Archive for the ‘Fourth Grade’ Category

Education Fair


Our homeschool co-op group has an education fair each year. The kids are able to pick any subject that they have learned about for their projects, so it is not just a science fair.  Here are the projects that Hailey and Hunter made this year:

Our Crafts N Things

 Hailey read Chocolate Fever by Robert Kimmel Smith.  She created this board as a book report to tell all about the book.

Our Crafts N Things

Hunter had been working on a farm unit and created this board about who lives on the farm.  Of course he had a little help with cutting things out, but other than that he did the work on his own.

I am very proud of how hard both of them worked!

Times Tales Review


If there is one subject that Hailey would skip if she could, it would be math.  She tries regularly to get me to let her skip math.  Math was always my favorite subject- I loved it when I was in school!  I would get excited when I had math homework.  A little bit strange, I guess, but I have always loved math.  To me, it seems a little strange that someone would not love math. But to each their own.  We have tried different math curricula, but Hailey just doesn’t like math.  One of the things she has a hard time with is her multiplication tables.  I have tried games, apps that are supposed to be fun, and anything I could think of.  But it just didn’t work well for her.

The Trigger Memory Co REVIEW

Recently we were given a chance to check out Times Tales, a fun program from The Trigger Memory Co. that helps kids (or anyone, really) memorize multiplication facts.  I figured it couldn’t hurt to try and see if this would help Hailey with her multiplication facts.  We received the downloadable version of Times Tales, but it is also available as a DVD.  The file is pretty big, so depending on your internet connection it could take a little while to download it.  Once you have downloaded the product (or received your dvd) you simply start watching.

The Trigger Memory Co REVIEW

The Times Tales has 2 different parts.  In Part 1 your child will learn the upper 3’s and 4’s multiplication facts and in Part 2 your child will learn the 6’s, 7’s, 8’s, and 9’s.  Each part is about 30 minutes and includes 6 steps.  The facts are taught using fun stories that will make it easy for your child to remember the times tables.

Here is a brief overview of what each step includes:

Step 1:  You meet the characters that are part of the stories.

Step 2:  You learn the stories.

Times Tales

(Click pictures to enlarge)

This is one of the stories- in this story you learn that a butterfly (that looks like a 3) flew by a treehouse (that looks like a 9) and found a treasure chest with 27 cents.

Times Tales

In another story you learn that Mrs. Week (the 7) went butterfly (the 3) hunting.  She caught 20 in her net and 1 landed on her head.

There is a different story for each multiplication problem.

Step 3:  In this step there is a little quiz to go over the stories.

Step 4:  In this step there will be pictures from the stories and your child will get a chance to tell each story.

Step 5:  Here your child will see flashcards using the symbols from the stories.

Times Tales

On this flashcard we see the butterfly (3) and the treehouse (9).  If you remember the story you know that the butterfly found a treasure worth 27 cents.  Since your child will likely remember the story, he or she now knows that 3×9=27.

In Step 6:  You will see flashcards again, this time without the symbols.

Times Tales

All of the different multiplication problems will show up during this little quiz, but will look like regular numbers, rather than the characters from the stories.

Once you have gone through the steps there are printables to use to practice what has been learned.

Our Crafts N Things

Hailey did a crossword puzzle to practice the stories.  She also took a quiz using the number symbols.

Times Tales makes learning the multiplication facts fun.  Kids remember the stories very quickly and can use the stories to get the answers correct.  Times Tales can be used with any age to improve multiplication memorization.

Before we used Times Tales Hailey would take a long time to figure out her multiplication facts- because she was adding up the numbers, rather than just knowing the answer from memory.  I have seen a huge improvement since she has watched the stories.  At first I could see she was thinking about the stories to remember the answers, but as time has gone on, she just knows the answers from memory.

Hailey told me that Times Tales makes math fun, and for someone who really does not like math, that is saying a lot!

The first time Hailey watched the Time Tales, she was on step 6, answering the flashcards without the symbols.  As she was going through the questions she suddenly stopped and said, “It’s working Mom!  I’m getting them right!”

And that is why we loves Times Tales!

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Times Tales by the The Trigger Memory Co REVIEW
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Curriculum 2015-2016


So, I never posted about the curriculum we are using this school year.  I thought that now that the school year is winding down I could post about what we used and how we have liked what we are using.



For Hunter this year, I am using Sonlight P 3/4.  This isn’t an actual curriculum with lesson plans though, it’s just a list of books with an activity suggested for each book.  You can do it in any order you wish to do it.


These are the books that came with Hunter’s curriculum.  We have not read all of them, but so far he has enjoyed all of the ones we have read.  We tend to spend several days reading and rereading one book, so more than likely we won’t finish everything this year.  They are all great, classic books that every child should have.  I also add in lots of other books to go with whatever theme I am currently using for Hunter.


These are the other things that came with Sonlight P3/4.  We absolutely love the Colorix- they are so neat!

For the most part it’s hard to consider Sonlight P3/4 an actual curriculum.  It’s really just a lot of great books that I use and then build my own curriculum around those books.

