In this blog post I will be sharing my third grade homeschool curriculum choices for the 2021-2022 school year.
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As I mentioned in my Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum Choices post, by sharing in my Instagram stories these last couple of weeks a few glimpses into our daily homeschool time, I’ve had several people ask me about my homeschool curriculum choices. Therefore, I thought it’d be easier (ha!) to put my homeschool curriculum choices into a series of blog posts.
I laugh because a post of this nature inevitably turns into a massive post when given the room to expand. Maybe I should have stuck to stories on Instagram and shared the highlights with you, but alas, here we are…
Today I’m sharing my third grade homeschool curriculum choices!
Just like with my homeschool kindergarten curriculum choices, I’m going all out on this post because I like to have too much information rather than not enough.
Now before I dive in and share my third grade homeschool curriculum choices I want to explain a few things.
Home educating our children really is an amazing privilege!
I’m sure you know this, but it’s always good to be reminded of it, right? You get to hand-craft your child’s year and choose what curriculum and resources you will use to help your child grow in wisdom and in stature with both God and man.
Can I encourage you for a second to not lose sight of that?
Don’t lose sight of the enormous privilege it is to not only home educate your child, but to get a front row seat and unfettered access to helping shape the character of your child.
If you need some help thinking through how to go deeper in your homeschool, then let me offer you a resource:
- Your Intentional Family: A Yearly Homeschool Planning Guide by Leigh Ann Dutton (that’s me!) – I developed my yearly homeschool planning guide to, well, guide you in setting your priorities for each year (and to save you from buying curriculum you’ll never use). It’s easy to lose sight of WHY you started homeschooling in the first place, and this guide will help you keep focused all year long. Plus it will give you the tools you need to think through the unique needs of each of your children and craft your curriculum choices around the areas you most want to see them grow in the coming school year.
Now, some notes on how we homeschool (this will vary from family to family, child to child):
- This year I have a 5th grader, 3rd grader, kindergartener, and soon-to-be toddler. We don’t do a lot of group learning in our home. I love the idea of a one room school house, but it doesn’t work for us. Therefore, each of my children have their own work for each subject, and on a rare occasion we might come together for a lesson or two. However, it is more common that I will pair my third grader with my kindergartener or my third grader with my fifth grader rather than all of us learning family-style.
- If I had to choose a homeschool philosophy, it would be Charlotte Mason style homeschooling. Do I adhere to all of her methods for all the things? No, I don’t (mostly because I haven’t learned how yet). However, at the core of my curriculum choices, you will find it’s heavy leaning in the Charlotte Mason philosophy. As a matter of fact, we primarily use Ambleside Online to craft our homeschool curriculum choices right now. You’ll see how that works out for us below.
- My third grader is a young third grader. To be honest, it was a battle trying to decide whether to wait an extra year to start him, or go ahead with the grade he should be. We easily could have made the case to delay kindergarten, but in the end, we kept him grade level. I just adjust where needed when he needs to go a little slower. For our Ambleside Online readings, I’ve placed him in Year 2 instead of Year 3. Ambleside Online is an incredibly challenging curriculum, so I have zero problems with this arrangement. Again, you’ll see how that works out for us below.
- We homeschool four days a week + a homeschool co-op day. We front load our school work to Monday-Wednesday. Those are heavy homeschool days. Thursday is for homeschool co-op, and Friday is for finishing up what we didn’t get to during the week. I intentionally keep Fridays lighter so we can take a long weekend when needed, follow a rabbit trail if we want, or more frequently pull out the art supplies and create! This space is especially important for my third grader and me, as we are both creative, free spirited people. We need space for just BEING and CREATING more than some other members of our family.
What else do you need to know?
I think that covers it, so let’s just get to the third grade homeschool curriculum choices for this year, shall we?
Third Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices 2021-2022
(4x/week; approximately 10 minutes a day + one-on-one time 1-2x/week)
I have decided to focus this year on continuing to help both of my boys develop the habit of a personal quiet time, as well as broaden their understanding of who God is and how much He loves them.
