Topic | How long for a 4th grader?

This topic contains 20 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  botanicalbecky 3 years, 9 months ago.

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  • How many hours is usual for a 4th grader? Then, would you make any allowances for a child new to homeschool?


    cedargirl
    Participant

    My grade 4 gal does 3 1/2 hours a day at the most.  We scedule our day from 8:30 – 1:30 with 2 breaks and a lunch in there. I usually keep science, nature walks or art in the after lunch time. I use the Planning Your CM Planner and it helps me get all those little lessons set in a pattern that I can give help or read with the other child. I usually think “HOW are we goinmg to do all this once the resource list is done, but with the planning steps and worksheets it all comes together so beautifully in the end! I would think a child coming from PS to homeschooling would have difficulty with 3 – 3 1/2 hours total because they are used to being at school much longer. It will be surprising to them the amount of work they do get don in less time, that may be the adjustment. But I wouldn’t want to plan for coddling so to speak. KWIM? If you get them going on what they need to do, they may surprise you. You can always make adjustments along the way but start out with what you need to do. I hope that came out right. I am meaning, start with your resources planned and trim or add when you get a feel for how the child is adjusting. And bear most in mind that that is just advice from a person who has no experience with PS transition at all Wink

    No, that made sense totally. What do you have your “gal” :) do independently?


    cedargirl
    Participant

    She does Teaching Textbooks math, Pictures in Cursive (QHS), learning Spelling through Copywork (QHS), typing, reading (Louisa Alcott Reader, and Pathways G4 reader) and health ( R&S) on her own. sometimes she just wants quick instruction on other subjects and to let her at it. but we still do some science, bible, geography, Spanish, art, and music together. How are your plans coming along Becky?

    I’m feeling pretty good about it so far. I realized I’m going to need to add some assigned reading work for her, which isn’t a big deal – I just need to work out how I’m going to schedule those blocks or time. I purchased the Business Math book from here that I think she’ll be able to do on her own mostly. I think she needs more practice with her multiplication tables, so I’m going to focus on that with some games and the business math thing. Then maybe in a couple months we’ll see if she’s ready to start Right Start level E. I’m already figuring that I’ll have her do additional reading in Ancient History, and when she doesn’t have that I’ll assign some literature that’s more appropriate for her level. She’s had mostly a diet of Goosebumps and that sorta thing, so getting her used to quality literature is the goal right now. I don’t think I could spring Robinson Crusoe on her right now – then again she might surprise me! She caught on really fast to narration and has given some really good ones! I also bought the Spelling Wisdom book 1 from here so we’ll start to do dictation too. We also do American History, but VERY slowly. I want to focus on the explorers this year – that might be another area to have her to some additional reading on her own. In a way I’m afraid of doing too much, but the more I work with her, it seems like she is very capable. I do think I want to get her one of those nature journal books and just have her work that on her own, too. Then again, maybe that’s the way to go with my kids too. I really struggle with nature study. I’m never really sure what we’re supposed to DO. ya know?  anyway, that’s the plans mostly. Any suggestions? :)

    And ya know, I gotta say, its slightly weird to start schooling this child without having much idea of what her strengths and weaknesses are – or where she’s at in math – or reading- or whatever. When you have them home with you, you are so much more intimately involved with their learning and you kinda know how to proceed. I think too I’m a little freaked because 4th grade seems to be a major turning point in CM schooling – adding Latin, for instance, or a life from Plutarch if you choose to go that way. Even the lit selections get bumped up a notch. I just want to do the best by her, but I’m not completely sure where our jumping off point is. Is she a Year 4 or really more like a Year 3 or 2. And even if she isn’t quite up to level of a year 4, she still needs to be challenged and have an appropriate workload. And I’m afraid that we won’t give that to her being that I’m just starting our year 1 or 1st grade (however you want to put it) and the books I chose reflect that. For instance, we just read Leif the Lucky for American History. For my son, I spread it out over several days, but my niece could easily have read it in one or maybe two. Is the slower pace detrimental to her? Should she have more?  Or does the more come in the form of the other subjects being added – typing, dictation, Latin? I mean I really want to know if the Burgess Bird Book is way too young for her or Just So Stories or even Aesop’s Fables. But then again, I know she’s never been exposed to this stuff so it seems like she should be. Does that make any sense or am I just rambling? Anyway, that’s where I’m at. I’m super excited about it though, and really pleased to have her with us. Plus I love planning, ha! :)


