I am not sure how it happened, but my oldest is 8 and in the third grade this year. It seems like just yesterday he was laying in my arms, milk drunk and smelling so amazing! Now he’s a stinky, sweaty boy with tons of energy and alllll the ideas and facts to lay on me. I wanted to share what we are using for him this school year as his core for language arts, math, and a few extras. I plan to do another post soon of the subject areas my two school-aged kids do together (science, history, Bible, etc.).
For language arts, we are finishing up The Good and the Beautiful Language Arts Level 2 from last year because we didn’t start that until probably January 2020. We are at Lesson 80 and there are 120 lessons total. I would think we would be ready to start Level 3 (pictured below) around mid-October or so. We’ve really enjoyed using this curriculum because it is super open-and-go, and it is engaging, fun, and very well laid out. It incorporates literature, spelling, grammar, vocabulary, poetry, art, and geography. I chose to start him on Level 2 in the second semester of last school year because I felt it had grammar concepts he needed to learn first. The reading and spelling are SUPER easy for him, and I knew that it would be. I could have started him on Level 3 last year, but I didn’t want to skip some core grammar concepts. So, here we are.
He is using The Good and the Beautiful Handwriting Level 3. This has a mix of cursive (which he started in 1st grade using Memoria Press’ New American Cursive) and print. He was getting really burnt out doing only cursive in his handwriting practice, so I thought he would enjoy this more and honestly he needed some remedial practice with his print. ha! He seems to be enjoying it a whole lot more now with this change.
We will also be adding in some vocabulary work with Wordly Wise 3000 Book 3. I wanted to ease into the school year with familiar things first and then slide this in a little later. He did some practice with it over the summer to get him accustomed to what he should expect. I loved Wordly Wise when I home schooled in high school!
As for independent reading… he reads ALL. THE. TIME. I cannot seem to keep a book in his hands. He finishes one before I can blink. We do have quite the assortment of independent reading options for him right now. The trouble is getting him to start something new and unknown. He loves the Chronicles of Narnia books, so he keeps re-reading those, which I don’t really mind. Anyone else have really avid readers who just want to keep re-reading the same things?
My third grader is finishing up Teaching Textbooks Math 4. I believe there are 32 more assignments he has left to do including quizzes. He started Math 4 at some point last school year in 2nd grade, but we paused it for the summer. He’s always finished his math curriculum well before a school year ends, so he’s kind of in the middle of curriculum every year when we finish up. He will start Teaching Textbooks Math 5, sometime in late September or beginning of October. In kindergarten, he started with the Math-U-See Primer and blew through that before Christmas I think. He started and finished Alpha Level that year too, or at least by the beginning of his 1st grade year. We decided to start him on Teaching Textbooks Math 3 mid-way through his 1st grade year I believe. (He seemed to be bored with Math-U-See’s mastery method and needed more variety from a spiral method.) He had no issues and worked through that the remainder of his 1st grade year and into his 2nd grade year, then moved on to Math 4 last year and is now nearing the end of that. I love that it teaches the lesson for me (yay!) and is very clear about what is being taught. He sometimes likes the lessons printed just to change things up a bit. I love that it keeps track of all the grades and such, even if I don’t really care about that right now.
As for any extra individual things that my third grader is doing this year… he is finishing up The Good and the Beautiful Typing 1 and will move onto Typing 2 when he’s done. I think he’s a little more than halfway through. He started it last year, but we didn’t do it super consistently. I wouldn’t say this is a must have. I know there have to be lots of other typing options out there. I just haven’t researched it much to be honest. He does some typing when he writes up scripts for himself and various book or author reports. I think he’s pretty good for eight years old!
We started using The Critical Thinking Co.’s Mind Benders logic books last year and both my now third grader and now first grader LOVE them. I had to keep them from doing too many in a day just to save money! He hasn’t started this Level 4 book this year yet, but I don’t think he quite knows I have it! Otherwise, he’d probably have already finished it! These are essentially stories with clues. You have to identify “logical associations between people, places, and things. The key is to make sure you get all the information out of each clue, by starting with the most obvious associations, then deducing the less obvious associations until everything finally fits together“. That was straight from their website. I didn’t know how to explain it myself.
As for individual geography practice, he is completing the Evan-Moor Grade 2 Daily Geography Practice book (he’s a couple pages from the end) and then will move into this Grade 3 Daily Geography Practice. He has a really good head for geography (like his Dad) so this comes super easy to him. He just works on it on his own, and I review when he’s done. We talk about geography and current events a lot at our house, so this is just a little something he can work on independently to sharpen his skills.
I think that’s pretty much it! I work with him on his language arts because there is a parent-led portion, but otherwise the rest is done fairly independently and it’s AWESOME. It has been helpful to have a first born who catches on quickly. I can focus on working with my first grader more and he just does what he needs to do. If he has issues or questions, of course I help him, but I am grateful he has been able to catch on to reading and math so well. Makes my job a whole lot easier!
Are you using any of these resources this year? How are they working out for you so far?
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