For my third grader, I will teach him various methods of Bible study (S.O.A.P is a great one for teaching younger children and inductive Bible study is another good one to introduce). For the S.O.A.P. method, I will just teach him myself with a Bible, journal, and pen. However, I have some resources I will use to guide him through the introduction to inductive study. Additionally, I will be using other Bible studies for kids as he becomes ready to further his study skills.
Also, he will spend some time just reading the Bible as a story each day: Genesis and Matthew are the two books he will read through using the Ambleside Online Year 2 schedule.
Bible Study Resources I will be using:
- The Kids Devotional Method from Not Consumed (free course!) – This is for you the mom to take and implement in your home.
- Developing a Quiet Time Bible Study (This is her resource to the go with the course. I bought one packet, and instead of handing it to the boys, I’m going to walk the boys through this together.)
- Jesus, Who Are You?: Names of Jesus (Beginner Inductive Bible Study) by Janna Arndt & Kay Arthur
- A Content Heart: Finding Godly Contentment in a Me-First World from Not Consumed
Another aspect of our year together will be family devotions and one-on-one discipleship time. That sounds fancy, but really it’s just talking about the Word with our children, and doing so in an intentional systematic way. My goal is to do one-on-one time with my third grader 1-2 times a week.
Discipleship resources I’m pulling from for my third grader:
- The Attributes of God for Kids by Lydia White
- Indescribable: 100 Devotions for Kids About God and Science by Louie Giglio
- Our 24 Family Ways: A Family Devotional Guide by Clay Clarkson
We will continue doing Scripture memory as a family as a semi-regular part of our family Bible time that we do after breakfast. I haven’t chosen these Scriptures yet because we are still in a season of LOUD around the table (aka, a baby is in our house learning to eat at the table, and therefore, we give ourselves a lot of grace when we don’t have the mental capacity to take on Scripture memory – this too shall pass).
However, for my third grader, he will memorize the Scriptures that come with the A Content Heart Bible Study, as well as the Developing a Quiet Time Bible Study. Each of these studies include four Scriptures to memorize. I will also choose some Scriptures to memorize when we walk through The Attributes of God for Kids.
My boys both have time set aside during the week for memorizing poems, so adding Scripture memory will tuck right into that spot in their day seamlessly.
(4x a week)
He will be reading poems by Eugene Field, James Whitcombe Riley, and Christina Rossetti this year.
Poems to Memorize
(1-2x a week)
I have chosen 8 poems for him to memorize this year, which works out to learning 3 poems in the first two terms and 2 poems in our last term. I chose the poems from a book I picked up used somewhere along the way: Poems for Memorization from Rod & Staff Publishers (linking for reference, I didn’t pay this much for it).
- Long, Long Ago, Author Unknown
- Little Things, Author Unknown
- God’s Care, Author Unknown
- Start Right Away, Author Unknown
- To the First Robin, by Louisa May Alcott
- A Wise Old Owl, by Edward Hersey Richards
- The Cow, by Robert Louis Stevenson
- Serving Jesus, Author Unknown
(3-4x a week)
I explained in my kindergarten homeschool curriculum choices post that math has been a difficult area for me to feel confident in over the last eight years of homeschooling. I have tried A LOT of math curriculums over the years, but none of them left me confident that my children were getting what I wanted for them in this area of their education.
I decided to go with Right Start Math this year, and I’m really excited for my third grader to dive in. He’s naturally inclined to numbers and patterns, so I think this will be a good challenge for him. I’m starting him in Book D because that’s where the placement test put him. I might need to go back a book, but I won’t know until we dive in.
To keep things interesting for him (remember the creative, free-spirit comment above), I will also be including living math book days for the sheer fun of it.
Phonics & Reading
(3x a week)
I won’t be doing phonics lessons with him per se, but he does still need some practice in fluency. He’s not confident enough in his reading to pick up a bigger book. He still gravitates toward smaller books, and I think it has everything to do with fluency rather than actual ability. Reading still feels hard for him, so we’ll spend some time working through leveled readers together to allow him time to practice.
Readers we will use:
Copywork, Penmanship, Dictation (& Spelling)
(3-4x a week)
Charlotte Mason would say that children learn to spell through copywork and dictation. This is somewhat true for my oldest. It is not true at all for my third grader (at least not yet).
