course 3
We ended up only focusing on PowerPoint this year and again, since we had some problems staying on task when on the computer, he just worked on his PowerPoint project a few times a month. He has been putting together a hockey PowerPoint presentation all year.
Latin: Latin for Children: Primer A
We had originally planned to do Song School Latin Book 1 as a group activity with his brother, but seeing how much his brother struggled with Spanish, we decided to make it an individual activity for Big Fish. Therefore, we went with the older program, Latin for Children, starting with their Primer A set.
We started the program mid-year and it is workbook-based with some fun puzzle activities. The videos are lectured-based. And surprisingly, Big Fish has loved all of it! He has risen to the challenge and sometimes out performs me on the worksheets and quizzes! (We are both learning Latin together!) We will continue with this program through the summer.
Subjects grouped with Little Fish, Grade 2:
History: Story of My World, Volume 1
The boys have really enjoyed this book. It has covered ancient civilizations from China to Greece to Africa to Rome to India. They enjoyed coloring the pages that go with each chapter. We could have expanded on it in so many different ways, but due to time, we did not take full advantage of that. However, they have often gotten library books out on their own that have been inspired by what they have learned in history. They have requested that we study Volume 2 next year so that is what we will do!
Science: R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey-Chemistry
This has been another big hit with the boys! They have enjoyed doing the experiments, even if they have not always loved completing the lab sheets! The lab sheets are actually perfect for them, though, because they aren’t too heavy on writing and incorporate a lot of drawing and short answer questions. We are planning on using another science curriculum from R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey next year!
Art: Take Time for Art
The boys have greatly enjoyed these projects and videos. We bought the Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece packages this year and worked on them along with those sections in Story of My World. They have made watercolors, clay sculptures, papier-mâché Egyptian masks, and metal working so far. We still need to finish the last Ancient Greece project.
Spanish: Foreign Language For Kids
The boys loved this! However, it became a challenge for us because Big Fish was quickly ready to move on to the next level, while Little Fish never mastered the first level. I have realized that we just can not do Spanish as a group study and since it is a video based program that has made it a bit challenging. I am not sure if we will continue Spanish for Big Fish next year along with his Latin. If so, I think we will check out duoLingo, which is a free web-site.
The boys enjoyed our poem of the month study for several months this year. We did take a break from it recently as I felt they were getting a little bored with it and the extra time allowed us to catch up some in our history, bible, and chemistry work. The notebooking pages that I made for this study worked great!
I am still working on our plans for next year, but will be sure to share them with you when they are done. To see how I am organizing my plans, you can check out: A Simple Way to Plan Your Homeschool Curriculum.
If you have any questions about any of the curricula above, please comment below or send me an email!
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