Curricula 2014-2015 - 3rd Grade

Thursday, July 17, 2014

My baby is in 3rd grade! I don't know how that particularly happened. It's all just going by so fast. I've struggled the past few years in choosing what programs to use with Silas. While I love Heart of Dakota, I am going to take a year off and detour into My Father's World Exploring Countries & Cultures. Even though Preparing is sitting all sparkly and new on my bookshelf, I want to wait on it one more year. The middle guides (CtC on up) require a maturity that I don't feel my little guy will be ready for next year, hence my choice for this year. While I love MFW, I will sorely miss HOD!

My Father's World has always been on my radar as far as choices go. HOD and MFW have some similar things about them, yet to me they are so different. I find moms on the MFW board looking longingly over at our HOD boards, and vice versa. ECC has mixed reviews, but I think we're going to have a great year. I have worked hard to put all the pieces together, so we're prepared for whatever activities will come.

With all that said, here are our 3rd grade curriculum choices:

This is the My Father's World Exploring Countries & Cultures Deluxe Package. I will write a post on how I've organized our student and teacher notebook and all of our materials next.

I love the heart of this particular guide. We will explore the countries of the world, and the cultures of God's people. It was hard for me to take a whole year off of history, but I think this will set the stage for world history (HOD Preparing Hearts for His Glory), and ancient history (HOD Creation to Christ) and so on that will follow in the coming years. This is the geography portion of the plans. There is also a geography game that we will play each week. By the end of the year Silas will be able to identify all the countries of the world. That's more than I can do at present! I look forward to learning along side him :)

We will learn about the cultures of the world and talk about and build character with these resources.

Now this is where my hoarder gene kicked in. The deluxe package comes with 6 missionary biographies (in book form.) I am so excited to share these missionary stories with Silas, but this is an area of the plans I struggled with. For story time we've mostly read a variety of chapter books. I didn't know how well a 3rd grader would do with these books, and I have read that some are easier to follow than others. At first I decided I would just get the picture books on the top row. Then I went to the convention and there was a special on the audio version of the books. I have listened to a few, and some of the chapters are over 20 minutes. It will save my voice (since I am also running another guide with my oldest.) I may switch back and forth between these resources depending.

I also picked up these DVDs to watch after we've read the books :)

I refrained from getting chapter books for his personal reading time, and instead will employ the MFW book basket in the plans. These are the books I could find on my bookshelf that go along with our studies or are listed in the book basket. It took me a long time, but I put all the book basket books in my library account for pre-checkout. That will save me the trouble of doing it later, and I won't miss out on all of those great books!

This is the science portion of the plans. I again refrained from adding additional science. My boys absolutely love science! There are so many great books in the book basket to add to our studies. We will also be doing a co-op on Fridays that has a science class. That will be plenty!

This is our language arts portion. I had planned already on doing R&S 3 for grammar, and Brave Writer for writing. Then I went to convention and found the new Language Lessons for Today that was just released. We will just do the picture and poetry portion of the book, and skip the grammar sections. We will switch back and forth between All About Spelling and R&S 3 Spelling. I already have AAS on my shelf, and as fussy as it is, I do believe it's one of the best things out there for spelling. We will probably not do it next year, and continue with R&S. For penmanship we will use Pentime 3. I love these affordable little workbooks!

Silas is doing really well with Christian Light Math, so we're going to stick with it!

Instead of doing the Exploring World Geography Book we will do these 2 books throughout the year. Silas loves them, and is always sad when he comes to the end of the book.

We will do many of the art projects assigned, but I'm sure I will add a few of my own!

This is the music CD that came with the package that includes songs from all over the world.
That wraps it up! Off to post about how I organized all of this!


  1. I am sure that you will have an awesome year traveling the world!!!

  2. We greatly enjoyed ECC a few years ago! Hope he has fun as he travels the world!! Did you get any of the world currency??

  3. I did get the currency set. I took a picture of it in our curriculum choices post. Took me a while to cut it all out, but I think it will be fun to have :)

  4. Looks wonderful! So excited for you!

  5. I have been referring to your blog a lot while I construct my curriculum plan for next year. I'm bringing home my private schooler for fourth grade next year and have been planning on doing "Preparing" with her and MFW K for my 5 year old. I would love your opinion on whether ECC might be a better step into homeschooling or if Preparing is still your favorite?

  6. Hi Danielle :)

    We have really enjoyed our studies in ECC. I will say that HOD is my first love as far as curriculum goes. I have loved the book basket in MFW this year. I think it adds a lot to the ECC. Without it ECC would be very light. It takes diligence and time to gather the books each week. The projects are fewer and farther between in ECC vs. HOD, and more involved. I have found myself skipping projects this year when I rarely would do that before. Around week 14 I started realizing we were needing more fun, so I added Five in a Row books to add a few more hands on projects and experiences.

    So, if it were me for 4th grade my choice would be Preparing. I have not yet done Preparing, but will be doing so next year for sure. We already have the whole set waiting for next year. I wouldn't miss it :) HOD is in my opinion is easier to plan, but there are those who might say that about MFW. You will have all the books you need for HOD, and less additions are necessary. I also feel the HOD projects are far more easy to accomplish.

    I don't think you could go wrong either way though. Both have their strengths. I do love that we will have covered world geography and cultures before heading into world history in Preparing. I absolutely love the heart behind ECC and its focus on praying for the countries of the world.

    I hope this helps at all :)

  7. Thank you so much! You were extremely helpful. I look forward to following your blog even more in the future, especially as it seems we will be doing Preparing at the same time. :)

  8. This is a great post, thank you for sharing! If I may ask, are you no longer going to be using MFW once the new fall school year begins? I have been looking at HOD for some time now and would love some feedback. Thanks again, I will definitely be following your blog!

  9. We will return to HOD after our year in ECC. My plan for now is to stay with HOD long term. We love it :) We took a detour into MFW for one year as my son wasn't yet ready for HOD Preparing. MFW is a wonderful program and company, but HOD is my first choice for our family. At least for the foreseeable future :) Thank you so much for visiting!

  10. This looks great! I'm just now researching HOD thanks to Michelle @ Delightful Learning (we've been Sonlighters...). Thanks for your insight regarding ECC and Preparing. I think it makes a lot of sense to have done the World Geography year before World History...even if as a hypothetical 4th grade student yourself, ECC may not have been your first choice. While HOD is your first love, IF you had another child coming up the ranks, would you do this again? ECC before Preparing? We're gearing up for "third grade" (with an 8 & 9 year old) and currently had planned on Sonlight Core D. AHH! Curriculum is what always trips me up! ;-) Thanks for any help! -Joy

  11. Thanks so much for visiting! I adore Michelle. I respect and admire her so much <3

    I would definitely do ECC again :)It took me a while to get my MFW footing. After I did, I totally fell in love with it. My son had a blast this year, and I wouldn't trade this year for anything. HOD has a missing guide, so this is a perfect fit for that gap year. This is a fun, fun year! I did have to throw my plans out the window and have a lot of spontaneous fun however. ECC is loved by many, but I think also misunderstood by many as well. I fell into that second camp for a while, but am firmly in the first now. I love, love the heart behind this guide. Teaching kids to know and love God's people and pray for them is priceless. Also visiting and experiencing the different cultures through food, field trips and wonderful books made for such a great year. I am totally a fan. I read through my earlier comments. This is my amendment to those :) Thumbs up to ECC!


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