WriteShop Homeschool Writing Curriculum

3rd Grade Mid-Year Homeschool Curriculum Review

We’re at the halfway point in our homeschool time, and even a few day beyond. Even though it’s technically a little closer to the middle of January, our Christmas break provided more of a chance to sit down and look at how each child is progressing and see if there are any changes we needed to make to what we are using.

Overall, we’ve been really happy with our homeschool curriculum choices, but we have tweaked a few things – and I thought you all might like to see what the kids are enjoying the most as well! Over the next week or so, I’ll be sharing a post on each of the kids (it seemed easier than grouping it all into one post!).

3rd Grade Mid-Year Curriculum Review

Overall our 3rd grade curriculum choices have been a great fit. We have added and/or delayed a few subject areas. Kaleb’s favorite subjects are definitely science, grammar (he loves Daily Grams), and anything art related. He strongly dislikes diagramming though (my heart breaks). While history hasn’t been his favorite, adding in comic strip illustrations to help his take notes and remember the lessons has made a difference the last two months.

3rd grade homeschool curriculum choices from Homeschool Creations



Kaleb is one of our most dedicated learners (i.e. not one to complain about his work other than possibly reading). He is typically working on school work before it’s even time to start the day and it isn’t uncommon to find out that he’s finished his math and handwriting – always a nice start to the day! He is also the boy that wants to do as much as he can 1:1 with me, so this year we are pushing him a little bit in working on math via the computer (last year we used Teaching Textbooks, but I did all the lectures with him because he said the computer was too hard – it wasn’t, he just wanted to be with me more).

On the other hand – he is my baby and I want to enjoy every last minute of this 1:1 time that we have together (shhhh – don’t tell him).

3rd Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices

Here’s a look at our overall plan for the 3rd grade year…

Our cursive handwriting has really been fun too (although there are complaints some days). I haven’t figured out a way to share the printables yet, but each week we review a verse from the Bible and practice letters and words based on those verses from our Seeds Family Worship albums. It’s been a great way to review verses we’ve learned via song and further cement them in our hearts (for me too!).

The youngest three and I are working on history together and combining Mystery of History and Story of the World has been great. With comic strip illustrations, he is remembering the bulk of what we are learning. Through history we are looking at past and modern geography (I’ll admit that I’m learning a thing or two!).

The vocabulary cards aren’t Kaleb’s favorite, but he is remembering quite a bit, although he is slower to grasp the words than Zachary and McKenna. He tolerates them, but gets frustrated easily since the older two want to give the answers quickly. They have been a fun way to start the morning though.

What We’re Adding (or already have)

  • Life of Fred Readers – We added these in about a month after we started school and they have been a HUGE hit. You can read my Life of Fred beginning readers review for more information, but Kaleb LOVES them. We are using our 3rd grade reading list for additional book choices too.
  • A few unit studies from Ivy Kids. So far we’ve used A House for Hermit Crab and are in the midst of Make Way for Duckling – absolutely loving them.
  • Big Truths for Young Hearts has been our Bible time, until we start Grapevine in February.
  • Times Tales – To help out with the upper times tables, both boys worked through Times Tales (we used the download version)
  • PE – The kids decided to participate in swim team for the year. Kaleb has practices 3-4 times a week, depending on our schedule and he has really enjoyed swimming (and is improving quickly).
  • Weekly LEGO, Keva Brain Builder, or Little Bits projects – Kaleb is typically finished with his school day a little earlier than the rest of the kids and he LOVES challenges and projects like these. While this has been on our initial list, we haven’t worked them in yet, but I am planning out a weekly project for him to do
  • Kaleb has LOVED his Rock Hound’s backpack and has already added that into his school time. He is constantly looking for rocks to learn more about and I love that it has inspired something in him. While this isn’t a daily subject, it has definitely been a great addition to his learning.

What We’ve Put Aside & Postponed

  • Writing – We absolutely love WriteShop but are focusing on Kaleb’s reading for now. He does have writing prompts and copywork through his handwriting and history, so we have shelved it for the time being. If we are at a point where we can add in lessons, we definitely will.
  • Geography: Although I had grand plans with this for the year, we are focusing on what we are learning through history and not working on a specific program. Waiting until next year on this one.

