We are on our fourth week of fourth grade. It's going really well so far. I'm super pleased with the curriculum I chose. Each year I know a little more about what's available and have a little more experience that helps me weed out what doesn't work for our family. Hopefully by the time Rosemary starts school all the kinks will be worked out. Yeah right! :)
I LOVE Apologia Science. It's so God-centered. Unlike a lot of Science curriculum, its basis is the Bible, and its assumption is that God is the Creator and Sustainer of all living things. There's Scripture and "Creation Confirmations" throughout. This really helps to promote a Biblical worldview in our kids. They are taught to see everything as marvelously and miraculously made by a creative, exciting God. This year we are doing Astronomy in the first semester and Botany in the second semester. We've already visited the Planetarium (www.vbas.org) on Monte Santo Mountain. We will definitely be back. I'm so glad Huntsville has stuff like that!
We're doing Saxon Math again this year, which I also really like. There's a lot of repetition and drill, which I know isn't "fun" but really ensures that students understand each concept well. 5/4 has much shorter lessons than 3, which Allie likes since Math isn't her favorite subject. :)
Our Social Studies curriculum is probably my favorite of all. I chose Geography Matters (www.geomatters.com). We sat in on a Geo Matters seminar last summer right after I had ordered our third grade SS curriculum, and of course I immediately wished I had known about it earlier, so I made a mental note to do it this year. It really could be one's only curriculum because it encompasses all subjects in each lesson. It's literature-based so you have your reading; there are writing assignments on most days and vocabulary words throughout each week; there's a lot of Science and of course History and Geography, and there are art and music projects every week or so that correspond to what you're learning. We're doing the Trail Guide to Learning, Volumes 1 and 2. We will cover units on Christopher Columbus, Jamestown, the Pilgrims, Daniel Boone, Lewis and Clark, and Trails West. We read biographies and chart trails on the world map and do research online and use atlases and nature handbooks. I'm loving it. I think Allie is too. :) On the first day she got to draw a map of her room. Today she got to "explore" her front yard and write out her observations. That's SO Allie. She wrote an awesome paper on what it takes to be an explorer. She would know because she's a little Explorer. :)
We're doing Shurley English and supplementing it with Wordly Wise 3000, Spectrum Spelling and Writing. For Bible we are finishing the Old Testament, Ezra through Malachi. We're also going through the book Polished Cornerstones, which is fabulous for mothers and daughters. I'll blog about it in another post. :) She's still learning the violin and about to begin her second year in American Heritage Girls- which is also a whole other post. :)
Probably next year, Maggie will start K4 while Allie does 5th grade. Maggie is so anxious to "do school" with her big sister. Should be interesting!!