Sunday, July 8, 2012

Plans for Year 4 (AKA 4th grade)

All materials have been acquired and the guys went on a 3-day campout for Cub Scouts. So I've spent the last three days going over said materials and figuring out how we're going to use them. Aside from listing books we'll source from the library for history and science, planning is done! whew!
  • Bible: we'll continue the Proverbs study at breakfast, and move to An Honorable Boy, studying the lives of various men in the Bible, both from Queen Homeschool.
  • Math: thanks to the very helpful folks on the SCM forum, I think we've found something that will get us over the mental hurdle we've been struggling with - Proffessor B Math. I had initially thought we'd go with the computer-based version of the program. However, due to our current financial status, I decided to go with the book, used from Amazon. The book title is Mathematics Power Learning For Children.
  • Spelling/Copywork: Queen Homeschool's Spelling Through Copywork, Book A. Later in the year I aim to start a book of mottoes for him to record things that he finds particularly interesting, inspiring, encouraging, etc.
  • Reading: we'll continue reading practice with the CLE 2nd grade readers, Helping Hands and Happy Hearts. I acquired both of these by putting them on my wish-list at Paperback Swap. In addition, he'll read some of the books for history and science. He will also read something of his choosing in the afternoons for 20-30 minutes. 
  • Spanish: I picked up Speedy Spanish Book 1 at a used curriculum sale, and purchased the CDs online. I plan to see if a friend of ours that is a native speaker will help us with practice speaking and may start a Spanish club later in the year, or next year.
  • Geography: our history program will naturally include some geography. In addition, we'll read a chapter from Tree in the Trail by Holling C. Holling each Monday.
  • Grammar: Monday and Wednesday, continue English for the Thoughtful Child orally, gradually adding in more writing (got this from Paperback Swap, too).
  • History: Tuesday-Thursday TruthQuest American History for Young Students II (1800-1865), with the Map/Timeline/Report package. This will take us back to using living books as we had enjoyed before with SCM, overlapping just a bit with where we left off this past year.
  • Science: Tuesday and Thursday, the first half of the year we'll study Real Food Nutrition for Kids, using Simple Kitchen Experiments, by Muriel Mandell, and Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon, for experiments and cooking in the kitchen. We will also view videos from and YouTube, as well as a documentary or two on Netflix. At the end we plan to visit a farmer's market and a farm or two.  For the second half of the year we'll work through Properties of Matter from the God's Design for Chemistry series. I found that at the used curriculum sale, too.
  • Literature: reading books, of course. :) After Black Beauty, here's what's on my list: Understood Betsy, Heidi, The Wizard of Oz, Swiss Family Robinson, The Incredible Journey, Bambi, A Life in the Woods . . . We will also continue through Poems Every Child Should Know by Mary E. Burt.
  • Character Study: reading a chapter of Prudence and the Millers each Thursday at lunch.
  • Picture/Composer/Nature studies: I am determined NOT to let these fall through the cracks this year. Picture study is scheduled at lunch each Monday. Composer study is scheduled each Wednesday before heading to the park. If we have a CD we can even listen in the car. Nature study is part of our Friday rotations to happen one Friday each month. For picture study I'm going to try using an old book my mom found (1925) from Kansas and Nebraska public schools. I hope to find better images of the pictures as we go along. I'm going to see what we find in the library for composers. And for nature study, I plan to simply walk in our neighborhood or park and we'll each draw one thing in our notebooks. Simple enough. 
  • Park and PE: We hope to re-join our local homeschool PE program, which will be Tuesday afternoons. And, of course we'll continue to attend park days each Wednesday with our local homeschool group.
I mentioned Friday rotations. Last year we tried a 4-day schedule with Fridays as game days. But Friday's wound up turning into Saturdays with dad being home. So this year, we'll continue the 4-day schedule, as that worked well. But Fridays will be project days instead, rotating field trips, Webelos projects, nature study and Spanish conversation practice. So there you have it, our plan for year 4. Now I can't wait for the end of August so we can get started.

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