Fourth Grade curriculum has seen a lot of changes so far, and even more to come. Graham is very vocal about what curriculum he likes and what he doesn’t. Some things we are keeping, whether he wants to or not—I mean, I am the teacher/parent and ultimate choice-maker, but a few things have changed. We also have some new curriculum that we’ve added to our day.

You can check out this post to see more pictures of the curriculum we started the school year with.

We are well into the New Year and full swing back into our homeschool schedules. It took a few weeks to get back into the routine of things, but now Graham is organized and working well through his work each day.


I usually evaluate our homeschool curriculum a couple times a year, but with Graham we are still finding our way and what works best for him, so we talk weekly about how things are going and what he does and doesn’t like. Since this is only his second year homeschooling he is still figuring out the balance between what needs to be done regardless how he feel about doing it and doing things because he enjoys it.

This year we have sat down and looked through all his curriculum many times and have even changed Math programs more than once.

I’m always open to changing things if they’re not working.

We bought this a couple months into our school year because we decided we wanted to add a specific Bible curriculum into the mix. It’s good. He enjoys it and loves to look up the scripture and answer questions, but he doesn’t like writing down his prayers and the drawing portion—so we usually skip those parts. A different curriculum may have worked better for him, but we will stick with this for now and I'll be keeping my eyes out for other options next year..

Writing: IEW~All Things Fun and Fascinating

We are continuing with this curriculum but taking a break for a couple months to try something new—which I will talk more about below.

I love the way IEW is organized and find it really helps Graham in his writing because it gives him clear steps to follow. He is about 2/3 of the way through and doing well. The subjects to write about have been fun and he’s learned a lot

Language Arts:
The Good and the Beautiful~Level 3

He didn’t actually finish it, but we pulled it out of our schooling rotation. He has about a third of it left, but we found all the subjects were overlapping with other curriculum that we do and this just isn’t needed.

It’s a great all-encompassing curriculum, but we are doing a separate spelling, geography, reading, and writing so he was doing those things twice or I was having him skip those portions in this curriculum. Because of these reasons we decided to stop using The Good and the Beautiful Language Arts..

Stopping isn’t easy for me. I want to use what we have. But it wasn’t really serving it’s purpose—and since I’d bought so many other pieces of curriculum this just isn’t needed. Live and Learn.

This is a nice, short time where Graham can focus on his handwriting. Doesn’t take more than 15 minutes and his cursive has really improved having this time each day.

Spelling: Spelling You See~Wild Tales

Spelling is new for us this year. The passages he works though are all about animals and he’s enjoying that. There are some weeks where the chunking is a bit intense, so I’ll have him spread it out throughout the week instead of getting every single chunk every single day. I’ve seen progress on his writing each Friday and I can tell he’s retaining what he’s learned this year.

He is still working through his grammar with IEW. This also doesn’t take more than 15 minutes and I like that he’s getting an extra dose of grammar. It’s part of Language Arts and writing, but I like this focused time where he’s learning the in-depth pieces of grammar. He’s actually pointed out things he’s learning here when he’s been doing the new curriculum. I love seeing him make those connections and seeing the evidence that he’s retaining and using the things he’s learning. He won't finish this book this year, but he is on the young end and has plenty of time to get through this book next year before moving on.


So many changes . . . Where to start . . .

Well, first off, we started the year with Teaching Textbooks. We did the free trial and he was on board to do it. We gave him the choice to do what we did last year or try this new math, and he choose to use Teaching Textbooks instead of doing the workbook with Masterbooks. After a month he started getting into more and more (and more) problems where he had to write down the problem onto paper and then work it out before he could type in the answer. This frustrated him to no end! He hated having to do so much work instead of just answering the question and moving on. I would have him skip questions if there were a lot that were the same type. And there were A LOT! I sat with him and quickly realized why it was so frustrating. So we ditched it and got the next Math book from Masterbooks.

He has been working his way through Masterbooks level 4 and been MUCH happier than he was with Teaching Textbooks. Masterbooks Math is laid out very simply and it's easy for him to work through it on his own. He often completes many lessons a day.

THEN . . . The Good and the Beautiful finally came out with their Level 4 Math! He’s been watching his sister do math from The Good and the Beautiful for over a year and has wanted to do the same. They are changing up all their Math with new editions and since it was on sale I went ahead and got the Level 4 for him even though he's almost half way through fourth grade. He will be able to skip ahead for a lot of it and he is VERY excited! He likes that it has games and fun things to do in each lesson. We are just getting into it and I am crossing my fingers that it’s a good fit for him!

We do this all together and are really enjoying curriculum. It’s quick and easy: open the book and go. Each year (there are 4 years of History) goes through the entire timeline of history focusing on different time periods and different historical people. I’ve never studied history this way before but it’s been fun and the kids all enjoy it. We finished Year 1 before the holiday and jumped right into Year 2.

Language Arts:
Total Language Plus

This is a new curriculum for all of us. I spent over a month looking at this before I made the leap to purchase it. Because we are doing this and it includes writing we took a break from our IEW Writing. Total Language Plus takes around 8 weeks to do so it’s not a full year of curriculum (although it could be if you continued to buy more books to work through). So we will jump back into IEW after Spring Break.

We are really loving this curriculum! Each kid got to choose their own book from what they have available based on the reading/grade level and Graham choose Sign of the Beaver. We are reading it together and enjoy talking about the story and even about the vocabulary words he learns in each unit. They are words from the story, and they have a variety of different activities for him to do throughout the unit—activities that teach him what the words mean and how to spell them. It is different than anything we’ve done before and I can see us doing this again in the future. They also have mini book studies as well that only take a couple weeks. It’s definitely something I think I’ll keep in the rotation.

How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare

This is something completely new for us—and for me since I never studies Shakespeare in school. This is another curriculum we do as a family. Graham is having an absolute ball with this.

The book starts with one of Shakespeare’s comedies, a Midsummer Night’s Dream, which is amusing and all the kids got quite swept up in the story from the start. We’ve been reading a handful of different adaptations of the play. We also watched the movie with a lot of laughter and enjoyed it thoroughly.

What I love the most about this book is that while we’re learning these lines we are learning about each and every word so we understand the language Shakespeare uses and it gives the kids a true understanding of what they are memorizing.

**We also do 
Explode the Code and a few things online like Khon Academy and

Also check out for curriculum.

For into on other curriculum changes this year check out these post:

Eighth Grade
Seventh Grade
First Grade


Leave a Comment