4th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices

4th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices

My middle son is 9 and going into 4th grade this year.  Below are the 4th grade homeschool curriculum choices we have made for Krash!

Curious to see what he did in the past {since I’ve been blogging}?

{disclaimer ~ affiliate links are used below}

4th Grade Subjects

FLL 2 TT 5 GWG 3 Spectrum Vocabulary 4AAS 4 WS_Junior_D Evan Moor Science 4th PSB Elementary United States Geography Homeschool Plan for Elementary

 

These are his required reads for the year.  We will be going through each of these together.  All are from Calvert’s 4th grade program which I used with PacMan.

4th Grade -8302

 

Optional choices from the books we own are pictured below.  You can see I sticker our chapter books with an approximate grade level to help with sorting and choosing. These are the ones marked 4th grade. We will also utilize the library a lot for other books!  He usually reads at night, and that’s when he will choose his own books from our stack and our current library stack.

4th Grade -8309

There may be more to come, or some changes, but this is our list for now and all of this has been purchased! We will see what the year holds!

You can see our 1st Grade choices here and our 8th grade choices here.

1st Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices  8th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices

Stick around and see our homeschool year unfold!

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USA Geography Homeschool Plan ~ Elementary

United States Geography Homeschool Plan for Elementary

I didn’t focus on USA geography for the past couple of years, but we did intensely when PacMan was younger.  It’s time to bring it back as Ladybug goes into 1st grade and Krash into 4th.  It’s a great time to combine them together and I developed a plan that I think they both will enjoy!

USA Geography-8341

 

I combined a few different resources together to create my plan and I will share those with you in this post, there’s a video below too!  Here’s the short list of what we are using…

USA PowerPoint  StatePack

 

I liked the printable pages from USA State by State and we already owned StickerUSA which came with a disk of downloads {I am not sure if the book still comes with the disk, I don’t see it listed on the info page}.  On the disk was a printable set of state birds and state flowers, so we are using those.  We are also using the flashcards from the StickerUSA book. Rounding out our plan will be my USA Geography PowerPoint Show, which has been redone recently.

Here’s a video I made sharing all of our resources with you and how we plan to use them.

 

Books

These are the books we will be using to reference during our learning time together.

NG Kids United States Atlas   Student Atlas

 

Goals

  • Locate state on a map
  • Know the capital
  • Know the abbreviation
  • Be familiar with – bird, flower, resources, special facts

Weekly Plan

My goal is to learn 2 new states per week, but I say that loosely!  I know we probably won’t do more than that, but we may only get to 1 per week.  I will do this with Krash and Ladybug at the same time.  We will go through the PowerPoint together, read from the books I chose, and fill out the notebooking page together!

Games & More

We have a few other great USA resources and will fit them is as time allows!

Want access to our USA Geography PowerPoint? 

It’s a one time joining fee of $15 right now, but the price is increasing to $20 very soon when the makeover is launched.  I have been BUSY behind the scenes updating the Members Only PowerPoint site, so now is the time to join why the price is still $15!  Already a member? Stay tuned the makeover will be launching soon!

Members Only PowerPoint Shows from 1 1 1=1



Our Current Curriculum

I have been working on this for months now and finally have it as done as it will get for now, I will update and change it in the future.  I hope this page helps answer some of the FAQ concerning our curriculum. There is a link to this page in my top navigational bar, under the “Homeschool Help” section.

This list was updated April 2012.

As we change and add/delete programs, I will come back and update this page!

IMG_2780 IMG_2773 IMG_2799

Ladybug  ~ Tot School, age 3

Krash ~ In between K and 1st, age 5 1/2

PacMan ~ 4th Grade, age 9

Family

  • USA Geography
  • World Geography
  • New Testament Overview, from Grapevine Studies
    • This is a once a week thing we are using as our family time, it is targeted towards Krash and PacMan, but Ladybug is included too.
  • Calendar Connections
    • We are using these mostly for PacMan, but depending on the theme, Krash and Ladybug pick up on the facts too.
  • What’s in the Bible DVDs
    • We are watching the episodes together during school time and discussing them.  Ladybug obviously doesn’t really “get it”, Krash tends to pick up on some of it but needs to watch episodes repeatedly.  PacMan LOVES them the most and is really learning a lot.  I hope to continue using these on a regular basis in the future too!
  • Speekee Spanish & Boca Beth
    • Ladybug is the biggest fan of these, but these programs have helped us all pick up on some simple Spanish.
  • iPad

FAQ ~

I heard your boys are enrolled in a cyber school, how does this work?

