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Throughout our time homeschooling, I have met many kinds of homeschooling families.  Some mothers in those families hate choosing curriculum avoiding the process as if it were their most fearful nightmare and some mothers swim in curriculum as if they were surfing the waves in Hawaii.  I am neither of those mothers.

While I do enjoy looking for my curriculum, I do not like looking through ALL of the millions of choices out there.  It can be overwhelming and counterproductive.  You see other options and second guess what you’ve chosen to do with your children.  How can we assimilate information without becoming lost in the nightmare of too much curricula?

We would all love to be the mother who has researched every single curriculum option and hand selected the best one for her family.  She’s amazing.  How she has the time to read and research all the options is beyond me!  How can we find the best option without spending an enormous amount of time researching each curriculum trying desperately to understand all of the differences?

Two Options for Finding 3rd Grade Homeschool Curricula

Interview other homeschool mothers who are like you in personality and family style

  • Get together for a coffee/tea date
  • Ask each mother about their curriculum choices and why they work for their family  (P.S. Be specific in telling them that you want to know what is working for them, not why it will work for you.  Mothers are so helpful, but they can sometimes push their choices on you.  Be strong and take in the information rather than copying their exact choices.)
  • Ask them to give you the pros and the cons

Utilize a condensed homeschool curriculum resource list and take a quiz to understand what types of curriculum will be best for your family and teaching style

  • Purchase a homeschool guide such as –> 102 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum by Cathy Duffy
  • Take the quiz in the front of the book to help you to think through how you and your family learn best
  • Look through the book to find curricula that match your family’s style
  • Remember that you don’t need all of them, you just need to find the one that works for you

Below, I am providing my homeschool mama interview.  These are my 3rd grade homeschool curriculum choices for an INFJ, somewhat hippie, somewhat conservative, Christian, beaver/lion mama with an outgoing, inventor-brain eight year old boy.  I love what we have found for our family and the flexibility of our choices work great for us.  I love being in charge of my own scheduling and I never have to feel behind with the choices we’ve made.  I’ll include pros and cons of each curriculum choice under each selection.

3rd grade homeschool curriculum choices

Our 3rd Grade Homeschool Curriculum for 2017-2018

Main Curriculum

  • Classical Conversations in a CC Community – Cycle 3 (Find out more about classical conversations by reading –> The Core by Leigh Bortins)
    • American History
    • The Human Body, The Periodic Elements (1-12), and Worldviews of Science
    • The Geography of America
    • English, Math, Latin, and the History Timeline as well as Fine Arts and Hands-On Science

Pros and Cons of Classical Conversations:

PROS – having time to spend with other children, experiencing a more formal setting in order to learn classroom skills, learning presentation skills, learning to work together in a team, focused and organized information that is beneficial for a lifetime, boosts memorization skills, able to take it as seriously or as relaxed as desired (parent ultimately decides, not tutor)

CONS – not all groups are as focused, the community meets once a week so parents must spend time with material during the rest of the week (only a con if you were expecting the tutors to do everything), does not always work with unschoolers

Pros and Cons of Five in a Row:

PROS – you set your own schedule and decide what you will cover, you are never behind unless you decide you are, cultivates a love of reading and for homeschooling, relaxed curriculum, you learn to learn from books and thus through life experiences

CONS – not regimented, will not tell you what you must do, takes a while to convince yourself that this is truly the heart of learning and you do not need to keep adding and adding to it

Supplements that I’ve Chosen

  • Saxon Math 3 – Math (Click the link to buy from Amazon, or visit Rainbow Resources for the sets and the manipulatives.)
    • While repetitive and sometimes considered boring, I find that Saxon cultivates discipline and cements simple math into children’s minds forever.  All of learning isn’t about having the most interesting curriculum, but rather learning to utilize what you have fully.  That being said, I do not utilize every exercise in the hefty teacher’s manual.
  • Songs for Saplings – Catechism
    • This catechism is a simple Christian catechism that can be used by many denominations with unity.  You can access the songs on their website at no cost or purchase their CDs through their site or –>  on Amazon.
  • Story of the World: Volume 3 – History
    • I went through my entire education from K-5 through a Senior in college without having developed a love for history.  Through Classical Conversations timeline and Story of the World, I have finally developed a love for the rich history of the world and of our faith.  My son has taken this journey with me and now considers history just as interesting as his favorite fictional book.  Thank you Susan Bauer for writing such a vivid account of history that initiates the imagination and allows us to connect with the past!

