This year, I was so excited to do research to pick our 4th grade homeschool curriculum. We had never homeschooled one so young so I had to do tons of research to find the best options for us. I will be a lot more involved with the 4th grader than I was with the older kids so I’m looking forward to it so much!
Below you will find our choices for all the core 4th grade homeschool curriculum, as well as some fun extras we are doing this year. I’ve included our math choice, language arts and science curriculum, and my favorite, the history curriculum for this year. I will also show you what electives we will be doing for 4th grade.
4th Grade Homeschool Math Curriculum
For Math, I chose Saxon 5/4. My 4th grader is strong in math and he was using Saxon in his previous school. He took their placement test and will be doing the Saxon 5/4 workbook. I purchased the homeschool kit which has everything you need. Saxon has a homeschool version and a version that follows Common Core. The 5/4 is the homeschool version. The Common Core version has “intermediate” in the name, and it’s considered their public school line.
If you are using Saxon 5/4 this year, make sure to check out my post on how to prep for and use the Saxon 5/4 curriculum.
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As a supplement to his Saxon curriculum, I enrolled in Nicole the Math Lady. Nicole has a video for every single lesson in the Saxon curriculum. She gets amazing reviews and I have yet to hear one negative thing about her service. She recently added grading as an option for practice problems and quizzes, so that will be a great time saver for us. Plus, the instant feedback it provides will be great for our son.
Over the summer, there are a few subjects the kids work on. One of those subjects is math. This year we decided to try out Teaching Textbooks. My son LOVES it. Though he placed in their 5th grade on the placement test, I enrolled him at the 4th-grade level since it was summer and just for keeping him sharp in math. What I hear from other moms is that typically their children are a year ahead when using Teaching Textbooks. I also hear it’s great for kids that don’t like math. It’s fully online and can be completely hands-off for the parent. They have a Free Trial as well.
4th Grade Science Curriculum
For science, we chose MasterBooks God’s Design for Heaven and Earth. It’s a science curriculum that covers geology, astronomy, and meteorology. My son is obsessed with rocks, minerals, and anything geology so we will probably spend some extra time on the geology units.
The lessons in God’s Design for Heaven and Earth are meant to last 45-60 minutes each, and it is a 4 day per week class. It is considered a gentle approach to science and it is for grade levels 3rd-8th. The level seems perfect for my son.
I also purchased a set of books from MasterBooks that make a great addition to this curriculum. It’s a 9 book set, and they are beautiful. The set is called Wonders of Creation. You can buy them as a set or each book individually depending on your family’s interests. My kids and husband love all science so I got the entire set for them to browse anytime.
4th Grade Language Arts Curriculum
We have several components for our Language Arts 4th grade homeschool curriculum. The bulk of his language arts will come from MasterBooks Language Lessons for a Living Education 4. They use a Charlotte Mason approach, as is the case with all curriculum from MasterBooks.
LLFLE has a bit of everything, and it is a full LA curriculum that includes spelling, vocabulary, punctuation, grammar, reading, and writing. The lessons are intended to take only 20-30 minutes and they include a daily schedule which I love. It’s perfect for staying organized and on track. Though it is a complete curriculum, I feel it’s gentle and light, so I felt the need to add a few extra things to our language arts curriculum.
For writing reinforcement, my son will be using Essentials in Writing Level 4. This will be our first year trying this program but I’ve heard great things about it. We purchased the books with the online videos. My son will watch a video with the lesson for the day and then proceed to do the required writing and grammar work in his workbook. I’m looking forward to him improving his writing skills this year.
Reading is of course an important part of Language Arts. A lot of his reading will come from our history curriculum which I think is a great way to integrate both subjects. But there are a few extra books which he will be using with Total Language Plus workbooks. Total Language Plus workbooks are pretty complete in covering all the language arts components. I will most likely work through them with him so it’s not overwhelming. The books we chose for Total Language Plus are:
- Charlotte’s Web
- The Sign of the Beaver (this one will be for history too)
- The Courage of Sarah Noble (this one will be for history too)
I also want him to do a focused spelling workbook, and I couldn’t decide which program I wanted to use. I purchased 3 workbooks and we’ll do them one at a time and see if one works better than the other for him. These are the ones I bought:
- BJU Spelling 4 (I only purchased student text)
- Spectrum Spelling 4
- Spelling Skills 4 from Harcourt
For handwriting and cursive, we’ve been using Handwriting Without Tears over the summer and will continue with the next levels as the year goes along. Handwriting was probably his least favorite thing to do in school, and this program has helped him enjoy it a bit more.
