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Typical workload for 3rd or 4th grader? (8 - 10 year olds)

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DD8 is grade 3 and we are doing after schooling. In a typical day, she spent half an hour on her school work (usually vocabulary and sometime a simple math work) and

- half an hour of BA. She is currently on 3B, which is pretty easy, so she can do it really fast.


- an hour of NaNoWriMo with a friend. During this hour, they usually spent half of time discussing or presenting what they wrote.

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8yo 3rd grader -

30 min math

10 min spelling

15 min read to me

15 min read aloud

10 min copywork/grammar

5 min memory work

20 min science


10yo 4th grader -

45 min math

10 min spelling

15 min read to me

5 min cursive

10 min reading comp workbook

20 min language therapy (he has expressive/receptive language delay)

15 min read aloud

10 min copywork/grammar

5 min memory work

20 min science


They did the items in italics together. Oh, and they also both had piano practice, so maybe another 10-15 min on that. 

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My 8yo 3rd grader's usual school day:

20-30 min math

15 min reading aloud

10 min WWE 1

15 min science reading

15 min listening to SOTW 1

15 min piano practice

10 min typing

10 min handwriting


We also have a science co-op for experiments once a week.


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Typical day for my 9yo third grader:

*20 minutes reading out loud to me

*math lesson from Singapore — around 20 minutes, give or take, plus a few minutes going over facts flash cards

*some time on the computer doing typing, duolingo (he asked to do it), and math games — half hour total or so, but more if I let him

*10 minutes — Bible lesson alternating with cursive

*10 minutes — lesson from WWE

*10 minutes — spelling

*10-20 minutes (might be more if a science project is involved) — history or science — kind of alternating but not strictly, more like one or the other but not generally both on the same day unless I’m really on the ball and not on a set schedule

*10-60 minutes — group subjects like geography, poetry, Bible stories, and readaloud novels


He does gym and art at a co-op every two weeks, and a history class at that same co-op. I teach that class, and we cover the mapwork, hands-on projects, and cultural stuff (including art appreciation and music) so that at home, we just do reading from SOTW and any supplemental picture books I choose.


I probably spend around an hour working with him directly, plus the little he can do independently.

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4th grade average boy:


- listened to me read aloud our history lesson and answered oral comprehension/discussion questions

- helped write down a few events/people to stick on our timeline

- did one page of Canadian geography (workbook)

- did one English lesson with me which was about friendly letters so he wrote a short one to his great-grandmother

- did one page of French (workbook)


Then he ran away to go to the shop with Dad and I had to phone Dad and ask to send him back to the house for art (this child does not like art).


- made a painting for art with pencil, crayons and water colours


That was Friday's work and Friday is his lightest day of the week.

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I always feel like we are doing too much. I was going to ask people the same question. I have a 9yo 4th grader.



Math, about 45 min, but sometimes he takes an entire hour.

ELTL Lesson, 30 min+

Latin word roots study, 10 min

Writing exercise, 10 min

Typing, 10 min

Reading, 20 min

Practice his instrument, 15 min

Listening to our Geography read-aloud, 30 min

Geography activity, 20 min

Art Lesson and activity, 45 min

This day is always interrupted by therapy for his brothers, but that is typical in our house of other days as well. I usually play a game with him, or he reads his "fun reading" book.


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I have a 7/almost 8yo 3rd grader and a 9/almost 10yo 4th grader.


Our day typically runs from 8:30 to 12:30 ish. The 3rd grader often has some break time in there while the 4th finishes some things.


8:30 - Morning Feast (starts while they eat breakfast) - Bible, prayer, hymn, memory work, French, history and literature read alouds.


10ish - 12ish - 3rd grader does MM3, copywork/WWE, journal, reading, ETC, handwriting, Xtra Math drill. 4th grader does MM4, WWE/BW, journal, Prima Latina, Xtra Math drill, handwriting, spelling.


After that or right after lunch we do history, chemistry, or art.


We don't really take breaks other than a quick run and stretch - they lose focus when they go off to do something else. Switching subjects seems to keep them focused enough.


ETA: this is 4 days a week. The Wednesday is spent at a morning class and in the afternoon, we do poetry tea.

Edited by indigoellen@gmail.com
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My 3rd grader's day is more spread it since I have two older students to juggle in also.


