How long for a 4th grader?

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  • Just a little bump, a nudge even…. to remind anyone out there looking that I’d really love any input on the schedule Smile. Thanks!

    bumping this up so you don’t forget me 🙂

    Rachel White

    Hi Becky!!

      I think your schedule looks good.

    For the history that you were unsure of, I’d recommend the older Landmark books ( or any older book selections from TQ that she can devour (but the original Landmarks are so good, generally available at libraries and at the beginning of her reading level, I assume ( my 9 and 10 yr. olds read them this past year).

    I think using the #4 Christian Liberty Reader for her would be the best choice. That’s the one my son has been on this past year. I think #3 would feel too young (again I’m assuming, not knowing her). The entire series is very worthy; is your son reading #1? My hubby was complementing the information in them just yesterday.

    The Spelling Wisdom is a good idea; though at her age/grade level, she does need to be adding in more, IMO. What about finding a used copy of ILL online? I wouldn’t recommend finding it online to print out; the book is huge. Though I couldn’t find a used one at Amazon, just new, you may be able to find it elsewhere. I picked up both PLL and ILL at a used HS book sale; plus I use the TGs; wouldn’t do it without. You’d also be able to use ILL with your son when he gets there. A one-time new ILL w/the TG purchase runs a little over $28.00.

    Other than that Simply Grammar or English for the Thoughtful Child Vol. 2 would suit her, too ( they don’t have TGs ) and are just under $20.00. Again, I don’t think they are consumable, so you’d be able to use them w/your son. Just skip the dictation protions in those books, since you’re doing SW. I think starting her on consistant LA is a priority over starting LAtin this year; besides, she’s already starting German for now.

    Your book list looks great. One warning-from experience-the Knight books are highly detailed and it may be difficult for your son to follow, but your dn will be able to.

    I’ve heard great things about The Golden Goblet-nothin’ but raves. Yes, G-d King would be over his head, but good for dn. SInce she likes Nature study, perhaps the Nature Journal would be a good start to getting her used to observing and documenting her findings. Arnosky books are great, too and the One Small Square books perhaps (again, library choices)?

    I’m doing the same as you; though continuing through the Middle Ages within the Renaissance/Reformation/Explorer period and Ancient Egypt. The R. Syme books are great, btw.

    If you can squeeze in Stories of the Pilgrims, either as an audio or a read aloud, it’s very good. There’s also American History Stories on audio from Hodges or Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 (which is your time period and then-some) for free at Librivox.

    I think you are doing AWESOME!

    With my respect,


    Wow, thanks Rachel. That means a lot to me coming from you! I only have minute here, but I just talked with my cousin who has hs’d all 4 of her kids (mostly using Sonlight, so she’s big on the literature thing) and just graduated her first! Anyway, she was really surprised that I was doing two streams of history. And said she’d “never” heard of anyone doing this. Now, I really respect her opinion, and she is very involved in the homeschool community. She thinks the kids will be confused. But I’m sure I read somewhere, that SOMEone out there was doing/had done 2 streams without problem. What are your thoughts on this? I was trying to be very careful about not overloading them, which is why I wanted to go slowly through American. But my cousin was asking me why did I think doing American was important now, etc. And I don’t think I was very persuasive in my argument. IDK. 

    I will look at the LA program you mentioned. It isn’t really that expensive…. I think I will wait until I’m sure she’s going to be with us the whole year before I purchase it, though. I will, however, start getting some Landmark books and the Christian Liberty Nature Reader. I too was thinking #4. No, my son isn’t reading it….. he’s so hard to figure what will catch his interest. I’m surprised he’s as into the history as he is. I’m pretty sure it has to do with the battles and fighting… lol. But really, I’m completely lost on nature study. I’m so intimidated by it – there’s so very much I don’t know and I just don’t feel confident in “guiding” them on a nature walk. Anyway.

    Thanks so much for commenting. I really, really, appreciate it.


