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Tales of the Third Grade: Curriculum and Update

I can't believe that it's already been 5 1/2 months since our homeschooling adventure began!

As they say, time flies when you're having fun. :)

I wanted to give an update on how we are doing.

If this is the first post that you have ever read on TSLOACW {I really need to work on a better way to shorten the blog name}, lemme re-cap--

  • I was a working mom with 2 kids in public school
  • The Lord spoke to my heart and let me know that we needed to homeschool
  • Hospitalized Hubby gave the thumbs up
  • I tearfully left my job with people that I adore
  • Took my {now}7th grader and 3rd grader out of the public school system
  • Blessings beyond belief
Now that you're caught up, I wanted to share some of the materials that we use in our homeschool for our third grader.

Before I get into our curriculum choices I wanted to share one of the best pieces of advice I got from a veteran Homeschooler:

Remember that curriculum should be used as a tool, not a dictator.

So think of curriculum as more of a well-organized suggestion rather than marching orders.


Third Grade

Math

Rod & Staff: Exploring Arithmetic 3

For my third grader, I really like the R&S curriculum. This is a Christian curriculum written by Anabaptists. I really like that this is pretty cut and dry. Repetition is a big part of R&S learning.

The teacher's guide is very helpful, especially if you are completely clueless on what to do or say. It even tells you what to write on the board {if you choose to have one}.

PJ is learning and really likes math. That's always a plus.

As a teacher, I'm taking it slow. We don't do a lesson a day. I actually spread a lesson over a few days or sometimes a week if needed. I'm taking it slow so we don't spend all day on math. This curriculum is very...what's the word... loaded? The amount recommended for a day seems like a lot to me, but that's the beauty of homeschooling. I know my child and I know that a 9 year old boy doesn't want to spend an hour on math-- frankly, neither do I.

Again-- the guide is really a suggestion, so as a Momma and a teacher, I take my God-given liberties to do what I feel would best serve my son.

Ugh! Did I mention I love homeschool?!


Language Arts: 


Rod & Staff: Beginning Wisely- English 3

I like this for PJ, as well. Good repetition for getting basic language and grammar rules memorized. 

Spelling: 

Rod & Staff: Spelling 3

I really like the spelling! We do a lesson a week-- first day we go over the words and their meanings, practices and exercises throughout, and then we test at the end of the week. So far, PJ has made a 100 on all of his tests but one. :)

READING!

Why is reading in all caps? Because I love reading. Reading's my favorite!


Reading is whatever we want it to be. So far, PJ has read "White Fang", "The Wonderful Wizard of OZ", and right now he is reading "The Boxcar Children". 

This awesomeness is brought to you by free books online, free resources online, and the freedom to...

I have found free lap books and chapter questions to go along with these stories.

By the way, Pinterest is a homeschooler's BFF! I follow a bajillion homeschooling boards.

Anyway-- "The Boxcar Children" has been so much fun. Not only is it a wonderful story, but the animated movie in on Netflix right now AND I have found a lot of activities to go along with the story. When he finishes the book, he is going to make a diorama of the boxcar. That's going to be oodles of fun! Lots of creativity ahead.

History

I decided not to go with a curriculum for history the same reason I didn't get one for reading, art, Bible, or science. That reason is...

FREEDOM!

When we are driving down the road and my kids ask me a question about life-- it's usually about history:

"Mom, has America ever lost a war?"
Science:
"What's the sun made of?"
 or spiritually based:

"Does God know what I'm gonna say before I say it? How?"

So, what do we do for history? 

We've watched Liberty Kids {free on YouTube}, documentaries, looked things up online, and...oh, yeah! We took an awesome field trip!


Our trip to Virginia and Washington DC was the best trip we have ever taken! I will save all of that for another post.

His history-loving father assigned for PJ and his sister to research an important American Historical figure. Pj chose Stonewall Jackson. His report is due tomorrow. ;)

Science

PJ loves animals. LOVES animals, you understand. He loves watching them, petting them, and learning all about them. 

Easy Peasy is a free online curriculum for grades K4 thru 12th. 

I like using it to fill in the gaps of our homeschool day or curriculum. It covers all subjects including Zoology which is right up PJ's alley. 

He's been working on animal classification. 

Bible, Art, Home Economics, P.E., and Music

I know that there are some that like to do these subjects formally, but lookit-- isn't learning a natural process? Do we really need to be confined to a text book to learn these things? 

No way! 

When was the last time you learned something? What did you learn? How did you learn it?

Educating a child shouldn't be about meeting a set of government standards, but training them in the way they should go; chasing interests; living a real life and learning real problem solving skills.

With all of that said-- I leave these subjects to life.

If my child has a question about the bible, we go to it. If they don't have a question (which they always do), then I might ask them some questions to see what they know or to go over something we heard in church. 

My kiddos love art. They craft every day. They are exposed to art by reading, videos, etc. We will learn about famous artists and create our own interpretation of masterpieces when the interest arises. 

P.E. is everyday--- they're kids! They run, they play...

Home Ec-- that's when I get some help around the house. Not just help, but these are teaching moments! They will have to take care of themselves {and others} one day. It floors me that there are so many young men and women who don't know how to cook or do their own laundry. 

Music-- my kiddos love music. PJ is learning how to play the harmonica and is really good at it. My parents bought him a kit long before homeschooling became a reality and he will spend a lot of time practicing in his room. I don't ask him to. He does it because he likes it and I want him to keep liking. 

There is a lot more that we do, but this post is long enough. 

If you have ANY questions, please don't hesitate to ask! I'm not an expert-- probably never will be-- but I have learned so much already and am more than happy to share what I know. 




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