My child’s 3rd grade schedule may look a little different than some 3rd graders. We strive for progress around here- not state standards. My daughter has a moderate/severe form of Dyspraxia which allows me, as her very blessed mama, gain a different perspective on education.
Dyspraxia doesn’t effect intelligence; it effects parts of the body however that can make learning more difficult. My daughter has a very hard time concentrating and gets easily fatigued. Along with Dyspraxia, she also has Dyslexia, which is common to have both. Remembering is a challenge and coordination in general is quite difficult…If you are interested in learning more about dyspraxia and its symptoms here is a good article.
As with all of my kiddos, I stick with the 3 R’s and everything else is sprinkled in or intertwined within those three subjects. I use my own version of the Robinson Curriculum and strive to keep our homeschool as minimal, effective and independent as possible. I have four school aged kids, plus a 3 year old that I nanny…I don’t have time or energy for teacher intensive programs.
With all of this said, I know first hand how frustrating it can be to homeschool a child with challenges. But take heart mama, it can be done and the rewards are so great!
So do I have a special, fancy curriculum that is specifically designed just for my 3rd grader? NOPE. I am a very firm believer that a mom is to find a method that she loves and that she can be consistent with; anything can be adjusted to any learning style or need. There are so many great resources out there, but even if your child loves the curriculum, if you, as the mom-teacher hate it, it won’t happen. So it is very important to pick materials that you love and that will work for you, not just your child.
With that being said, there are some approaches that just work better for some kiddos than others; so I don’t want you mommy, to beat yourself up if a curriculum or method just doesn’t fit. I just want to communicate the importance of finding something that works for you and your style as well as your child’s.
This year we are trying something a little different, Learn Math Fast Volume 1. This math curriculum isn’t technically 100% independent for my 3rd grader but nothing quite is yet. I still have to work with her quite a bit but again, that’s okay. It is what she needs.
Last year she completed Rod and Staff First Grade Math workbooks. I love the first 3 years of Rod and Staff math because they are thick in math facts and also introduce number sequence, time, fractions and measurements in a more gentler way. However, I feel like she can skip 2nd grade and wanted to find something that goes a little quicker. We will see.
The Learn Math Fast series are non-consumable, straight-to-the-point, about $20 so not too pricey, and is multi-grade level so it checks off most of my boxes. It also comes with a website that has loads of ideas on how to implement each lesson for hands-on kiddos as well as additional practice worksheets.
I am very pleased with it so far. My daughter has issues with connecting mathematical concepts (like if 2+3=5 then 3+2=5 and if 2+3=5 then 5-2=3). The lessons have allowed her to make those connections and I am encouraged as I witness her confidence sprout.
I have found that programs with lessons that are to be mastered before going to the next lesson, works really well for us. The open and go works very well for me, and the practice til mastered component works for my daughter. Other programs that are listed by days, usually don’t have enough repetition for her.
I am still having her do the flashcards that implement the lessons as well. The lessons don’t take very long so studying the flashcards allows for some independent learning and extra practice while I care for my other children.
She also requested to do Teaching Textbooks grade 3, which seems like a lot but I don’t have her do this everyday. She wants to do what big sister is doing and I am fine with any of my children wanting to pursue additional education if they so choose. I found the CD-ROMs on ebay for $30. She has to complete everything else before doing it…I let her play around with it but I don’t take it seriously.
Teaching Textbooks starts out quite slow for grades 3-5. I love grades 6 and up but like many curriculums, the first few years can be eliminated by just teaching math facts and counting.
We are continuing with handwriting using my Self-Paced Handwriting Journal. This journal is very versatile and doesn’t have any predetermined lessons so my daughter can practice a letter, number, or word for as long as she needs to. And I can use whatever spelling list or copywork passage I so choose.
My daughter records sentences and spelling words from the Modern Speller Book 1, which is free on the public domain. This is my favorite spelling book! It is practical and teacher friendly. We have started from the beginning which is “second year,” but again that is okay. She is grasping on to spelling quicker this year than in years past. So progress is being made!
I dictate (or have her older sister dictate) the Modern Speller lesson later in the afternoon. We like using dry erase boards to save on paper clutter. I also make a point to randomly ask her how to spell the words throughout the day for practice. I have found that her saying and hearing the words out loud help her retain the information.
She also enjoys the Draw Write Now books on the pages with illustration space in the journal. (Again, look on AbeBooks to get the best prices.) We don’t use this everyday but it is a fun way to break up the mundane.
We just finished Teach Your Child To Read In 100 Easy Lessons…YAY! I bought this book at a local used book store for $4! If you would like it, try checking out abebooks.com; I see it on there all the time for around $8-$10.
So now that we are done with that, she is reading books aloud to me everyday. I explain and help her break down multi-syllable words and irregular words. I have chosen books that gradually increase difficulty.
The first book right after 100 Easy lessons that she is reading is Work A Day Doings and Work A Day Doings on the Farm by Emma Serl, of course on the public domain! These books are perfect for beginners and they have a great message about hard work. We read one chapter a day.
Here are a few more books I would like for her to complete, just to give you an idea: The Christian Mother Goose by Marjorie Ainsborough Decker, Frog and Toad series by Arnold Lobel, The Beginners Bible Timeless Children’s Stories by Karyn Henley and Dr. Seuss books. We will also continue with the first two Mcguffey readers and other readers listed on my Free Curriculum page as well as books from the library.
I also have my 3rd grader practice sight words flash cards or play a sight words bingo game with her siblings if time allows… this does not happen everyday.
Science, History, Geography and everything in between…
We are in a local co-op once a week that will be teaching world geography this year as well as botany for science. Everything else we learn through reading from books from our local library or documentaries and educational videos.
My daughter goes to occupational, physical, and speech therapy at our local public school twice a week. In the state of TN, homeschoolers can participate in public school programs.
My kiddos all attend AWANA at our church where they memorize bible verses. We also do devotions in the evening as a family.
Cost for 3rd grade:
Learn Math Fast Volume 1: $19.80
Teaching Textbooks CDs: $30
Modern Speller Book 1: FREE
All public domain books- FREE
Paper, ink and binding material- $10
Self-Paced Handwriting Journal: $7