How To Write Your Own Homeschool Curriculum: Third Grade

Don't buy your third-grader's home school curriculum. Use your own and nearby available resources to create your very own.

Each year, thousands and thousands of families spend an exorbitant amount of cash on home schooling their children. Most of the time these expenditures aren't totally necessary. In the case of purchasing a curriculum, it is almost always less expensive for parents to create their own. And it's not an all too difficult task to achieve. Let's take for example the typical yearly curriculum for a third grader. How would a parent go about setting up and creating a proper educational curriculum for a third grade student?

First of all, it is imperative that families home schooling their children are aware of the current home schooling laws in their state. These laws vary from state to state, with some being extremely liberal, and others requiring registration with the local or state department of education. By doing an Internet search of "home schooling laws" it is simple to ascertain what your own state's requirements are.

The simplest way to create a third grade curriculum is to find your state's grade standards. These are printed on the website of your state's department of education. Each state should list the requirements for completion of third grade, according to their own standards. Some home schooling parents simply copy these requirements and then set about finding the necessary text books and needed materials. This is all well and good if your third grader learns best in a faux school setting. If the child has an unusual learning manner, or even some mild learning disabilities, it may be best to create a tailored curriculum to meet your child's individual learning needs. This is where the true beauty and freedom of home schooling lies. Depending on your state's laws, determine whether or not you are required as educators to follow the grade level standards. If so, look for creative ways to create a curriculum that is appropriate for your child. For example, if third grader's study state history, a textbook isn't always necessary. How far do you live from yourstate capitol? Take a field trip to your state house and identify many aspects of your state's history while visiting there. Become familiar with your state government. Urge you third grader to write a letter to a state official, perhaps with regard to a local environmental concern or conservation effort. These lessons are a bit out of the ordinary, but will undoubtedly stick with your child far longer than rote memorization from a bland textbook will.

The following is a sample curriculum, devised by a home schooling parent who wished to comply with the state grade level standards. Although it wasn't required in their state, the parents felt if the child were ever to return to public school down the road, he or she must be able to find his or her place amidst the public school children at that grade level.

State Grade Level Standards for 3rd Grade:

State History

Mathematics-multiplication. Should know times tables by the end of third grade.


Reading-aloud and silent reader. Should master chapter books this year.

Physical Education""team sports and fair play

Writing""complete paragraphs

Spelling""List of comprehensive words for 3rd grade

3rd Grade Home School Curriculum (created by a parent)

State History""rather than relying on the textbook, visits to local museums and the state capitol will drive home the necessary information for this standard. The student will keep a journal on state history and the visits made. A short report on a prominent state historical figure and an interview with a present figure of state prominence will round out the subject area.

Mathematics""Download math sheets from free web site. Practice times tables. Make and play with flash cards. Create times tables for math notebook. Find book of math games at local bookstore. Play math games and with flash cards daily. Supplement curriculum with downloaded printed math sheets.

Science""Clouds. Rather than repetition from the textbook, and bland memorization, visit the local library and check out both fiction and nonfiction works about clouds. Science can often be studied hand and hand with reading or writing. Poetry and stories can be invented from studying clouds. Visit a local weather station or arrange to attend a talk given by a weatherman or woman. Take advantage of television programs like those found on the Weather Channel to supplement the curriculum.

Reading""Your local librarian is the best reference you'll find for creating a reading curriculum. He or she will be able to point to you books that are at your child's reading level, that are challenging enough to increase reading abilities, and to correspond with out home school subjects being studied. For example, do some reading on the state birds or state agriculture. That can count as both reading and history.

Writing""English workbooks purchased in local bookstores or used curriculum sales are a good idea to have on hand when teaching your 3rd grade child his or her proper writing skills. From basic sentence structure to complete paragraphs, a child should be able to write a short report (biographical or book report) by the end of third grade.

Spelling""Return to your library and with the help of your librarian determine your child's reading level. Choose books just slightly beyond their present level and derive a list of spelling words from these works. Teach your child how to use a dictionary. This is oftentimes forgone is many of today's actual public school lesson plans, due to heavy reliance upon computers. Teaching your child to use an actual dictionary is a much needed part of any curriculum.

Physical Education""Do something extraordinary that many families who don't home school have forgotten all about. Go outside and play! Play with your child. Join him or her on a walk, jog, bicycle ride or sledding. Get the entire family to join in for a twice weekly game of kickball or softball. Go bowling or swimming at the YMCA during the winter months. By participating in physical activities with your child, you will not only teach correct form, good sportsmanship and teamwork, you will show your child that you regard physical education with a great degree of importance. Your good example will be your child's best curriculum in this particular subject.

There you see how easy it is to revise a standard curriculum to meet your home schooling needs. Third graders can also learn a lot through activities they participate in outside of the home. No, this doesn't mean sign your son or daughter up for every team sport your recreation department offers, but look to programs like scouting and church activities that enhance your child's social skills, spiritual needs, and sense of community involvement.

Yes, indeed, you could go out right now and order a complete third grade home schooling curriculum from many stores or sites online. What you'd lose, however, in addition to a tidy sum of your hard earned money, is the chance to personalize a third grade curriculum that suits your particular child.

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