Saturday, January 31, 2015

A Week of Home School Third Grade

A Week of Home School Third Grade

[Please note: This post contains affiliate links from Christian Book Distributors.]

A week of home schooling my active third grader often goes by like a blur. This week was no exception. Her question every day is, “Where are we going today?” So as usual we were out and about a good bit. She's pretty alert, and captured the picture of this egret while we were running errands one day.

I look back and think about what we accomplished in each subject:


We stopped using the Horizons workbook before Christmas since it was moving too fast for her. It assumed she had all her multiplication tables down, and there wasn't much sense in continuing with it until she did. I decided then to focus primarily on the multiplication facts, and switch to a math workshop approach with a variety of activities. So as this week started, we were using:
  • flash cards
  • oral practice (in the van)
  • on-line math activities such as IXL and Math Playground
  • Math Fact Master arithmetic app on my iPod
  • Horizons supplemental worksheets
  • best of all, a Multiplication Rap DVD that I bought a few weeks ago at Lakeshore Learning

On Thursday we were in Books-A-Million and she asked me if they had anything for math. I bought the Spectrum Math Grade 3 workbook since it is not heavy on multiplication, and will give her the opportunity to maintain her other math skills like multi-digit addition and subtraction with regrouping. I also just ordered her a new JLab tablet on sale (her old Asus broke) so we'll be downloading some math apps for that.

Language Arts:

She has several language arts workbooks, but the ones we used this week were Daily Grams 3rd Grade and Nonfiction Comprehension. When we bought the math workbook, we also got the Spectrum Spelling Grade 3. We already had the Spectrum Word Study and Phonics workbook (free from a church rummage sale), but I think she needs more targeted help with spelling instead of that.

We took turns reading books out loud every day and often in the evening. We brought books along to our therapy appointments on Wednesday to read while we waited. One night she read me a bedtime story until I fell asleep! A few times she gave me oral narrations of what we had read. As we read, we pointed out homophones, compound words, proper nouns, and other grammar concepts. We also discussed synonyms and antonyms.

Life Skills:

On Monday, we decided to take a little extra effort planning dinner meals for the week. Leafing through recipe books was a lot of fun for her. She wrote down what we intended to make each night, and we discussed how to balance out the meat entrees and side dishes. Then we decided what ingredients we needed and wrote out a shopping list. It was all out of order, so we rewrote it according to grocery aisles. I reminded her to use more legible handwriting, which took a few tries. Then we went shopping, looked at nutrition labels and unit pricing, and talked about how to choose the best products.

On Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, her baby nephew came to visit. She couldn't touch him since she had just gotten over a case of impetigo, so she did a little puppet show and sang songs for him instead.

On Thursday, we shopped on-line for a new tablet for her. We read reviews and compared features before we picked one.

Since we will be flying to Maryland next week, and she doesn't remember her one air trip as a baby, we prepared a little by reading the book If You Were a Pilot by Virginia Schomp. Also in the career realm, she picked out A Day in the Life of a Musician by Linda Hayward.

History and Science:

Our current unit study is on early pioneers and farming, though we don't confine our reading strictly to that. We have also been reading biographies and short stories about notable women of the 19th century, such as author Louisa May Alcott, teacher Ann Sullivan, and first female physician Elizabeth Blackwell.

We tried starting Caddie Woodlawn a few weeks ago (see my free study guide), but didn't get too far with that yet. I had hoped to be done with this unit by now, but we've still got a lot of great books to finish. My goal is to have at least the library books read before we go out of town next week. I will save Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House series for after we study the Civil War.

A Pioneer Sampler: The Daily Life of a Pioneer Family in 1840  -     By: Barbara Greenwood
Here is a sampling of the many history and science titles we read (all or part) this week:
  • A Pioneer Sampler: The Daily Life of a Pioneer Family in 1840 by Barbara Greenwood (my favorite resource for this unit - part fiction, with lots of factual and practical sidebars)
  • The Bears on Hemlock Mountain by Alice Dalgliesh – an easy and fun read
  • A is for Abigail: An Almanac of Amazing American Women by Lynn Cheney (wife of Dick Cheney, VP under G.W. Bush)
  • Hooray for Beekeeping! and Hooray for Sheep Farming! published by Bobbie Kalman – great for science!
  • Pioneer Bear by Joan Sandin
  • Westward Ho! The Story of the Pioneers by Lucille Recht Penner (Landmark Picture)
  • An American Pioneer Family – How They Lived by Robin May
  • The Value of Friendship: The Story of Jane Addams by Ann Donegan Johnson – the story of the Hull House settlement house in Chicago is one of my favorites, and Addams is a wonderful role model of justice and mercy

On Monday, we went to Brightlight, my favorite used bookstore. I had about $30 store credit, and we blew it all on books and a DVD for her. 

Some of the books
from Brightlight
Among other titles, I bought A is for Abigail: An Almanac of Amazing American Women by Lynn Cheney, Kirsten Learns a Lesson (American Girl book for our current unit study), Dust for Dinner (an easy reader on the dust bowl for a later unit study), and Kit Kittredge (American Girl DVD on the Depression Era). She watched the DVD that afternoon, and I watched it with her the next day. Very educational!

Draw Write Now, Book 3: Native Americans, North America, The  Pilgrims  -     By: Marie Hablitzel, Kim Stitzer
On Tuesday, we pulled out some easy drawing books to sketch farm animals and Native Americans. One was Draw Write Now Book 3: Native Americans, North America, the Pilgrims.

On Thursday, while waiting for my iPod battery replacement, we went to the nearby Adjectives Market antique and art store. The two floors are full of historical and beautiful things, so it made a great impromptu field trip for an hour. How vintage typewriters worked definitely piqued her interest.

On Friday morning, I remembered getting an e-mail about a Civil War reenactment about 25 miles from here. Prior to the main weekend events and full battles, they were having a home school day with some of the historical exhibits and cannon firing. Though I wasn't feeling very well, we decided to go on the spur of the moment. We arrived late but still had plenty of time to see what was there and to visit with friends we had called to join us. 

Cannon fired
(no live ammo - flour mixed with the
gunpowder made the "smoke")

Our friends with a reenactor

Here we are!

Jacob's Ladder at the toy table

Wood working booth
Fry bread and lemonade -
the perfect end to the day

That's the main stuff we did for school this week! What does your typical week look like?

Virginia Knowles

Related Posts with Thumbnails