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Differences btwn 3rd and 4th grade


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I feel like 4th grade is going to be different than the previous years. Dd 9.5 is maturing and thinking differently. She is a fall birthday, so an older 4th grader. For an average student, what kinds of things should be introduced or reinforced at this age? What changes did you notice academically and socially between 8-10?

 

Plans so far are:

 

LA: LLATL continuing through orange and in to purple

Math: continuing on with Singapore

Health: mom based

Science: Evan Moor Daily Science

Social Studies: Adventures through America and Evan Moor Daily Geography

Art: continuing HAS and The Worlds Greatest Artists

Music: The Great Composers

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I'm not experienced... My oldest is just finishing up 4th, but my focus for 4th/5th is writing. I require more output, make sure sentences make sense, write paragraphs that stay on topic, and just really implementing a writing program. My goals for the middle school years are to go more in depth with literature and content subjects, so I want her to be able to have the tools to express her thoughts on that content. I feel like 4/5th is a transition year for that type of work.

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Yeah, writing is the big difference here as well, though we weren't writing narrations until the END of 4th grade. That was my goal, and we made it. Phew! 5th grade will be a big focus on writing. If my son had been ready, 4th grade would have been more writing-focused (he's on the younger side for his grade).

 

The biggest change I noticed in my son was that he became a LOT more independent. For example, when we used TOG for 4th, I'd hand him the reading assignments for the week and he would make sure they were done by Friday. He divided the assignments up into something he thought he could manage, and he usually had them read without me even reminding him. Now I don't *expect* that from a 4th grader. It's more something I'd want to work toward. He just happened to naturally do it on his own, while I sat in a corner doing a happy dance. :D This is my child who, in first grade, required me at elbow, even reading directions to him (he could read 4th-5th grade level novels at that point, so was perfectly capable of reading directions in a math workbook!). Now, I go over the new material with him, then send him off to do his work. He's done some subjects almost completely on his own. For example, his math (AoPS) is designed to be independent, and by February, he was doing that on his own. I just say, "Go do math," and he does what he's supposed to.

 

I also saw a change in attitude toward "easy" work. Since he was doing a very difficult math at a higher level, I wanted to keep some easy elementary math review going daily. So he also did CLE Math. It was a couple grade levels below what he was working at, so it was all completely review. I told him in the beginning that if it was easy, he could do it quickly. Sure enough, he could. And he never complained about doing a whole CLE Math lesson (took about 10-15 minutes tops) as "math practice" each day. In first grade, he would have whined and groaned and drug his feet. In 4th, he said ok and got the work done quickly. He was able to understand that working quickly got him to the next thing. And his math skills have really benefited from that. He doesn't make all the silly mistakes, because his skills are absolutely solid.

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CM and Ruth Beechick take a big jump at 4th. TWTM takes a big jump at 5th.

 

AO takes such a big jump at year 4, that a year 3.5 was developed for the students that just are not ready for the introduction of gramamar, written narrations, Shakespeare, and Plutarch.

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I feel like 4th grade is going to be different than the previous years. Dd 9.5 is maturing and thinking differently. She is a fall birthday, so an older 4th grader. For an average student, what kinds of things should be introduced or reinforced at this age? What changes did you notice academically and socially between 8-10?

 

Plans so far are:

 

LA: LLATL continuing through orange and in to purple

Math: continuing on with Singapore

Health: mom based

Science: Evan Moor Daily Science

Social Studies: Adventures through America and Evan Moor Daily Geography

Art: continuing HAS and The Worlds Greatest Artists

Music: The Great Composers

 

Well, since "third grade" and "fourth grade" are only separated by one day, I can't say there are any noticeable differences. :-) Also, homeschooled children aren't really *in* "grades," are they? :-)

 

The fact that your dd might be an "older fourth grader" is really irrelevant. :-) You're going to keep teaching her based on what you see that she needs to learn, not because of her "grade level," right? Well, there you go.

 

My younger dd wasn't reading at her age level until she was 9 1/2, so the difference academically between when she was 8 and 10 was pretty big. OTOH, my older dd was already reading when I withdrew her during Easter break of first grade, so that was not an issue, but we were very relaxed academically when *she* was 10, less so when younger dd was 10 and so older dd was 13.

 

Your plans look good to me. :-)

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We're in the home stretch for 4th grade.  For us, it's been a gradual process from kindergarten in terms of pushing for a little more and little more.  I always feel like the leap is going to be bigger and usually it isn't, but I will say there have been some bigger jumps this year than in the past.

 

The main things have been writing fluency and independence, as others are saying.  While I haven't changed what we're doing for writing per se, or the amount that much, my boys are now at a stage where they can just sit down and write something without any fuss or muss.  A year ago, they could do it, but it still sort of took a deep breath and a plunging in, you know?  It was just a little harder.  Now, they just write, no trouble.

 

The other thing is that they can now do some work independently.  I would caution you not to assume too much with that statement though.  I think all kids are different.  And there are some subjects they still can't do independently.  I think if I gave them all or mostly independent work, I wouldn't be pushing their skills very much and school would get boring fast.  We still read aloud on the sofa and do a lot of math together with me right there because those are the sorts of things that mean I'm checking for progress, structuring for them so they can do their best thinking, etc.  On the other hand, if I go out for yoga in the morning, I can leave them a relatively long list of stuff to get done - piano practice, set a timer for doing freewriting, read a book and do a written narration about it, complete a page in the non-challenging math you're practicing, work on such and such a project, etc. - and they do it.  It's really nice.  The tip I have for that stuff is to - on your planner or on your daily agenda or whatever they see, make a special mark to make it clear which work you expect to be independent and which work you expect you may have to come in and help or supervise.  For my boys, seeing that there was a clear distinction really helped them.

 

The other difference I'm seeing - and I think this is really about jumping into the logic stage - is that they now really have a sense of "do not interfere!" when they're working on extracurriculars.  They also have a lot stronger sense of what sort of schoolwork they'd like to be doing than ever before.  And they're much more opinionated and a bit more touchy about those desires.  I think that's all natural growing up stuff, but for us it's a big difference from my tiny grammar stage lads who would happily learn about anything I put in front of them!

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