Sometimes, when I look at all the different curriculum I’ve bought during my 4 years of homeschooling, I feel like I’ve wasted a lot of time and money.
But I’m choosing to look on the bright side: every time I try something new, I learn more about what works for my kids and for myself. And now after 4 years of experimenting, I feel like I have a much better handle on what kind of curriculum we enjoy and works best for us. (But who knows: As Sarah MacKenzie says, planning is just guessing, and I wouldn’t be that surprised if I end up changing at least some of these plans before the end of September!)
Fourth Grade Plans
Language Arts: Christian Light Language Arts and Classical Academic Press’ Writing and Rhetoric: Narrative 1
Henry has used CLE’s Language Arts for a couple of years now. I still like how it combines grammar, usage, reference skills, spelling, and penmanship in a workbook format that’s easy for him to do independently. (Although I do condense some of the assignments, as he doesn’t need as much review as CLE offers.)
For writing, Henry’ll continue on with the Writing and Rhetoric series. The Fable volume was the perfect transition from copywork and dictation to more independent writing for him, and we both love the meaty discussion questions.
Math: Beast Academy
Henry finished the year partway through Level 4 last year, so he’ll just pick up where he left off and then continue to Level 5 when ready. Level 5 isn’t fully published yet, but it looks like the publisher will get the last few volumes out just as we need them. (Phew!) I’m supplementing Beast Academy with some problems from a traditional textbook, just to give him practice at the written algorithms.
Everything Else: Memoria Press’ First Form Latin, Geography I, Literature, Famous Men of Rome, and Insects
For the first time ever, I’m using a boxed curriculum. I’ve been impressed with the bits and pieces that I’ve used from Memoria Press in the past, so I’m going all in this year. After years of mostly piecing together the content subjects, it feels quite wonderful to have a teachers’ guide that lays out the whole year for me. (Now to see if I stick with it!)
First Grade Plans
Reading: Memoria Press Literature, Explode the Code, and lots of free reading
Elizabeth is a fairly proficient reader, so my focus this year is to help her learn to decode longer words and help her build reading stamina. I love Explode the Code for its simple, get-it-done phonics. To build stamina, I’ll assign a few books from Memoria Press literature sets for her to read, but I’m giving her lots of choice in what she reads, too. I expect our living room will be overflowing with fairy books for quite a while!
Language Arts: All About Spelling and Copywork
I like to keep a close eye on early handwriting to make sure that my kids don’t develop bad habits, so I’ll use the teacher-intensive All About Spelling for the bulk of Elizabeth’s spelling and handwriting this year. She’ll also do some simple copywork to work on learning to write sentences.
Math: Primary Mathematics, U.S. Edition, (Singapore Math), with math fact games
After a lot of deliberation, I’ve decided to use Singapore Math as Elizabeth’s math program this year. She’s a very linear thinker, so Singapore’s focus on one concept at a time works very well for her. I’ll supplement with games from Addition Facts That Stick and Subtraction Facts That Stick to give her some extra math fact practice and add some fun.
Everything Else: Memoria Press’ First Grade Enrichment Program, plus tagging along with big brother’s content subjects
This sweet program uses wonderful picture books as a jumping-off place for teaching art and music appreciation, poetry, science and social studies. The perfect amount of extra content for a first grader.