We have two primary goals this year for Poppy: improved reading comprehension and becoming more independent with her schoolwork.
Poppy reads really, really quickly, but that isn’t always a great thing. For one thing, it means it doesn’t make much sense to buy books. She zooms through them so quickly that it doesn’t really feel like she’s getting her money’s worth. (I speak from experience, because I am the same way.) More important, though, is that she reads so quickly that she doesn’t always absorb what she’s reading. (I’m guilty of the same.) So this year we’re going to be emphasizing reading comprehension, which is why the Language Arts section further down this page is, shall we say, robust.
On the independence front, I want her to be able to self-motivate her way through her day. Obviously that’s not entirely possible for the subjects that she and Pete are doing together, but she could definitely do it on a lot of other stuff.
Without further ado, here’s what Poppy is doing for fourth grade.
- “Story of the World: Volume 3“
- We’ve returned to SOTW after a brief dalliance with another publisher. The kids enjoy it, and they’ve retained information from it. As always, I’m going to try to do more of the crafts and activities this year.
- McRuffy Math 3 and 4
- Poppy is on track to finish her third grade math book by Christmas. She’ll start on the fourth grade book when we start up again after the holidays. I’m not sure how she ended up on this schedule in math. I’d like to get back on a book-a-year schedule, but it’s really not that big of a deal.
- “Growing with Grammar”
- This is the one thing that Poppy consistently does with very little help from me. The text is very straightforward, and the workbook instructions are usually clear. It might not be the most exciting grammar text (ha!), but it’s doing the trick.
- Michael Clay Thompson’s Language Arts curriculum
- I mentioned in the Pete post that this was our first year with MCT. We’ve read a little bit of the first book every day this week, and so far the kids like it.
- “Reading Comprehension in Varied Subject Matter”
- The woman who proctored Poppy’s standardized test last year suggested this one, and it’s pretty much exactly what the titles says it is. Short bits of text and a page or two of questions. She’s midway through the level she started last year, and I have the next level on deck for when she finishes.
- Over the summer I made a list of books I wanted Poppy to read this year, and I’d planned to cobble together a few worksheets for her to fill out on each title. Imagine my delight when I found that Reed Novel Studies had a full curriculum written for most of the books on my list! I bought the study for “The Borrowers” first, and I liked the looks of it so much that I revised my reading list.
- Nancy Larson Science 1
- OK, so the Nancy Larson website recommends this for kids ages 5 to 8. Poppy just turned 9, and even last year I think it would’ve been on the simple side for her. That said, we’re going to use it anyway, for both kids.
- Tae kwon do
- We were gone a lot this summer, so Poppy is still working to learn her green belt techniques. She does class twice a week. She could take a third or even a fourth class every week, but so far this year she hasn’t been motivated to do so.
- Poppy is playing in a new soccer league this year, and she has practice twice a week. She started this week, and she was surprised to learn that practice was an hour and a half long. “Really?” she said. “It felt like twenty minutes!”
- “Creating Masterpieces Like the Modern Masters”
- Poppy has always enjoyed making art, and I have never enjoyed the mess that art projects leave behind. So we’re fortunate to have a great local artist who teaches kids’ classes.
About that independent-learning thing: I don’t know exactly how I’m going to accomplish that goal. It’s on my mind, though, so please leave me your sage advice!