The grammar stage is roughly first through fourth grade. I group my kids together by stage because it allows me to work with them more easily. I still do phonics and math one-on-one during this stage. By the end of grammar stage, I expect my kids to be self-sufficient learners. So that is something I work with them on as they grow through this stage. Most things, I read aloud during this stage. We do projects together. I don’t give tests in the grammar stage.
For Bible, I purchased my grammar stage kids the same Bible. We’ll spend time in Morning Basket reading, but also during their group work. I find it easier to have the stage in the exact same Bible because it makes it easier to help them as they find their place and learn to read the Scriptures out loud. I’m not having to look over their shoulder because we all have the same version in our hands. I chose the Adventures in Odyssey NIrV Bible for my kids in this stage this year. I added rainbow Bible tabs to help them find the books of the Bible. The format, the colors, and the little devotional aspects in the Adventures in Odyssey Bible encourage the kids to keep looking, keep reading, and keep searching. It really draws them in. My older grammar kids will also learn the SOAP method of Bible study and do that independently each day. We’ll also be reading The Dragon and the Garden and The Answers Books for Kids Set during our Bible time each day.
For history, I’m using Story of the World, Volume 2 as the spine. We’ll read a chapter 1-2 days each week. I use the Activity Guide to find activities each week, and I use the coloring pages so they can color as I read out loud. (My logic stage kids also use SOTW as a spine. They have the option to sit and listen to me read it or they can read it on their own in their own time. They usually opt to listen in.)
In addition to a history spine, I use additional books to help us explore the time and events deeper. For the grammar stage, this means we read quite a lot of picture books about history. I usually buy mine from ThiftBooks, because they are cheaper. (That is a referral link. If you’ve never used ThriftBooks before, you can sign up, spend $30 and you’ll get a free book credit! I will also get a free book credit if you use my link.) Though, I do sometimes have to buy them new. You can also check your local library. (I do not use our library as much as I could. I get anxious about borrowed books.) My history supplements for the grammar stage:
For literature this year, we’re doing fairy tales! I find that a fairy tale literature base works extremely well with Medieval History. I like to compare and contrast different tellings of the same stories. So, we’ll have a story each week, but we’ll read it several different ways. And if there is a movie version, we’ll definitely watch that, too. We can discuss how each author tells the story in their own way. It is a lot of fun to compare and contrast different fairy tales. I will warn you, if your kids are super sensitive, some fairy tales are quite dark and disturbing– especially in their original forms. So you may want to pre-read (particularly Grimm’s) and make sure your little one won’t be traumatized. My kids are not sensitive, so it isn’t something I generally worry about with fairy tales. Our spines:
And then our supplemental books:
My older grammar students also have independent reading. I have had some at that age that could choose their own “free reading” books. But my current group of grammar stage students are more reading hesitant, so I assign their reading to them. The choices are also reflective of reading hesitant students. Their options this school year are:
For grammar, all of my grammar stage kids are doing Beowulf Grammar— even the ones who have done it before. It is an excellent program that has plenty of variety for different learners. And it includes sentence diagramming!
For writing, the younger grammar stage kids will simply be doing copywork. The older grammar stage kids will be doing this Interactive Writing Notebook and Interactive Poetry Notebook along with keeping a journal.
For handwriting, we’ll be using Draw, Write, Now. We use it every year twice a week for grammar stage kids. They learn to write along with drawing. My older grammar stage student is interested in cursive, so I’ll write his in cursive and the other kids will do print. I draw the picture step-by-step onto our chalkboard wall and then write the sentences for them to copy.
For science, everyone is doing biology. The younger kids will do a few activities from Janice VancCleave’s Biology for Every Kid. They’ll also have the opportunity to see what the older kids are doing in biology. The books I’ll be reading to them for science:
For math, my grammar students use Math Mammoth at their particular level. First grade, I usually need to sit next to them and work with them one on one. Second grade, I can usually read the instructions to them and let them do the work. Usually by third grade, I can just get it out for them and check it when they are done.
For phonics, we’re finishing up Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons with two of my kids. They’ll begin the Treadwell Readers and Christian Liberty Press Nature Readers as soon as they finish phonics.
For character, I let them choose what books they’d like. They chose The Berenstain Bears this year. One day a week, we take turns picking a book from the character list. We usually do repeat them. So we have:
For logic in the grammar stage, you’re mostly just teaching critical thinking skills. This year, the kids are using the Critical and Creative workbooks at their level. These books do have some aspects that don’t apply to homeschool kids (a unit on things in a classroom), but for the most part, we like them. I’m not a fan of the holiday unit, but I usually just skip that one.
For foreign languages, my kids who can read well will begin using Rosetta Stone to learn their language of choice. We have a lifetime subscription (that I got free for review) and we have definitely used it a ton! Not all the languages are available on the app version, so be sure to check if you’ll be primarily using the app and not the website. We use a mix of both, depending on the kid.
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