Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Third Grade '13-'14: Grace

***Mid-year assessment notes added January 2014***

   I had a hard time admitting Faith would really be a kindergartner this year. But Grace entering 3rd grade? It feels like she should be finishing 3, but she really will turn 8 in September. This is my precocious one. She read phonetically at 3 years old, and had a strong interest in academics at an early age. She's always been ahead, and could be further ahead if I pushed her, but she's too busy chasing faeries and fending off goblins in the backyard.

   Here's her curricula plan for .. third grade.

  • Grammar - Rod and Staff English 4 
  • Spelling - Rod and Staff Spelling by Sound and Structure 4
  • Composition - Classical Writing: Aesop, finishing A and flying through B
  • Literature - For Narnia!!! We're using Further Up and Further In from Cadron Creek as our guide. The biggest change I made to the guide was starting at the proper place, obviously The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. Starting with The Magician's Nephew is like sneakily opening the wrapping paper and peaking at your gift before it's Christmas. Thank-you-very-much.
       We're mostly using the points in the FUFI guide as discussion starters, and I added the ROAR! guide, too. I really liked the discussion questions from ROAR, and the big project for each book.
       More details in this post.
  • Latin - Latin for Children, continuing at our leisurely pace
  • Math - Horizons 4 - By the '14-'15 year she was going to have Honor's situation with Rod and Staff math: being so far ahead that her young hand can't keep up with the textbook. They're both solid math programs, and Grace would probably thrive with either. I gave her the choice of switching this year or next year. Being a creature that loves spontaneity, she thought for approximately two seconds before deciding on Horizons this year. 
  • History - Old Testament and Ancient Egypt from Veritas Press - I tried to keep the extra reading list light, so we can devote more time to the Narnia based study. The spines that will be read in small pieces throughout the year are Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt, Mummies Tombs and Treasures, Victor Journey Through the Bible, and Streams of Civilization. Those extra books are Mummies Made in Egypt, Tirzah, Golden Goblet, Ancient Egypt Navigators (Kingfisher), Gilgamesh, The Great Pyramid, Riddle of the Rosetta Stone, Science in Ancient Egypt, In Search of Tutankhamen, Cleopatra, Beowulf, and Pyramid, and portions of Tales from Ancient Egypt. Only four of those are thick chapter books, about half of the rest are thicker picture books with more depth, and the rest are thin picture books.
  • Science - Exploring Creation with Astronomy, with the notebooking journal. She adores the notebooking journal.
  • Bible - The Family Guide to Narnia by Ditchfield, Training Hearts Teaching Minds by Starr Meade, and she reads a chapter daily from A Child's Story Bible by Catherine Vos
  • Poetry - Poetry Matters: Writing a Poem from the Inside Out, and Read a Rhyme Write a Rhyme
  • Extra - WWII/doo-wop dance, and she'll do her final year as a Tenderheart in American Heritage Girls

***Mid-year assessment notes***
  • Rod and Staff English - Grace is nuetral on this book. It doesn't get her excited, but she doesn't dislike it. It's not on track to be finished by the end of the year. The lessons are easy for her to complete though. She'll double-up when two easy lessons are back-to-back.
  • Rod and Staff Spelling - Looking good. Effective. She tends to make leaps faster than the book and tests out of swaths. Win-win.
  • Classical Writing Aesop levels - She went through the skill levels way too fast. The next level, Homer, expects more maturity and has a sturdy workload. I spent some time reading through the core I decided that's not what I wanted to do with her. Enter Writing and Rhetoric from Classical Academic Press. It's repeating some skills from Aesop, but with a different enough approach that she is contentedly writing away.
  • Further Up and Further In - Love!! No complaints. Lately we've fallen behind getting our chapters read. We brainstormed and came up with assigning the chapters to be read aloud on weekends, and saving the actual rabbit trails, Bible connections, and such for the school days.
  • Latin for Children - Steady progress. No complaints.
  • Horizons math - Grace says, "I love it!" Steady progress. No complaints.
  • Old Testament Ancient Egypt - While we kept this low on purpose, and we do love Veritas Press, this kept getting brushed off. Both Grace and Honor simply knew those Bible stories so well that it felt redundant. We solved this by asking them to tell me the Bible stories when we got to them and just skipping the work for them. They loaded up on the Egypt books (which they loved), and they'll start New Testament Greece & Rome in a week.
  • Exploring Creation with Astronomy flopped. It's Grace, not Apologia. WHile she thinks it's a neat fact that the earth revolves around the sun, she really just doesn't give a hoot about the why or how. The only reason she liked this book was because of the paper crafts in the journal. If a paper craft required her to use content from the book I often had to ask her to read or listen to it thrice before she could do it well. I handed her a book of true Audubon animal stories with a higher reading level than the astronomy book and she was in heaven. I also handed over some leftover human body paper crafts from last year that makes her research a little, and science was saved for the year.
  • The Bible resources listed have been great. No complaints. She did switch to an NIV instead of the Vos version.
  • The poetry book never got touched. She has a rich, full load this year. We'll play with the poetry over the summer.

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