Friday, November 20, 2020

Homeschool: Grade 4, Term 1 (2020-2021)

 It's hard to believe I have a 4th grader, but I also LOVE having a 4th grader! We have so many great conversations, and I love seeing her become such a deep and individual thinker.

This year, Sophie began Form 2, which basically just means we lengthened time in some subjects, she has become a bit more independent in some subjects, and we've added a few new subjects. Here are the subjects we cover in a term:

American History
British History
Natural History
Physical Education
Music Appreciation
Art Appreciation

We use the scheduling cards from A Delectable Education to schedule each of these subjects into our week, some being just once a week, and some being every day, some being 10 minutes, and some being 30.

Here is what we feasted on in Term 3:

Bible: We read from the actual Bible text, and we are read through Genesis and Acts this term. We read Genesis 1-13 and Acts 1-4. We read roughly 10-20 verses a day, seeking to cover one whole "episode" but not (typically) an entire chapter in a day. 

Poetry: We choose one poet to focus on each term, and for term one, we focused on Effie Lee Newsome. We used the book Wonders which is a compilation of her poetry for children. We read poetry every day, so we also read from A Child’s Book of Poems and Mother Goose by Gyo Fujikawa. 

MathWe love Charlotte Mason Elementary Arithmetic. Book 3 is finally out, and it does not disappoint! Because we beta tested it, we already had a good head start on it before it was published, and we were able to finish it this term.We covered measurement of length, liquid measurement, and ended with multiplication and division review. I'm really impressed how much her knowledge of factors has grown, and she has committed multiplication facts to memory without it ever being forced!

ReadingWe no longer have a specific time for this in our school day. She reads on her own time, though. 

CopyworkFor copywork, Sophie typically copies two lines of poetry or from a book. The goal is to visualize each word before writing it so that she can write the whole word from memory. This helps her learn to not only be a good writer but also a good speller!

Dictation: Sophie also has started dictation- where she looks at a short passage for a few minutes, to make sure she knows all of the words, and then I read it and she writes it out, ensuring to have correct spelling and punctuation. 

Grammar: We started formal grammar this year! We are using First Grammar Lessons by Charlotte Mason which are free through Charlotte Mason Poetry.

American History: This year, we are covering American history from 1800-1900. I am using A Young People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn as our spine for the term. We are using Heart and Soul alongside it. For biography and fiction supplements, we used the following books:
Sisters Against Slavery by Stephanie Sammartino McPherson
My Name is Truth: The Life of Sojourner Truth by Ann Turner
- Trail of Tears by Joseph Bruchac
- Soft Rain by Cornelia Cornellisen
Salt: A Story of Friendship in a Time of War by Helen Frost 

British History: We started British History this year and are really enjoying it! We are using The Story of Britain as our spine, and we also read The Story of Napoleon for a biography.

Citizenship: We will mostly use Stories from the History of Rome as our spine this year for this subject, but with the presidential election, I also wanted to spend time on it, so we read Electing our Presidents.

GeographyWe are studying South America this year. We used In the Land of the Jaguar: South America and its People by Gena Gorrell, and I really like this book. We learned about (and identified on a map) Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia, as well as the Panama Canal. Along with this, we read The Great Snake by Sean Taylor and Fernando Vilela, which is a story of fun folk stories from the Amazon River.

Natural History: 
Book 1: We now have one day where we use Sabbath Mood Homeschool's science curriculum. This term, we used her Astonomy guide. This curriculum is excellent and really got us interested in the night sky! It was a bonus that Mars was so close to earth.
Book 2: We read about marshes and valleys in Madam How and Lady Why. My girls didn't love this book.
Special Studies Books: 
Our special study was tiny creatures, and we did something different and used technology. They watched Netflix's Tiny Creatures series, virtually visiting a different animal each week.
We also read Buster Bear for fun.

Literature: This term we read In The Days of Giants (Norse mythology). We also read fairy tales, which we always love to revisit. And we always have nightly read alouds. 

Physical Education (Drill/Dance/Play): We didn't do anything formal this term- just outside stuff like riding bikes, running around, and trail walks. 

Music AppreciationWe switched it up this term and studied The Beatles. We read a fun book about them called Fab Four Friends. We listened to "I Want to Hold your Hand," "The Yellow Submarine," "Great Balls of Fire," "Here Comes the Sun," and "Twist and Shout."

Art AppreciationWe studied Pablita Velarde. We printed the paintings off on a friend's industrial printer so that my kids each have their own set. We studied "The Adoration," "Winter Hunt," "First Twins," "Old Father Storyteller," "Deer Dancer," "The Turtle Dance," and an untitled piece.

Spanish: We did not excel in Spanish this term, but we did get a little in. We worked on introductions and greetings (as we've added in some younger kiddos), we watched a few Spanish videos, and we read Mis Cinco Sentidos and Abuela.If I've failed my kids in every other way with teaching them Spanish, they can at least say Hola Abuela, as they do often while playing.

SingingWe learned and sang the following songs over the term:
- "Get on Board: The Gospel Train"
- "Polly Wolly Doodle"

RecitationWe do recitation three times a week. The purpose of recitation is not memorization (though, that often happens over the term!); the purpose is to be able to read something beautifully. Sometimes we each read a line and share the recitation, and sometimes Sophie does it all on her own. This term, we did the following: 
- Benediction: May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you...
- Verses: Luke 1:47-55; Psalm 145:8-9; Isaiah 61:1-3
- Poems: Effie Lee Newsome's "The Golden Garden Spider" and "Young Birds' Mouths" (Brielle, grade 2, learned "Strange," and "Flakes and Drops.")

Drawing: We didn't do a lot of drawing this term, but when we did, we didn't follow a particular curriculum.

Handicrafts/WorkWe didn't learn any new handcrafts but did visit a few old handcrafts.

Brielle is in 2nd grade, and pictured below are the books we used with her. If you want more details of what we did in 2nd grade (with Sophie), you can go to my Homeschooling tab.

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