    Rachel White

    Well, I have known people who’ve done both. If she’s more involved with people doing Sonlight or another  pre-organized curriculum, then I can understand why she hasn’t come across anyone, whether lit. based or not, it’s been organized neatly by someone else and according to someone else’s plans, right?

    For the exception of maybe a few children, I don’t believe children get as confused as she assumes, with all due respect. My own experience tells me otherwise. Though we haven’t been “officially” doing two streams, being that I am a general history freak (and my belief that a firm knowledge of the past gives greater understanding to human nature and the events of the present), they are surrounded by events in time; I always have different time periods being learned about and represented in my home. I’ll try to break down for you the different times being represented-just to hopefully give you encouragement. Forgive the excessive length.

    Though I’ve been reading aloud from CHOW from St. Brendan till Joan of Arc; in the midst of that, they have read independent books and though I try, they aren’t always in exact chronological order as I get them all from the library, but they are usually close. These below we have read specifically in the subject of “history” since the beginning of this school year (since mid-Oct. 2010), on Mon., Tues., and Sat.


    • St. Brendan the Navigator ( 11/2010 only)
    • Stories of the Pilgrims (for Nov., for Thanksgiving) 11/2010 only
    • The Discovery of the Americas (from 11/2010 till 12/2010)
    • Beorn the Proud (11/2011 till 1/2011)
    • American History Stories Vol. 1 ,chapt. 1 and 2 (on 10/25/2010 and 3/14/2011)
    • The Vikings (Landmark book-excellent) from 1/2011 till 3/2011
    • Viking Tales (11/2010 till 4/2011)
    • The Shadow People (for preparing for Holocaust Remberance Day-takes place in the 1900’s) from 4/2011-5/2011
    • Fifty Famous People (10/2010 till 5/2011)
    • The Magna Charta (3/22/2011 till now)
    • CHOW (started in Dec. 2010 till now)
    • Journey Through Jewish History (covers from 1 AD till 1980’s)
    • The Arabs: Peoples of the Past Series ( 5/2011 till now)
    • A Child’s History of the Hebrew People (started in July, starts w/learning the ways of nomadic peoples after the Fall and then to on to Abraham)

    My children individually (B=both):

    • DS– The Story of Rolf and the Viking Bow (11/2010 till 12/2010)
    • B-Henry Knox: Bookseller, Soldier, Patriot (1/2011)
    • B-What do we Know about the Vikings? (2/21/2011 and 2/22/2011)
    • B-The Vikings (Strange Histories) (3/01/2011)
    • B-Our Little Viking Cousin of Long Ago (1/2011 till 3/2011)
    • DD-Exploring the World of the Vikings (3/2011)
    • DS– Men of Iron (1/2011 till 3/2011)
    • B-Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland (for St, Patrick’s Day)
    • B-What We Know ABout: The Celts (for St. PAtrick’s Day)
    • B-And there Was America (3/2011)
    • B-When KNights Were Boldaudio (3/2011 till 4/2011) (dd is still listening, she’s behind on her listening assignments)
    • DS-Famous Men of the MIddle Agesaudio (3/2011 till 4/2011)
    • DD-Brother Francis and the Friendly Beasts (about St. Francis) (3/2011)
    • B-The Merry Adv. Of Robin Hood -audio (3/2011)
    • DD-G-d’s Troubadour, The Story of St. Francis of Assisi (3/2011 till 7/2011)
    • B-Surviving Hitler: A Boy in the Nazi Death Camps (4/2011 preparing for Holocaust Rememberance Day)
    • B-Saladin: The Warrior Who Defended His PEople (5/2011)
    • B-Adam of the Road (4/2011 till 5/2011)
    • B-Genghis Kahn and the Mongol Horde (5/2011 till 7/2011)
    • DD-Joan of Arc by Diane Stanley (5/2011)
    • B-…If you Lived in the Days of Knights (5/24/2011)
    • DS-Spy for the Confederacy: Rose O’Neal Greenhow (to feed my son’s interst in the Civil War) from 7/1-7/3/2011
    • BWill You Sign Here, Mr. HAncock? (for Independence Day)
    • B– What’s the Big Idea Ben Franklin? (for Independence Day)
    • B– Independent Dames (for Independence Day)
    • DS-This Country of Ours Chap. 1-63-audio (6/2011 till 7/2011)
    • BAdventures of Marco Polo (7/2011 till now)
    • and we’re still not finished with this year…(waiting for Diane Warings’ Vol. 2 What in the World? CD’s, too)

