Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Curriculum Choices for 4th grade

I am finally ready to start posting about curriculum choices for the 2013-2014 school year! I am going to start with the choices that I made for Aaron's 4th grade year. First, I use Heart of Dakota. Within Heart of Dakota, there are lots of choices that we can make to tailor it to each specific child's needs. The Basics are as follows:
Math:  Singapore Math 4A and 4B
English: Rod and Staff Grammar English 4, Building With Diligence
Dictation: Level 4
Poetry/Creative Writing: Poetry of Robert Louis Stevenson with Creative Writing Assignments once each week that correspond to the poem of the week.
Commonplace Book: This is a composition book in which he copies scriptures, quotes, and poetry

This is a daily schedule checklist that we follow each day. It's nice to be able to check things off as we go.

In the appendix of each Heart of Dakota guide is several levels of dictation. I copied Level 4 and put the pages in page protectors and placed them in his basics binder for easier access.

Another very talented Heart of Dakota Mom made some wonderful poetry notebooking pages that have each of the creative writing assignments included as well as the poems. It is so convenient! I printed the file out and put them in his basics notebook for easy access.

Vocabulary:  Another HOD Mom made these wonderful vocabulary sheets and I printed a bunch of them out and he has Vocabulary that words that he has to look up, define, write a synonym and antonym, write a sentence using the word, and draw a picture. He does vocabulary once each week and the words are almost always words from his History readings.

Bible: We will be studying and memorizing several passages from the book of Psalms this year. I was also able to print these wonderful Bible cards that another Mom provided, so that he can easily study the scripture and memorize them each week.

Science: One Small Square: Arctic Tundra, One Small Square: Cactus Desert, The Great Dinosaur Mystery, Find the Constellations, One Small Square: Coral Reef, Columbus, Leonardo da Vinci, Pasteur's Fight Against Microbes, and Albert Einstein
Science is completely independent this year. He reads a specific portion from one of his books, and then has a notebooking assignment, an experiement, or an oral narration that he has to complete. Again, I was able to download some wonderful notebooking pages that another HOD Mom put together and provided for other Mom's. This year I printed them on card stock and we are so happy with how they turned out! A couple of the pages are pictured below:

In the above picture, is the Preparing Hearts for His Gory guide book, and the History Spine. This curriculum is biblically centered and history based. Even the Science corresponds well with what we are doing with History. The history books we will read together this year are:
A Child's History of the World, Life in the Great Ice Age, Hero Tales, and Grandpa's Box
I prefer to wait until around the 4th grade to study Ancient History because of the difficult topics that come with early civilization. I absolutely loved reading these books with Martin and am already enjoying it again with Aaron. Along with reading about History, Aaron has history notebooking assignments, oral narration, projects, and written narration.

Independent History: This is new this year. The books above are more books about history that will enhance and dig a little deeper than his main history spine. He reads all of these books independently and completes notebooking assignments along with reading them.

You thought we were done with history?? Not quite! These are the History read a-loud storytime titles. We will read some of these together and he will read some of these independently. They are meant to be read aloud - and I will try to do that, but it depends on the time. The books in this set are meant to bring each of the time periods that we study - alive. They are mostly composed of historical fiction books. So, the reader gains an excellent idea of what was going on during that time period - but the actual story is fiction. They are all excellent books!

Music:  For music this year, Aaron will be learning the Clarinet. I started teaching him a few weeks ago and he has already taken off with it. It seems to come very easily to him. He will be taking beginner band twice a week with CCHbands.

The curriculum guide is written to complete 5 days worth of work in 4 days keeping the 5th day open for co-ops, appointments, and field trips. So far, Aaron has been getting all of his work done within the 4 days. However, we always have the option of finishing any work that we don't get done on the 5th day.

I have been using Heart of Dakota for 4 years now and I love it more every year.

1 comment:

  1. It's fun to see other's curriculum choices!
    We have lots of the same books you've pictured in both of these posts. I also recognize the Rod and Staff books since my mom mixed them in our homeschool curriculum :)

    I've been getting us all organized and ready to start after we get home from the beach. The kids are getting excited by seeing me doing stuff, but I'm not letting them look at their books - want to keep it something to look forward to!