Planning :: Homeschooling Grade 4

Summer is time for planning for many homeschool families, but in our home it starts much earlier than summer time. I usually start thinking of the following school year in the spring, looking closely at what is working in our current school year and what our goals and focus might be for the following year. 

I also pull out my homeschool reference books. I follow an "eclectic" style of homeschooling, a blend of classical education with a bit of unschooling, Charlotte Mason, and project-based homeschooling. Personally, I like to "custom-make" my children's homeschool experience, tweaking details to fit their learning style and interests. For me, that is the true benefit of home education. 

Life always brings surprises. Last month my son Andre, who went to public school this year, asked me to come back to homeschooling.

When the children and I moved to the island, my husband had been living here for four months already. We experienced marriage troubles during that time apart and I decided that the children should enrol in the public school system because life seemed very unpredictable at the time. My oldest daughter had chosen before we moved to attend senior high school in a traditional school setting; but Andre and Celeste weren't as keen to go. I am happy to say that by that September our marriage was doing better, but the kids still went to school. When it was obvious that the public school was not a good fit for our youngest, we decided to continue homeschooling. My son chose to stay in school and try it out. He did very well academically but did often mention some frustration with boredom and the lack of enthusiasm for learning from the other students. So I was a little surprised at his request, but not a whole lot. 

Now that you know the story I can share my plans for the upcoming year, but first let me say that I am super happy to have two of my children at home! Adrienne, my oldest, is loving senior high and I am happy for her too. 

Celeste will technically be starting grade four in September. It was fairly straight forward to plan her year. I am continuing to use some of the same curriculum, just going up in level. Last year's focus was on reading fluency, this year's will be on writing. 

MATH: Teaching Textbooks 4


Brave Writer - I am using the Writer's Jungle with her, and for more writing projects we are continuing with Jot it Down, then we will use Partnership Writing. We are also using Brave Writer for language arts, with the Arrow. This program covers spelling, punctuation, grammar, literature, and literary elements. We also use several of the Brave Writer "lifestyle" ideas such at the Poetry Teatime

Wordly Wise 3000 Vocabulary Flashcards app - I was looking to get one of the workbooks for Celeste but found this app instead. She loves using our iPad for school and I think this will be a great tool to expand her vocabulary (and it was free!). 


R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey - Chemistry Level One. Celeste has loved this curriculum from Pandia Press for the last two years, learning about life/biology in grade 2 and earth & space this past year. I also like this program. It is well organized and interesting. Chemistry should be a lot of fun! 


History Odyssey - Ancients Level One. This is also from Pandia Press. Celeste is very interested in Ancient History and so we chose to cover this time period. This curriculum covers history, geography, and reading. I have used this curriculum before with success. Just like the science, it is well organized and a good base. I usually add more library books and we visit the Usborne Quicklinks found in the encyclopedia  for added fun and interest. 


The Everything Kids' Learning French Book + 100 First French Words Sticker Book. 

French is my first language. I was born in France and lived there until I was 18. I am fully bilingual. You would think that my children would be bilingual too, but they are not. This is my own doing, my failure, my shame. I have never pushed the language on them and didn't speak to them in French when they were little since I felt at the time that it would be odd with an English only speaking husband. I realize my mistake. I feel bad. Over the years thought I could always teach them if they ask me. Anyway...the moment has come! Celeste and Andre have both expressed interest in learning French! So, I have pulled a few books we had and also added a fun book, mostly for me to have a rough outline on what to teach. I don't need to buy a language curriculum, but I do need an outline. Celeste loves sticker books, so I added one to start too. We will use the public library too. 

This covers the basics. 

I also include life skills, art, nature study, art & music appreciation, physical education, homeschool group activities/field trips...These are the "extras" but in my opinion, very important. I don't follow a specific schedule or curriculum but I do credit Barb from Handbook of Nature Study and Harmony Fine Art for a lot of inspiration and guidance when it comes to nature study and art & music appreciation. 

Projects are another part of our homeschool. These will be initiated by Celeste and I can't really plan for them. Last year, her interests led us on several paths. I do help her organize her projects, but mostly I gather books that she approves from the library, materials, and I read.

I will share my plans for my son's grade 9 in a separate post as this one is already quite long!


  1. I am tickled pink for your exciting new year to come! You have overcome many obstacles and are a real inspiration Alex!! So blessed to call you friend!!! :) Jackie

  2. Alex, you rock. I'm amazed at the detail that goes into home schooling and admire your commitment to it! Must be fun to keep up with all that information yourself. :) It's exciting that you'll be homeschooling Andre again as well!

    Way to go, cuz! xoxo

  3. Thanks for sharing! I love it when other homeschoolers "show and tell" what they're using.

  4. love seeing my book there. :) look forward to seeing what celeste cooks up this year! xoxoxo


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