July 20, 2014

About Grade Four

Study hard what interests you most, in the most undisciplined, 
irreverent and original manner possible. -- Richard Feymann

Last year we began using a unique curriculum outline.  I created the outline based on Benjamin's passion for history and science.  This year we are focusing heavily on those two passions.  Personally, I believe young children must learn about the world -- our people, our histories and our nature.  How else can we expect future generations to become stewards of the earth?


This year we'll study early civilizations and the first cities (some of this material may stretch into Grade Five).  Also, we will be studying the kingdom of animals, of which we humans do also belong -- and because we're known to revel in the holiday season, I've planned a four week winter break before diving into that three month comparative study of so-called animals to humans.  

Language Arts and Mathematics will (as always) be approached from a practical standpoint.  Our study of Art and Music will coincide with our history research! So having said all of this, these are our lesson blocks for the 2014/2015 school year.    

September 8 – September 26 

Language Arts

·         Grammar
·         Sentence Structure
·         Typing/Keyboarding
·         Cursive Handwriting

September 29 October 17

World History – Early Civilizations

·         Mesopotamia
·         Indus Valley
·         Shang Dynasty
·         Megalithic Europe
·         Mesoamerica

Ancient Art

·         Mesopotamia
·         Indus Valley
·         Shang Dynasty
·         Megalithic Europe
·         Mesoamerica

October 20 – November 7

Math – Operations

·         Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication & Division
·         Introduction to Fractions
·         Ancient Math: Prehistoric Math
·         Ancient Math:  Writing Numbers
·         Ancient Math:  Ancient Egypt
·         Ancient Math:  Ancient India
·         Ancient Math:  Babylonians

November 10 – November 25

Music – Music Theory & The Orchestra

·         Music Theory
·         The Story of the Orchestra

December 1 – December 12

Language Arts

·         Spelling Rules
·         Sentences
·         Personal Correspondence & Letter Writing

January 12 – April 17

Science - Comparative Study of Animals

·         Birds
·         Fishes
·         Amphibians
·         Reptiles
·         Insects
·         Mammals
The Human

April 20 May 29

World History – First Cities

·         Minoans
·         Mycenaeans
·         Babylonians
·         Hittites
·         Mittani
·         Egyptians
·         Canaanites
·         Philistines
·         Phoenicians
·         Assyrians

Ancient Art – First Cities

·         Minoans
·         Mycenaeans
·         Babylonians
·         Mittani
·         Egyptians

We'll be doing Art of the Week again this year, although I will no longer post each image or upload our posters to Scribd.  This year, I will be posting book reviews. We will be reading and reviewing two children's books by Elise Gravel, The Fly and The Worm -- very cute, wait 'til you see!  And, I am currently reading an extremely interesting adaptation of Jared Diamond's The Third Chimpanzee for Young People.  Also in the works -- joining a local rock & mineral club and volunteering as citizen-scientists with the Pennsylvania Amphibian and Reptile Survey.  It has been so much fun learning about the creepy crawlies we've discovered in and around our home!  I hope (during our nature study this year) to join a handful more citizen-scientist groups...it adds a degree of purpose to all of the photographs I take while we are exploring.

What does your family have planned for the upcoming {home}school year?