    4myboys
    Participant

    Ok — I’m really confused: is the grade 4 student your daughter?  Your neice?  Also, it sounds like you are possibly using AO?  I take it she is coming from PS, like my two boys are this year.  I have in mind to limit there day for the time being to a maximum of 3.5 hours — approximately an hour of independant work, 1.5 hours family work, and the remaining time for directed learning and whatever independant work wasn’t completed earlier.  They will have to learn quickly not to dawdle in order to get their free time when they want it, however.  My boys will be in 2nd and 5th grade.  I will be expecting more of my older child, naturally, and it is more important to me to get him off to an excellent start because he is more resistant to the idea of HS, and he experiences a different learning challenge than my younger boy (who is ADHD, but thankfully picks up new topics very quickly).  I think 3.5 hours is plenty — in 5 hours of public school they wouldn’t accomplish as much as they will in 3.5 hours of homeschool. 

    You may want to build up to that, though.  Establish what is the most important thing(s) that she learn this year and start with that.  For the first couple of weeks you might only do 2-2.5 hours, then increase as you see her progressing.

    I’m loving this discussion. I also have a 4th grader just starting HSing this year. It is strange for me as well not really having the knowledge of how well he did with the math or LA or any of the subjects that he was being taught other than his grades were good. Many at private schools just want to see that their children are making good grades. Do they really love to learn though?  My goal is to try to get most things completed before lunch and like Cedargirl do nature study, science and that kind of thing in the afternoon.

    I do remember reading one of the free downloadable books on this website that said to start slow beginning with the basics then adding the others…art, music, poetry etc.. (page 29 of Getting Started in Homeschooling) I love these free books by Sonya Shafer.

    4myboys – lol, she is my niece. She’s been in ps up until now. She’s been asking/begging to be hs’d since last year, so we’re giving it a try. Thanks for the input – that helps a lot.

    And cre8something – I totally agree with you. Most people think as long as the grades are good, they are learning. But don’t have any real idea of their strengths or weaknesses or like you say, if they love learning. This is one reason I really love hsing! Thanks for the book suggestion too – I’m gonna check it out!


    Rachel
    Member

    The Burgess BIrd book may be too young for her; it depends upon her reading level (which you don’t know). Since she’s been in the gov’t. school system, I think Just So Stories and Aesop’s FAbles would be a great way to start. You definitely want her independent studies o be higher than your 1st grader’s.

    I’d wait on LAtin and Plutarch studies till next year; let this year be one of getting her introduced to classic living books and spark that love of learning. This will be a discovery year for both of you as well as a more rigorous year than she would’ve had in GS.

    Do you have  a LA programfor her? That’s something she woul need that your son wouldn’t. HOw about the Apologia science texts for her to read on her own, using the Journal to write in? She and your son could do the experiments together, with her leading and you overseeing. I’m sure she needs that creationist viewpoint. Of course, there are other good creation science texts out there, but Apologia is so conversational.

    I’d write more, but I have to go for now. Could you provide what you have in mind for her (and those for family) for the different subjects? Maybe we can work out a plan. Obviously, staying in Am.H., she just needs her own independent history lit. reading and she listens in on your reading aloud; start her on narrating history and literature. The younger reading selections will benefit her beginning narrating skills, IMO.

    LAter,

    Rachel


    4myboys
    Participant

    I agree.  Good grades doesn’t really mean they are doing much learning.  My boys got great grades at PS, but my older son doesn’t feel he has much of a handle on multiplication & division and some of the other topics in math — mostly, I think, because of the spiral learning.  They don’t have the opportunity to gain real confidence in what they are doing.  He is very well spoken, and we have been doing some narration with our family read-a-louds (I haven’t told him that’s what he’s doing.  I just usually ask for a summary of what we read the day before or ask some leading questions that cause him to put some thought into his answers.  It is this wonderful ability to verbalize that has carried him through PS so far despite his dysgraphia.  I have some ideas as to how best to approach him learning wise.  I thought he would be more a hands on learner, but now I’m thinking audio.  It will be interesting to see how this year plays out.