  • Little House on the Prairie Series – Historical Fiction
    • Since we are covering American history in CC, I plan to integrate the Little House series into our reading.  We will probably also utilize other historical fiction in order to make the connections between American history and the actual life and plight of the people who lived it.

Teacher and Guiding Resources

  • The Bible – Teaching, Discipline, and Encouragement
    • I use the ESV version and change the wording at times to be age appropriate.  Instead of giving details of adult situations, I express the situation in terms that an eight year old can understand.  For instance, when Dinah is raped in the Old Testament, I explain that the man in the city took her as his wife when she was not his wife.  Later as he gets older, we will begin to go over these subjects one by one so that he does have a full understanding of these passages.
  • The Go Book: Foundations by Joseph Perry
    • Discipleship is such an important task that I have in regards to my son.  It’s a calling for every parent.  The Go Book: Foundations lays a solid foundation for the basics of the faith.  It is very easy to use since its intended to be used by anyone in the church to guide anyone else in discipleship.
  • Eyes that See and Ears that Hear by Jennifer Toledo
    • I love that this book helps parents to train their children to pray expecting the Lord to respond.  We too often put God in a far away box, but children have not yet done this.  I use this book to guide my son and myself toward opening the God box and realizing that God “is not a tame lion.”  Let God be God and accept that He can speak to us in any way He desires.
  • Here Comes Heaven by Bill Johnson and Mike Seth
    • Pray expecting and bring forth the Kingdom of God on this earth.  I’ve only read the first chapter and I’m yearning for more.  How can God move when we obey and move with Him?
  • Educating The Wholehearted Child – Ideas, Direction, and Vision
    • This book set my homeschool mama heart aflame with a vision for God’s will for my family.  While we at times have people question what we are doing and why we are doing it, this book allowed me to really think about why God was calling me to homeschool and the purposes that He has for my son through this discipleship process.  I am not homeschooling to avoid the school system, out of fear, nor to shelter my son, rather I am homeschooling to bring God glory by educating my son personally and cultivating his desire for God.

Homeschool curriculum for 3rd graders

Tips for Homeschooling 3rd Graders

First of all, realize that homeschooling a 3rd grader is not very different from homeschooling a 2nd grader.  While our beautiful children are getting older, we know them.  We love them more than anyone else on the planet and that love will lead us to make the best decisions for our child.  Each new stage will bring on new challenges, but you are uniquely fitted to meet those challenges.  You are the best parent and best teacher for your child.

Here is a list of my best tips for 3rd grade homeschool:

  • You are the authority.  3rd grade homeschool children have tons of opinions, but you are in charge.  Learning to respect your authority is part of their education.
  • “I’m bored” may be a frequently heard phrase at this stage.  However, remind your homeschooler that being bored is a choice.  They can chose to enjoy their task or decide they are bored.  Their choice.  If your homeschooler runs out of activities frequently, set up stations in advance to move them onto a new task without having to be interrupted repeatedly.
  • Ban electronics during the school day.  This rids you of the incessant question “can I play . . . yet?” and allows you to enjoy your day without the distraction of technology.  It only takes a week of consistency to end the electronics war.
  • Get ready for the day.  While it is so easy to just stay in PJs all the day long, most people are more productive when they take the time to get dressed and ready for the day.  This is true for homeschool as well.  Habits formed now will carry your children through life.
  • Do not use sugar or food colorings during the school day.  Many children react poorly to sugar and food colorings.  I’ve seen mothers who wrack their brains for ideas on how to get their children to calm down and hold still . . . all while feeding their childen sugar-rich, dyed foods.  Most 3rd graders are fully able to control themselves to stay seated for as much as two hours at a time, so consider feeding them foods that will help them to stay in control of their own bodies.  Grace for the past and obedience for the present.

I hope these 3rd grade homeschool ideas, curriculum options, and tips will be such a rich resource for you as you guide your family during this homeschool year.  Please let me know if you love any of these resources!  I’d love to hear about your successes and your journey!

Brooke Shambley

THE Boholistic Mom

Affiliate Disclosure

I am an Amazon Affiliate and the links included in this post will take you to Amazon.  As an affiliate, I get paid when my readers shop from those links.  Feel free to shop from the links if you’d like to support my blog, but feel free to shop elsewhere especially locally!

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