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Thread: Curriculum suggestions for 4th grader new to homeschooling

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Default Curriculum suggestions for 4th grader new to homeschooling

    Hi,

    I am currently letting DS 8 finish up 3rd grade public school and will then pull him out to start homeschooling. In regards to where i want to go, I plan to do a LCC. I currently use Prima Latina and plan to finish with that and do Latina Christiana over the summer so that I can do First Form with my son in the fall. I have done some SOTW with volume I: The Ancients, but have only gotten through the first few chapters since I don't want to overwhelm my son with such a long day as it is.

    So here are my questions and thoughts for what I plan to use for DS:

    1. It appears as though Logan's school has focused more on local history and not too much, though I would hope the school would of hit on some other areas at this point! Anyway, should I stick with SOTW, vol. I until completed for 4th grade?
    2. I plan to use your MP English Grammar for the Grammar Stage (book I) to dovetail with his Latin/English grammar studies.
    3. In following with LCC in regards to the progymnamasta, I plan to use MP Classical Composition (Book I).
    4. For literature, I think I will use your 4th grade literature set.
    5. In regards to math, I am really struggling with this one. I am looking to do a mastery concept program instead of spiral method because my son seems to be struggling with the spiral approach currently being used in school. I thought of using Right Start, to minimize worksheets. I think my son would do well with the games, but I am concerned about introducing an Asian approach that he has never had in any of his math lessons. I had also considered Math U See and Singapore, or using a combination of the three with Right Start as the spine. Thoughts on this from anyone?
    6. Science is another area that I'm having difficulty narrowing down. My friend who also homeschools recommends Creation through Zoology. I looked at it and it looks good, but I'm unsure in regards to teaching creationism vs evolution. I am still on a spiritual path myself, but I do want my children to have a good foundation in Christianity and God. I have no problem teaching creationism, but I want them to understand evolution too so that they can make up their own minds. Regardless of what approach, I also struggle with what I should be teaching for science this upcoming year.
    7. For art and music, I really haven't considered that and don't know that it's really necessary at this time.
    8. I don't know whether I should be including American History and Geography as well. I know Andrew Campbell did mention something to this affect, but I haven't really spent much time when it comes to deciding on the American history, geography part of the curriculum.

    Anyway, sorry for the lengthy post, but any thoughts and recommendations would be greatly appreciated!

    Regards & Many Thanks,

    Shani

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Hi, Shani.

    It sounds to me like our 4th grade curriculum package would be a good fit for you as you prepare to homeschool. You can tweak it in any way you wish. You don't have to get the entire package if you don't want to do our math program. It would include lesson plans for First Form, Famous Men of Rome (if you choose to do that rather than SOTW), Christian Studies II (which you could adjust to CSI instead), Insects for science, our literature program, and Rod & Staff grammar, math, and spelling.

    Starting your homeschooling with our lesson plans would make it easy to organize your day and make sure you get plenty done at a good pace.

    If you want to look at our 4th grade package and have any questions, we'll be glad to help you.

    Regards,

    Tanya

  3. #3
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    Tanya,

    Thanks for getting back to me. I probably will do most of your curriculum. I was considering R&S math, but have read that while it provides a great foundation, it doesn't prepare the student for advanced math as well Singapore math. Therefore, a transition to another math program is recommended around seventh grade to compensate here. What do you do at Highlands?

    I tested my son, tears and all, with The Singapore math assessment and he failed the 2B (the second semester second grade math level). Needless to say I have a lot of remedial math review cut out for me regardless of which program I use. I don't know if I should do Singapore and supplement with R&S. Does anyone here on the forum do this combo?

    I do plan to do the Famous Men of Rome and will probably keep doing SOTW as fun reading too since the kids like it.

    In regards to science, I am still unsure of what to use. The school Logan currently attends has so many topics addressed in one year that switching to cover just one topic area for a whole year makes me a little nervous, though I like the "not many, but much" philosophy behind it. How does your 4th, 5th grade science program fit into the upper grades for you?

