Friday, January 27, 2017

Mid-Year Update: Homeschooling Third Grade

We are officially on week 18 of our 36-week homeschool year...right where we should be in some subjects, behind in others, and ahead in just a few. So I am planning a series of posts to update you all on how things are going in our homeschool! I'll start with my third-grader, Rose because she is the easiest;).

First of all, you can see Rose's third grade plans here. And what you see there is what we are doing; I haven't made any changes so far.

Here's a rundown of what my third-grader's school day looks like....

Language Arts

I start my homeschool day with Rose because she is always up and ready. My older kids tend to sleep in and drag a bit in the morning, but she is always energetic and raring to go. This means we can start sometime between 8:30 and 9, which I love. We always start with language arts and we do things in this order pretty much every day.

1. First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind Level 3 - I cannot say enough about how much I love the First Language Lessons series! I don't have a review up for this level yet, but you can see reviews of Levels 1, 2, and 4 on my review page. We do one lesson a day, three days a week, and the lesson usually takes 10-20 minutes to complete (but usually closer to the shorter side).

2. Writing with Ease Level 3 - I reviewed this here. This is another awesome Peace Hill Press product that makes it super easy to do narration and dictation exercises. Rose doesn't always love the dictation, but her skills in it are steadily improving, and she enjoys reading all the little story snippets for her narrations. She has actually checked out several books from the library to read because snippets of them were included in WWE, and she wanted to read the rest. We do WWE four days a week, for about 15-20 minutes each day.

3. Writing Strands Level 3 - We wrap up our "together" language arts work with WS3, which I reviewed here. I really like the wide variety of writing assignments in this little book. Sometimes, if she has had a long dictation or is just a little tired, I will have her dictate while I write, sometimes she writes everything herself, and sometimes we take turns. It just depends on the day, but the assignments are nicely broken up so that it never seems like too much. The book tells us to take a week off between assignments; sometimes we do, sometimes we don't, depending on if we are caught up or not.

4. With our "together" language arts work finished, we move on to our read-alouds. We are using BookShark World History 2 this year, and I follow the reading plan pretty exactly. We go over any vocabulary from the instructor's guide, I read, then I ask her the questions from the guide. Finally, we look up any map locations mentioned. 

Then we move on to the next book. 

Today we read from these books:

  • A Cricket in Times Square
  • Usborne Book of World History
  • Child's History of the World
  • The Aesop for Children
  • Cornstalks: A Bushel of Poems
5. Rose is taking the National Mythology Exam this year for the first time, so at this point I read a few pages of D'Aulaires' Greek Myths to help her prepare.

6. Before we leave the couch, she reads a chapter of her current reader to me. She is reading through Sonlight's Grade 3 Readers

7. A couple of days a week (usually Monday & Wednesday) we do Five in a Row. I read our current story aloud to her, then we do a related activity or two. This usually takes about 20 minutes total. If you want to follow along with our FIAR adventures, they are all posted here. Currrently, we are finishing up with this lovely book:

6. By now, it is usually between 10-10:30, so she has a little snack and sets off to do her independent work while I grab someone else to work with. She likes to bring the dog upstairs and camp out on her bed:). 

She does:
  • Flashmaster ~ I give her an assignment to work on throughout the week; this week she is practicing her 5's tables in multiplication.
  • Memory work ~ she has a poem she is working on  memorizing and reads it to herself three times.
  • Handwriting ~ She does a page (or half a page if it's too long) of her handwriting book. 
  • Then she usually spends a bit of time reading the D'Aulaires' book mentioned above to herself.

7. Next up is math. She is using Teaching Textbooks 3. I am usually on hand to help her, but she mostly does the lesson independently, then I check her grade and discuss the lesson with her to make sure she understood it.

8. At this point, if it's a Tuesday or Thursday, I do a science lesson from Home Science Adventures with her and James. These take 30 minutes or less to do, and I love that everything is included that we'll need. We started the year with the astronomy kit, made it to lesson 10, then put it aside for the magnetism kit. The observations just weren't getting done because someone was either tired from practice, or sick... or it was too cold or cloudy to go out. I plan to pick the astronomy lessons back up in the spring!

And that's it for Rose's day! After lunch she has free time, reads, takes her shower, gets ready for gymnastics, or just putters around while the rest of the kids finish up. 

On Fridays, we do none of the above; instead she does a lesson from Artistic Pursuits Book K-3 Book 2, then she usually spends some time drawing on her own. If she has extra time and there is anything she is a bit behind on, I'll ask her to do a little catch-up work, but in general, she has quite a bit of free time on Fridays.

Thanks for stopping by, and check back soon for a mid-year update on my sixth grader!

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