    Does your neice live with you?  I have a nephew, 13, who has been in special classes since about grade 2 who I would love to homeschool as I know he is capabile of far more than the school is doing with him.  Unfortunately he lives with his mother 3 hours away. 

       


    4myboys
    Participant

    I agree.  Good grades doesn’t really mean they are doing much learning.  My boys got great grades at PS, but my older son doesn’t feel he has much of a handle on multiplication & division and some of the other topics in math — mostly, I think, because of the spiral learning.  They don’t have the opportunity to gain real confidence in what they are doing.  He is very well spoken, and we have been doing some narration with our family read-a-louds (I haven’t told him that’s what he’s doing.  I just usually ask for a summary of what we read the day before or ask some leading questions that cause him to put some thought into his answers.  It is this wonderful ability to verbalize that has carried him through PS so far despite his dysgraphia.  I have some ideas as to how best to approach him learning wise.  I thought he would be more a hands on learner, but now I’m thinking audio.  It will be interesting to see how this year plays out.

    Does your neice live with you?  I have a nephew, 13, who has been in special classes since about grade 2 who I would love to homeschool as I know he is capabile of far more than the school is doing with him.  Unfortunately he lives with his mother 3 hours away. 

       

    No, my niece doesn’t live with me, but she lives close enough. Its about 15-20 minutes away. Her mom drops her off at 9 am and I take her home after lunch and a little play so she’s home a little after 1pm or so. I’m excited that they are finally giving me the chance to do this. Her mom is totally supportive and willing to take on more with her if need be. But she’s trying to take college classes for nursing and also has another child who is only 3, so her hands are pretty full in my opinion. And I’ve already done so much research and planning that would take my sis-in-law a lot of time that she really doesn’t have right now. Honestly, I’m really happy to do it, and so far, its been good for my older son (who turns 7 in August). He adores his cousin and looks up to her, so he’s really psyched that she wants to home school like he does. And she’s good for horror stories about public school – lol! We actually live in a decent area – the schools are still small, its rural, so there aren’t a lot of the problems you see in larger schools. But the lame education is still there!

    So, we are finished week 2 with my niece and next week we have off. So, I will be working more on our plan too. Here’s our schedule:

    9-9:30 Bible (alternating OT and NT, beginning in Gen.), Hymn, Scripture Memory, read one poem – this term is Robert Louis Stevenson.  Oops, forgot Character once a week. Dn will read Wisdom and the Millers independently, and Ds will read from A child’s Book of Character (I think this is what its called – its the one on the SCM Curriculum Guide) with me and his little brother.

    9:30 Ancient History – Guerber’s Story of the Ancient World is our spine; We use Knowledge Quest’s geography (Ancient World) where it fits in – there will be periods during the year where there is a long span between lessons, so we’ll do map drills of Africa and also use our Geopuzzle of Africa to supplement.  Throughout the year I have several addtional books planned. Here’s some: True Story of Noah’s Ark, Life in the Great Ice Age, Pyramid, Hieroglyphs, jeez, there’s a bunch more but I’m not at home so I don’t have the list handy. So we’ll read a ch. from guerber, I ask for a narration from both kids, sometimes we do a picture w/a caption or short description for their notebooks. We also color timeline figures for our wall timeline.

    9:45 – Math – DN is just starting SCM Business Math, which she will mostly do independently, I also ordered the Math Games book from Right Start so we can work on her multiplication facts; DS will do RightStart level B; I plan on putting her in either level d or E when she finishes the Business Math.

    10:00 German & Reading – The kids switch off, while one is doing German the other is reading. We are using the Learnables level 1 for German. I just gave dn Heidi to read and ds is still working through Stories of Great Americans (which I actually put down for a while, don’t ask why I don’t know – and he’s been asking for it :)).

    10:30-10:40 Break

    10:40 Copywork/Phonics  – dn is doing cursive passages from Robert Louis Stevenson, ds does 2 lessons from a phonics workbook, then copywork the other 3 days. This is done independently by both (though sometimes ds has a question w/phonics)

    10:50 American History – we are using Guerber’s Story of the 13 Colonies as a spine. I plan on taking 3 years to get through it. I’m also using TQ to add living books to the schedule. I have a ton scheduled – but they all fit for the year, so that’s cool. We’ll mostly focus on the explorers. I bought pretty much all of the Ronald Syme books on the individual explorers. There’s also a couple of Bulla books and some other stuff as we move forward. I’d like to get just beyond the pilgrims this year. So, we just finished Lief the Lucky and have started Viking Adventure, by Bulla. The kids are both coloring some pictures I found while I read, which we’ll put in their notebook. We also do the timeline figures where appropriate. They narrate of course.

