I can’t believe Mister Bull is ready for 3rd grade!!!! I’m sure not ready for him to be in 3rd grade!!! They grow up so fast right before your eyes – it’s so true!! But, alas I have finally made all my curriculum choices and have ordered everything for our new school year!! Even though we officially begin schooling this week, we’re spending a couple weeks in review and doing some fun activity sheets to get us back into the swing. Once all our new curriculum arrives ~ it’s like Christmas to us Homeschool Moms, right? ~ we’ll start our “formal” curriculum and school days.
So, here are our choices for 3rd Grade Curriculum by subject.
A Reason for Spelling, C ~ For the past two years, we have used this curriculum for both Spelling and Handwriting. I love how the lessons give practical applications for the student. And since I’m OCD about most things, I love how they coordinate together!!! Mister Bull seems to do really well with the daily practice and lessons in this series. Last year we started studying our weekly words on Monday night and taking the weekly Pre-Test on Tuesdays, which worked really well for us. We don’t always do the games, since they are a little more difficult to do with just one child. But, we love this one even without those!!! It’s a keeper for sure!
A Reason for Spelling CD, C ~ This year I decided to splurge on the CD that accompanies this series. Mister Bull is not particularly fond of listening to me just read all the time (we read Science & History aloud as well), so I thought using the CD might break things up a bit for him. We’ll see how it goes!!
A Reason for Handwriting, T ~ This is the year Mister Bull has been dreading!! LOL He is so not looking forward to cursive handwriting, which is why we waiting until 3rd grade to transition him (rather than 2nd grade like a lot of schools and curriculums do). His fine motor skills were not what they needed to be, nor was his focus. And frankly…he just wasn’t ready! So, here were are and its transition time. Even though Mister Bull is not excited, I am hopeful that learning cursive writing will only help him with the minor dyslexia that he has. I have read great reports that it can and does help, so I am remaining optimistic!! On another note, I am so pleased with the improvement of his handwriting over the past two years (especially last year) that I can’t see us straying away from this series – at least not with Mister Bull. I think the minimal amount of writing involved daily really draws him in. He does not like busywork, so the 10-15 minutes a day of practice fits him perfectly!!
Horizons, Grade 3 Book 1 and Book 2 ~ We began using Horizons Math in first grade. Mister Bull seems to do really well with the sections that are marked with different colors and he really likes that they only have a handful of problems for each section. He would never have done well in my school math classes where you did 50 addition and 50 subtraction and nothing else. He has done really well with the repetition that Horizons offers, but he never seems to get bored. We have, on occasion, used supplemental math papers but it never went well. There was lots of frustration on both parts and we quickly realized that this format was not going to work. I also realized that Mister Bull did really well with the format of Horizons and he actually enjoyed (most of the time) doing his math. So, we are sticking with Horizons!
Daily Word Problems 3 ~ I found this wonderful resource last year when I felt that Mister Bull needed more practice with word problems. He is really good at math, but often times would hurry through word problems, so I thought this resource would help him slow down a bit and help him get better. And it did!! In only a few minutes a day, he could practice his word problem skills. He loved doing them so much and I thought it really helped him that we’re going to use them as a supplement again this year.
Exploring Creation with Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day ~ Site description: “In this book, your children will begin exploring the dynamics of flight and animal classification, understanding why the design we see in these incredible creatures points us to our Creator God. Then, get ready for the exciting adventure of learning about birds. Your children will learn how to attract various bird species to your yard and identify them by looking at their special physical characteristics, diverse nests, and interesting domestic practices.” Now doesn’t that sound like a FUN year of Science?! What boy doesn’t like to go outside and “spy” on birds? Mister Bull loves to go exploring, so I am really excited about this one!!!
Exploring Creation with Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day, Junior Notebooking Journal ~ This year we will still use the Junior journal because Mister Bull is still working on his writing. I really like how the Journal is an extension of the lesson and reinforces the Biblical aspect.
Now, I am planning something a little different this year though with Science. Last year we dropped Science from our curriculum. Mister Bull was not ready for what we were studying and with so many emotions going on, we just decided to let Science come naturally. We did experiments every once-in-a-while and we observed Science when we took walks or went to the Zoo or park. But other than that, we didn’t do any formal Science lessons. So, even though the curriculum suggests only 2 days a week, we are going to work on it 4 days a week with Friday being a make-up day when needed. The hope is that we will finish this curriculum before our Winter/Christmas break and continue with the next in the series when we resume in January. That way we can (hopefully) complete two years of Science in one. Yes, I know that’s crazy and a little ambitious, but Mister Bull really likes Science, so I think we can do it. So, during the second semester (so to speak) we will continue with…
Horizons Physical Education ~ This is the first year we’re going to actually do a Physical Education curriculum and I’m super excited about it!!! The following statement is what really drew me to this particular product. “This exciting teacher’s guide systemically leads you in teaching your child healthy living from a Christian perspective with interactive lessons that focus on building strength, endurance, flexibility, and sports knowledge.” We are committed to teaching good for our children from a Biblical perspective and this just seemed to fit the bill perfectly! Not to mention that this product is 3 years in one as it covers 3rd-5th grades!!! WAHOO!!! That’s a HUGE plus when you’re trying to be frugal and have multiple children!!!
