I’m happily homeschool planning these days!
We’re ready to take a month off from homeschooling and start again in August. In the meantime, I’m going over all of our curriculum and doing my planning in my Erin Condren Teacher Planner.
This will be my 5th year homeschooling, last year being the first year that I didn’t want to quit.
That’s saying something, seriously! I learned to become a relaxed homeschooler and let go of the things I wish we could do (like more science experiments) and embrace the season in my life which is homeschooling with a 1 & 3 year old around. We’re homeschooling 2nd and 4th grade for the 2019/2020 year along with our pre-k and a 2 year old tag along.
Our curriculum choices for the 2019/2020 year will include math and language arts for each child but combining science, Canadian social studies, history, geography and maybe French for grades 2 and 4.
This post will cover our Grade 4 Curriculum choices. I’ll share our pre-k and grade 2 soon as well.
Grade 4 Math
For math we’re using Math Lessons for a Living Education 4 (MLLE) and Beast Academy. She’s half way through Mathematical Reasoning D and we’ll likely finish that. We also try to play math games, and I have some fun math literature to add in too.
As secular homeschoolers, MLLE does need to be tweaked here and there, but I find in general it’s been a good fit for us. The lessons are short so we can usually do 2 instead of 1 at each sitting. Many of the stories I skip if they aren’t relevant to the lessons.
Beast Academy is for gifted math students, level 2 is quite advanced in terms of mathematical thinking and they already introduce symbols in equations. I do enjoy Beast Academy’s approach and the lessons are definitely in-depth for the parent and student to learn.
Literature + Language Arts for Grade 4
I love using literature as a base for our language arts. We’ve really been enjoying the Brave Writer Lifestyle with copywork twice a week from literature, poetry tea times and Friday free write. You can learn more about copywork and dictation here. Previously we’ve used Quiver of Arrows, but now we’re ready to move onto the Arrow level.
Here are the books I’ve purchased the Arrows for:
- Nim’s Island (Aug)
- The Tale of Despereux (Sept)
- Ginger Pye (Oct)
- The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Nov)
- The Vanderbeekers of 141st street (Dec)
- Where Mountain Meets the Moon (Jan)
- The Green Ember (April)
- The Penderwicks (May)
Other books we’re planning on reading that don’t have Brave Writer Arrows:
- The Hundred Dresses
- Aru Shah and the End of Time
- Flight of the Phoenix (Nathanial Fludd, Beastologist)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban illustrated
- The One and Only Ivan
The Good & the Beautiful level 2 is wonderful, even though I have to tweak it as we’re mostly secular.
So far it’s been a slow process for this curriculum as I accidentally tried to use it too early. She wasn’t ready for this but now she is. With the Good and the Beautiful the levels are definitely more advanced and not necessarily a mark of grade level. I’ve purchased level 3 as well because I think we’ll start it half way through the year. I have no problems not ‘following the whole curriculum within a year’. The one thing that didn’t work great for us with TGTB was the spelling, which is why we use Spelling You See instead.
We’re loving Spelling You See for additional spelling practice.
It has the Charlotte Mason approach with copywork and dictation. I have some Kumon writing and reading workbooks around, we use them sporadically so they get a little ‘taste of traditional’ schooling. I may continue some of the Explode the Code books as she needed the extra phonics practice.
Grammar & Writing Projects
For grammar the Arrow guides cover a lot of the writing mechanics, but I’m adding in two fun books ‘Little Grammar People‘ for a Waldorf story take on grammar, and the ‘Know Non-Sense Guide to Grammar’. I also have the Writer’s Toolbox for some story writing, We also use the Jot it Down writing projects from Brave Writer, even though she’s in the Partnership Writing stage, it’s easier to combine with her sister. I use the Writer’s Jungle as inspiration for creative writing too. I do have Fix it! Grammar but I feel like I need to wait until grade 5 for it, she was a delayed writer and speller so I want to her to love writing before becoming too obsessed with sentence structure. But we’ll see!
Science (combining grade 2 & 4)
I will be combining the science for multi-age learning. I’m excited to use the Build your Library prehistory unit starting in August. This is will introduce paleontology to the kids and we plan on going to the Drumhellar Royal Tyrrell Museum in the fall. I’ll be adding some evolution books to this unit.
Our grade 4 daughter is always asking how our earth began and I share both evolution and creationism perspectives with her. I am excited to dive deeper into evolution however, as it’s a subject I enjoy. I will be adding some Anabelle and Aiden series too.
Following our prehistory science we’ll be studying Earth Science and Geology.
We’re using the Sassafras Science stories, teacher guides and logbooks.
Our family enjoys story based learning so I look forward to sharing how it all goes. We’ve used the zoology story book before, which is about twins that use a magic zip-line to travel the world and study science through adventures. Read an in-depth review on the Sassafras Science.
Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding worked great this year.
Additional picture books will go along with BFSU.
I’m currently creating a reading list of books to go with the lessons. The lessons are organized to make scientific cross connections between scientific subjects, which I really like. After using it longer I will add a more in-depth review of all the science curriculum we use.
Canadian Social Studies & Geography
This past year we used the Great Canadian Adventures for Canadian history and geography. It’s a great monthly membership full of great information, science experiments and images for the kids to create notebooks.
History & Geography
For history I will be continuing with our combining of Torchlight level 1 Myth and Magic and Build your Library 1 Ancients this year. Part of me wanted to just dive into level 2 as I’m looking forward to the medieval period, but there are many great books and information I have yet to cover. We also go through things slower than the 36 weeks because of having littles around interrupting too many read alouds.
I am sure there’s more to add but for now I hope you enjoyed seeing our curriculum choices for grade 4.
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