Monday, July 2, 2012

4th Grade Curriculum

My boy, Optimus, is my homeschool guinea pig. Such is the lot of the first born! He has helped me to relax as a teacher and remember the joy of homeschooling on a daily basis. It is very difficult to believe that I have a 4th grader. That seems so old.

Optimus is a Lego fiend. Anything Lego he loves. He will play for hours with his sister, making bases and weapons. He will also play with his sister's Lego Friends, if she is insistent. He is also a gamer. His current favorite is Skylanders. He has spent so much of his own money to buy this game and the figures. The company has a pretty sweet setup to keep enticing the kids to buy buy buy. He enjoys gaming so much, that I put limits on his playing time. Otherwise, that is all this boy would do.

Optimus is pretty easy to teach. He grasps concepts quickly and knows by now what is expected of him in his work. He does however detest writing. Up to this point I have assigned writing in segments spread out over his lessons, but now it's fourth grade. There is just more writing and a greater intensity to the fourth grade work. He will have to just suck it up basically.That may sound harsh, but in order to participate in some events, classes, and competitions outside the home, he will be expected to be at a certain level with writing. That is just something that my boy will need to deal with. I don't want him to give up on things, because he hates to write. My approach therefore is to do a certain amount of writing everyday (whether he likes it or not) until writing becomes just a part of things and not such a big deal.
How we "do" 4th Grade with Optimus:

Language Arts

For Language Arts we use a spiral notebook. Just like the one we use for Tink. Optimus starts out by writing the date at the top of one of the lined sheets. The first lesson that goes into the notebook each morning is Writing with Ease, Level 3.

After WwE, we review poems and complete the lesson in First Language Lessons, Level 4. Sometimes there are some writing activities in FLL and those go into the notebook. Optimus usually enjoys this lesson very much.

Optimus has been reading the McGuffey's Eclectic Readers since he started to read. He is now reading the McGuffey Reader, Fourth. He has also been reading the selections from Baldwin Children's Library online. There are selections for Waldorf and Ambelside Online. He is reading through the Waldorf selections for 4th grade. He will alternate between the two lessons. He is required to look up two words that he doesn't know and write the definitions in his language notebook.
The last thing that goes into the language notebook for the day is All About Spelling. Any words or phrases will need to be written during the lessons.



For a half hour each day Optimus reads a book of my choosing. After he has finished the chapter he writes a sentence or two about what he has read. This goes into his "Literature" section of his binder.  The list of books for fourth grade is long, but we will see how many he actually gets through.

Math-U-See, Epsilon or Logic

Math is four days a week and logic is one day.

Computer Lessons - This is a great site that is customizable!

Children's Farmer's Almanac - He reads and explores this page. - Optimus doesn't like the silly BBC Dance Mat typing, so we found this site and her is much happier about it. Optimus likes "grades". This site will give him his time, wpm, and accuracy.

Baldwin leveled reading - Reading the Waldorf 4th grade selections.

Core Knowledge 4th Grade Pack

I have taken the suggestions from Core Knowledge Foundation and made a packet for each of my kids. It has everything in it from poems to Science biographies. I don't mind what order this packet is done. He just needs to finish one activity each day it is assigned. 

Prima Latina

This is the first year we are working on Latin. He seems to like it.


Group Lessons
I'll write about these another time. 

After lessons, it's time for chores and play. I forgot to mention that each day we try to break for lunch at around 12:30. This is the time that "Pet Keeping with Mark Marone" comes on. It is on the Hallmark channel. This kids love this show. The kind of quirky host has tons of information and a menagerie of animals that he teaches you how to properly care for. I have owned and read about animals all my life and still I learn things from him.

Happy Homeschooling!

1 comment:

  1. I think I'm going to dump WWE this year. I am personally totally bored, and I don't think it has improved Stefan's enjoyment or ability in writing. I'm trying Brave Writer this year (got it at the HSBco-op). I'll let you know how it goes. The author says not to force kids to write every day. I certainly like that!