Fourth Grade

This is the curriculum line up from the post I wrote about planning for fourth grade. Notes about what changed are in italics.

As always, we are supplementers, field trippers and tweakers.  We rely heavily on the library, take field trips sometimes multiple times in a week, and tend to change things up as we go.  But below is the plan for fourth grade.

Writing: Brave Writer, as always!
We have a bundle of Arrow issues that we may or may not get to, though we’ll continue dictations from read alouds in that style.  We’ll continue with the Partnership Writing projects.  We have a good Brave Writer lifestyle routine going and we’ll continue it.

Grammar: MCT Island
I got a deal on the full Island level that was so good, we couldn’t pass it up.  We’ll read aloud the the books and do a little bit of the practice and exercises.  MCT can be a pretty in depth program, but I see it as supplemental to our Brave Writer lifestyle. We didn’t end up finishing MCT. There were some good aspects, but overall, it was not the right program for us.

Spelling: All About Spelling
We only started this program halfway through third grade.  Mushroom will hopefully complete Levels 4 and 5 for fourth grade.  BalletBoy will wrap up 4 and hopefully complete 5 and 6.

Reading: Read Alouds, Required Reading from a list and…
We’ll definitely continue our required reading list.  The kids pick one book a month to read independently.  I also want to introduce closer reading and we may try Junior Great Books to do a close read of short stories. Partway through the year, we dropped required reading and I instituted a longer required reading time. This has continued. 

Math for Mushroom: Beast Academy and the Key to Math books
Hopefully Beast will come out with enough books to keep us busy.  I’ve essentially traded the problem I had last year with figuring out what to do with Miquon ending to figuring out what to do with Beast Academy not producing books very quickly.  The Key to Math books have also been a nice fit for Mushroom.

Math for BalletBoy: Math Mammoth
BalletBoy is running his way through MM4a right now.  After trying several different things over the last few months, he chose to go back to good old Math Mammoth and I think it’ll stay his program all year. BalletBoy finished MM4A and started 4B, but did not finish it. He moved to using Math in Focus instead.

Math Routine: Primary Challenge Math, Challenging Word Problems, Hands on Equations, Math Games, and…
At the suggestion of a brilliant friend, we’re going to try making a math routine with a different math activity every day, including math read alouds, videos, games and other things.  More on this later, I’m sure.

Science: Human Biology with living books and experiments
I’m especially looking forward to using Blood and Guts by Linda Allison, but we’ll use many different resources for this self-designed curricula. We also ended up using Ellen McHenry’s The Brain, which was a great program, as well as many living books and experiments.

History: Story of the World 4
Yes, after a two year hiatus, we’re moving back to SOTW4 for history.  I have yet to find anything for this level that even comes close for modern history in terms of its scope.  It’s by far the least Eurocentric one I’ve seen.  As always, supplemental resources will be essential for us. We ended up not relying on SOTW4 as much as I had thought. Instead, individual fiction and nonfiction books made up most of our studies. We used the last several Story of US books by Joy Hakim as more of a spine than SOTW4, which ended up being too episodic and not meaty enough.

Logic: Logic Liftoff and Logic Safari 2
We’ll continue to enjoy the Prufrock Press series for logic.  This is always a light subject for us, but I’m glad we do it.

Art: Various Stuff
I added one book to our resource set: Drawing Lab, since we loved Art Lab for Kids so much.  We will continue to attend programs at the museums, do art in conjunction with history, and let art come as it will.

Music: Piano Adventures
This is totally off my plate as the kids continue their lessons

Movement: Soccer, Ballet, and playgrounds

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