    Shani

  4. #4
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    Hi!
    I have been homeschooling a bit over 8 years and used/seriously considered about everything there is. Math is my oldest child's special demon so I have tried all the ones you mentioned and many, many more.

    If I may suggest, give R&S Math a try. Because R&S sticks to just mastering the basics in the early (pre algebra) years, the child develops a firm foundation and confidence for higher math. For the child that struggles, that somewhat narrower focus and confidence development are a huge plus. The explanations are clear with plenty of practice on the board before being assigned in the book. If your son has had a bit of practice with multiplication, he could reasonably start right at grade level. That alone is a confidence booster. There isn't a placement test but the Table of Contents and samples make it easy to figure out.
    You can see samples for R&S at www.rodandstaffbooks.com

    My second son prefers and has done well with Christian Light Education Math for several years now. It is spiral but not overly so. It is advanced compared to R&S (ie 400 level = 5th grade) but he is talented in this area so it works very well for him. It is also completely independent from the 300 level on up. If you choose this, be sure to buy the Elementary Math Reference Chart.
    You can see samples at http://www.clp.org/store/by_subject/4

    This is the link for the free not tear inducing 100-400 Level placement test. It is VERY important to start your child at the level he places so he can be successful.
    http://www.clp.org/store/by_grade/21

    I would also suggest whichever you use, do not time the drill tests. The idea is to learn the facts, not develop test anixety. Finally, I would not worry so much about upper level math for now. Focus instead on getting him back on track and understanding the foundation. The rest will come with time and maturity.

    About science....With my older two, I found they felt relieved to be able to slow down and learn something in depth instead of skimming the surface of many topics. Their retention of what they learn is better, as well, with less to focus on. I have tried the Apologia Elementary books with my younger 3 but they are not ready yet. Zoo 1 's second half would dove tail perfectly with MP 4th grade as it is all about insects. Almost complete lab kits can be found at Creation Sensation. If you want to do a secular approach, look at Pandia Press's R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey or NOEO.

    Keep in mind that those 'extras' (full tilt history, science, art, etc.) are just that...extras. The point at this age is to get that foundation in the Core of Latin, LA and Math.
    Last edited by Enigma; 04-30-2012 at 02:28 AM.
    Mom to 4 Boys {J-18 with Special Needs, S-15, G-10, D-9} and 1 Girl {F-6}

    Used: MP K, 1, 2
    2014-2015: MP K, 3

  5. #5
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    Hello.

    Our science philosophy is that students in the grammar school should focus on nature studies - learning about the world around them. That's why our science for the grammar school is insects, astronomy, birds, and trees. When students are young, they get so much more out of learning about the things they see all the time when they are outside. This is information they retain and take with them throughout their lives. We feel this is a much more valuable use of their time than doing a survey course that hits one topic after another without studying anything in-depth.

    When students get to high school level science, they are ready to study biology, chemistry, and physics with the depth required to really understand and master them. Until then, teaching them about the natural world they live in makes good sense. Hopefully, they will come out of the grammar school years with an appreciation for nature.

    Regards,

    Tanya

  6. #6
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    I wanted to say I completely agree with what Tanya said.
    Mom to 4 Boys {J-18 with Special Needs, S-15, G-10, D-9} and 1 Girl {F-6}

    Used: MP K, 1, 2
    2014-2015: MP K, 3

  7. #7
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    Apr 2012
    Location
    New Hampshire
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    Thank you Tanya and Enigma for your responses. That helps a lot. I"ll be happy when i have everything figured out for both my kiddos. It's truly amazing how much time I have spent going back and forth with all these curriculum options. I definitely am guilty of the analysis paralysis syndrome, which makes this more difficult. But, in the end this is just such a blessing to be able to homeschool and personally select materials and teaching methods that are the most appropriate and effective for my children. A little scary though too because now their learning is really in my hands.

    Shani

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