What Mom Needs to Focus More On

Looping subjects – Occasionally there are areas that I tend to push aside (or they just get pushed aside) because we have other things happening or something interrupts and we get sidetracked. Spelling and learning games are two of those areas (as well as read-alouds – see below. With these two, as well as science projects, we’re going to put onto a loop schedule where we rotate what comes next. Rather than having an assigned day of the week for each subject, they are going on a rotation schedule a few days each week and work on the next in line. That way if we miss a day, it’s really not a big deal because we can work on it the next day and no area gets lonely.

Reading with Kaleb – I also need to focus more on reading alone with just Kaleb – my reading TO him, other than our read-aloud time. He is a ‘get it done’ boy and focuses in on making sure everything is done properly (cough) and doesn’t always take a lot of time to relax and enjoy – and that is so important too.

Read-alouds – Much of our read-aloud time was spent with audiobooks in the car, but was also hard since one child was here and another was there and no one wanted to miss out on anything. We’ve decided instead to push along in a book and later tell the missing sibling what happened when they were gone. That way we can cover more ground together. Having the kids DOING something (like building with LEGOs or drawing) has been a huge help.

That’s about it for our 3rd grade mid-year curriculum review! How is your year going so far?

Take a peek at our 3rd grade5th grade, 7th grade, and  9th grade curriculum choices for the year as well! Click on one of the images below to look over their curriculum piles.

3rd grade homeschool curriculum choices from Homeschool Creations

 

 

Oh the FUN Weekend (Really, not Really)

This past weekend the kids had their first swim meet of the season. They’ve been looking forward to it for the last few months, especially in seeing their improvement since last year and the end of summer league. Competition is a little more intense at this level, but all of the kids have handled their attitudes well with the focus being improving their own times and strokes. Placing is great, but we really want them to focus on encouraging others and knowing they are doing their personal best in an area.

We left the house bright and early for a two hour car drive to the meet. Guess what – the sun doesn’t come up until close to 7am around these parts, so 5am is dark o’clock. (Side note: a few of my kids are WAY TO CHATTY for 4:45 am. For real.)

The boys started out the meet with their events. Swim. Sit. Repeat. Times were improved and all was well. Afternoon session the girls had their events and the boys headed outside to play for a bit. And then the fun really began.

Kaleb came in, sat down in front of us, and quietly began to cry. I noticed after a few minutes that something was wrong (he is our quiet sufferer). He held his arm and through silent sobs said his arm hurt.

buckle fracture xray

Hurt was really an understatement. While playing outside on some lovely chin up bars, he’d fallen onto his arm and fractured his radius (although we didn’t know that at the time). One of the parents from the competing team was also an orthopedic surgeon and after a quick look at his arm recommended a trip for x-rays.  We iced him up, supported his arm with a magazine and an impromptu sling made from his sweatshirt, and headed out.

Kaleb distracted by football

Fortunately there was a hospital about 5 minutes away, and we were able to hit the ER there (somehow our ER visits lately always happen while we’re out of town…).  Rick and I were texting each other with updates (he was in the waiting room with the older three and I stayed with Kaleb in the ER). When I pulled up the tv channels to distract Kaleb, he immediately picked Fox. I was confused why he would pick that, until he looked at me and said, “Mom, it’s Saturday afternoon – college football is on.” He is SO his daddy’s boy! But – the crying stopped and his focus was elsewhere (grins).

Kaleb with splint

X-rays did how a buckle fracture (small, but still there) of his radius, Two hours later we were on our way back home, all splinted up with the promise of a cast sometime this week. Not especially the way we wanted to spend the weekend, but on the bright side it wasn’t a serious break and it is his left arm so he’ll be able to do much for himself.

All in all, while a break isn’t ideal, we are truly amazed that in almost 15 years and 4 kids (especially with Zachary!!) this is the first bone break that we’ve had! Deep discussion has already taken place over various cast colors. Currently in the running are either green (because it’s his favorite color) or dark blue and white for the Cowboys. Gotta love that boy!

How was YOUR weekend!

3rd Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices

3rd grade homeschool curriculum choices from Homeschool Creations



Kaleb is one of our most dedicated learners (i.e. not one to complain about his work other than possibly reading). He is typically working on school work before it’s even time to start the day and it isn’t uncommon to find out that he’s finished his math and handwriting – always a nice start to the day! He is also the boy that wants to do as much as he can 1:1 with me, so this year we are pushing him a little bit in working on math via the computer (last year we used Teaching Textbooks, but I did all the lectures with him because he said the computer was too hard – it wasn’t, he just wanted to be with me more).

