Category Archives: Year 4

Kid Uno’s Year 4 Course of Study

Here’s what I planned for Kid Uno:

She will be almost totally independent this year, although I may read something aloud with her because she and I both enjoy it, and it would be sad to give that up completely. We are waiting till next year to begin Plutarch, and probably two more years for Latin (I want to cover some English grammar first). (??) means I’m still waffling among options:)

Bible/Spiritual Reading: She reads and does oral narration

Joshua, Judges, Mark

The Great Divorce (??): We could read 4 pp. per week and discuss this together. It might be a good fit for her spiritual journey. It’s written in first person, which Kid Uno hates, so that might be a drawback.

Memorize and Recite one Bible passage per term

History/Biographies/Geography/Cultures: Theme for the year is world history and geography with a focus on exploration. She will read, map, and write narrations. I help her enter people and events on her timeline every three weeks–she’ll start either a Book of Centuries or a new timeline this year.

Our Island Story: Finish reading the book with written narrations for each chapter.

Builders of the Old World, Medieval Days and Ways, Makers of the Americas: We spent the last two years covering world history by me reading aloud from CHOW. This year she will cover most of world history by reading these three books herself. They include a fair amount of social history, which is more engaging to her than battles and politics. There are some good discussion questions at the end of each section. I would like to move away from narrations which are mainly re-tellings (who, where, what) and move toward deeper discussions of why, how, and ought.

Landmark and other biographies about Vikings, Marco Polo, Ibn Battuta, Zheng He, Columbus, Balboa, Magellan, Cortez, Pizarro, Raleigh, Hudson , Cook, Livingston, Perry, Amundsen/Scott ??, Himalayas [Everest].She’ll spend 2-3 weeks reading each book, filling in blank maps of their journeys, and writing a brief narration at the end of each book. I’d also like to supplement with some travel or cultural documentaries so she can see the places she’s reading about, but I may wait till next year when she reads Halliburton’s Marvels. Instead, I might assign her Maya Quest and Africatrek since they are short but vivid.

Nature Study/Science: This year, I am revamping how we use Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding. I used volume two to organize Kid Uno’s science readings. These are mostly books from the Let’s Read and Find Out series. I may also use some books from the All About… series or the First Book of …. series, which are a little more (or a lot, depending on the book) advanced. The Body and Building books also tie into these themes. We will read, and discuss (rather than narrate), and I hope to incorporate projects, experiences, and some documentaries. We may do some of this with another family.

BFSU Topics for this year: Term 1–How Things Fly; Center of Gravitiy, Balance, Wobbling Wheels; Energy in Motion: Momentum and Waves; Mechanics: Levers and Discovery of Underlying Principle; Inclined Planes, Pulleys, Gears, and Hydraulic Lifts   Term 2–Electricity: Electric Circuits, Switches, Conductors, Non-conductors; Static Electricity, Sparks, Lighting; Parallel and Series Circuits, Fuses, Ground Wires, Light: Basics of Light and Seeing  Term 3–Cells, Microscopes, Observation of Tissues, Cell Theory; Cell Growth, Division, Differentiation, Introduction to Reproduction; Integrating Cells and Whole-body Functions; Cause and Effects of Seasonal Changes; Water Cycle and Its Ramifications

The Human Body : this is a great age to study some anatomy! She will read one chapter per week, and narrate or discuss.

Ultimate Building Book: a lot of this ties in with BFSU, so she will read and discuss. There are plenty of projects to do, so this will be one of her art options.

Nature Journal: draw assigned topic every week. I’ll probably line up the topics with BFSU  or outdoor explorations as much as possible

Literature: read and narrate orally or with drawings

Shakespeare: I’m still waffling. Leaning toward watching one play per term. But maybe listening to the audio. Or both?? We are not going to actually read them yet (although I have the Complete Works so if she listens to the audio she could follow along).

Mythology: probably Bullfinch, according to the AO schedule. Although I also have Hamilton, which looks like easier reading.

Gilgamesh trilogy: these are short and easy, and will be scheduled at the same time she’s reading about the ancient world.