Yes, they are and we have a VERY unique situation.  We are enrolled in a cyber school but we traditionally homeschool just like someone using Calvert who bought it from their site.  The only difference is that my kids get their supplies, curriculum, computer, printer, and MUCH support for free.  We are so incredibly blessed to have this option, it is working for us right now.  I teach them every single subject, and we use traditional Calvert texts and books…hardly anything is done online for my boys-except fun games and such we have access to.  This is another perk for us we have free access to: First in Math, Study Island, Let’s Go Learn, Brain Pop, and more.  These sites are amazing.

If you are wondering what state we live in, you can email me privately.  I just don’t publicly share the name of our specific school and location online.  Let me emphasize that all sates are different and ALL cyber schools are different.  I personally do not know ANYONE else who has a situation like mine {except those enrolled in my particular cyber school}, most are much more controlled from what I have heard.  Here is a place on Calvert’s website that allows you to seek out using Calvert with a partner school in your state.

Would you use Calvert even if you didn’t get it for free through your state? 

I am not sure.  I do love it, but I think I would look into something like Sonlight or My Father’s World ~ with a more Christian backbone.  I have heard great things about those.  I also think Mystery of History and many products from Bright Ideas Press look awesome.  I would probably piece together subject by subject, although the box curriculum approach is really nice and works for us.  So, maybe I would stick with Calvert, maybe not.  I honestly don’t know!  I have NO problems with Calvert, and it has served us well since PacMan’s PreK year.  I specifically have really enjoyed Calvert from grade 2 on, which is the beginning of where I am not as comfortable teaching!  I absolutely love Calvert this year {4th grade} and am really benefitting from the box approach in a grade I am so uncomfortable teaching!

Why are you using All About Reading for Krash if Calvert has a good reading program within it?

Honestly-I got AAR to review and decided to review it fully to help my blog readers.  I do not need a program to teach reading, I have done it with hundreds of children and it just comes naturally for me {I am a former Kindergarten teacher for any new readers}.  Something I truly love.  I followed Calvert’s program with Pac, but still basically did my own thing, which is what I have done with Krash too.  BUT, I get tons of questions from moms who tell me that teaching reading does not come naturally for them!!!  They want me to recommend a program and up until now I couldn’t since I had no experience with any homeschool reading program {other than Calvert}.  I can’t recommend Calvert’s reading program separately {it is great, but it only comes with the complete box curriculum}. When given the opportunity to review AAR Level 1, I jumped at the chance, knowing this would give me the experience I needed to give my readers an opinion on this reading program-which so far is amazing and definitely what I recommend!  I used All About Spelling Levels 1 & 2 with Pac and loved it.  We went to AAS when he began struggling early on.  He has now went back to the Calvert spelling program and does fine. Our great experience with All About Spelling led me to want to review All About Reading.

Will you enroll Ladybug in the cyber school when she is in PreK?

Probably not, I am thinking of taking PreK-1st and doing it myself for her.  But, that may change and we may enroll her if Calvert is still available.  Being a former K teacher, I just really, really enjoy doing my own things for these lower grades!

Will you always homeschool?

We believe in making this decision on a year-by-year, kid-by-kid basis.  We had no idea we would ever be homeschoolers, so we realize that we have no clue what God has in store for our family.  For now, we cannot imagine not homeschooling, and are very thankful to have been led here.

Are you against public/private school?

Absolutely NOT!  I believe that the decision of schooling needs to be made by individual families based on so many different circumstances.  I NEVER thought we would homeschool, but now am so glad we do {although it was very rough for me the first year}.  Some homeschooling families need to go back to group education for various reasons or during different seasons of life and who knows-that may be us one day.  I know the Lord will guide us each year in making this decision and I trust He guides families individually in this area. 

Why do you homeschool?