Finally, I purchased levels 5,6, and 7 of Explode the Code to test it out. I have a friend that uses it and loves it, so we’ll try it out when we get a chance. We will probably just use it sporadically when I need him to have some independent work time.
4th Grade Homeschool History Curriculum
For our History Curriculum, we will be trying out two different curriculums at the same time. I know it sounds crazy but I was so torn by which one to get, that Ryan encouraged me to go ahead and get them both to try them out! (Remember, this year I couldn’t go out to a store or convention to get the books, I had to do everything online. I love holding the books and getting a feel for them and this year that wasn’t possible.)
We will be using Notgrass Our Star-Spangled Story and MasterBooks America’s Story 1. If we love them both equally, we would be completing book one of Notgrass this year along with America’s Story 1. Next year we would complete book 2 of Notgrass and America’s Story 2. That way the timeline would be pretty similar.
I must say after receiving the books, I’m leaning towards Notgrass looking like it will be a better fit, but we’ll try them both out and keep you posted! If we decide to use only Notgrass, then we would complete both books 1 and 2 in one year. Here’s a look at both of them:
Notgrass Our Star-Spangled Story
I fell in LOVE with Notgrass’s Our Star-Spangled Story curriculum while doing my extensive research. It is a story based history curriculum with a Charlotte Mason approach. The books are absolutely beautiful, full of colorful pictures of actual historical figures and events. There is also a timeline book that is beautiful, and a Star-Spangled Rhythms and Rhymes book with folk songs and poems. It includes a CD with the music as well.
The curriculum is geared towards grade levels 1st-4th. The curriculum bundle comes with a list of suggested literature that will be perfect for my 4th grader and for reading aloud. I may even have my daughter read some of the books out loud for everyone as she needs some practice with this.
My concern with this curriculum was that my son is on the higher end of their grade suggestion. The workbook seemed very light in terms of activities. This was really the only reason why I debated on getting this one or America’s Story 1. America’s Story’s workbook seemed a bit more advanced. But after receiving them both, I think the OSSS workbook will be fine for him and he will enjoy it.
Here are the literature books I got to go along with Our Star Spangled Story. You can buy the literature pack along with the curriculum at Notgrass for a great price or buy them individually:
- Benjamin West and His Cat Grimalkin
- Toliver’s Secret
- Freedom Crossing
- Farmer Boy (I actually got the entire Little House collection)
- Mountain Born
- Emily’s Runaway Imagination
- The Year of Miss Agnes
Some of these books will be read out loud for both kids to listen to and some are for my fourth grader to read on his own.
We also have a huge collection of “Who Was” and “What Was” books that we will also use with the curriculum. My son is obsessed with them and loves reading them all year long! They have an America Collection which is great if you’ll be studying American History and government.
We will be doing a lot of reading this year! I love how the history curriculum integrates with Language Arts by including literature. If you are using Our Star-Spangled Story from Notgrass this year, check out my complete reading list PDF which includes the assigned literature, as well as additional literature recommended by Notgrass, and the Who Was/What Was books with their corresponding lesson.
MB America’s Story 1
America’s Story 1 by MasterBooks is very similar to Notgrass in its approach. It also uses a Charlotte Mason story approach. This curriculum is geared for 3rd-6th grade so it’s a bit higher level than the Notgrass one. It also comes with a literature list. I combined both lists as well as added the Who Was books that go with the topics. We have a huge, awesome reading list for the year!
These are the books we got that correspond to America’s Story 1. There are some in this list for reading aloud, some for my older daughter and some for my 4th grader:
- Pocohantas: An American Princess
- Ben and Me
- Johnny Tremain
- Carry on Mr. Bowditch
- The Sign of the Beaver
- Skippack School
- Phoebe the Spy
- By the Great Horn Spoon
Both of these curriculums are so rich and full of beautiful history. If after the first month, or semester, or the first year we completely prefer one history curriculum over the other, then we may choose to continue with only the one we prefer. The beauty of homeschooling!
Extra History Curriculum
As if we didn’t have enough history curriculum to use this year, I decided to add in some extras as well! I know, I may be nuts. We will be doing a few fun extra things as a family. Here’s what we’re looking forward to.