Arabian Nights: These are scheduled while she’s reading Medieval Days and Ways, and after Marco Polo and Ibn Battuta

Robinson Crusoe

Treasure Island

Short Stories: one per week during Term 3. Rip Van Winkle, Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, To Build a Fire, Thank You, Ma’am, Gift of the Magi, Gold Bug, Tell-tale Heart, Lady or the Tiger, Three Questions, Sound of Thunder, Fun They Had. These might be good read alouds to do together. I might introduce a bit of literary analysis.

Poetry: read aloud together daily, one poet per term, memorize and recite one poem per term

Tennyson, Dickinson, Paterson and/or Lawson

Maths:

Ray’s Intellectual, Practical, and Test–daily: Mostly fractions this year. I explain, assign, and check her work.

Strayer Upton Red book: second half. Probably alternate with Ray’s

Miquon–2-3x per week; she can do this mostly independently and will finish the series this year

Reading

McGuffey’s Fourth Reader: she reads aloud to me 2x per week

Non-fiction: she does not love reading fiction (prefers fiction), so I will have her choose one book from several non-fiction options to complete about every four weeks

Writing

Prepared Dictation: this will be our first year, so I’m not sure how it will look. I think I will choose a literature passage, she will read it, then study it, then I will dictate it to her and she will copy it from memory. All that is spread over 4-5 days. I may do dictation one week, and grammar the next.

Grammar: this will be her first year with formal grammar, and she’ll start at the beginning of Rod&Staff 5. It  is very thorough, so I won’t assign everything. I’ll probably alternate grammar weekly with dictation, or daily with handwriting.

Handwriting: Pentime Grade 7, then 8. When she finishes those books, she can begin keyboarding.

Art

Drawing: She will pick an area to practice and do a bit daily. Probably fashion drawing, though I haven’t found a good book yet.

Art Project: Alternate between Private Eye and Ultimate Building Book every four weeks. I want to emphasize continuity, and working at something over a period of time.

Handicraft/Skill: work on a project or skill every week. I have a feeling cooking/baking will continue as a favorite 😉

Picture Study: one artist per term, one painting each week, Leonardo da Vinci, and two others ??

Music

Violin Lessons: weekly

Hymn (T): three hymns/worship songs each term, sung together 2-3x per week

Appreciation: 3 genres ?? per term to listen to 2-3x per week

Sport/Physical Activity: probably weekly, depending on her interests this year. Probably ballet.

Foreign Language: Duolingo languages of her choice or Salsa Spanish (T) episodes, a little bit every week.

Outdoor Exploration: at least monthly. This is usually a family activity, like camping or playing in a stream or visiting a farm or zoo…

Cultural Event: at least monthly. This is usually a family activity like attending a ballet or concert, visiting a museum or art show…

Service:at least monthly. This is usually a family activity like community service with our church, doing something kind for a neighbor, visiting a nursing home…

And that is….a lot! We’ll see how it turns out.

Here’s what Kid Uno and I thought of how it actually  turned out:

https://charlottemasonmodern.com/2017/06/17/year-4-wrap-up-for-kid-uno/

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Year 4 Wrap Up for Kid Uno

Average weekly time: Together (4), Kid Uno alone (16), total hours (20ish)

 

Rate each book (like, neutral, dislike).

Add a few comments (my comments are italicized.

Any changes for next child or next year?

 

Bible/Spiritual Reading

Joshua, Judges, Romans

Dislike. It’s boring.

Like. I liked the consistency of one whole book per term, rather than jumping between bits of OT and NT narratives. She drew illustrations to narrate Joshua and Judges, and narrated Romans orally.

My Path to Heaven

Neutral. It’s boring but I like looking at the pictures.

Neutral. A bit dry, some theology I disagree with, but some interesting discussions.

Psalms with Daddy and other kids

Like. It’s fun to listen and to think of things to say.

Like. Love how the kids (usually) respond to DH reading a Psalm with them in the evening.

History/Bios

Builders of the Old World

Dislike. Boring—it doesn’t have stories. I don’t like telling things back to you.

Like. Kid Uno doesn’t like narrative history, but I think these three books (Builders, Medieval, Americas) are very well done, interesting, and similar to CHOW but good for independent reading. They would be awesome spines for a more in-depth study of history. I just wanted to her to do an independent survey of world history, so that’s how we used them this year.