On Mondays:

Latin 15 min.

Piano 20 min.

WWE 3 15 min.

FLL 10 min.

Reading/vocab. 30 min.

Spanish (story) 20 min.

Math 45 min.

(Lunch break)

American History 30 min.

Piano lesson 30 min.

Spelling 15 min.

World History 45 min.

German 30 min.

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8.5 year old 3rd grader:


It boils down to 45 minutes of language arts, 45 minutes of math, 45 minutes of Spanish, 45 minutes of "other" (history/science/art/computer/piano), and 45 minutes at an extracurricular (gym, art, Spanish, swimming). 


Plus he reads independently for a couple hours a day and listens to read alouds for 30-60 minutes.


"School" happens 4 days a week, but some type of math and reading get done pretty much every day of the week.



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Our days are varied, but usually go from about 9-3. We often do two lessons in history, science, math, and/or writing, if the lessons are short and we've got momentum. We started history & science late this year due to a move and a big vacation, and we are catching up. Plus the science is light, and I'm trying to finish up a year's worth of material in a semester. We're doing light literature & grammar this year because we hit them heavy last year. He reads plenty on his own and listens to tons of audiobooks, so I'm spending school time elsewhere.


DS 9 did today:


30 minutes of history (Bookshark 6 - I read a chapter of SOTW1, he read the encyclopedia, we read poetry, he did the chapter test. We already finished the scheduled read-aloud, and normally that adds another half hour or so.)

20 minutes of literature (Bookshark reader)

5 minutes of math review (Math Minute)

5 minutes of gammar (Grammar Minute)

90 minutes math (Math in Focus - he always spends 1-2 hours on a math, which apparently is a lot more than most kids, but he doesn't complain. He usually does 1 lesson a day, and most are designed to take 2 days)

lunch (often a Lego/audiobook break follows for 20 minutes, but not today)

20 minutes of writing (180 days of writing - this varies from 10-45 minutes per day)

45 minutes of science (Mr. Q Physical Science - we did two lessons/chapters, and we watched 2 Eureka videos and a Bill Nye episode. Usually we do about half that in a day.)

20 minutes of French (First Step en Français -watch the video, practice w/ apps on the iPad)


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     Can we have a "what does your 3rd grader do" thread? :)    


Got a bunch of replies in my thread on K-8. My ds is not at all typical. He's going to do 15 worksheets to give us a structured way to hit a lot of skills. We just started a new grade level in everything (moving up from 1st in many things now to 2nd and some 3rd), and that had been taking him 45 minutes. With the higher level, they may take longer. He really does well with the predictable structure. We also play math games (20 minutes) and read books and notebook for our state study. If we're gangbusters after that we might watch some of the BJU video science. Beyond that, he watches tons of science and history shows, listens to audiobooks, has me look up images of things for him to build with legos, etc. And he has speech therapy materials each day for language issues. 


That thread gave me ideas on new things to add, and that's what we're working on next. I want to add independent reading, etc. We were reading through some leveled readers, and now I think he's ready for carefully chosen picture books. 


Anything beyond that is usually games. We play a lot of games together. He was horrific at losing, so when we play games we're getting social skills, language, math, working memory, all sorts of things. For us, games are school. I wish he'd do more puzzles with me, and I want to do more cooking with him. Life skills are important with him, so stuff like how to sort and categorize, how to put away toys, how to pick up your floor, how to fold your laundry, etc. For us, this stuff is school.

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9yo, solid reader but behind in written language, 4th grade:


independent reading (time varies, maybe half an hour or an hour)

morning chore

piano practice, under 10 min.

spelling, ~15 minutes

a page or two in math

a vocabulary exercise, done orally

2-15 minutes of grammar

5-10 minutes of cursive (5 minutes of copying in a penmanship book or more like 10 of fill-in-the-blank dictation)




read aloud to me (a few pages)

listen as I read history (one section of SOTW) and narrate/discuss

oral Spanish exercise (~10 minutes)

a few minutes on the song of the week, memory work, health, mindfulness

and then art or science or learning about a Nobel prize winner or composer or something (output required only in art)


So it adds up to a couple of hours, with me engaged or nearby almost the whole time. He gets overwhelmed if we try to do much more. We do ~210 days a year.

