In addition to the 11th and 9th graders, I am homeschooling a third grader! It seems like not so very long ago that I was wearing him in a Moby wrap or Ergo while I taught my oldest two children.
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My third grader is a very auditory and kinesthetic learner, and he can tell you more about fishing and camping than most adults I know. However, he was also a little slower to learn to read than some of his peers. For that reason, you will see that we are using some second-grade curricula for phonics and spelling.
Reading and Spelling
We absolutely love All About Reading and All About Spelling. The step-by-step approach to phonics has been great. I have used it with all three of my children for spelling, but Benjamin is my first one to use the reading program. Despite his struggles, it has been a fantastic program that allows him to progress at his own pace. We are halfway through their second-grade curriculum and will finish that and start the level three program this year.
Third Grade History
Story of the World is the history program we have been using for the last eight or nine years (with a break for U.S. and North Carolina history). We love the living book style of the text and the fun activities accompanying each chapter. This has been a family subject for us in the past, but with my two oldest in high school, my third grader will be the only one doing Story of the World this year. He is in Volume Three, which is early modern history.
We have already planned several field trips to accompany Story of the World, and I am working on a book list for accompanying picture books. We can also add fun art with the history lessons from You Are An Artist, and we are even coordinating our Fine Arts program to include composers from that era of history. (If you are doing Story of the World, you can find my booklists here.)
Third Grade Math
He is continuing with Math for a Living Education Level 3 this year. He really enjoyed this math program and was excited to start again when the book arrived this week. There is a story woven throughout the math to help them see the relevance of the concepts. He was so happy to know that the story continued at this level. I appreciate that there is enough practice and review to gain mastery but not so much as to become tedious.
Last year we loved Apologia’s Swimming Creatures, and he was excited to choose their Flying Creatures book for this year’s study. Once again, I purchased the audiobook so that he can listen independently, and then we will do the activities together. I am pairing that book with bird and insect art lessons from You Are An Artist and notebooking pages from Notebookingpages.com. We are also planning field trips to a local bird park, our state zoo, and even our local aquarium, which has some fun educational bird presentations.
Art and Music Lessons for Third Grade
I have mentioned the art lessons we are adding to our science and history. Benjamin will do a weekly lesson from You Are An Artist Chalk Pastel Art. Sometimes they will tie into history or science, and he will choose a lesson for other weeks based on his interests. We use their clubhouse membership so we can freely move between the courses, and he can do as many classes as he wants each week. (You can also purchase individual courses.)
He is continuing his music studies with Practice Monkeys violin lessons. While he is not as dedicated as his older sister (who is working with the instructor to prepare for a college music program), he enjoys learning to play his violin and has big improvement plans this year. I appreciate that he has an excellent instructor, a reasonable price, and we can do it all online, so I don’t have to be out of the house for lessons.
We Can’t Forget Nature Study
Nature Study is one of Benjamin’s favorite parts of school. He loves to take walks and learn about the things around him. Even outside playing on his own, he often brings in different nature finds for us to look up in our books. We will use our Homeschool Nature Study Membership to go more in-depth with birds and insects. We may also add some seasonal or interest-led studies throughout the year.
We do morning devotions and Bible reading as a family and incorporate scripture memory work and hymn study into our morning time. However, I like having some time where we do a curriculum that focuses on teaching the Bible to younger children. Last year we started working through Master Books Bible curriculum, Where Faith Grows, and we will finish that course this year. (My four-year-old is also joining us for this Bible time.)
Finally, we will have our morning time. I will share a post that goes into more detail about our morning time, but each morning we have family Bible time and watch World Watch. Then we will rotate through hymn study, Tuttle Twins, Fine Arts, Logic, and Shakespeare.
We are looking forward to an exciting year of spending a great deal of time outside doing science and nature study and continuing to work on his reading skills. We will listen to various read-aloud books and audiobooks (he could listen for hours every day with our audible subscription and the free selections from our overdrive through our local library).
Do you have any favorite curricula for third graders?
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Deals and Freebies
If you have not tried SchoolhouseTeachers.com, you don’t want to miss this BOGO Sale!
Apologia is having a great summer sale right now!
Journey Homeschool Academy is open for enrollment through the end of the month. If you are still searching for a science program, I encourage you to check them out.
You can use my link and get a free month of World Watch!