Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Our 3rd Grade Curriculum

Gulp! I could not believe it when I realized my youngest was going to be a 3rd grader this year!

I can still remember our first year of homeschooling and boy have we come a long way from learning letters and sounds!  Yet when I think that Evan is the same age now as Ian was when we first started on this journey it just boggles my mind.  I felt like Ian was so old and grown up when we began homeschooling and yet I feel like Evan is so young!

It's been so great and affirming to look back at where we started but I also know that it's fall and time for me to look ahead and plan what we'll be working with this year.

Because curriculum choices are so unique and so abundant I do enjoy seeing what other people are using for their homeschooling and so this week I vowed to share what we're using...

These are our pick for Evan's 3rd grade year.


We are a very eclectic homeschooling family and we tend to put together most of our own work but there are a few books that we use and try use on a fairly consistent basis and here they are:  


For math:  
I had the hardest time picking out a math book for Evan this year.  We had his book all picked out in the spring and we were so thrilled to see that they were coming out with a grade 3 Star Wars book... so we were beyond upset when we got an e-mail telling us that publication had been delayed until next summer!  We finally settled on Math Made Easy grade 3 and a few supplemental books: Math Basics, Multiplication and Division, & Multiplication facts made easy. 






He will also continue to complete one set of pages each week in Multiplication Games.



I know this looks like a crazy, ridiculous amount of work for one year but three of these books only have 30 or so pages and we'll finish them up quickly doing two pages a day.  So I do think it's quite possible we'll finish up with it all but if not we'll keep plugging away through the summer instead of picking out other summer books.  

For Reading:
We constantly have a family read aloud book going and right now we're finishing up The 39 Clues.  We also have books on CD going in the car most days.  Currently we're re-listening to The Heroes of Olympus series.  Evan is free to pick and choose what he'd like to read.  He is still a beginning reader and we're plugging away at a few early reader series.  Currently we're reading the Weird School books,  Dragon Masters, Henry and Mudge, and Flat Stanley.... not all at once but here and there we keep picking these same book series to read. He's even asked to try reading a Magic Tree House book so we'll be plugging away at those too.



For Writing:
I am the first to admit we are sorely lacking and behind in his area.  All of my boys have always been loathe to write and anything having to do with putting thoughts to paper.  This year we're continuing some sort of writing into our daily routine and we've found a few things that they actually enjoy:

The Draw Write Now series is fun with a step by step drawing and then four sentences of copywork.


Cursive:
Evan is a bit skeptical about learning cursive.  He was late in writing his letters and still has some difficulty with fine motor skills like writing and drawing.  However he has shown remarkable progress lately and I assured him we'd start slow and small.  He helped me pick out this Handwriting: Cursive book.  We'll work on one page a week.


Spelling: 
Evan needs a lot of help with spelling and while he has been improving steadily I like to see him working just on spelling once a week.  He has  been enjoying The Thinking Tree book 100 words to
Read, Write, Spell and Draw so we will continue with that for now.



Geography:
Is a subject that we cover together by reading books, watching videos, and playing games.  They participate in our homeschool geography fair each year.  Picking a topic, reading a lot of books about the region, summarizing his findings, typing up some facts and displaying them for others to learn about.  This year I found The Complete Book of Maps and Geography at our local 5 Below store for just $4. and thought we'd supplement our traditional way of learning geography with any fun worksheets that they'd like to complete.


History:
 We piece together as one of the kids shows interest in a particular topic.  We spent some time over the summer learning about the Hindenburg disaster; reading books about it and how that impacted our nation's history.  We've been working our way through the series History of Fun Stuff lately and they are just devouring them.


Science:
 We use a lot of science kits and explore nature at every opportunity.  We use our microscope often and take frequent field trips to science museums, zoos and discovery museums.  We also watch a LOT of science shows and movies.   We read books about nature, animals, science, and find a lot of great books of experiments to try out through our local library.  This year I purchased Science Experiments to Blow Your Mind and we'll use some of the ideas in the books to have some more fun with science this year.


Art:
My kids enjoy all sorts of arts and crafts.  We have many art kits for them to use.  We also talk about art history by reading about various painters and studying their works.  We've spent the summer working on  a 100 Days of Art Challenge and will be continuing with this through the fall.  They enjoyed our field trip to the art museum so much that we are planning a few more art related field trips for the coming year as well.

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Wonderful Wednesday's Linky Party: Last Wednesday of August

Sadly, this will be my last time co-hosting the wonderful Wednesday link up for awhile.  We have a pretty busy fall lined up and I just didn't think I would be able to pull my own weight with all these wonderful ladies... so I'll be taking a temporary break.  I just can't believe it's already the end of August, the end of summer... where did it all go?!  We're determined to enjoy every last day outside that we can and spent four days in the past week entertaining friends at the lake, enjoying the barbecue, and swimming all day.