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We spent a half hour on math, about an hour on language arts, and 30 minutes history reading.  We often practice something for memory and have a Bible reading.  We do science twice a week, ideally for about 45 minutes.  Occasionally, we do art or geography studies.  I also have him do free reading for 20 minutes a day.

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For my dd in 4th grade:

45 min - practicing piano

1 hr - listening to me read aloud literature & history (I alternate history & science readings so tomorrow will be science)

15 min - math

15 min - grammar

20 min - writing

20 min - French

15 min - math


I have her math split into 2 separate sessions right now, because we are trying to increase her daily math time without increasing her frustration. It was pretty short this morning (30 min total), but most days she is spending 20-30 min on each math session. She just whipped through her assignments quicker than normal. Today we spent about 2 1/2 hrs, but most days we spend closer to 3 hrs.

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Today is our specials day - we drive to a French class and then piano lesson. 


Normal day: 


Math: 30-45 minutes beast academy


English: CAP writing and rhetoric 15-30 min

              alternate between killagon sentences book and vocab from classical roots (twice a week for each)

              free reading - 30 min-1 hr

              reading together - 20-30 min

              WWE grammar - 10 min


Science: 2 x/week

             Science: A closer look, grade 4

            Uzinggo lesson 


History: 2x/week  

             Usborne Encyclopedia - read and outline 1/week

             SOTW 2x/week (audiobook - we're re-listening to the whole series this year)

             reading interesting fiction and non fiction history books (biographies, historical fiction, etc)


Other stuff: 

             Religion - we have a few world religion overview books we've been reading

             Health - I have to submit Health worksheets every year to the state, so we have a workbook that he does occasionally

             CC - he's in foundations this year, so we practice memory work and the timeline song every day. I mostly have him in this for social opportunities                 so I don't pay that much attention to it. He does work on his presentation each week too for the upcoming week. 

             Games - we play a lot of board games

             Swim - we try to get to the indoor swimming pool a few times a week


I feel like I forgot something!






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My kids have all been very different at 4th grade!  My current 4th grader is my easiest to homeschool.  The other kids are all older and I have time to spend.  Plus, this student just likes school and learning isn't nearly as hard for her as it was for my older three.   The older three all struggled to read, and by 4th grade, they still needed me to help with reading.


My current school-loving 4th grader: (my kids are 15, 13, 11, 9)

-Bible & spelling --about 30 minutes total

-Reading textbook and workbook (CLE)

-Literature & writing (roughly Veritas list with guides)

-Grammar (R&S)

-Math lesson daily

-History (SoTW reading and activity three times/week plus historical fiction)

-Latina Christiana 1/2 lesson per day Mon & Tues, then flashcards and review a third day

-Apologia science (read the chapter one day, then notebooking or experiments other days)

-Piano practice

-Unschool Spanish with music or a Salsa episode or something similar



My oldest at 4th grade: (my kids were 9, 7, 5, 3)



-Grammar (R&S)

-Literature, maybe two or three books all year

-Latina Christiana --such a struggle.  He hated every second of it and I was not consistent.

-My Father's World ECC, about .75 hour per day total

-Guitar lessons


My 2nd oldest at 4th grade: (my kids were 11, 9, 7, 5)


-Still working through phonics & spelling remediation

-Reading textbook with workbook (BJU)

-Grammar/English (BJU)

-Trail Guide to World Geography

-Drumming lessons


My 3rd child at 4th grade: (my kids were 13, 11, 9, 7)

-Bible, Poetry, Logic puzzles, Fable readings, Memoria Press Grammar Recitation as part of our Morning Meeting


-Reading textbook & workbook (CLE)

-Grammar (R&S)

-Prima Latina

-Animals & Their Homes with younger sibling (WinterPromise)




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My 8yr old third grader's schedule today:


8-9am: (independent) spelling, cursive, and then literature reading (30 min)


9-10am: table time (with me and my K & pre-K boys) prayers, bible, poetry, WiseOwl Polysyllables practice, misc memory, Shakespeare, and family read aloud.


