Homeschool planning guide for grade 4
Homeschool planning for grade 4 starts to ramp up as children at this age become more capable and independent with their learning. Some children are coming to the end of their formal spelling program and are just needing reinforcement and practice. Grade 4 is an ideal time to begin being more flexible and choose resources that cater to your child’s interests.
And no year should go by without a stack of living books to read aloud together, for their literary value, fitting in with history, social studies, or just for fun. Here are a few lists of living books to whet your appetite:
Spelling practice will be necessary for a few more years, possibly up to about age 13, but you may not need a “program”. Our ebook Phontastic Spelling Tactics was written for just this time of learning, providing spelling practice and reinforcement by revising the rules through copywork passages from excellent literature. It comes in both British and US editions. If you are following Charlotte Mason style homeschooling, then this will be an excellent fit.
If you think your child is ready for cursive writing you can start using The Art of Cursive. These books use the Charlotte Mason element of Picture Study together with cursive practice. Fine artworks are studied and sentences about the picture are copied. All pictures are labelled with the title of the painting and artist, so you cover some art appreciation and history as well.
Science in the Beginning is mentioned in all our guides for primary-aged children because it teaches at three different skill levels in one book and in our opinion is the best value science curriculum around. You can use any of the books in the Berean Builders series and align them with your history program.
As you well know, character training is a daily effort and learning from the Bible and example are the biggest tools. Training our children to study the Bible, and not just read it, is a great life-long habit. The best tool we’ve used is Training Hearts, Teaching Minds by Starr Meade. We used this book for family devotions either at the start of our day or in the evenings as a family.
Language Lessons from Australian History Book 2 is aimed at 9-11-year-olds teaching English and Australian History simultaneously. A basic knowledge of grammar is required. An older child will cope fine with the grammar instruction as it is mainly reinforcement with more expectation and heavier workload than Book 1, with a few more advanced grammar concepts included, e.g. use of semi-colons. The child is also required to read more advanced books. Teacher’s notes, answers and a comprehensive book list are all included.
Language Lessons from Australian History comes in three levels and makes homeschool planning for grade 4 easy if you want to dovetail your resources for multiple grades at the same time.
New Syllabus Maths Grade 4 is our recommendation for this level. This Singapore maths program is well designed and makes planning for grade 4 homeschool a breeze.
Also check out the maths manipulatives which make learning maths more fun and help cement concepts in a concrete way.
If your grade 4 child needs maths, there are several extra books you can provide them with to extend their maths skills and are designed to complement Singapore maths, such as Math Whizz 4 and others.
Find out more information on Singapore maths read our comparison of Singapore maths level 4 and the Australian Curriculum.
Phontastic Spelling Tactics is our best seller and is designed especially for this age group. LLATL can be a little light-on with spelling so Phontastic Spelling Tactics makes a good supplement and also gives you British spelling.
Grade 4 is the right time to go full speed ahead with grammar. Our ebook Grammar Through Copywork is a Charlotte Mason-inspired curriculum using classic literature to teach grammar concepts. There is also the opportunity to improve spelling and written expression by providing excellent models, so it’s always a win-win.
Learning Language Arts Through Literature Orange includes all the language skills: phonics review, reading and spelling (suggested lists included), grammar, higher order reasoning skills and creative writing in a teacher friendly format. For your convenience, Teacher Notes and Answers are right in the margin of the teacher book. There are four Book Studies each containing a summary, vocabulary skills, reading comprehension, and exciting activities. Books studied are: The Boxcar Children Book #1, Wilbur and Orville Wright, Me and Ben (Benjamin Franklin) and The Sign of the Beaver. Five units include: Research, Journal Writing, Poetry, Newspaper, Book Making.
This course covers science as it was developed, covering all the science concepts for primary grades. It does this while also teaching science history and how the ideas developed and changed. Science in the Beginning teaches science concepts while also covering the history of science from creation and Science in the Ancient World covers science from about 600AD to 1500AD.
If you are studying history from the Renaissance to Reformation (1300-1600’s) you might consider Science in the Scientific Revolution, which covers the scientific works of natural philosophers of that time period. Science in the Age of Reason covers science as it developed from 1600-1800s.
Wordsmith Apprentice is an easy to use writing course that encourages students to develop their writing skills as they participate in every role on a newspaper staff: editor, reporter, writer, etc. Children develop a love for writing as they express themselves through sentence and paragraph writing, persuasive writing, and much more. My kids enjoyed this program.
Paragraph Writing for Kids can be used before Wordsmith if you think your child is not quite ready for that one. Paragraph Writing for Kids (ebook) teaches the basic skills of composition, with special emphasis on the thought processes necessary for clear, organized writing. Students are guided through the creation of five types of paragraphs: Descriptive, Narrative, Persuasive, Expository, Comparative.
History and Social Studies
If you don’t have time to complete a full-orbed unit on Australian history, then Who’s on the Money? may be just what you need. This lapbook is a fun and creative way to study some of our history and consists of 11 activities centred round the history of our currency. It focuses on the people featured on our bank notes and their contributions to the development of our Australian society. This lapbook is useful as a mini unit on Australian history or would make a great supplement to any Australian history study. It is also good as an overview, introduction or revision of more in-depth studies. Also see our Anzac Day Lapbook.
If you’re wanting a list of living books for history, we have a few guides on different periods here:
Age 8-10 is a good age to begin cursive writing with The Art of Cursive Introductory Book. This book transitions the child from printing to cursive and is available for Manuscript or Modern Italic fonts.