Medieval Days and Ways

Neutral. Some of it was dislike. Most of the parts told about interesting things, but some were boring, just telling about things like churches and where they were found and stuff.

Makers of the Americas

Dislike. It didn’t tell about anything I’m interested in.

Our Island Story

Like. Sometimes it had stories, most of the time it didn’t. I liked writing narrations in the book.

Like. I still haven’t read more than the first several chapters, but I think having Kid Uno reading it to herself in YR 3 and 4 was more appropriate than me reading it in YR 1. Will continue with future kids.

Timeline

Neutral. I didn’t really like thinking of people I’d read, but some of the people I googled were interesting, more interesting than in the stories I’d read about them.

Like. I actually didn’t even look at her timeline till the end of the year…she had nice entries and seemed to enjoy looking up people on Wikipedia.

Geography

Biographies of World Explorers: Vikings, Marco Polo, Ibn Bttuta, Zheng He, Columbus, Balboa, Magellan, Cortez, Pizarro, Raleigh, Hudson, Cook, Livingston, Perry, North and South Poles, Himalayas (Everest)

Neutral reading them. Dislike mapping them.

Like. These are all good biographies. Kid Uno is more familiar with the globe now, although she focused on the storyline and paid minimal attention to the geographical aspects of the books and had to do some re-dos.

Where the Flame Trees Bloom

Like. It was fun hearing about the little stories of what her grandma did, living there, especially the lightning part.

Like. Easy reading about Cuban culture.

Maya Quest and Africa Trek

Dislike. Boring to read about, nothing interesting, and I dislike mapping them very much. I hate mapping stuff!

Like. Maya Quest is mostly pictures. I think she was more interested in these two books than she sounds in this evaluation, although she does dislike mapping.

Science

Ultimate Building Book

Dislike reading it. Like doing the projects.

Like. Architecture for kids.

Human Body Book

Neutral. Some lessons were interesting to learn about; most of them weren’t.

Like. Good overview of anatomy, nutrition, and health.

All About Electricity

Dislike. It was boring and I didn’t like learning about it.

Neutral. Good, but dated (written in the 50s), so newer electrical stuff isn’t covered, but still covers basic info.

Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding

Neutral. Ugh. I put a lot of time into using BFSU to organize science themes, and it’s such a good resource, but I just don’t get around to the discussions, projects, or even videos…Maybe next year. Or I may just use it to organize all the science books we have and which years we read them. Or just to brush up on my own science knowledge for Q and A with the kids.

Nature Journal

Neutral. Sometimes I liked the projects, sometimes I wished I could do other projects (that weren’t listed).

Like. I liked making a list of options at the beginning of the year. She is old enough to do longer projects now, too.

Literature

Shakespeare (Arkangel Recordings)

Neutral. I could barely figure out the story, and it was basically just people talking. I liked Midsummer Night Dream because there was a story to it. I liked the videos much better, like the Romeo and Juliet we watched.

Neutral. I haven’t listened to any of them so I can’t comment on quality. I didn’t want to emphasize Shakespeare this year, so I think they were a good, quick way to cover a play each term. I meant to have her watch the plays after listening, but never got around to it. Maybe over the summer.

Robinson Crusoe

Neutral. It was fun hearing how he lived but some parts were a little bit boring.

Neutral. I read the first 2/3 and need to finish it. It was better than I thought it would be.

Gilgamesh Trilogy

Like. I loved those.

Like. Good picture book mythology. Wish I’d had them for one of my college anthropology classes!

Bullfinch’s Mythology

Like. I love it. Because it has awesome stories in it and I got to hear you read it…you almost never read books to me anymore because I’m not a little kid.

Like. Kid Uno knows the myths better than I do (maybe from Hawthorne and Magic Treehouse?); I enjoy reading these aloud with her. We skip Bullfinch’s commentary and poetry references at the end of the chapters.

Treasure Island

Dislike. It was sort of hard to understand; I didn’t really like the way the story went. Didn’t bring the characters to life the way other books do.

Neutral. I liked the beginning but it was kinda anti-climactic. I agree about flat characters.

Arabian Nights

Like. Most of the stories were fun.

Like. I’ve read about half the book so far–another one I need to finish.

Short Stories

Like. They were all different. And I liked guessing which door in “The Lady or the Tiger”. Those were fun.

