Every year I update what we’re doing for curriculum that year. You can view previous years here: Kindergarten, Senior Kindergarten, First Grade, Second Grade or 2nd Grade, Third Grade, and Fourth Grade.
For 2019, I have a first grader, second grader, third grader and fifth grader.
This year we’re starting a Third Grade year. So I’m giving you our third grade curriculum list.
My third grader is a typical eight year old with a strong interest in animals. She’s sensitive and sometimes struggles with perfectionism. For this year, one of my goals is to build up her resilience and willingness to try. I also want to encourage my girl to give her best effort, every time, even when it’s challenging.
Third Grade Curriculum Changes
We didn’t quite finish everything last year, so we’re picking up where we left off. I don’t want to miss any foundational skills, so I will finish off the last of last year’s program, before moving on. We’re doing a mix of second, fourth and third grade curriculum as part of this third grade year. But the beauty of homeschooling is the flexibility!
For third grade, my goals are to encourage a love of reading, and to create a foundation for writing. So we’ll do one last year of copywork, both for fine motor skill development and to get in the habit of proper sentence structure and interesting writing. And we’re still going through the beginning stages of spelling and grammar, in preparation for formal writing.
Spelling & Grammar
For Spelling and Grammar, I love the Rod & Staff language programs. We are doing the 4th grade Spelling and Sound program this year. This program combines phonics, spelling rules, and vocabulary along with a bit of the history of the English language. I highly recommend it!
For Grammar, we’re doing Rod & Staff Building English Skills. It focuses on the mechanics of writing – grammar, punctuation, sentence structure – without requiring a ton of copy work or rewriting.
Because we’re still doing copywork, my third grader isn’t using a separate writing program yet. I print off copywork pages from a variety of websites, and sometimes I create my own using this site: Worksheet Generator
And for reading, we’re doing BJU reading 3, Adventures in Reading. This involves a reader, with short stories and selections from longer pieces of writing, and a worktext. Rather than asking children to analyze the text, the workbook guides students through reading for information, for clues and context, and introduces the mechanics of writing from the reader’s perspective. I love how it asks kids to connect the dots to form their own opinions, rather than trying to guide students to a predetermined opinion.
Skills we’re focusing on this year include mastering borrowing and regrouping, place value, addition and subtraction to multiple places, as well as skip counting and the times table.
For our third grade curriculum in math, I’m using Math Mammoth Level 3 this year. Math Mammoth is a digital printable complete curriculum that is mastery based. And I love it because it’s largely self-teaching, as a self-contained worktext. You don’t need any separate text books, manipulatives, DVDs or anything else to use this program.
For our third grade year, we will cover Mesoamerica and Ancient China. This will be my third time through this topic, so it’s one I’m very familiar with. My daughter will be reading The Corn Grows Ripe, The Well of Sacrifice, Secret of the Andes, and First to Ride, as well. I love extending our history studies with fiction stories.
We’ve already covered all the other ancient civilizations such as Ancient Egypt in previous years. If we have time, I’d like to go into some detail about pre-contact North American civilizations, but that may have to wait till next year.
I use lapbooks and a unit-study approach for history, geography and science. Our favorite lapbooks come from Hands of a Child and A Journey Through Learning.
We also listened to the podcast from Hardcore History on the Mongols over the summer. It was a fantastic look at a part of Ancient Chinese history few westerners ever really study.
Because our history will be concentrating on the early Asian and Americas history, we’re also going to cover North and South America in our geography studies. We’ll be using this worktext from Carson-Dellosa on the Americas: The Big Book of the Americas.
I like these worktexts as they cover not only maps, but other geographical information such as climate, biomes, population, economics and transportation. They are thorough, yet repetitive enough to be independently worked on, with a minimum of help and checking in.
For our science third grade curriculum, we’re moving on from plants to ocean animals. We’ll look at all the animals from giant whales and sharks, to tiny plankton. And we’ll talk about ocean zones, shells and fish.
Again, I like the lapbooks from Hands of a Child and A Journey Through Learning. We’re also including a visit to a zoo, a dinosaur museum, and some virtual tours of natural history museum exhibits.
We’re continuing art studies with some paper craft books from Abeka. The Art Projects 3 is a complete art project book, with only the minimal amount of extra supplies needed.
I like paper crafts, because they tend to be self-contained with minimal prep, but still cover a wide variety of art techniques. I’ve picked up a few paper craft books from book stores and thrift stores along the way.
Since we are a Christian homeschooling family, I do cover a Bible curriculum.
List of books and reviews:
Here’s a brief list of our third grade curriculum, linked to where you can find more detail about these books.
- BJU Reading 3 Adventures in Reading
- Math Mammoth 3
- Aztec Civilization
- Aztecs, Mayans and Incas
- Exploring Mesoamerica
- Exploring Ancient China
- Rod & Staff Spelling 4
- Rod & Staff English 2
- The Americas
- Dolphins, Porpoises and Whales
- Ocean Habitats
- Under the Sea
- Predators of the Deep
- Rod & Staff Bible & Reading Nurture Series 3.