    This is an area where I’m unsure of how to proceed with my niece. I’m afraid she should have more knowledge about this period than she will by going at our pace. Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

    11:00 Apologia Astronomy – both kids are doing ths together. We read some everyday and keep the notebook. I’m pretty surprised at dn’s narrations – they’re good. I can tell she absorbs a lot more than ds does (but he is after all only 7).

    11:15 Nature Study – once a week. Trying to do Handbook Of Nature study Outdoor Challenges Summer Study.

    11:15 Literature – we’re using mostly AO for this. We do a chapter out of Burgess Bird Book every other week and color a picture like the bird we are learning about. We do 2 Aesop’s Fables per week. Then alternate Just So Stories, a fairy tale selection (not using Blue Fairy Book bc its SO long for ds), and Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare (which I think are only 6 for the whole year ???).  Now, I added another Lit selection for her as noted above, starting with Heidi simply because I had it on my shelf, :). Not sure where we’ll go from here, but I doubt she’s ready for Robin Hood.

    Lunch, play, take her home

    At home for dn: Literature wi/ her mom. Starting out w/Charlotte’s Web, then Wind in the Willows, etc. I’ll keep giving them suggestions as they go on.

    I posted on another thread that the child is very interested in nature study and so I’m looking at supplementing with something there. Maybe one of the nature journals that was suggested, maybe the Christian Liberty Nature Readers (which btw, I looked at and am really unsure of which to start her with). IDK

    After our week off, I will add in Dictation using SCM Spelling Wisdom book 1, typing, and possibly Latin using the SCM guide suggestion. I wasn’t sure if I should do anything more with her as far as a language arts program. I was looking at the SCM book on that, but its a little expensive for me right now considering I’m having to add things for dn.

    So how’s it look?

    Here’s the additional read alouds:

    American History:

    Lief the Lucky d’Aulaires

    Viking Adventure by Bulla, 21 chapters

    Columbus by d’Aulaires 60 pages

    Columbus Story by Dagliesh 30 pages

    John Cabot and his Son Sebastian by Syme, 95 pages

    Ponce de Leon:Explorer of FL by Molzahn, 48 pgs

    Balboa:Finder of the Pacific by Syme, 92 pgs

    DeSoto:Finder of the Mississippi by Syme, 96 pgs

    Conquista! by Bulla, 6 chs.

    The Carving on the Tree by Campbell, 88 pgs

    Walter Raleigh by Syme, 96 pgs

    Jamestown:New World Adventure by Knight, 32 pgs

    A Lion to Guard Us by Bulla, 117 pgs

    John Smith of Virginia by Syme, 9 chapters

    Pocahontas by d’Aulaires, 38 pgs

    Henry Hudson by Syme, 11 chs.

    The Thanksgiving Story by Dagliesh, approx 40 pgs

    John Billington:Friend of Squanto by Bulla, 88 pgs

    and up to Chapter 30 in the Guerber spine

    Ancient History:

    The True Story of Noah’s Ark

    Life in the Great Ice Age by Oard, 48 pgs

    Heiroglyphs by Milton, 32 pgs

    Pyramid by Macaulay, 78 pgs

    Mummies Made in Egypt by Aliki (one day read)

    Tut’s Mummy Lost and Found by Donnelly, 48 pgs

    Growing Up in Ancient Egypt, by David, 32 pgs

    Moses by Fister, 30 pgs

    God King by Williamson, 20 chapters – I may just assign this to my niece – it might be over ds’s head, but the library had it so that’s why I put it in.

    Esther’s Story by Wolkstein, 40 pgs

    Possible additional reading for dn:

    Hatshepsut, His Majesty, Herself by Adronik or The Golden Goblet by McGraw

    Hittite Warrior – Williamson (didn’t want to read this now w/ds bc will read it second time through)

     

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