It’s hard to believe, but the homeschool year has flown by and I’m already shopping for next year’s curriculum!
I will say that I had not planned to share my 4th grade curriculum picks this early – but since we are all supposed to be inside social distancing…what better time is there to start the roller coaster of fun that is curriculum shopping?!
This upcoming year is pretty big for us because we are going to completely shake off our typical box curriculum. We have used it on and off for years as my kids have been in different grades, but I think I am finally ready to completely drop it.
I have been hearing about so many awesome curriculum choices from friends and other homeschool bloggers, and I am excited to try as many as we can this year!
You should always check your state to see what (if anything) is required for you to teach at each grade level.
Our state does not have anything that they require for 4th grade curriculum, so I plan to teach these core subjects:
and these enrichment subjects:
We also have a co-op that offers lots of fun enrichment classes for my kids to take such as STEM, cooking, and art. I am sure we will add more to this course load once our co-op has a set schedule made up for the year.
If you are not involved in a co-op, I strongly recommend looking into a few in your area! Our co-op has greatly enriched my kids’ education and been such a fun highlight of our week for years.
With great trial and error over the years, I have found that all my kids seem to prefer online math options.
CTC Math is a complete online math program for K-12 with a mastery approach.
I purchased it in February when it is was on sale, so we have already had some time to check it out and see what is ahead.
The lessons are all 3-4 minute video lessons that are taught by a professional teacher.
The video lessons are cute and seem to engage my kids – it helps that they are short and focused.
The video is followed by a reasonable number of questions. If my kid gets all the questions right, confetti explodes on the screen and they LOVE that.
I would also add that CTC Math allows you access to all grade levels and lessons. That means you can easily review previous grades and work ahead to higher grade levels without buying anything new.
CTC Math also offers a free trial and a 12 month no questions asked money back guarantee – which is definitely not common!
We have tried several different language arts programs and this one seems to be the best fit for us.
The student has to “fix” one sentence every day by capitalizing letters, adding commas, quotation marks, labeling nouns, etc.
There is also a daily vocabulary word in each sentence that the student has to look up and copy into a glossary notebook. I really like that the student is encouraged to use context clues from the sentence to figure out the meaning of the word – as opposed to just learning a list of random vocabulary words from a workbook curriculum.
After the student has marked up the sentence, they then copy the corrected sentence into a notebook. Over the course of the year they will have copied out an entire story.
The curriculum is only designed to be used 4 days a week and takes my daughter on average 10-15 minutes to complete.
She can do most of these assignments independently too, which is a huge plus.
We had also looked at Shurley Grammar because it came highly recommended by many other homeschoolers. After looking at the price and how teacher intensive it was, we decided to continue with Fix It! for now.
My soon to be 4th grader has strong reading skills, so I am comfortable with providing her reading level appropriate chapter books that I buy or get at the library.
She is required to read for 15 minutes per day or one chapter. I also usually find her reading at night before bed.
I try to sit with her at least once a week and listen to her read. That gives me a chance to gauge how she’s doing, talk about vocabulary words, and help her break down any new/challenging words there might be in the text.
If you have a student who struggles with reading or if you would be comfortable with more structure, I highly recommend All About Reading.
I have used their Pre-Reading and Level 1 materials and I think they have a top notch reading program that I plan to use with my younger kids as long as they need help with reading.
We used IEW Bible Heroes: Writing Lessons in Structure and Style last year in our co-op and it was a wonderful introduction to writing.
I don’t remember having anything close to this level of instruction of writing in elementary school, so I am very impressed with the curriculum.
My child learned how to use adjectives and strong verbs in her writing, as well as clauses to “dress up” her stories.
To me, IEW is the gold standard for homeschool writing curriculum.
We will continue in 4th grade with whichever IEW theme book our co-op decides to go with.
Spelling used to be an issue in our homeschool until we found All About Spelling.
My oldest always did well on her spelling tests…but she would forget how to spell the words pretty quickly after the test was over.
Most spelling curriculum basically has you learn to spell by memorizing the order of the letters. They do this through cute worksheets, word searches, etc.
All About Spelling takes a completely different approach by teaching kids to spell by phonetically sounding words out – so you learn to spell many words – not just the 10-15 on your spelling list.
This makes so much sense to me. We teach our kids to read by using phonics – why wouldn’t we use that to teach them spelling?
My daughter took to it right away and her confidence with spelling has soared. We did All About Spelling books 1 and 2 in 3rd grade, so she will be moving on to level 3 in 4th grade.
Lessons take approximately 15 minutes and require very little pep time for me.
I have been hearing about Story of the World for years and I am so excited to finally get started with it!
Story of the World is a series of books that covers history from Ancient Times to the Modern Era in 4 books.
We will be doing Volume 1 this year which covers early nomads to the last Roman Emperor.
The chapters are short, engaging, and make history come alive for kids!
I have already flipped through the book and I know my kids are going to be begging me for more.
I also opted for the audio version of the book so that I can take it in the car with us, or just play it on days I don’t have as much time to read aloud.
The activity book is packed with coloring sheets (great to keep hands busy while I read), activities, review questions, map exercises, and even some recipes!
