Like many homeschooling parents, I spend hours browsing curriculum websites, reviews, and discussing different learning styles and teaching styles with my fellow homeschoolers. I’m always interested in hearing what other families are using or trying out for the first time.
In our homeschool, we lean towards a mostly traditional education with a lot of wiggle room. Having a lesson by lesson workbook works well for my daughter when it comes to language, math, and spelling; but when it comes to history and science, she found textbooks and workbooks to be frustrating and tedious. A few years ago someone suggested I look into lap booking and living books for those subjects. It took some time and research, but we have managed to find a good balance of reading, researching, and building lap books, combined with experiments, projects, and field trips that keep her engaged in learning without feeling monotonous.
Here are our curriculum choices for the 2017-2018 4th grade school year:
For Language Arts, we are using ABeka Language A. We've been using ABeka since Kindergarten and I really like their phonics based approach to language.
I decided to make a change for Spelling this year so we are giving Spelling Workout a shot. Spelling is probably my daughter's least favorite subject so we also subscribed to SpellingCity.com for extra practice that is a bit more fun.
We no longer do daily cursive writing practice because she already writes cursive consistently, but we do have occasional practice, usually in the form of copy work that I print based on what we are working on in other subjects or to focus on a letter that I notice her having trouble on.
My daughter really enjoyed using reading units from Confessions of a Homeschooler last year, and I’ve decided to keep going with those for this year as well. They are well laid out and easy for us to stay on track with.
We are giving Teaching Textbooks a go this year. I love that the program both teaches the lessons and keeps track of the grades for me. One less thing for me to do, and she get's some time learning from someone who isn't her mom.
I decided to go with Story of the World for our history this year. I was able to get the Volume 1 set with activity pages and audio book from another homeschool mom and save a bit of money. I like the story format and the list of projects for each chapter give me plenty of options to keep things interesting.
For Science, we have fun with lap books, living books, and experiments. I haven't decided what we will study first this year since we are doing history for the first 9 weeks, but we will have a lot of focus on how to research and find information, as well as how to present it in both written and oral projects.
I do teach Bible in our homeschool, though I don't use a formal curriculum. I stick with reading Bible stories and having a weekly memory verse. I've found a great free resource at Calvary Curriculum: coloring sheets, worksheets, and puzzles. And of course, Pinterest is full of free resources that I dip into often.
Every homeschool is different, and ours even changes from year to year as we find new things that work or don't work. I would love to hear what your plans are for the school year. Drop me a comment or if you have any questions about any of our curriculum and I'll do my best to answer!