    Now, this doesn’t include the Little House books for our evening read/or audio reading, which is late 19th C.; two Lamplighter books that are in England in the late 19th C.; our composer study which, at least this year, is Beethoven, overlapping the 18th and 19th C.; my son read a book about Naval heroes in the Civil War and both read The Devil’s Arithmetic about the Holocaust; my dd read through the Sarah, Plain and Tall series which is turn of the 20th C.; two LMA books set in the 19th C. America; a William Shakespeare bio (16th C.);for Art-finished Monet (19th), then began Giotto (13th); listened to Old Yeller, set in the 19th C. Texas, among some other audios; some Childhood of Famous Americans books as they were interested in learning about them. Plus, they love to watch Liberty’s Kids.

    I won’t continue; I think you get the idea. Although there was a steady movement from the early middle ages through to the high where we are now, we don’t stay there fixedly and not stray into other time periods if a holiday comes or if personal interest arises (though personal interests are handled during personal time, not during “school time” or we’d never get anywhere). Plus, I have books lying around from other time periods for them to pick up anytime (today my son was reading about the Election of 1800). Starting next year, our music and art studies will coincide with our time period.

    I find that my children are able to make great connections with an expanse of historical knowledge in their memory-like Beethoven being born 6 yrs. before the Declaration being signed; connecting the Crusades w/ the time of Genghis Kahn. In our L. Ingles bio, they pointed out the time connections of people’s lives and actions in relation to the Civil War and a connection to another Lamplighter book because Pa (in Little House) plays a song on his fiddle that was a favorite of the English barrel-organ grinder in Lamplighter. Modern events in relation to WWII through their knowledge of the Holocaust; Columbus sailing the same year as the beginning of the Inquisition because of their Jewish History studies.

    Add into all this is the geography of all these locations in the books that we read-it’s just natural for them to want to know where the events took place. Does that confuse their geography because there are so many places? No. I could go on and on…They didn’t confuse these different time periods above with each other at all but made connections within them. Does that make sense or am I just rambling?

    We also use a Book of Centuries, but not as often as I’d like.

    So, to sum it up (finally, right?); they can handle it. How strictly you keep to a time period is up to personal preference. There’s too much history, that affects our current times (which we are also very vocal about in my home which inevitably leads us back in time since there’s nothing new under the sun) to stay put in only one time period without immersing yourself in G-d’s Story. Yes, having a general schedule with a plan-absolutely; but I just can’t stay locked down and tell my children no you can’t read about that person or event or listen to that composer because “we’re not there yet”.

    I do want to answer your question about Am. Hist. Being so vital to us, but I think I’ve gone on long enough. I hope I’ve been of some help; I didn’t know how else to make my point!

    G-d Bless,


    Rachel that makes good sense to me and is really what I was thinking – that they would make connections between all the events eventually as we start to see more events and people on the timelines and even between the stories. That’s the whole point anyway, isn’t it? To me, at the elementary stage, the point is to get them familiar with events and people in history. When we go through it all again during high school, I think it will all really start to fall in place in a more concrete way. I just don’t have  personal experience to back up my theory, ya know?

    I would be interested to hear your thoughts about American History being taught alongside Ancient History. I struggled with how to do only one stream of history, but it was really important to me to begin chronologically. Yet I didn’t want to put off American History for so long. Plus my husband also believes its vitally important that our boys have a really strong knowledge of American History as well. Especially considering how it gets so twisted in the political realm. I just don’t believe that you can cover it in a year in high school and say its good. I don’t believe the US is the center of the universe, but here is where we live and we have to navigate the political and cultural seas of this country. How can you do that well if you don’t understand the history? Anyway, now I’m rambling! lol.


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