Gather Round Government Unit
I ordered the Government Mini Unit from Gather Round Homeschool. (Gather Round is a new curriculum from Rebecca of Homeschool On. Her website has tons of great homeschooling info.) I loved that I could get one teacher workbook and two different level workbooks. I got the upper elementary workbook as well as the high school workbook.
This government mini-unit can be completed in about a month, and we will start it as soon as we start school. Since this is an election year, I thought it would be a perfect addition to our history curriculum.
I bought some reading books to go along with the government unit, as well as some president flashcards to have some fun with. My older kids also love participating in flashcard fun! Here are the readers I got to go along with the unit:
- Give Me Liberty: Story of the Declaration of Independence
- Fly Guy Presents: The White House
- Shh! We’re Writing the Constitution
- Everything American Government Book
- My Brother Sam is Dead
- What Is a Presidential Election
The workbooks are beautiful and we can’t wait to get started. We will all learn a lot right before the election! There are other units of study at Gather Round Homeschool that also look very interesting and we will get them if we end up loving this one.
We will also be lightly sprinkling US Geography throughout the year. I want the kids to know state locations and capitals and have a better idea of general U.S. geography. I purchased some flashcards for state capitals and I also pre-ordered the new Notgrass Our 50 States course. It is a full-year US geography course, but we will just take it slow and do what we can a little at a time.
I also purchased this beautiful book, Children’s Atlas of the U.S.A. It’s a large book! It’s super cool. We also got The Star-Spangled State book, which they have on the MasterBooks website. And we got this great National Geographic Kids US Atlas.
Finally, we hung up this US map we’ve had for a while but hadn’t put up yet. It came in a pack of two and included a world map that I am saving for when we do World Geography.
We also hope to take a few road trips to enhance our geography studies! Any excuse for a vacation right?!
Finally, we will also be touching on Texas History. We will probably integrate it when we get to a good point in our history curriculum. For Texas History I just purchased several different workbooks and readers and we also had a couple of books at home already. This is what we’ll be using throughout the year as we see fit:
- Texas History for Kids: Lone Star Lives and Legends
- Texas Activity Book
- Bloomin’ Tales: Legends of Seven Favorite Texas Wildflowers
We will also be reading some “Who Was/What Was” books about Texas historical figures and events.
I know our History curriculum may seem overwhelming but I think we can get it done. I may have gotten a little excited and carried away on History but I love it and want my kids to study it ALL!! The beauty of homeschooling is that we can shift and change as we go along if something isn’t working. So we’ll take it one step at a time and see how it goes.
4th Grade Religion
We are Catholic, so for our Faith Formation, we chose a Catholic program. The school my son was in used Loyola Press and we like it a lot so I went with one from them. The particular one they use at his school is only available for schools so I chose Christ our Life. It’s formatted the same way and is available to anyone. I got the teacher book and two workbooks, one for my son and one for my daughter.
Loyola Press has a great section on its website which provides family resources. We will use the interactive chapter review and study guides like we did when he was in school.
4th Grade Electives
As far as electives, we have a few things we’ll be adding. I got the art program from MasterBooks, Living Art Lessons. It covers the seven elements of art. It comes with a book and a student journal. Hopefully, he will enjoy it. I’m hoping my senior who is a great artist will help me teach this class to my 4th grader! They can have some quality brother bonding time! At least that’s how I’m trying to sell it to them!
Ryan really wants him to do a few classes on Outschool throughout the year. They have so many interesting choices! They have art, coding, languages, life skills, music, and so much more! We may also use Duolingo, the free app, for him to learn some more Spanish.
Well, that rounds out our 4th grade homeschool curriculum picks! I know it’s a lot to digest, but I suggest you focus on one subject at a time when making your choices. And if you twisted my arm and I had to narrow it down to just one thing per core subject, these would be my choices:
- Math: Saxon 5/4
- History: Notgrass Our Star-Spangled Story
- Science: MasterBooks Design for Heaven and Earth
- Language Arts: Language Lessons for a Living Education
I hope this post helps narrow down the endless amounts of choices out there for you. There is so much great homeschool curriculum to choose from! Please let me know in the comments if you have any questions about the 4th grade homeschool curriculum mentioned in this post. Let me know what curriculum you will be using this year!
To see what curriculum we chose for our other children as well, check out my post: Homeschool Curriculum Picks: Year 5.