(Last Updated on December 17, 2020)
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Year 4 Snapshot
While we were (and still are) far from having it all figured out, Year 4 was the first year I felt noticeably more confident in our homeschooling.
After several years of educating our kids at home, I now had some data to work with – some proof that this was working. We could look back on work from the years past and see tangible evidence that growth and learning were taking place. Phew!
The irritating voice inside my head that used to whisper…
“What are you doing?! Are you sure this is the right path? What if you’re ruining your kids’ futures?! When they’re living in a van down by the river there will only be YOU to blame!!!!”
…was, much to my relief, being replaced by a calmer, more rational voice.
This new, level-headed voice said things like “well, that didn’t work – let’s take a look at some other options” and “this day got off to a bad start – it’s time for a read-aloud and a strawberry smoothie.”
Needless to say, I liked the new voice much better.
So our fourth year started from a position of greater peace and perspective than the first three years. There were challenges, as always, but I could tell God was working on my heart and guiding our way.
Here are the resources we used for our fourth year of homeschooling.
Year 4 Curriculum Choices – 3rd Grade
- Bible & Character: Memory verses (our own selections plus AWANA verses), RightNow Media Bible Studies and “5 + 5” (five minutes of family devotions plus five minutes of individual Bible reading)
- Math: Math-U-See (MUS) Gamma & Delta plus miscellaneous arithmetic practice games (online games like Coolmath as well as board games)
- Reading: Silent reading (30+ min./day) plus a lot of family read-alouds
- Spelling: All About Spelling (AAS) Level 3
- Language Arts: Learning Language Arts through Literature (LLATL) The Yellow Book
- Handwriting: Daily cursive handwriting practice pages from The Complete Book of Handwriting K-3 by Thinking Kids plus other customized pages made on the handwritingworksheets.com (*FREE*) and copywork (usually poems and Bible memory verses)
- Science & Health: AIG God’s Design for Life (Human Body, World of Plants and World of Animals)
- History & Geography: Story of the World (SotW) Vol. 1: Ancient Times with SotW Vol. 1 Activity Book
- Logic: Coding websites for kids like Code.org (*FREE*) and Scratch (*FREE*) plus puzzles, games and “Grandpa Math” (weekly logic and math puzzles my dad sent to my kids)
- Typing: TypingClub (*FREE*)
Year 4 Curriculum Choices – Kindergarten
The boys did Bible, read-alouds, history/geography, science, health, and logic together, with age-adjustments made as needed for my kindergartener. He also worked on:
- Math: MUS Alpha and Life of Fred Apples plus various math games
- Reading: Silent reading (15+ min./day) and Word Mastery (*FREE*)
- Handwriting: Customized pages made on handwritingworksheets.com and other printable handwriting sheets
Other Fun Stuff
We loved participating in our enrichment co-op again this year. My third grader took Gym, Art, WeDo LEGO 2.0, and Fun & Games and my kindergartener took Gym, Art, LEGO Learning, and Nature Study.
Like the previous year, we continued with Homeschool Open Gym at our local park district and both boys took gymnastics classes again, also through our park district. We attended several field trips with another local homeschool group including two of our favorites so far – a mini-barn-raising at a local nature center and an excellent backstage tour of the Lyric Opera of Chicago!
The boys continued with park district group piano lessons for a session or two. After that, we continued their instruction at home using the Bastien Piano Basics series they’d started in class.
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