Honestly we started because of the area we live in.  We are inner city missionaries living in one of America’s toughest neighborhoods and the schools aren’t anything to jump for joy about.  We looked into private school but it just wasn’t in the budget, and it wasn’t something we really felt called to.  We have fellow missionaries on our team who homeschool and even though at first I thought they were a bit nuts-ha ha, I now adore them and the knowledge they have shared with me.  Although the decision to homeschool was made due to circumstances, we now feel we would continue even if we had the opportunity to send our kids to a great public school.

Do you have a daily schedule or routine? How do you “do it all”?

Updated: See our A Day in Our Homeschool Series Here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 {part 4 coming soon}.

Loosely, yes…but we seem to work better being a bit more flexible.  We know what we need to accomplish and we usually do that-but we tend to go with the flow more since Ladybug often has sassy attitude problems and throws our mornings off a bit.  We school intensely each afternoon while she naps…even if she doesn’t sleep she is in her bed from at least 1-3:00.  This afternoon quiet time is vital to our day!

We try to keep a basic outline of a routine…Calendar Notebooks first thing, Pac upstairs to accomplish independent work while I play with the little 2 {focusing on Ladybug for at least 30 minutes each morning}.  Snack, recess, lunch… Then nap for L-bug and individual school for the boys.  We usually finish up all school around 3pm each day.  In the middle of it all we fit everything in somehow!

We still use a lesson plan blog for PacMan, and Krash still uses workboxes.  I now categorize Pac’s blog by colors {green-independent, blue-possibly need help, red-with mom}. It is SO easy and we both love it.

It is hard for me…the whole schedule thing.  We have good and bad days.  We have on and off-routine days.  We get things done most of the time and then there are days when I let the little 2 watch too many “educational” DVDs.  There are days I adore being with my kids all day long and days I wish I could bury my head in the pillow and not emerge for hours, or possibly days!  If you are struggling with creating a routine/schedule that works…know you are not alone.  I have been at this homeschooling things for 5 years now and I still struggle.  We get through yes-but it is still a struggle for me.  I often get asked how I “do it all” and I wrote a post about that here if you’ve wondered my thoughts on this topic.  The post is older but still applies!


If you have any other general questions about our curriculum, please leave in the comments below and I will do my best to add the answers to this list!



Grammar 1 ~ PowerPoint Show

I have a new PowerPoint show available in the Members Only PowerPoint section, featuring  Grammar. The show is based on PacMan’s 4th grade grammar curriculum, from his first several lessons.  I hope to make more of these throughout the year, as I know they are great teaching tools and even better review tools.

Slide1

Each slide is animated {although you can’t see that here in the screenshots}.  The answer is hidden to allow thinking and then pops up on a click for immediate self correction.

Slide2 Slide3 Slide4 Slide5Slide6 Slide7 Slide8 Slide9

In the subject/predicate section, the subjects and predicates change color to blue and red upon the click to show self-correction.

Slide10 Slide11

Slide12

PacMan used this show to review for his lesson 20 assessments and told me it was VERY helpful. Winking smile


You can access this show in the Members Only section of my website.  If you are not a member already, you can learn more info here.  See what is in the Members Only section now and what is coming soon here!

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Living & Nonloving Things ~ PowerPoint Show

I have a new PowerPoint show available in the Members Only PowerPoint section, featuring  Living & Nonliving Things. The show is based on PacMan’s 4th grade science curriculum.

Slide1

 

It is fully animated, showing answers upon clicks.  First we review the 5 basic life functions that help determine if something is living or not.Slide2

 

Next we review what living things are made of and list in the order from simple to complex…Slide3

 

Finally we review by categorizing living and nonliving things. I took the examples from his text and assessments and honestly we were all thrown by the virus example.  I had to do some research on that one, we {a few adults who were over at the time} all thought a virus was living.  According to his science book it is not.  Learn something new everyday when homeschooling!

Slide4  Slide5

Fun side note-I took all of the photos on the opening slide while we were camping recently!!!  He loved seeing photos he recognized in his schoolwork!

With Calvert PacMan takes an assessment every 20 lessons.  These shows are used as his review before he takes the assessment.  He also has to take standardized testing at the end of this year for science and I plan to use the shows to review for this in the end!  He is using this text for Calvert 4th grade science. This particular show was created to go along with the Plant & Animal Cell show…

Slide1_thumb[1]


You can access this show in the Members Only section of my website.  If you are not a member already, you can learn more info here.  See what is in the Members Only section now and what is coming soon here!

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