Like. I had fun picking 12 famous short stories, and it was a nice switch from a novel for a term.

Poetry

Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Emily Dickinson, Henry Lawson, Banjo Paterson

Neutral. I don’t really like poetry. I only half do and I half don’t.

Neutral. I liked the Australian poets better than Dickinson and Tennyson, but Tennyson was better than I anticipated.

Math

Ray’s Intellectual, Practical, and Test

Dislike. Hate. It’s so hard and boring, and it doesn’t have good problems and I hate it so badly.

Neutral. I still think Ray’s is effective and so good for mental math. But she hates it. I’m considering making SU the main curriculum, or switching to Singapore. Or keep it…dunno yet.

Strayor Upton Red (2nd half)

Like. It often has very fun things, except when I have to do all those boring non-word problems and I don’t get to do a test.

Like. Although I think it’s a bit below grade level, it’s really perfect for Kid Uno to do independently since it’s written to the student.

Miquon (finished)

Dislike. It’s so hard and I don’t like doing it. I like SU.

Like. And I’m glad she finished it after 3.5 years!

Writing

Pentime (finished grade 8)

Like. Loved it, love it, love it. I love doing cursive, and seeing the pretty ways it loops and twists.

Like. She will be moving into typing for YR 5, and I will probably just have her do some cursive copywork once a week or so to maintain good handwriting skills.

Reading

McGuffey’s Fourth Reader

Dislike. Most of the time doesn’t have stories and it’s really boring to read.

Dislike. This is the worst of the four readers as far as subject matter and quality writing. But I will have her finish it because it’s excellent for pronunciation and vocabulary. She only reads 2x per week.

Grammar

Rod & Staff Grade 5

Neutral. Most of the time it’s fun. I like doing stuff orally but not written.

Like. Solid and super easy for me to use with the teacher’s guide. We do a lot of it orally to save time. She’s about halfway through after doing 2-3 lessons per week.

Dictation

Various passages from poetry, lit, Bible

Dislike. It’s not fun.

Dislike. Time consuming and Kid Uno always has tons of mistakes. I’m not sure if I’m doing it the most effective way possible. Need to read up/video up over the summer.

Foreign Language

Duolingo

Like. It’s very fun because I get to learn a new language [Spanish], but I’m thinking about doing a different language now.

Like. Great free resource.

Salsa Spanish

Neutral. It’s fun to watch it, but it’s hard to understand because I don’t know that much Spanish yet. I’m only 39% fluent.

Like. Short and fun once in a while.

Art

Colored Pencil Drawing, Drawing Workbook, Drawing the Head & Figure, Fashion, Fourth Year Drawing.

Dislike. I don’t like drawing. They’re boring and I don’t get to draw what I want. But I like the fashion book.

Like. But I don’t think she is being challenged enough.

Ultimate Building Book projects

Like. They’re fun to do.

Like. Plenty to pick from!

Photography, Computer Animation, Nature Art

Dislike. I didn’t really do anything, and couldn’t figure out how to put in color.

Neutral. They were good ideas, but I didn’t execute them well, except for Nature Art since we have some good books for that.

Choice of Medium: Origami, Oil Pastels, Watercolors

Like. Fun to do. Especially watercolors and origami.

Like. These worked well.

Picture Study

Frida Kahlo, Peter Paul Rubens, Leonardo DaVinci

Dislike. All of them. They’re not exactly the pictures I’d like to study.  I’d like to study the covers of Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty [illustrated by Kinuko Y. Craft].

Like. I’m surprised she disliked Rubens, since Craft reminds me of Rubens.

Music

Hymns

Dislike. I’d like to have more exciting, fun songs.

Like. Good for us all.

Wagner, Harpsichord, Buena Vista Social Club, Grieg, Arabic, Blues, Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, Didgeridoo, Slim Dusty, Mendelssohn

Neutral. I can listen to them while I’m doing stuff. I’d like to have one each week and be able to pick which ones.

Like. She actually liked some of these (Wagner, Arabic) more than she remembers.

Violin Lessons

Like. I’ve grown to like it more and more. I think I’d like to continue. I think practicing in the basement helps.

Like. We are at a natural break, so we’ll need to see about continuing.

