Monday, February 4, 2013

2013 School Plans {4th Grade}

I love new curriculum & books, there’s just something so exciting about a fresh new start when it comes to the school year. We’re still on summer break, aside from read alouds, but I’ve been busy planning some of the finer details of our upcoming school year. Reading over some of our new curriculum, cleaning out the file box, & all the other things a new year entails.

This year we’ll have a 6th grader & a 4th grader, all though honestly I’m not exactly sure when these grades creeped up on us. Morgan is one year away from highschool!? Where on earth did our time go?

I thought I’d share some of the curriculum we plan to be using this year. You’ll notice some things crossing between the boys, but the majority of their lessons will be separate this year. Minor for some, but huge for us.Even though our Jayden is entering 4th grade, I feel he’s a little bit of an immature 4th grader as he’s on the lower end of the age range considering where his birthday falls. The beauty of teaching him at home means we can progress at any rate we wish, so while Morgan’s 4th grade year was considerably heavier & busier, Jayden’s will be a bit more laid back.

4th Grade Plans:

Winter Promise Animal Worlds -- Oh my are we excited about this! Jayden is my little zoologist, & has been since he was an infant. When we decided he was going to have a “gap” year I asked him what he’d most like to learn about & gave him some suggestions. Animals was the winner, & I’m really glad it was! Because we own the older IG for this core & the more updated science core I’m busy typing up my own schedule to piece the two together. I’m so excited about it, the schedule has come together so well! Jayden’s been watching some of my planning & now he’s really even more excited about it too!

Math-U-See -- We switched Jayden from Saxon to Teaching Textbooks, we just found it a better fit for him, as math is not his strongest subject. However, I noticed that he really needed some time to stop & focus on borrowing. The child can add, subtract, & multiply with single digits. He can even add fractions with like denominators, but he can’t remember how to borrow for anything. Which caused me pause at the end of last year to decide what I wanted to do. I chatted with a variety of Homeschooling Mammas & did some research about other math programmes. I don’t like bouncing from curriculum to curriculum, but I just felt that we hadn’t found the right math curriculum for our home yet now that we’re back to using one. In the end we settled on Math-U-See which works on mastery. This is a win-win for us in a few areas. For one thing Jayden is all about mastery & we feel this programme will best benefit his learning style. It also gives us room to stop & pause on any given method that he needs without feeling like we are falling behind for the year. If he finishes early, no biggie we can just move on to the next book. I’m actually quite excited about it!

Bible -- Bible this year is a conglomeration of things, & the one topic I’m slightly fuzzy on. For the past few years Bible has been an easy thing for me to schedule as we worked our way through Grapevine Bible, but we finished it up last year & I feel the pull to work on other things with the boys now. So this year, on top of daily reading & the devotional with his WP Core, we’ll be using a variety of children’s Bible studies by Kay Arthur. 

Science -- Jayden’s Animal Core will be so full of zoology I’m not sure he’ll need more, but he’s really curious about biology & I’d like him to learn a bit more about weather because he has some inane fears of wind & rain. So we may be working in some Elementary Apologia Physiology & Anatomy that we may use as well as The Kids Book Of Weather Forecasting. Mr S is a huge weather buff, so this might just become a fun weekend project for them. I love finding things that are special for the boys to do with Daddy.

Geography -- This will be covered with his Winter Promise core as well as with the Five In A Row books he will most likely use this year.

History -- This is our Australian History year. We’ll be using resources from home & the library for this. Reading them at a leisurely, unless I go insane & make some schedule for it. I don’t really plan to do that, just a loose set of notes that I can refer to from time to time if I forget what I’m doing.

Spelling -- Another slightly undecided thing.. He’ll either be using: nothing {learning in the moment}, Sequential Spelling, or Spelling Wisdom. I haven’t decided yet to be honest, but we have all these things on hand. I’ll be deciding after I peruse through them between now & February.

English -- We have just a couple of chapters of The Word Spy left to wrap up & then we’ll jump right into The Return Of The Word spy. The boys really love these books & it’s such a fun way to learn about some really cool stuff, & the normal stuff that is often dry & boring.

Writing -- Writing With Ease. Jayden’s other weak point is handwriting/copywork. He hates it, he’s not ashamed to tell you that. He’s worked hard at it & his handwriting has improved considerably, but it’s not where I’d like to see it. So this year we’re using Writing With Ease which will work on some minor grammar stuff, handwriting, copywork, narration, etc. 

Reading -- We’ll just be assigning him books as we go through the year. He’s really a very good little reader, his only fault is that he tends to read too fast & thus changes words in a sentence based on what he thinks they should be. It makes his retention pretty poor, so I like to be sure that sometimes I set him up with a book that I can ask him all about to be sure he’s not just racing through it.


Art -- We’ll be continuing with Drawing with American History as well as a couple of other things I still need to finish choosing & setting up. Art is a weak point for me, so I always have to be very intentional with our planning of it or it just doesn’t happen. Harmony Fine Art's Art Appreciation.

Music -- He’s still working with a recorder, but may switch to violin if we can find someone to teach him & a place to provide the violin. He’s been pretty intent about this instrument for a while so I’d like to see him take a go at it. We’ll see what unfolds for him! Harmony Fine Art's Music Appreciation.

Typing -- I suppose typing isn’t really an elective these days, but for now we consider it one. We’ll continue using Type To Learn 4 which I picked up on a deeply discounted sale last year. We won’t be able to get that going until we get our desktop back up & running again though.

Five In A Row -- Jayden used FIAR when he was much younger, but didn’t use it as long as Morgan did. So I thought this year, while his main meat will come from the zoology unit he’d enjoy a run through with some of the books from Volumes 1 & 2 or 2 & 3 this year. I had intended to use the later combination because a friend was using my Volume 1, but it’s since made it’s way back to me so our options are wide open now.

Cooking -- this has been high on Jaydens list, & he use to help make a meal one time a week, but we got out of the habit of that with the new dietary needs that entered our home. Now that I have a better grip on how to cook for them I’d like to honor his sweet little request & get him back in the kitchen again! He’ll be using the FIAR Cookbook, Eat Like A Dinosaur, & the assortment of books around our home. Easy Peasy!

I know it looks like a lot, but when you consider that some of that will only happen one time a week & that others will only take a few minutes each day it’s not a hugely full & busy schedule for him. I just have to work out the finer details of what happens when!


Erin D said...

We absolutely loved Animal Worlds when I did it with my daughter a few years back.

I'm actually trying to find a used copy of it again (and kicking myself for getting rid of the last set) to do with my youngest next year.

I'm sure you and your son will have a wonderful time with it.

teeniebeenie6 said...

SO neat!! We are going to be doing an older version of Animals and their Worlds as well. I am rearranging and redoing it to fit us. I'm curious if you found the Animals and Habitats added a lot to the main curriculum. Thanks for your input

Kendra said...

I think that depends on what AW Core you have. I only had the younger version, for K-2nd. I didn't have the one that went up to 4th grade so yes this added a bit more in for us! :) I would have presumed had I had the 4th grade core it would have looked as similar as the science unit.