Last month I wrote about our Homeschool Monthly Wrap Up and included both my kindergarten and 3rd grade in it. This time I decided to do a separate review for each one of my children to see how they did last month.
I realized one thing though, that I didn’t take as much photos as I would like of my 3rd grader’s homeschool in action! As a result, I had a little bit of hard time picking which one from my available photos to highlight from his last month’s activities. So, the photos I did have to share with you today will not cover all of his courses, just a few I managed to take a picture of.
Anyway, take a look at here to see my 3rd grade’s curriculum choices for the year.
When I was looking for curriculum to use in the early days of our homeschooling, I read a lot of good reviews about this particular program. So I decided to give it a try and never looked back ever since.
All About Reading is great in helping us/parents to easily teach reading to our children in the best way possible. It comes with a teacher’s manual that lays out ways we can do/use to teach this program effectively. We only do this twice a week with lots of practice reading everyday which is nice because it doesn’t make us feel overloaded!
Mr. M can read really well. He’s learned how to read since he was 4 and he amazed us at the speed of rate he’s been improving ever since. And it is not just the reading part, his comprehension is also great. When asked to tell us what happened in the story he read, he would be able to tell you details from it with a little bit of help from us. He also always enjoyed the activities that came with each lesson.
I think it’s an awesome program! But of course every children learns differently, what works for one doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for another. So always remember, you have to do what works for your family.
We use All About Spelling Level 3. This programs goes hand in hand with All About Reading so it makes sense that we combine them both. It is great in a sense that it helps children not only to memorize words to be able to spell it but learn how to segment each words and understands the why’s and how’s. And because we use All About Reading the concepts that are being taught in it are also being repeated in All About Spelling to better explain how to read a word and then spell it correctly.
We work together in All About Spelling.
However, I wanted more spelling practice for my son so I supplement it with Soaring with Spelling 3.
In Soaring with Spelling, they give you list of words to read and study at the beginning of each week. We do a pretest to see how much of those words my son can remember or knows how to spell. Then he memorizes these words by being exposed repeatedly to it through the series of activities he has to do everyday. And at the end of the week, we perform a quiz to see what he has learned and remembered. This is why I think it goes good with All About Spelling. While the first (AAS) teaches him the concepts, the latter (SWS) lets him practice what he has learned in the other program.
Besides the tests, Mr. M works independently on this program.
We have just begun using a grammar program this year. So I started him off with Growing with Grammar Level 2. This program teaches by grade level. However, since this is the first time we are using this program I wanted to go back a year before to make sure that we didn’t miss anything.
This program doesn’t elaborate each new concept. It only provides enough definition and example for kids to learn. So if you are looking for a more in-depth approach to teaching/learning grammar with your children this may not be for you. However, It’s great that Mr. M is able to work on this program by himself with a little bit of review of the concepts he learned with me. So far, so good. We’ll see as we move on along throughout the year.
I have picked Writeshop Primary B to try this year for our writing curriculum. However, I will be honest, this program requires a bit of prep in the beginning. And since it’s new to us, I wasn’t sure how much prep work is involved and well I just haven’t been diligent enough to get on with it. But, we have just finished our first 6 weeks of school and had just restarted after a week of rest. So this time we finally started on the program. I’ll let you know next month how this program is working for us.
We are using Abeka Writing Phonics 2 – Cursive. I bought this program last year but Mr. M wasn’t quite ready for it so I put it away for him to use this year.
So far, he is doing good. He is now able to read cursive writings which is great. However, his cursive handwriting on the other hand is a slow going process. It takes him a bit of time to finish an activity. I can’t say yet if he is loving the program, because there were days when he would say so but there were also days that was just kind of dragging. Either way, we’ll find out at the end of the year.We continue to use Draw, Write, Now and we’re currently on book 4. I love this book because it not only teaches him how to draw but it also lets him practice his handwriting. Because aside from his cursive handwriting practice, this is the only other handwriting practice he has. And this boy could use more practice in the handwriting department.I love arts but when it comes to teaching and doing it with my kids, I sure could use more accountability! Currently, we are using Home Arts Studio and scheduled to do it every Friday. However, since Friday is our light day, it is so easy for us to get sidetracked and skip on doing our arts. I know I should really work on this!
Mr. M have always loved Math. I can’t say for sure if it is because he is naturally great at it or if it is because of the program we use. We use and have been using Math-U-See and we never have any problems with Mr. M when it comes to math so far (fingers crossed). This year we are doing the Math-U-See Gamma.
At the beginning of the week, he starts out his math by watching his new lesson on the DVD that goes with it. Then he proceeds to answer his worksheet. I usually help him on the first day to make sure that he understands his lesson. And then he works on it by himself for the rest of the week. The program does come with blocks for hands-on and visual learning but he seldom uses those. He prefers to use his fingers and count on his head. He does 1 worksheet a day and does his test on Friday. So that means, we don’t use every single activity for the week and that’s fine. I use the extras if he needed additional practice on the lesson.
This year I decided to switch things up a bit with our history and try History Odyssey. We are currently studying History Odyssey Level 1 – Middle Ages. This program suggests a 2-3 day/week schedule which I like compared to the previous program we used which we have to do every day. History odyssey combines both reading and hands-on activities/projects which I think suits our family better. Although, I haven’t been very diligent with following up on the suggested projects/crafts to go with our lessons! (I know, I know!) However, we continue to work on his mapping skills, drawing and use of dictionary to search for his own words.
We are also studying Canada, My Country by Donna Ward to learn all about Canada. It’s history, geography, symbols, politics and so on. This is not by any means a complete and in-depth type of program but it does a great job in introducing the country to my young students. I wasn’t born and did not grow up in Canada either. So to learn all about Canada along side my children is super exciting and a great opportunity for me as well!
We are supplementing this program with Canada Map Book 1 to help Mr. M learn basic mapping skills and Canada’s geography.
I have got to say that I am enjoying our science program this year as much as my kids do! We are using The Sassafras Science Adventure Volume 1 – Zoology by Elemental Science. The program is based around 2 children, Blaine and Tracey who used to hate science until they got to experience it first hand through the adventures their uncle Cecil sent them to. The stories are surely captivating making you want to keep going for more! Right now, we are trying to figure out “who the man with no eyebrows is” and we can’t wait!
We do this program as a group. And because of my kids’ age, I chose lapbooking this year to help them capture the things they’ve been learning during our science time.
Below are some of the scientific demonstrations we did and a sample of one of the lapbooks the boys have finished.
Let me start this of by saying that we are a non secular homeschooling family. It doesn’t mean that we don’t believe in God because we do, it just mean that we don’t based our homeschooling choices around faith.
However my husband and I believe that it is as important for our children to learn and understand the words written in bible and believe in God as it is for them to learn scientific explanations of things.
So we continue to study bible and this year we are using The Story of Bible – The Old Testament. And although we own the teachers manual and activity book guide for it, we have just been reading the stories and then do a Q and A afterwards.
He continues to practice his typing skill using Typing Instructor for Kids Platinum. He loves this typing program because of the games. To him it doesn’t seem like he is doing some learning!
This year him and his brother are doing taekwondo and swimming. So far, it’s been going great! They are both enjoying the programs! And right now, they are already in line to get their yellow belt in taekwondo! So proud and happy for them!
I hope you enjoyed this post!
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