10-10:30am : break


10:30-11:30am: (starts with me, then on his own) math (usually 20-40 minutes if Singapore Math, 45+ for Beast Academy)


Lunch & outside time


1-2pm: (with me) Latin, grammar (FLL3), and history (SOTW3 and related history/lit books) [MWF is history, TR is science]


2-3:30ish: quiet time (usually audiobooks along with something to keep his hands occupied and him out of trouble)

Edited by Noreen Claire
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4 pages of Math Mammoth (or 6 pages doing half the problems, if I feel like it's a topic he understands well) - about 30 minutes

1 lesson of Aesop - 20 minutes

some multiplication/division fact practice - 10 minutes

writing something down in his nature journal - I imagine the writing takes 10 minutes, but he explores outside for hours, so hard to say


Then we alternate these:

reading some of a Childhood of Famous Americans book (Daniel Boone is his favorite) - 30 minutes to 3 hours, depending on interest

one TOPScience experiment/lesson.  Right now we're doing Animal Survival. - 30 minutes


Aesop is the only thing I do with him, unless he has questions about math or wants to tell me about what he found for his nature journal. 


So required or highly encouraged work daily comes to about 1.5 - 2 hours, closer to 1.5


I have learned with this kid that the less I require he do, the more he does.  So if I only require the math and the Aesop (English), he basically does the rest on his own, and spends his free time writing manuals to computer games or learning the fake elfin language in the Eragon books or building contraptions.


If I insist on 3 hours of work a day, it takes 6 hours with the complaining and he learns a lot less than if I just let him run free for everything but the necessities.



We don't have a schedule as such, though.


ETA: we do work 6 days a week and we don't take summers off.  Sometimes I can't find his Math Mammoth book, nor can he, so he does Prodigy or Beast Academy - we do Beast Academy a year behind.


Edited by eternalsummer
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I have learned with this kid that the less I require he do, the more he does.  So if I only require the math and the Aesop (English), he basically does the rest on his own, and spends his free time writing manuals to computer games or learning the fake elfin language in the Eragon books or building contraptions.


If I insist on 3 hours of work a day, it takes 6 hours with the complaining and he learns a lot less than if I just let him run free for everything but the necessities.


My 3rd grader is like this. Her workload looks very, very light and has come about as a result of her temperament (and mine, too!). Now, my child who lies on the couch complaining "What shall I do, oh what shall I do?" and randomly walloping people who approach gets something more structured!


-She spent 5 minutes yesterday practicing cursive.


-It's hard to know how much time she spent on math--  she primarily does BA, and yesterday she was working on a challenging problem, so she kept taking breaks, which I encourage (since I find intense periods of focus followed by letting my brain go into diffuse mode so helpful myself). We also talk a lot about math over the course of the day because she enjoys that kind of thing-- I think yesterday it was a whole bunch of mental calculations related to the coming of the holiday season.


-She practiced piano for an agonizing 20 minutes. Some days it's fun, but yesterday was one of those "You can make me sit down at the piano, but you can't make me put any effort into this practice session, and if you say anything about it, I'm going to get offended and say I was doing my best but you think I sound terrible, so I must be REALLY BAD!" kind of days.


So less than an hour of what feels like a "workload."


I do spend about an hour reading aloud and even more time yakking with her about what we're reading about though-- so we had history, science, and biography of a famous artist read-alouds yesterday. This doesn't feel like work to her, though.


And in her abundant free time, she spent an hour reading aloud because she likes creating audio books for us. She wrote and illustrated several stories. She read some of the good books I lay around to entice her-- nonfiction and fiction. She watched some Spanish videos. And she played outside for several hours, had a swim lesson, and a bike ride, and listened to an audiobook.

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My current 10 yo 4th grader, who would much rather be building forts. He has ADHD and we are in the process of evals and seeking treatment. 


4 days a week:


20 minutes piano practice

10 minutes Bible reading/prayer

30-45 minutes literature reading


break to walk the dog or exercise. snack.


Math 45-60 minutes

Language arts 60 minutes  (composition, grammar, spelling, Latin)


break for Lunch and RA


science or history 30 minutes

memory work (poems, dates, lists, Bible verses etc.) 15 minutes


math fact review 10-15 minutes later in the day


He does art and drama at a tutorial one morning a week. Only piano, math facts and reading for school that day.


Piano lessons and choir once a week. Scouts. Sometimes a sport, not every season and not serious. 



Edited by ScoutTN
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