What changes in 4th grade?


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  • mama_nickles

    DS is in 3rd grade this year. He is advanced in reading, but reluctant in writing. He loves history and literature. His oral narrations are great. I am starting to look at what things to add in next year when he is in 4th. I was thinking dictation? Am I OK to hold off on written narrations and grammar still? He is young so he will be 9 for all of 4th grade. I was also thinking of adding in British history for him to do independently alongside the American history that we do together (3 younger sisters). This year he is reading Abraham Lincoln’s World independently to get some world history. I was also thinking to add in Shakespeare. Do I need Plutarch too? Another foreign language (we are doing spanish now)? What am I missing?


    For fourth grade, we start Spelling Wisdom (I think many start it for 3rd, using it for transcription).  One idea to begin written narrations is to have them copy a portion of their oral narration (that you have written out for them).  Since they work on this during their normal copywork time, it doesn’t add anything to your day! My 3rd grader usually takes a few days to write it out, spending just the 5 minutes of her copywork session each time.  I’m doing this with my 3rd grader and I think it will make a nice transition over to written narrations.  We only do this once every few weeks.  Since my DC prefer to type their narrations, I think 4th grade is a great time to work on typing.  We do grammar at an earlier age, but that’s a choice I’ve made, and I don’t think anything is needed until later.  If you choose to hold off, I’m sure they will pick it up quickly when you do get to it.  Have you looked at using ULW along with Spelling Wisdom?  That would give you some gentle grammar lessons.

    We use SCM’s history, so their history readings get a bit more challenging.  However, I’m pretty sure my current 3rd grader will still be using the options for grades 1-3 next year.  That booklist just looks like a better fit for her.  I think the important thing is to teach the child, as they are all a bit different.

    As far as Shakespeare & Plutarch, we’ve done very little with either at this point.  This is the first year we’ve consistently studied Shakespeare, and we are currently running through a Poetry For Young People book and supplementing it with youtube videos of actors reading through the poems and scenes.  I’m hoping to actually get to a play within the next year, possibly even this spring.  I teach this as a family subject, so my younger DC listen in as well.

    We haven’t studied Plutarch at this point.  SCM’s history guides have it schedule for the high school level ancient history, so I imagine we’ll cover a bit of it then.  I’ve looked into adding Anne White’s guides, but there is only so much time in our day!  Whatever you add for 4th, your day still needs to be fairly short.  This may mean you can’t study everything that CM covered for that grade.  At this point, we are only covering 1 foreign language (Latin).  I had plans to cover Spanish & Latin, but it’s just too much for us at the moment.

    I hope this helps you see one possible way to teach 4th grade.  I’m sure each of our lessons are different (as each family and child is different).   What works for us may not work for you (and vice versa).



    Thanks, Holly! Good things to think about! I like the idea of him copying his oral narration that I record. I bet he would like that a lot.

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