We're now halfway through our first term of the new school year, and things are going so smoothly that I'm ready to share our plans here!
We draw very heavily from Ambleside Online's wonderful booklists--our history, natural history, and literature selections are almost entirely from their Year 3 programme. (Their site has weekly break-downs for each of those books, so go take a look! What I have here is posted with permission from Ambleside Online.) I have marked the portions of our schedule that are directly from AO in blue. The rest is my own plans.
|Bible||New Testament - Schuster's Bible History (focusing on the teaching ministry of Jesus through the Ascension)|
|Religion||Saints - Lauren Ford's Life of Our Lady|
Stories - Marigold Hunt's A Book of Angels and Tan's Guardian Angels: Our Heavenly Companions
Mass - The Story of the Mass
Catechism - Mother Loyola's First Communion (continued from last year)
In our Morning Basket - Benson's An Alphabet of Saints and A Child's Rule of Life *NN
Other projects - review First Holy Communion catechism questions, practice using hand missal
The Renaissance and Reformation
|World - Our Island Story and A Child's History of the World|
National - This Country of Ours
Catholic - The Catholic Faith Comes to the Americas, Vision books for St. Thomas More and St. Edmund Campion, Crossbows and Crucifixes, O'Neill's The World's Story
Stories - Diane Stanley's Michaelangelo, Diane Stanley's Bard of Avon, and Daugherty's Landing of the Pilgrims
|Natural History||Holling's Pagoo|
Long's Secrets of the Woods
Towle's Marco PoloThe Kirbys' The World at Home (in our Morning Basket) *NN
Weekly mapwork - charting figures from all studies on European and American maps, Marco Polo's voyage on world map, life and travels of Jesus on Holy Land mapMap drills - Holy Land, Eastern United states, countries of Europe
|Literature||Stoutenberg's American Tall Tales|
Lambs' Tales from Shakespeare
Kingsley's The Heroes
Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress
Macdonald's The Princess and the Goblin, Merryat's Children of the New Forest, Kipling's The Jungle Books
Scheduled Free Reads - Together: Kingsley's The Water Babies, MacDonald's At the Back of the North Wind *NN
Scheduled Free Reads - Independent: Goudge's The Little White Horse, Pyle's Men of Iron *NN
|Poetry||William Blake, Sara Teasdale, Hilda Conkling, Henry Longfellow|
|Music Study||Bach (Term 1), Chopin (Term 2), Handel (Term 3)|
Composer biographies - by Opal Wheeler and Anna Harwell Celenza *NN
Thomas Tapper's Music Talks for Children (in our Morning Basket) *NN
|Art Study||Monet (Term 1), Georgia O'Keefe (Term 2), TBD (Term 3)|
Art biographies - by Mike Venezia *NN
|Art||Weekly drawing lesson using Mona Brooks' Drawing with Children - |
Volume Drawing (Term 1), Different Media (Term 2), Back to Still Lifes (Term 3)
Daily drawing drill from Donna Young's site
Weekly art project using various media
|Music||Weekly piano lesson, daily practice|
At the Shore (Term 1), At the Pond (Term 2), TBD (Term 3)Weekly nature study outing
Weekly nature journal entry
Weekly lesson using Comstock's Handbook of Nature Study and Natural Science Through the Seasons: 100 Teaching Units
Monthly lesson using Headstrom's Adventures with a Hand Lens
|Italian||Daily work and review; one unit each month, including lesson, conversation, songs, games, rhymes|
|Handicrafts||Sewing with felt, cooking, chores|
|Copywork||Printing - copying selections of choice in copybook|
Cursive - continued practice with Startwrite pages
Daily math drill - Wrap-ups or Challenging Word Problem or Timed Sheet
Daily lesson from the following:
RightStart Level E (finishing up)
Singapore 5A/B (finishing up)RightStart Level G
Art of Problem Solving: Pre-Algebra
|Memory Work||Bible - penitential psalms, parables, final Gospel|
Poetry - from each term's poet
Hymns and Folk Songs - from music books
Shakespeare - selections from plays read
Prayers - Memorare to St. Joseph, Divine Mercy prayers, Nicene Creed in Latin
Some other notes about our third grade plans:
:: Some selections are noted as *NN, or "Not Narrated." This is my way of adding books to our schedule without overloading my children. (All regularly-scheduled books are narrated in some form.)
:: I'm putting a greater emphasis on mapwork this year. My kids really enjoy geography concepts and stories, and they have very precise knowledge of the United States thanks to the simple map drills we have done over the past two years, but their knowledge of the locations we're reading about in history is fuzzy. This year, I printed out a few blank maps for us to fill out over the course of the year, just plotting cities and countries that come up in our reading. Before, I was pointing out locations on a map--but it wasn't sticking. Their keeping physical track of the places is cementing the knowledge more effectively and encouraging connections across readings. We're also going to do some map tracing. They'll be doing this in addition to our regular map drills.
:: My kids gobble up their free reading books, but I'd like for some of them--particularly the more difficult or thematically richer ones--to be savored a bit more slowly. So just as I did last year, I chose a few of the books from AO's free reading list to schedule out over the course of the year at a slower pace. Some are for my children to do on their own; some we're reading together.
:: Thanks to reading Laurie Bestvater's The Living Page, I've decided to incorporate some new Keeping habits. In addition to the binder timeline we have been doing all along, we'll also be doing a personal timeline this year as a special project--I'll share when it's completed! I'm also having my children do their print copywork in a Poetry and Prose Copybook this year--both of them have been very excited to choose selections to include from the week's reading. And they're narrating this year's Mass study in the form of copywork and drawings in a blank book dedicated to the project. The way they choose to lay this out is entirely up to them, though I did have them look at Inos Biffi's work as an example. It has been wonderful to see what they are choosing to highlight from each week's selection.
:: We're continuing our Italian learning with last year's method, still using the same format and resources. It's going really well! I also requested a few extra Italian CDs and books through our charter school--I'll review them when they arrive in a few months and I have a chance to see if they're a good fit for our studies.
:: Our math has been an adventure lately! I've had some readers ask about our math plans so I'll share a bit: I have loved using RightStart Math for the last three years. My son and I spent the past few months finishing up the long-ish geometry section of RS Level E alongside the sections from Singapore 5A/B that they don't cover in RS (some extra fractions/ration work, a discussion of volume, practice with order of operations, etc.). And now we're moving on to something new! RS also offers Level G, their geometry program, which they recommend using alongside a pre-algebra or algebra program over two or more years. So once Gianna finishes up Level E, the two of them will be doing that together with me a couple times a week. Alongside, they'll work at their own pace on Art of Problem Solving, a bit of Challenge Math, a bit of Singapore's New Elementary Mathematics...and I'm not sure what else! We're going to have to see what ends up being a good fit for my accelerated math students. Once we've done a thorough try of the program options, I'll let you know what we end up using.
:: In my post regarding this year's weekly schedule sheet, you can see the breakdown of their daily and weekly subjects. My goal for my third graders this year is for them to take full responsibility for their daily work and their Keeping habits, with me only checking in with them weekly on those assignments.
:: Since we're studying the Renaissance and Reformation this year, I have been editing Our Island Story here and there, and I've added some Catholic reading to our history schedule so that my children get a true sense of the period. I want to say a particular thank you to Amber, who suggested Crossbows and Crucifixes when I asked about children's books on the English marytrs. We'll be reading it in Term 2 and I think it's going to be perfect. We'll also be reading some saint biographies relevant to the time period in lieu of Trial and Triumph, one of the few books in the early years of AO that I strongly dislike and have always substituted for.
Whew! Okay, so that's third grade here. Next time: kindergarten!