What We Did and Didn't Do for 4th Grade

As I look at the massive list of what I wanted to tackle for 4th grade, I can't help but wonder if I ask too much or is it that we go with the flow and I'm quick to drop and change things up. While both true, the latter, definitely has more to do with what we finish and what we don't.

We finished WWE2. Yes,that is a lower level writing. At this grade they should be into or finishing 3. I use WWE as supplemental to Bravewriter Arrow and Killgallons. Right there I have 3 different writing programs going. Why? I like WWE for its ease of use and selections. Bravewriter Arrow is more of a literature program that includes copywork and points out literary elements. Though I don't see it as super writing intensive. We do like the book selection. One Arrow a month is the norm. Lastly Killgallons Sentence Composing for Elementary is a new favorite. I had used the middle school version with my oldest and decided it would give us more opportunities for copywork and practicing sentence structure. See...not a slacker at all.

Check those off! Hermione will be finishing level 1 of Sequential Spelling in a few weeks.
Jibber Jabber will be finishing Book A of Apples and Pears and working on Book B through the summer. He needs constant review and repetition.

We've touched on grammar in so many ways. The only actual curriculum we finished was Evan-Moor's Grammar and Punctuation. We used Grammaropolis, Scholastic's Grammar Cop and No Boring Practice Please: Funny Fairy Tale Proofreading, but did not complete them. We'll keep those around as we work on more of the skills in those books. WWE also touches on parts of grammar and punctuation in the copywork.

Done! We finished SOTW1. We keep repeating this one. They love it. We didn't do a lot of the activities from the guide. Instead it was a read aloud and narration session. Hermione loves to read and even though I splurged on the Jim Weiss audiobooks, she prefers to read them out loud. There's no way I could say no to her! We'll probably continue with SOTW2 through the summer so we can reach American history for 5th.

RSO Chemistry labs were a hit. The element book was not. That became a stumbling block to me not getting to the labs and it all fell apart. For summer I plan to rework this so the book is out or done for them or something and we can focus on the fun labs all summer.

At the beginning of the year, I dropped Math Mammoth and decided to focus on math fact fluency and reviewing what has been learned so far. I felt like I was helping them too much and needed to take myself out of the equation. I signed them up for Reflex Math, which they LOVE and Khan Academy, which has been a huge success. They are gaining more independence and self-confidence in math. I started them at the bottom in both. They are both already at 75% fact completion in addition/subtraction fluency in Reflex Math. It is not easy to move on in that program. Hermione especially needs lots of work on her +/- facts. JJ, I'm not so worried about and I might advance him onto multiplication/division in early summer. I don't really want to pick MM back up until they have moved onto multiplication and division. I think it will help them accelerate through the book quicker to get those solid. In fact, I'm considering dropping MM altogether because Khan Academy has been such a huge success here. They both like the way it is setup. I feel like they are doing more math on their own without my help. And in 5th grade, they need to start working more independently. It's forced them to practice reading the direction, finding what's important and what the directions are asking them to do and they double check their work before submitting the answer because they don't want to have to do another 5 in a row. All really good habits to be working on.
As an alternative, I might supplement KA with Beast Academy. Those are great for deeper thinking and the comic book style doesn't hurt. I know some use only KA, but I'm not sure if that would work for us.

All over the map here. We started the year reading Red Pyramid and then The Lightning Thief to match history. I was hoping one of them would hook JJ and he would read the rest on his own. He liked them, but picked a different series to start reading independently. Then we moved onto Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes. Even though Hermione struggles with pronunciations, she loves how he writes and they crack up reading those aloud. So we're not National Mythology Exam ready yet, but we're getting there.

Philosophy/Critical Thinking/Reading Comprehension
We have worked on these monthly and will continue to work on them. They liked the Reading Detective books and nearly finished Inference Jones. One of those that we just keep plugging away.

My plans were to read:
Percy Jackson - We've read book 1 and Greek Heroes
Chronicles of Narnia - can wait
Redwall Series - on my to do list
The Hobbit - summer lit session or wait til middle school or both?

What did we read instead?
Fortunately, the Milk
The Red Pyramid
The Lightning Thief
The Phantom Tollbooth
The Cricket in Times Square
Gilgamesh: The Hero
From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
The Witches - did not finish
Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh
Flora & Ulysses

I really like reading non-series books. It makes me feel like we are accomplishing more or something. So I don't know what we are going to do with all of those series books I want to get to.

Plans change. Rabbit trails happen. They still learn.

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I have been homeschooling since 2009, but have been reading about it since 2003. Homeschooling is rapidly growing. Whether you are a veteran or new to homeschooling, I hope to filter some of the vast amounts of information for you


  1. Flexibility is the name of the game in homeschooling. It's why I love it so much.

  2. Very informative post.Thank you so much for sharing this post.


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