I have a third grader this year, again! I had a third grader last year and our first year homeschooling my oldest was a third grader. I should be a pro by now right? Nope. Still growing and learning bit by bit every year. I’m here today to share what my current third grader, year 3, age 8 child will be learning this year.
We follow a Charlotte Mason method generally in our homeschool. I use a strange combination of Ambleside Online and Simply Charlotte Mason and other similar booklists to create a unique curriculum that meets my children right where they are in their studies. We do much of our learning together as a family, but they do have some special subjects just for them. Below you will see a quick outline of what my soon to be 8 year old will be doing for school this year. Below that list I will give some more explanation of her specific studies.
- Bible & History:
- Simply Charlotte Mason Ancient Rome & Gospels-Acts
- Indiana History (self created)
- European Countries and Major Landforms
- Foreign Language:
- Space (Winter Studies)
- Nature Study Hacking: Stars & Skies
- books TBD
- Birds/ (Spring Studies)
- Burgess Bird Book for Children
- book TBD
- Nature Study:
- Exploring Nature With Children (weekly themes)
- Artist Study:
- Composer Study:
- Camille Saint Saens- various pieces and books
- Hymns: Monthly Selections (4 week rotation)
- Folksongs: Term Selections (6 week rotation)
- Recitation Term Selections (6 week rotation)
- Tales from Shakespeare by Charles & Mary Lamb
- Handicraft: Origami
- Language Arts
- Copywork- Hymns in Prose (Cursive) & The Lesson Book
- Oral Narration
- Written Narration (2-3x/week)
- Recitation (family pieces)
- Using Language Well
- Spelling Wisdom
- Literature (from Ambleside Online Year 3)
- Princess and the Goblin
- Children of the New Forest or A Little Princess
- The Jungle Book or King of the Wind
- Simply Charlotte Mason: Charlotte Mason Elementary Arithmetic Book 2
Logic is an interesting subject and not one you find in Charlotte Mason curriculums. However, looking at the insanity that is our world these days, my husband and I decided it was a subject we wanted to include early on in their learning. We bought Logic Safari last year and absolutely loved that series, but couldn’t afford to keep buying those books for all the kids every year. We opted for these printables from Grids for Kids and have not been disappointed. It takes quite a bit of handholding and discussing at this age, but she is beginning to get the hang of it. I only let them do one puzzle each week, and it is a highlight for all of them. They always beg to complete more. So instead we encourage them to do logic games like the one pictured above from Smart Games, Qwirkle, Othello, Mancala, and many more. We had friends over that said, “Oh thats just story problems.” But let me tell you it is more than story problems. Teaching logic at a young age comes with easier and younger examples, but is the stepping stone to greater and deeper reasoning later on. My oldest will dive into these deeper forms next year during her 7th grade year with, How To Read a Book by Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren and The Fallacy Detective by Nathaniel Bluedorn and Hans Bluedorn.
We actually switched maths for this child this year. She was doing well with Rod and Staff and could answer all the questions, but had none of the functions! She couldn’t solve simple problems without fingers or objects, and had no memorized facts nor could complete maths mentally. So we took her back to the beginning of Book 2 from Simply Charlotte Mason’s new-ish math series. This has been slow going, but we are seeing progress and confidence build. A lot of this home education process is me letting go of where she “should be” and accepting where she is, seeing my failures in instruction, and taking the time to do it right. Slow and steady.
Science you will note is different also from most curriculums. We do a lot of our science instruction together as a family, but some the independent readings are changing. We decided to try out the Christian Children’s Nature Readers that we had purchased a long time ago. She is enjoying this immensely and learning so much. She is eager to tell me about her readings, and is giving the best narrations of her life. We hope to add back in Secrets of the Woods but for now this series is a balm to a child who was getting a bit weary. We started in book 1 because of the subject matter, but will probably skip to book 3 when she finishes. We are just kind of playing this by ear and seeing how it all goes!