Some examples of fun activities I saw from flipping through the book are carving a greek statue out of soap, making a gingerbread Parthenon, and constructing a sand cube pyramid. All of these sound like such a fun way to bring history alive and make it stick in my kid’s head!
Yes, cursive is usually part of 3rd grade curriculum, not 4th grade curriculum.
But, I received somer terrible advice years ago and tried to teach my 2nd grader cursive.
Please don’t ever do that to yourself. She was not ready for several reasons and it was a miserable experience.
I took an entire year off of cursive in order for both of us to recover. I plan to start over with cursive in our 4th grade curriculum with a super fun workbook I found on Amazon – Beginning Cursive for Confident and Creative Girls
If you have not started cursive or if you have a boy, I would also recommend Handwriting Without Tears Cursive.
That is the first book we used and I think it would have gone very well if my kid had been older.
The Sassafras Science series follows the adventures of twins, Blaine and Tracey, and their Uncle Cecil.
Uncle Cecil is a brilliant scientist who has invented invisible zip lines for Blaine and Tracey to travel the world and see science up close and personal!
My kids love the exciting chapters and are always begging me to keep reading – what every homeschool mom wants!
The guide book is what makes these books a full curriculum. They are packed with library book recommendations, activities, experiments, and crafts to really instill each chapter’s science concepts.
If your kids are not huge read aloud fans, I would also highly recommend Apologia Science.
As kids get older, they typically stop doing the things that kept them active – groups sports and playing outside. They start to prefer talking with their friends at Starbucks instead of playing tag.
I think it’s important to have regular, intentional time to “move our bodies” and talk about the importance of stretching and exercising as ways of taking care of our bodies.
The hope is that will become normal and they will carry the activity into adulthood.
About 3 times a week, I lead the kids in simple stretches and talk about flexibility.
From there, I switch up what we do. We might just do a handful of simple exersices: jumping jacks, walking lunges, skipping, running in place, crab walk, etc.
All of which make the kids laugh and they think is great fun!
We might go outside for a walk or a bike ride.
Or we throw around these dice for a fun, active game.
I plan to stock up for next year with some more exercise games to be used only during P.E.
Amazon has some great options that you can check out here.
We probably spend 10-20 minutes total on each P.E. session.
We used The Gospel Story Bible last year and love the one page stories that walk you through the Bible and always find a way to point the story towards Jesus.
I especially love the illustration and the 3 questions at the end of ever story. It really engages my kids and lets me know if they were paying attention and/or understood the story.
This Bible curriculum comes from Answers in Genesis, a fantastic company that uses science to defend the Christian faith.
In 30 lessons, this curriculum “gives children a solid understanding of biblical history and helps them to boldly share and defend the truth of the gospel.”
Art History Kids is a super fun online art program that is run by a homeschool mom!
A monthly subscription (the cost of a trip to Starbucks) gives you access to monthly lesson plans that:
“introduces you and your kids to a new (super fun and engaging) art history topic each month, and invites kids to explore their own creativity through curiosity based conversation and open-ended hands-on activities!”
I don’t know about you, but I am not very comfortable with teaching art…but my kids all love art!
Art History Kids does all the heavy lifting and makes it possible to teach my kids a rich art curriculum.
Click here – Art History Kids – to check out the digital studio and get a one month free trial!
Typing was one of the best classes I took when I was in school – it was a practical skill that has helped me a lot in college and life.
I didn’t think my daughter would need to learn to type this early, but her 3rd grade co-op writing teacher was already asking for typed final drafts.
Technology is the way of the future I guess 🙂
Thankfully, I found Kidztype!
It is FREE and my daughter loves it. It was one of her favorite subjects in 3rd grade and we plan to carry it into 4th grade and use it until she becomes a fluent typist.
Lessons take about 10 minutes per day.
We have tried a handful of music curriculums in the past, but my daughter had little to no interest. I have offered her piano lessons (like her sister takes), but she refused them.
I am not wanting to force music on her, but I don’t want to give up on it either.
This year we are trying an outside the box approach and signing all my kids up for a children’s choir.
I think she will love singing with other kids and learning new songs!
This is a great option for music if you have it in your area.
If not, I would also consider checking out this awesome post – 6 Ways to Teach Music in Your Homeschool Without Private Lessons
My daughter has been asking to learn Spanish for awhile, and I have been sorta putting her off.
The main reason is that I don’t speak Spanish…or any other foreign language.
The second reason is that most of the curriculum options looked really expensive and time consuming.
The third reason was that I was pretty sure it was a phase.
Thankfully, I stumbled onto Fabulingua this year and it has solved all my foreign language woes!
It is a very reasonably priced app that my kids can use on a phone or tablet. FabuLingua teaches Spanish to kids using stories and games that are backed by research!
The method they use is called “Magical Translations.” Their website explains it like this:
“Instead of using the more traditional methods, Magical Translations™ focuses on gently and consistently exposing kids to natural storytelling content in a way that renders it ‘comprehensible’. The result is a more organic wiring of the brain to the new language in what feels like an effortless (and fun!) way.”
This is my kind of Spanish!
The price is right, no extra work for me as an English only speaking homeschool mom, and my kids are loving it!
As you can see, we have a full year planned!
I am excited to get started with all of it and I hope it helped you make some decisions about the sea of 4th grade homeschool curriculum options out there.
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