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3rd Grade

  • Tapestry of Grace

When our kids were in grades 1, 4, and 7 we began using a curriculum called Tapestry of Grace. TOG follows the “classical method” using a 4-year rotating cycle of Ancients, Middle Ages/Reformation, Early Modern and Modern. Based on a Christian worldview, this is the BEST curriculum I have ever used. Having all three of my girls using the same curriculum means that they all cover the same topics and subjects, but each grade level has age appropriate activities and expectations. Each Year Plan can be purchased in digital format (DE) as well as in print. You purchase the lesson plans (instructions) for Year 1, Year 2, Year 3 and Year 4 and then use them over again as you go through each cycle. If you began this curriculum with your child in 1st grade you would go through the 4 year cycle 3 times before he graduates (going through Ancients in grades 1, 5, and 9). The reading books and reference materials will change with each grade level as you go through the curriculum, but you only have to purchase the lesson plans once. You can purchase additional pieces to go along with the curriculum for subjects like writing/grammar, map work, etc. We added our own math and science for the older students and the Tapestry lesson plans provided instructions for everything else...including hands on projects!

 At first glance, it can be intimidating. I honestly looked at it for 3 years and didn’t think I could do it, but I eventually figured out that each Year Plan has everything in it for grades 1-12 and I would never “do it all” in one year.   We have now worked with Year Plans 1, 2, and 3 and I can honestly say that we are solid in our decision to use this curriculum until our last child graduates from high school. You even have access to online help including other users and the authors through the Tapestry Forum on their website. Check it out by clicking here...


Text Box: Tapestry of Grace website 

My quick overview of the Story of the World program:
SOTW is world history in story-book format. Reading this together is much more engaging than reading history text with lots of dates and names that children most likely will not remember. Older kids could read it on their own, or you can use as a “read aloud” and include multiple ages.

My thoughts on how it worked for us:
We were first introduced to SOTW when we used Biblioplan for 2nd grade; SOTW was one of the history spines. At first I did not like the story format at all; I did not feel it gave enough dates and figures to give a true picture of historical facts. However, after some review (2 years later), I was informed by some friends that I simply wasn’t using it to my full advantage. Using SOTW combined with encyclopedias and other historical books it would have been better.

My quick overview of the Spelling Power program:
Spelling Power is a program that teaches spelling using lists of most frequently used words.  The book builds on the assumption that phonics instruction alone isn’t sufficient to produce a good speller.  Rule-based spelling has to be combined with the teaching of “visual spelling” – recognizing when a word is spelled correctly.

My thoughts on how it worked for us:
It did not take many spelling tests to realize that I had a child who could not handle failure. Although she was not supposed to know the words before we tested (they only study the ones they miss), she was in tears after each morning’s drill. Not worth it. This is a great program, it just wasn’t going to work for us (see Grade 5 for more information on Spelling Wisdom).

My quick overview of the Abeka Language 3 program:
Abeka Language 3 covers Grammar, Creative Writing and Dictionary Skills. The teacher’s manual has information for each lesson as well as the answers for the student workbook.

My thoughts on how it worked for us:
This was an excellent introduction to formal grammar. Everything was presented in a manner that both my daughter and I knew what to do. It is in workbook format and that won’t work for everyone, but it worked well for us and I felt my daughter was given a great introduction to proper writing skills.

  • Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW)


My quick overview of the IEW program:
There is no possible way to give a “brief” overview of this program, and I do not yet claim to really understand it all myself, but it is well worth the money considering you can use it from early elementary through college!

My thoughts on how it worked for us:
We started with IEW by having my girls verbally give me key words from text we read together. I wrote those down in an outline and then they reworded the sentences to be new paragraphs. This exercise really helped them to pick out key words from what they heard or read.

My quick overview of the Singapore program:
Lessons are done with your child from the Home Educator’s Manual. It tells you what to say and do. Then parent and child go through the Textbook examples together. Once the child demonstrates that they understand the concepts, the Textbook points you to the correct lesson in the workbook.

My thoughts on how it worked for us:
One word – fabulous. After printing and having my daughter take the placement test from their website, we purchased the Home Educator’s Guide, student text and student workbook for the 1st semester. This was relatively inexpensive compared to some other math programs we checked out. My oldest daughter took well to this program and we proceeded to use it with our middle daughter when she began 1st grade. Be aware that the program is generally considered to be a year ahead of grade level so it is not uncommon to have a child in 4th grade place in level 3 (especially if you are coming over from another math program and may not have covered the same concepts covered earlier by Singapore). We had a friend use Singapore from 1st grade through 5th with her oldest daughter and at the end of 5th grade the girl took an Iowa Skills Test and scored in the 10th grade math. I think we’ll stick with it a while J.



































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