Learn Our History ~ Over the past several months I have seen several emails about this new product. At first I didn’t pay much attention to it, honestly. I still think 3rd grade is a little early (at least for Mister Bull) to really get into History. But, when I received an email last week offering this DVD for FREE – I thought…why not give it a try?! When I ordered this, I had the option to order 3 more at a fraction of the cost, so I did that too. I’m excited to see what these new Christian perspective history videos have to offer!!
Liberty Kids ~ Last week I posted about these videos being on sale and I, of course, grabbed them myself!!! My kids have watched several of these videos on PBS and absolutely fell in love with them. They are wonderfully done and really do a great job of keeping my kids’ attention. Since there is no textbook or papers with these, I will probably be working on some of my own printables to accompany them.
Daily Geography, Grade 3 ~ For the past couple of years we have used this as our only “formal” geography curriculum. Again, Mister Bull has not been ready for anything too much, so this has done just fine. This year it will be another staple in our curriculum. In only a few minutes a day, he can learn how to read and orient maps, learn his directions and learn about the 50 states, the continents and oceans.
Map Trek (US & World) ~ I found Knowledge Quest earlier this year, got a few samples of their products and absolutely fell in LOVE!!!! We are not quite ready for the History products yet (so can’t wait until we are), but Mister Bull loves maps so we will fully enjoy this product I’m sure!!!! My plan is to start with our new state, Indiana, and explore all we can via maps for history and geography. We’re kinda making this subject up as we go, since I haven’t found anything that I think will work well with Mister Bull just yet.
Electives and Extras
For the past few years, I’ve had a foreign language curriculum just sitting on the shelf. Oh I had full intentions of using it and my child being some great Greek prodigy, but alas…I allowed Mister Bull to lead his learning and Greek was not in the mix. Until this year!!! I think we are going to start working on our first foreign language and I’m super excited!!!
Elementary Greek, Year One ~ With the Hubster being a minister, Greek is a very important language for him. He took it in college and strongly believes everyone who studies the Bible needs to know Greek. So, when I found this set a few years ago, he gave it his stamp of approval and we ordered it with the intention of beginning right away for him (as a refresher), myself (a newbie) and Mister Bull. But, it was just too much for him and far above his head at that point. So, here we are again. Ready to conquer Greek as a family – well, three of us anyway!!! I am super excited to learn alongside Mister Bull and help the Hubster brush up on his Greek. I think we could have some pretty fun games and contests in our near future!! Watch for updates on this as we progress with our school year!!!
American Sign Language for Kids ~ I snagged this a couple weeks back when Educents had a great deal on them!!! I took several Sign Language classes in college and we have used some with our kids when they were little, but it went by the wayside as they began to talk. Now, I want them to learn more and have fun doing it!! This video series looks perfect!! I just checked and even though the sale at Educents is over, you can still get both volumes for $35.99 ~ a STEAL for Sign Language videos!!
I also have several extras that we will use as the year progresses and Mister Bull masters more writing skills. These will be used as needed to enhance and encourage him in writing more. We started writing our own sentences toward the end of last year, but I quickly realized he did just enough to get by and nothing more. There was very little effort or thought put into his writing sometimes, which frustrated me. But, we were nearing the end of the year (only a few weeks left) and I thought…we’ll tackle that when we’ve had a break and things can be fresh again. So, that’s what we’re gonna do start fresh and go from there. Don’t you just love homeschooling?!
So, here are the extras I have for us in the coming year. Again, we will use these as Mister Bull progresses and improves and as time allows. The following are books I picked up at a Homeschool Resale shop before we moved. They are all from Evan-Moor publishing, which I love, because they are non-consumable!!!!
Draw…Then Write (making our own printables for this one, so watch for some of those in the coming weeks and months!!)
Daily Paragraph Writing (this is apparently no longer listed on their website, but you could possibly find one on Amazon.)
I know, you’re probably thinking, “There’s MORE?!?!” Yes!!! In addition to all this formal curriculum, we utilize a TON of free and frugal resources as needed. I have written several posts on where to find my favorites. Check them out here.
I don’t know about you, but I love hearing all about other Homeschoolers curriculum choices!! It opens me up to new possibilities and I love to research them to see if something might fit us better!!! So, I have set up a Link Party for everyone to share their 2013-2014 Curriculum posts!!!
Here are the rules for this Link Party:
1. You may share as many posts as you like, so long as they pertain to their 2013-2014 Elementary curriculum choices. (There will be another link party next week for Preschool.)
2. Please put my button (above) or a link back to this specific post so others may find all these wonderful resources as well!!!
3. Please visit 2 other posts linked up and leave them a comment. Everyone loves comments! It helps us know we’re not just talking to ourselves – LOL!!!
4. NO GIVEAWAYS OR LINKS TO STORES, PLEASE. THESE WILL BE REMOVED. This link-up is for sharing our own curriculum choices for other homeschooling families to use as a resource list – not a sales tactic. Thank you!!
So share away!!!!