You may be wondering why my third grader is still doing phonics, and not doing it in a Charlotte Mason method. The quick answer is because her older sister (17 months older) needs to still do phonics practice and I didn’t feel I could graduate this one out of it and not the next oldest. This child is a great reader and does phenomenally well. She works about 10-20 minutes in this book each week and enjoys it (most days). It is not a source of tears or argument, so we will continue. Extra phonics/spelling practice is not going to hurt.
This girl has become a regular book worm and is reading at a level on par if not past her next oldest sister. Her literature list is taken mostly from Ambleside Online but we may be switching out a few of their literature choices for some from the free read section.
This girl has become a regular book worm and is reading at a level on par if not past her next oldest sister. Her literature list is taken mostly from Ambleside Online but we may be switching out a few of their literature choices for some from the free read section. A few of our reading choices are in the first picture. Why you might ask? Because we actually want to read or listen to those books as a family. My oldest couldn’t tear herself away from my reading Children of the New Forest to my second born last year, and I have a feeling Jungle Book will draw them all in too. Thus I have an idea of some substitutes I may choose for my third grader. She has almost finished Princess and the Goblin. This is not a book I would have picked up on my own due to its title, but I and my three oldest have all enjoyed this and its sequel, so it will stay on our third grade reading list in the future.
Why you might ask? Because we actually want to read or listen to those books as a family. My oldest couldn’t tear herself away from my reading Children of the New Forest to my second born last year, and I have a feeling Jungle Book will draw them all in too. Thus I have an idea of some substitutes I may choose for my third grader. She has almost finished Princess and the Goblin. This is not a book I would have picked up on my own due to its title, but I and my three oldest have all enjoyed this and its sequel, so it will stay on our third grade reading list in the future.
Finally, lets touch on handwriting and grammar. She is working on cursive, but we are also still fine tuning some print letters. She’s my leftie so I kind of have given up on perfect handwriting, but she is making some great strides. We are using Simply Charlotte Mason’s Hymns in Prose once a week (on dictation day for 10 minutes), and another one time per week she does “spelling” words in her Lesson Book. She and my next oldest are slowly working through Spelling Wisdom with an introduction into dictation (which both will begin in earnest next year). I put new words on the “words” page, then they do copy work from Spelling Wisdom in the copywork section, and on the last day of the week we do a dictation (these are the components of the Lesson Book listed above). We also once a week strive to do the grammar lesson from Using Language Well. Its not much, but an introduction into these things so next year is not a shock to the system. A typical language arts week looks like this…
- Monday: Spelling 3 Rod and Staff, Handwriting Hymn from Happy Hymnody or Hymns and Prose, Read 15-20 minutes literature
- Tuesday: Handwriting spelling words in Lesson Book, Read 15-20 minutes literature
- Wednesday: Handwriting/Copywork from Spelling Wisdom in Lesson book, grammar lesson on the Spelling Wisdom selection with Using Language Well
- Thursday: Handwriting from Hymns & Prose, Review for dictation from Spelling Wisdom Copywork the day before, Give Dictation and review any missed words.
For those of you sticklers who are now horrified that my daughter only reads twice a week for language arts, remember that she also has a science reading twice a week, is read to for history, science, literature, and bible time with family daily, reads her bible daily and has 30 minutes free reading every night before bed. Often there is also some audio book in the car as we run errands, and they pick up books to read during their free time. Our lives our filled with the written word.
Not listed but something we also do is a minimum of twice weekly, but aiming for thrice, we have an intro to written narrations. I will not have her begin written narrations for at least a year possibly two. However, I do have her begin with writing 1-2 sentences about any of our morning time read alouds in a special notebook that provides lines on bottom and blank space for drawing above. This is not graded or corrected (besides a backwards letter, or glaring spelling issue), but gives an introduction to written narrations that will form the crux of her composition education in the future.
As always, if you have any questions don’t be afraid to drop them down in the comments section. We are just finishing up our 11th week of this semester (7 more to go) and are finding a beautiful rhythm to our days. I’m seeing progress and confidence building, and am so happy with how the Lord has guided this year to find a smoothness to our days.
Have a blessed weekend,