Early Planning for Third Grade: Language Arts

We are just about to wrap up our second quarter of school before Thanksgiving, so of course that means that I am knee deep in planning the next school year.  I like planning even more than actually teaching.  I thought I would get everyone’s two cents on some of my choices.

The overall theme of next year is more classical.  After going with a highly traditional program this year, I realized that there just isn’t enough actual reading of real books.  I want to change that before too much damage is done, and Alex learns to dislike reading.  What I do love about this year’s curriculum is the lesson plans.  This has saved our homeschool.  I would never have been able to create my own plans this year.  So when I was looking around for more classical curriculum, I kept in mind that I will still need some help in this regard with two toddlers running around.

Let’s take a look at language arts first.

Literature
Alex tends to be a consumer of books rather than a critical reader.  It physically pains him to not finish a book in one sitting.  This has ultimately led to him reading only quick and easy books that are no longer than about ten short chapters.  The characters are one-dimensional and few, and the plot usually revolves around solving a simple mystery.  My goal next year is to slowly walk him through digesting and analyzing a few good books. 

I plan to read Farmer Boy, Charlotte’s Web, and The Moffats using Memoria Press Grade Three Guides and Lesson Plans.  I also considered purchasing guides from Angelicum Academy, but have decided to go with Memoria Press because they offer lesson plans.

If anyone has used the guides from both places, I would love to hear a comparison of the two programs.  I also went with Memoria Press because I wanted fewer books in a year and simply preferred their selections for third grade.

Grammar & Writing
So far we have used the English books from Kolbe in first grade and Seton in second grade.  Both were pretty boring workbook types where the child circled nouns in sentences and such.  Seton’s book began to include some writing, but I didn’t really find it beneficial. 

For third grade I am going to try Memoria Press Intro to Composition and English Grammar Recitation.  This program has the added benefit of tying in with the literature guides.  I was very drawn to English Grammar Recitation where the student is encouraged to memorize grammar rules such as what are the types of nouns, rather than just randomly find them in sentences. 

Spelling
At this point, if I had all the money in the world, I might just throw in the towel and buy All About Spelling.  Rather, I am going to try the How to Teach Spelling program again and use How to Spell Workbook 2.  I think I have tinkered with the program enough to have finally figured it out.  I plan on writing my own guide and lesson plans for Workbooks 1 and 2.  This takes time though, and I can’t make any promises.  I may actually have more money than time, and that is a sad state of being.

Handwriting
I gave up with printing practice and have moved on to teaching cursive using these videos.  Third grade will just be practice through copywork that I will make myself and any writing that he needs to do for other assignments and notebooking.

Phonics
None!  I think we are more than finished with phonics as its own subject.  Any phonics instruction that he still needs will be part of the spelling curriculum. 

Latin
We will finally start learning a second language next year.  I’m pretty excited about that.  I am going to go with Prima Latina though I really don’t have a good reason over any other program.  I am open to suggestions. 

~Catie

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One Response to Early Planning for Third Grade: Language Arts

  1. Amy says:

    I like planning more than teaching too =) I’ve never used anything from Memoria Press, so I’m of no help there. We have been enjoying Veritas Press materials. Have you looked into the Latin curriculum choices at Classical Academic Press? We love their Song School Latin, which is for young kids, but they have different options for all ages. Here’s a link if you want to check out what they have: http://bit.ly/17Lecmy

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