I decided to go with All About Spelling, Level 2 with my third grader this year for some dedicated spelling practice. All About Spelling teaches spelling systematically as well as through dictation. This is helpful to him, and it marries the Charlotte Mason principle to what we’re doing. In addition, All About Spelling will also double as reading instruction because he’ll get to review the rules as he learns to spell the words.
I’m using Rooted in Language Wands for copywork, which will include dictation and spelling instruction. Again, the readers the copywork is chosen from will be good for building his reading fluency.
For penmanship, I am considering teaching him how to write in cursive this year. I’m undecided if I will use a workbook to teach him, or just teach him myself. I’m leaning toward the latter because I don’t want to impose on his attention span too much. But I’m also leaning toward waiting for another year. We’ll see!
(4x a week during school time; daily during R&R Time)
- Tales from Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb
- Parables of Nature by Margaret Gatty
- Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan (still deciding on which version)
One per term:
- Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher
- The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
- Robin Hood by Howard Pyle
For free reading during R & R, see the Free Reads at Ambleside Online, Year 2.
Natural History & Science
- Nature Study, at least once a week: Currently, we are working through John Muir Laws, Nature Journal Connection series on YouTube (The video series accompanies this book.).
- Apologia Exploring Creation with Astronomy
- The Burgess Animal Book for Children by Thornton Burgess (He loved The Burgess Bird Book for Children!)
- Our Homeschool Co-Op: There is an entire months dedicated to STEM, science experiments, and more, which should be loads of fun.
- Tree in the Trail by Holling C. Holling
- Beautiful Feet Map for Tree in the Trail
- Map Drills
- Geography Terms from A to Z
- Elementary Geography by Charlotte Mason (more of a resource for me)
We’ll follow the Year 2 schedule for reading Tree in the Trail. We’ll follow along with our Beautiful Feet Map (we love these!). In addition, he’ll do map drills online with a focus on learning all the states and their locations.
I’m also trying out something new this year using the Geography Terms from A to Z book. Each week-ish, we’ll add a geography term to our Geography Notebooks. We’ll talk about the geography term; then, my third grader will draw a picture of the term in his notebook and label it. So far this is a huge hit with the boys!
History & History Tales and/or Biography
(4x a week)
History: 1000 AD to Middle Ages
- An Island Story, by H.E. Marshall
- This Country of Ours, by H.E. Marshall
- A Child’s History of the World, by Virgil Hillyer
History Tales and/or Biography
- Trial and Triumph by Richard Hannula
- The Little Duke by Charlotte Yonge
- Joan of Arc by Diane Stanley (I am using a library copy; linking for reference.)
For history, we are following closely to the Year 2 schedule from Ambleside Online. I have no plans to deviate from it except where we might get a wild hair (and the two of us do get one from time-to-time).
Music & Art
(2-3x a week)
For artist study, we will be using Ambleside Online 2021-2022 schedule. My boys love doing artist studies! It’s always a highlight for them at the end of the year.
For creating his own art, he will continue using his art subscription box from here. We started it over the summer, and it’s so well done. He’s learned about artists, Faith Ringgold and Lonnie Cloud, so far. In addition, he will also do some Art for Kids Hub Drawing Lessons once or twice a month, as well as work through these free lessons from Artistic Pursuits. I might even pull a few projects from this free resource.
If you haven’t noticed, art is this child’s love language, so I keep this idea list fully stocked!
Finally, we’ll be listening to music as we go about our days. We’ll follow Ambleside Online’s 2021-2022 schedule for our composer study, and we’ll also learn some new hymns and folksongs (not on their schedule though).
He will also continue taking piano lessons and practice at home at least 5 times a week.
I let the boys choose what language they wanted to learn. Not sure why, but my third grader chose Chinese. We’re going with it for now. Duolingo is free and he can do it on his own.
All in all, I am really looking forward to our homeschool year. It’s always fun to see how each child grows and changes throughout the year.
What about you? What homeschool curriculum choices did you make for your third grader? I’d love to hear your thoughts and questions! Just leave them in the comment box below!
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