4th grade, here we come!

August 15, 2015

Yesterday we wrapped up the first full week of 4th grade. Even with all the messiness of learning and the ‘tude from the pre-teen it was pretty great.

This year we are continuing with some of the same things we have used in previous years including Brave Writer and the next level of Buildings Foundations For Scientific Learning. We have also added several new things, including Beast Academy for math, entry to art history with The Simpsons and Discovering Great Artist for projects, cobbled together curric of US social studies, and digging into information literacy more intentionally.

This week was:

reviewing the times tables because she didn’t review nearly enough over the summer,

fighting about independent reading,

starting a paracosm writing project,

meeting Shakespeare,

learning about camera techniques in film and then watching My Neighbor Totoro,

science class “failure” due to improper lab equipment,

art field trip to paint our impressions of the river like Monet,

nature study about cats, including starting a diy field guide,

rock climbing (it’s her new favorite thing).

A hodge-podge of my favorite resources/activities from this week that I would like to share:

Partnership Writing from Brave Writer–This is a step by step language arts plan that includes 10 monthly projects. With how we fit it into our homeschool it is taking us 2 years to complete. I love the philosophy behind it, and Lily has enjoyed each of the projects she has completed so far.

The Worlds and Works of the Nelson Brothers–This website shares the original works and history of the Nelson brothers who lived during the late 1880s. I used it to explain what paracosm is for Lily’s current writing project, but I also have taken great delight in pouring over the imaginary world the brothers created.

Handbook of Nature Study–This has been a standard resource book for us for several years now, right along with our field guides. It includes studies on several different nature topics with an engaging description and several activities/observations for each topic. I was hesitant to use it at first due to the age of the work, but for the most part the information is still relevant, and I find Comstock’s activities and questions engaging.

Painting at the park–If you study Monet I highly recommend doing a landscape art project outside. Not only is it fun to change up where we do school, but it fit with what we learned about Monet perfectly (for example, the invention of more portable paint storage allowed him and other impressionists to more easily take their work outside).

Google Art Project–If you can’t get to a museum to see original artworks in person, I highly recommend this resource for viewing them. We have a few physical prints of famous artworks, but the Google Art Project can allow you a much finer level of detail–Lily said she could feel the paintings. And it’s free!

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