Wondering what we’re using to teach 4th Grade this year? Here’s our comprehensive list of 4th Grade Curriculum picks for 2020!
As a homeschool mom of 6 (soon to be 7 kids), I love to look at the curriculum choices of other homeschoolers. It is fun to see the books they have chose to read for their readalouds, core subjects, and elective courses. Hopefully by showing you what we are using this year, it can help you make choices in your own homeschool! Keep reading to find out what we are using for our 4th Grade Homeschool Curriculum for the year 2020!
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As a disclaimer, I would just remind you that every child is different. Every child learns at their own pace and has their own set of gifts and talents. Please don’t judge the success of your child off of another homeschooler’s progress. In any learning environment there are kids that are better at some subjects than others. This could be because of exposure, a natural ability for learning certain subjects, or that they have a greater interest in certain subjects. The curriculum choices that I will be sharing are specific to our homeschool, and our children based on their needs and abilities! The main purpose in me writing this is to help you more fully choose a homeschool curriculum that works for you and your family!
Last year our 4th grader was really having a hard time grasping Math concepts as a whole. It was a subject that was bringing tears and frustration. We tried a few different things and finally resolved to take a step back and really review concepts slowly and thoroughly. I’m so glad we did, because that is how we were able to ultimately choose to go with The Good and the Beautiful Math curriculum! They have only released up to Grade 3 in their Math levels, but they are releasing them faster than the school year passes, so by the end of this school year, we will be completely “caught up” to grade level.
I wrote a whole post on why I love The Good and the Beautiful Math so much, but I just have to gush a little bit here. We have been using this program now with 3 kids in the last year and a half. I have never once had tears over math. In fact, math has become one of the most looked forward to subjects because of the activities and games that come with it. It has been such a great transition to have a gentle approach to math, that my kids will often say how easy it is. They are still learning all the same math concepts that are being taught in other math curriculums, but it is taught so simply, and matter-of-fact with so much fun involved, that they have enjoyed every bit of it!
The only possible downside that I see to this curriculum is that many moms don’t want one more subject that is parent intensive. In Grade 3, I am still doing the math lessons with my child, but they go quickly. It honestly takes maybe 15 minutes tops for the lesson portion and then they have independent work portions as well. The only other downside is that all the levels are not out so that I can use it with my bigger kids too!
This year for Language Arts, my 4th Grader is using The Good and the Beautiful Language Arts Level 4. Again, because we chose to homeschool year round, she is part of the way through with this level. When she finishes it, we will just move right on to Level 5. I love that this Language Arts course is more than just a reading and grammar course. It combines geography and art as well. We have really enjoyed the art projects that go along with this level focusing mostly on oil pastels as the medium.
The Good and the Beautiful Language Arts comes with two spiral bound text books and an answer key. I love using the answer key to quickly check through the work she completes each day, especially when it comes to diagramming the more complex sentences! Level 4 Language Arts also comes with a Creative Companion that includes art and writing assignments that go hand in hand with the text book curriculum.
I don’t have my kids write right in the textbook, but instead I will write out an outline in their notebook each day. They will fill out the outline and I will check it off with the answers in the answer key. We do it this way for two reasons. First, then I can reuse the book for the other six children that will be coming after them. Secondly, then I feel a little more engaged and involved in the work they are doing so that I can keep tabs on the workload that needs to be completed each day.
For Handwriting, we have loved using Handwriting without Tears. We have tried using the journals, handwriting books, and the Building Writers. This year we have chosen to only get the handwriting books. I felt that it was just a lot of extra writing with the Building Writers books. Their Language Art curriculum as well as daily journal writing provided enough handwriting opportunities that I didn’t think this additional book worked great for our family.
History and Science
We teach History and Science “family style” or altogether as a group. We use The Good and the Beautiful curriculum for each of these subjects. Even though we learn these subjects as an entire group, there are extension activities included to go more in depth for the other students. Sometimes we will research these subjects more as a family through YouTube videos, and other times I will include some extra reading just for my 7th grader to go along with what has been taught. I wrote a whole post about this family style teaching and included a video flip through of the curriculum that we are using for this year!
My 4th Grader reads like crazy, so I don’t really have to get after her to keep up on that. We have a Family Reading Log that she writes down all the books she reads and what he would rate them.
My 4th grader is continuing on taking piano lessons. She is about halfway through the Faber Piano Adventures Books. This has been our go-to piano resource for all of my kids and previous piano students. She also has decided that she wants to learn violin, so we will be starting that learning out of the Essential Elements for Strings and the Suzuki Method books.
We also do a variety of online programs including Duolingo to learn Spanish, Code.org for coding, and Typing.com for typing skills. We usually rotate through which skill between typing and coding we are focusing on that month. The kids are able to choose from a list of educational websites to play on each day and can do extra jobs around the house to earn extra time.
I also purchase the Complete Curriculum Workbooks for each of my kids. We use these for days when we just need a break from school, our free days, and during the summer when we take a little break from school. These give me peace of mind knowing that according to national standards my kids are all caught up. My kids are able to do all the work on their own. Yes, it is busy work since it is all a repeat, but they like being able to write right in the workbook, so it works for us. Because it is a complete curriculum, you really could use just this book and be completely fine in all the landmark scholastic skills your kids need for the year.
Life skills are very much a part of homeschool as well! Our 4th Grader is learning to bake this year. Luckily her big sister LOVES training people on this skill! Having more time around the house helps us to develop those normal, everyday house keeping skills that will help her to be successful when she moves out on her own. Meal planning, laundry, gardening, and planning regular household duties are part of her “life skills” curriculum. She is also developing good study skills and habits as well as learning to be a self-starter. Because most of her homeschool is independent work, she is learning good time management skills as well.
That wraps up our 4th Grade homeschool curriculum choices for 2020! We try to keep things fairly simple around here. The biggest thing that we focus on in our homeschool is developing life-long learners with a love for learning (how’s that for a tongue twister?). My biggest advice to you when planning your homeschool year? Keep it simple with the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic, and let your children help you figure out the rest based on their talents and interests!