Memorization/Recitation

Bible

Dislike. I don’t like memorizing Bible.

Like. And she is capable of more.

Poetry

Neutral. Sometimes it’s fun. I’d like to do something really long through all three terms.

Like. And I think her idea for next year is great.

Handicraft/Skill

Baking, Grocery Shopping, Building Chicken Coop, Fairy House, Meal Prep, Paper Dolls, Pumpkin Carving, Tie Dye, Paper Snowflakes, Making Lunch, Hand Sewing, Snap Circuits, Building Snow Fort, Painting Mugs, Weaving, Kiwicrates, Bead Jewelry, Origami, Cooking, Moving Concrete, Gardening

Like. Cuz they’re fun—except for move concrete!

Like. A lot of variety this year.

Outdoor Exploration

Hiking Cecret Lake, Peace Garden, Perseid Meteor Shower, Pineview Reservoir, Thanksgiving Point Farm, Millcreek Canyon, Uintas Lofty Lake, Cross E Ranch, DC Arboretum, DC Rock Creek Park, Jordan River—Rain, Muskrats, Beaver, Ducklings, Alantic Ocean, Indian River, Fishing, Florida Zoo, Edible Plants, Tulip Festival, Gilgal Sculpture Garden

Like. They’re fun, and it’s interesting, especially Cecret Lake.

Like. I love outings.

Sport/Physical Activity

Kids Community Ballet at Missio Dei

Neutral. I’d like something higher technique, and harder and more advanced. But it was fun being with my friends and dancing.

Like. Mainly for the relationships this year.

Running, Swimming, Playgrounds, Roller Blading, Biking, Hiking, 5k, Boogie Boarding, Kayaking, Sledding, Jump Around, Ice Skating, Basketball, Bowling

Like. Especially kayaking, swimming, boogie boarding.

Like. Lots of variety.

Ballet at SLC Ballet

Like. Love, love, love. It’s so fun, and I make new friends, and it’s hard, and I love performing and huge performances, and dancing there.

Like. She loves it, and it seems to be the best studio for her right now.

Cultural Event

Parade, Bees Game, Summer Olympics, Bluegrass Concert, Tuacahn Plays, Colorado Christian University trip, State Fair, DC trip, Museum of American History, Nutcracker, Weddings, Discovery Gateway, Grand America Tea, Indian Restaurant, Sleeping Beauty Ballet, Ash Wednesday, Leonardo, Paquita Ballet, Coppelia Excerpts Ballet, Orthodox Church 

Like. Love, love. They were very fun, especially the ballet, state fair, wedding, Grand America tea.

Like. These were all good.

Service

Hosting Friends for Dinner, Babysitting, Hosting Housechurch, Taking Food and Flowers to Friends and Neighbors, Sunday Serve, VOA with Housechurch, Helping Mommy after surgery, Reading to Kid Cinco, Pioneer Park w/ Rescue Mission, Visiting Grammy, Decorate Church Building for Easter

Like. It’s fun, especially helping Grammy and decorating the church.

Like. I think we could do more, but we were more intentional than last year, so that was an improvement.

Overall evaluation:

Kid Uno’s suggestions for next year: Doing that big poetry I suggested, more ballet classes, going on pointe, private ballet lessons,  drawing videos online.

This year, Kid Uno did most of her work independently. We did poetry, mythology, My Path to Heaven, grammar, dictation, and a lot of math together. The rest she did on her own, and I heard narrations and checked written work in the evening or the next day. She’s very good about following her assignment list, especially when motivated by ballet classes in the afternoon. I increased her reading volume quite a bit this year. Duolingo has been surprisingly useful for language learning—and it’s free!. I started her in 5th grade grammar, and she did just fine without previous grammar instruction. I’m not sure what to do for drawing and art next year…I feel like she needs something challenging and interesting, but what? I think she also needs something for geometry. Maybe Khan Academy? Or switch to Singapore? We started strong with everything I scheduled for this year, but it got hard for me to keep up in the middle with my unexpected surgery, and toward the end with basement construction.  Kid Uno was very consistent throughout the year. We had so much travel and so many activities—it’s been a very full year! There’s not a lot I would change for future children; I feel like the book choices and all our activities are enjoyable and well-rounded…it’s just a matter of fitting in so much good stuff.