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Karren // Oh My Heartsie Girl Apple Tart with an All Butter Crust //The Crafting Foodie Oh My Creative With fall setting in we have more inspiration for baking and smells of fresh apples baking in this Apple Tart. (Re-Pin It)

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Monday, August 29, 2016

Our 7th Grade Curriculum

I find that the older my kids get and the higher up in grades we reach, the more my anxiety about teaching "the right" way and "the right" skills occupies my every waking thought.

It hardly seems possible that I have a 7th grader.  We're entering our 5th year of homeschooling and while I do find homeschooling easier now that I feel like we really know what we're doing I still find that I am constantly worrying about what else we could/should be doing.

Because curriculum choices are so unique and so abundant I do enjoy seeing what other people are using for their homeschooling and so this week I vowed to share what we're using...

These are our pick for my son's 7th grade year.


We are a very eclectic homeschooling family and we tend to put together most of our own work but there are a few books that we use and try use on a fairly consistent basis and here they are:  



For math:  
I had the hardest time picking out a math book for Ian this year.  He finished up all of the Key to... series that he was interested in and didn't want to work with them anymore.  I could not find a general 7th grade math book that worked on all skills (that we liked) so we finally decided to use Spectum Geometry and Math For the Real World: Denali National Park, Hoover Dam, and The California Gold Rush.  That way he can practice a variety of skill and still put a lot of emphasis on geometry; something he needs with all the design cad drawing and scaled drawing he does "for fun" when wood and metal working with his dad. 





We also use The Thinking Tree Are You a Math Genius book and he completes one set of pages each week as well as one set of pages in Multiplication Games.





I know this looks like a crazy, ridiculous amount of work for one year but the Math for the Real World books are mainly story books reading about math and they're just 22 pages each and small enough that we can easily read them in a day or two.  His geometry book is only 106 pages... so I do think it's quite possible we'll finish up with it all by Christmas or January and still need to find other work for the rest of the year but at least it's a really good start.


For Reading:
We constantly have a family read aloud book going and right now we're finishing up The 39 Clues.  We also have books on CD going in the car most days.  Currently we're re-listening to The Heroes of Olympus series.  Ian is free to pick and choose what he'd like to read.  He is a reluctant reader and I have a hard time finding books that he's willing to read.  Currently he is working his way through the A to Z Mysteries; a series that I know is far below his reading level.. but you know what?!  He's actually enjoying them and asking me to constantly request books from the library to further his reading.  So I'm OK with that!



For Writing:
I am the first to admit we are sorely lacking and behind in his area.  All of my boys have always been loathe to write and anything having to do with putting thoughts to paper.  This year we're continuing some sort of writing into our daily routine and we've found a few things that they actually enjoy:

The Draw Write Now series is fun with a step by step drawing and then four sentences of copywork.  I'd like to push him to do more this year but we'll add in more writing slowly; focusing mainly on copywork.  But we will also be using lessons from Success With Writing.  I'm hoping the fill in the blank format will be less intimidating than a blank sheet of paper (we went with a 5th grade level so my two older boys can work together and Ian will feel success using it).


Cursive:
Ian has been plugging away at cursive for a few years now.  We only do cursive once a week at most because I don't mind if my boys aren't completely fluent in cursive writing but I did think it important that they learn to read it, know how to sign their names, and be familiar with it. Ian finished up his cursive book last year and really wanted another joke book... but we couldn't find one.  This Inspiring Quotes book was a good second choice.



Spelling: 
We have tried a few different spelling workbooks over the years and have yet to find anything that really sticks. So far my boys have been enjoying The Thinking Tree books and Ian will be finishing up his The Four Seasons Spelling Time. We bought these in the spring so he has plenty of pages left.



Geography:
Is a subject that we cover together by reading books, watching videos, and playing games.  They participate in our homeschool geography fair each year.  Picking a topic, reading a lot of books about the region, summarizing his findings, typing up some facts and displaying them for others to learn about.  This year I found The Complete Book of Maps and Geography at our local 5 Below store for just $4. and thought we'd supplement our traditional way of learning geography with any fun worksheets that they'd like to complete.


History:
 We piece together as one of the kids shows interest in a particular topic.  We spent some time over the summer learning about the Hindenburg disaster; reading books about it and how that impacted our nation's history.  We've been working our way through the series History of Fun Stuff lately and they are just devouring them.


Science:
 We use a lot of science kits and explore nature at every opportunity.  We use our microscope often and take frequent field trips to science museums, zoos and discovery museums.  We also watch a LOT of science shows and movies.   We read books about nature, animals, science, and find a lot of great books of experiments to try out through our local library.  This year I purchased Science Experiments to Blow Your Mind and we'll use some of the ideas in the books to have some more fun with science this year.


Art:
My kids enjoy all sorts of arts and crafts.  We have many art kits for them to use.  We also talk about art history by reading about various painters and studying their works.  We've spent the summer working on  a 100 Days of Art Challenge and will be continuing with this through the fall.  They enjoyed our field trip to the art museum so much that we are planning a few more art related field trips for the coming year as well.


You can read about my other son's 5th grade curriculum here.

Linking Up With: Practical Mondays,

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