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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

3rd Grade Curriculum Choices

Every year, I always think I’ve found just the right fit for us in our studies.  However, that never really proves true.  So, off I go again looking for the perfect curriculum.  Well, after almost 3 years of home schooling, I don’t think there IS a perfect curriculum.  So, I’ve decided to just do the best I can and purchase (or put together) what I think will benefit Caleb the most.  With that said, here’s how our 3rd grade curriculum choices are looking…
Bible – We will be going back to Great Commissions Publications.  They publish reformed materials, and we will use their Show Me Jesus curriculum.  This is actually for Sunday Schools, but I find it easy to implement in our home school setting, and Caleb enjoys it.
Science – I decided to stray away from a typical science textbook curriculum this year.  This is one of Caleb’s favorite subjects, so I wanted to do something totally different for him.  Using the scope & sequence from Bob Jones University Press and several Usborne books, I put together my own science study.  We will be using Usborne books, Internet reading passages, Internet videos, Internet games, and library books to cover a wide array of topics.  We will also spend time making several lapbooks that reinforce some of the topics of study.
Social Studies – Just like science, I put together our own social studies curriculum.  This, too, is another of Caleb’s favorite subjects, so I spent hours way too many hours trying to put it all together.  Using Story of the USA books 1 & 2 as our spine, we will cover a plethora of topics.  We will also watch Internet videos and read library books on certain topics, too.
Reading – Just like we did in 2nd grade, we will be reading a broad variety of books.  Caleb will be reading 20-30 pages a day, and he will identify the genre of the book that he is reading.  We will also spend time working on story elements (characters, setting, plot, etc) and writing book reports.
Vocabulary – We will continue our Wordly Wise 3000 study.  Caleb will be using Book 3.
Handwriting – This is an area that Caleb dislikes; however, I feel it’s important that he continue to work on his cursive skills.  Because of his disgust for the subject, I thought it would be a good idea to incorporate subjects of interest into his handwriting.  So, we’ll be using some copybooks from Happy Scribe.  Caleb will be learning and writing about swimming, sport fishing, archery, camping, Georgia, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.  I really hope that this will make handwriting more enjoyable for him.
Math – We will be using Math U See again for 3rd grade.  Caleb will finish up his Beta book and move on to Gamma. 
Spelling – This is an area where Caleb has struggled a bit.  We’ve tried several different programs, and we still haven’t found the right fit.  So, next year we’re going to try Spelling Power.  Rather than working on grade levels, this spelling program works at your child’s ability level.  It’s also something that I purchase ONCE and can continue to use year-after-year.  I’m really hoping that this will be a good experience and choice for Caleb.  I’ll keep you posted for sure!
English – We’re changing up our English for 3rd grade, and we’ll be using a brand-new (to us) publisher.  We’re going to use Rod & Staff Beginning Wisely.  While I liked the Bob Jones that we’ve used the past 3 years, I didn’t LOVE it.  The English portion was fine, but the writing sections seemed to just draw out way too long for Caleb and me.  Caleb also has had struggles retaining the information, so I’m hoping that the constant review and recitation from Rod & Staff will be beneficial.
Art – While I’d love to tell you that I have glorious plans for art, I don’t.  It never fails…I always start out strong in this area, but then life happens, and it’s always the first subject to get ditched.  So, I’m not even going to plan for it next year.  If we get to it, GREAT.  If not, well…  I will continue to use Art is Fundamental and How to Teach Art to Children as my guidelines though.  We are going to try to enroll Caleb in a private art class that is held weekly, so I’m hoping that will suffice for his art educational needs. 
So, there you have it…those are our curriculum choices for 3rd grade.  What does next year look like for you?  Will you use the same publishers, or are you changing things up?  I’m praying that 3rd grade will be our best year yet, but only time will tell.  I know that I’m certainly more excited about our plans.  I only hope Caleb is as well.  Smile


Shelley said...

Sherrie, I used to go insane with handwriting. It was like pulling teeth. While I still made them do handwriting everyday I didn't worry about it to much. As long as they did it - that was all that mattered.

When I fussed and worried about it - the handwriting results were horrible. Once I gave up on how well it was done, the results improved. You should see how nice the handwriting is now. It's beautiful! And not "for a boy" - it's really nice!

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