Category Archives: Grade 4

Planning: Our 7th and 4th Grade Blocks

IMG_5117It’s that time of year! Carrie has a new planning post up along with links to other posts she has written on planning. I wrote about the way I plan a few years ago in this post. My basic technique remains the same, but I thought I’d share a few changes I’ve made along the way.

As the very first step, I still print out our local school district calendar. Like I mentioned before, it’s nicely done and the weeks and holidays are all marked for me! I also tend to keep our schedule very similar to the public school system. This allows my children to be available to play when their neighborhood peers are.

My second step is still folding a paper into twelve parts and writing down the months, the beginning dates of each week, and any birthdays, festivals and holidays. In the past, I have made a list of the blocks I wanted to cover along with how many weeks they will cover and started scribbling, erasing, moving and changing them until I was satisfied with where they fell. This year I got smart! I wrote the names of the blocks and how many weeks I planned for each onto strips of paper that I could just slide around. Wow! Not only does my big sheet look neater, it saved time. (I know you probably already do this, so don’t laugh!) Now that my blocks are laid out, I begin the tough stuff! I spend a good portion of the summer reading material, planning what to cover, how to cover it, what art to do, which projects, etc.

The way I record my plans has undergone revision over the years. One year, I typed out most of my plans day by day! Below you can see an example of some days from Teal’s Norse Myths block.

IMG_5130That was a lot of work and a LOT of time at the computer (BUT how glad I am to have those neat and detailed plans for fourth grade this year!) The following year, to avoid being chained to the computer every time I planned, I switched to recording our plans in a generic teacher’s planning book. That worked well, but this past year I switched to an even simpler method of printing out monthly templates here and filling them in! Below you can see an example of our November for third grade. Along the right side, I list things we will be doing daily as part of our main lesson, and what they will be doing independently. I keep them together with a paper clamp.

IMG_5131Without further ado, here’s what our 7th and 4th grade year will look like:

7th Grade

  • Perspective Drawing and Math Review
  • History – Magna Carta to Magellan (including Central and South American geography)
  • Intro to Algebra
  • Physics II
  • Renaissance

Christmas Break

  • Astronomy
  • Physiology
  • Wish, Wonder, Surprise (Creative Writing)
  • Chemistry
  • Geometry
  • History to get up to where I want to be to start Revolutions and U.S. History

4th Grade

  • Form Drawing and Math Review
  • Norse Myths (LA)
  • Math I; Fractions
  • Man & Animal
  • Math II; Addition & Subtraction of Fractions

Christmas Break

  • Norse Myths (LA)
  • Math III; Multiplying and Dividing Fractions
  • Local Geography & History
  • Man & Animal II

Wigeon’s plans are being worked out, too! I’d love to hear how your plans are coming!

Learning Through Art

In our Waldorf inspired home school, I try to use art as a vehicle for instruction.  Our artistic endeavors include drawing, painting, sculpting, singing, drama and any other art inspired medium I can use to give our subjects depth.

Right now, my fourth grader is in the last half of her “Man and Animal” block (aka zoology.)  We have been using Dennis Klocek’s book Drawing from the Book of Nature as a source for drawings to supplement our lessons.  I have been very pleased with the results of trying his techniques.  It has been very fun for me to learn right along with Teal.  Here are some examples of her work.





Here is a picture we tried painting during our study of amphibians.  


Teal’s rendition.

Using art as part of our academics seems to be making Teal more observant.  After we finished painting our frogs, she looked at mine and told me it looked more like a toad. She was toad-ally right!

Happy Thursday!