On the other hand – he is my baby and I want to enjoy every last minute of this 1:1 time that we have together (shhhh – don’t tell him).

3rd Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices

Here’s a look at the overall plan for our 3rd grade year…

Kaleb will be going solo with me this year on Nancy Larson Science. The FIRST day of school he was already asking to do that and art (we phase in our subjects, so we are waiting until this week). He is also watching Zachary create from afar, so he’ll have a chance soon to work with Little Bits as a ‘bonus time’ at the end of each day for him for some STEM work.

Overall, he has been so excited to start this school year – and I honestly am too with him!

Co-op Learning

Kaleb is still in the younger age group of one of our co-ops and this year they will have two classes together: Spanish and Five in a Row. We have loved the books from Five in a Row and each week we meet will focus on one book and work on several go-along activities for the story.

Curriculum in Year’s Past

In case you are interested in seeing the curriculum that brought us to this point, here’s a peek at what we’ve used with Kaleb the past few years:

See What the Other Kids Are Up To…

 

3rd grade homeschool curriculum choices from Homeschool Creations

Take a peek at our 5th grade, 7th grade, and  9th grade curriculum choices for the year as well! Click on one of the images above to look over their curriculum piles.

Ready to start your year yet?

The Best Week Because… Preschool Corner {& 5K too!}

Preschool CornerThis week there was much cheering and partying in our house. And for a very good reason.

Last Friday night, just before bedtime, Kaleb pulled my face in his hands and whispered in my ear: “Tomorrow can you pray with me? To ask Jesus in my heart?” The girls had a friend over and he wanted to wait until she was gone to pray with us.

After we returned home the next morning, Kaleb came outside with me to talk to Daddy and we sat down together at the picnic table and prayed together. As soon as we finished, he hopped up and we ran upstairs to tell the older kids and celebrate.

With ice cream.

Ice Cream Party-1

I can’t think of anything better to happen during our week.

Period.

 

Ready to Link Up?

Share what you are doing with your kids! Please link your exact blog post to the Mr. Linky below and link back here too! Grab a button for your post below and be sure to take a minute to visit the person who linked up before you. You can read more in the updated guidelines for Preschool Corner.

Be specific in your ‘link title’. Leave either your blog name or theme and provide an age range for your activities. Something a little like this:

Police Officer Theme {ages 4-5}


Preschool Corner

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Tot School ~ Catching up!

~ Kaleb is 39 months ~
 
 

It has been FOREVER since I’ve posted about our Tot School activities.  Not that we haven’t been doing stuff with Kaleb ~ but he hasn’t been doing as much planned/focused activities as usual. These last two weeks have been much better, so here’s a little look at some of the things we’ve been up to!

I thought I had a picture of Kaleb playing the animal sorting game, but my brain must be mistaken. He really amazed me at how well he was able to sort all of the animals in the Animal Sorting File Folder Game I put together this week.

Before this cute little Melissa & Doug farm sound blocks disappear from our house, Kaleb had to play with it one last time.  I actually had it sitting out to give to a friend, but Kaleb had fun matching up the animals to hear their sounds.
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We had fun sorting pom poms by color in an ice cube tray from the Dollar Tree ~ the rainbow order came from an older sister who insists that all colors must be sorted JUST SO!

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Some friends of ours were kind enough to give us an electronic drum set for the boys. I’m still trying to come up with a way to appropriately thank them for their generosity {ahem}. 

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This picture is from a few weeks ago, but Life on the Farm has been one of Kaleb’s favorite games to play. Thank goodness the game is made out of a thick foam ~ super sturdy since he is rough on it. It’s been great too for going over our shapes and counting and colors.

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We took a trip to the children’s museum and Kaleb was fascinated by these tubes that would suck scarves in and blow them out up high ~ kept him occupied for quite some time! :)

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The dinosaurs were also something Kaleb spent a lot of time playing on ~ insisting that they were his ‘family’. I have no idea….

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And potty training…want to see how well it is going?? You can read more about the bribery initial potty training attempts and some umm…. technical issues. :)

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Don’t forget to visit Carissa at 1+1+1=1 for some more Tot School posts.

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