Fourth Grade:


For science this year we have been using Elemental Science, the Zoology Sassafras Science Adventures.  Hailey reads a portion of the book (which is written as a story and is very interesting!)  and then there are notebooking assignments to do.  We both absolutely loved it at the beginning.  Sometime after Christmas time Hailey got really tired of doing the notebooking/logbook assignments.  They were the same thing for every unit and I think she just got bored with doing the exact same thing for each animal.  There were a lot of hands on activities that I added in, but she begged not to do the logbook anymore.  So, right now she is still reading the book, but I am not making her complete the logbook.


For Language Arts we started out using:


For history we are using Sonlight Core D.  I love the books that are included in this history curriculum.  The only thing I don’t like is that there aren’t any hands on activities, so I have been adding them in on my own.  Hailey loves doing hands on projects and that is what helps her remember what she is learning about.  As much as I love this curriculum I am going to switch next year to something that has hands on activities included.


These are the readers and read alouds we are using, also part of the Sonlight curriculum.  Both of us have really enjoyed all of the books.  The books all have to do with what we are learning about in history, which was great at the beginning of the school year.  About a month ago Hailey mentioned that it felt like we were doing history all the time and she wanted to read books that are not all historical fiction.  So, for right now I am reading the readers and read alouds and letting Hailey read non-history related books.  Right now she is reading The Candymakers (the only book in our curriculum that is not a historical fiction book) and both of us LOVE this book!  I think it’s our favorite book of the whole year!


We use Teaching Textbooks for math.  It’s not Hailey’s favorite subject, but it is working, so we will continue to use it.


These are a few other things we are using.


Hailey was excited about her tall pile of books!

Here to Help Learning Review


Here to Help Learning Review

Hailey has always loved writing.  She is very creative and does a wonderful job at writing. Teaching writing seems like such a huge task and I really want to make sure I do a good job of helping Hailey to become an excellent writer.  But, I want to make sure I keep writing fun since she loves it so much.  I have been really struggling to find a writing curriculum that we both enjoy.  We were recently given the chance to check out Here to Help Learning, a writing curriculum that I had never seen before, and I was thrilled to be able to check it out.  We could pick which level we wanted (more on the different levels below) and I decided to try Flight 1 Essay Writing for Hailey.

Here to Help Learning Review

Here to Help Learning is a writing program developed by Mrs. Mora, a homeschool mom of over 20 years.  She created this program to help parents and co-op teachers to be able to make teaching writing fun.  The lessons are based on the theme of going on a flight. There are 2 different levels of Here to Help Learning and within those 2 levels are 3 different flights you can take.  The first level is geared for children in 1st-3rd grade and it teaches paragraph writing.  Within the paragraph writing level you are able to pick from the 3 different flights.  Each flight has 32 lessons to cover one year of writing curriculum. The flights do not have to be done in a certain order, but rather can be done based on the interest of the topics in the flight.

Here to Help Learning

Click on the picture above to enlarge and you can see the different topics you can pick from in each paragraph writing flight.

The next level covers essay writing and geared for 4th-6th grade.  There are three different flights in the essay writing, each one has 32 lessons to cover a year of curriculum.  Once again they can be done in any order.  Flight 3 will be working towards writing and publishing a 6 chapter book, so you might want to save that one for last- but you certainly don’t have to.

Here to Help Learning

Click on the picture above to enlarge and you can see the different topics you can pick from in each essay writing flight.

Here to Help Learning Review

Once you have decided which flight to do you can start the lessons.  The lessons are done online with Mrs. Mora as your teacher.  You will spend 2 days each week completing the lesson.  The first day you do the lesson which has 5 parts in it, and includes:

  • Pre-Flight Checklist- this is where Mrs. Mora is dressed as a flight attendant and helps you make sure you are ready for your flight.
  • Flight Check-In- in this section you will check in work from the previous class, get new worksheets for that day’s lesson, and review the purpose of writing verse.
  • Take Off- this is where the writing warm up takes place as well as going over the work that was done during the previous class.
  • Full Throttle- this is the main part of the lesson where the Mrs. Mora guides the students through the part of the writing process covered that day.
  • Flying Solo- the last part where the students are given an assignment to work on.

The second day in the week that you use Here to Help Learning is the day the students actually work on the flying solo assignment.

How did we use Here to Help Learning?

I decided to use Flight 1 of the Essay writing with Hailey (age 9, fourth grade).

Here to Help Learning Review

Hailey’s favorite part of each lesson is the writing warm-up.  Hunter (4 years old) and Harper (18 months old) both love to watch the lessons too.  Mrs. Mora is very entertaining and really does making writing fun.  Hunter and Harper always come running to watch when they hear us start a lesson.  They were all working on their writing warm up in this picture.

Here to Help Learning Review

When Hailey realized we would only be using Here to Help Learning 2 times each week she begged to do it every day.  She always asks me, “Are we doing the fun writing today?”

Here to Help Learning Review

Here Hailey is reading what she wrote on her webbing outline.

Here to Help Learning Review

Mrs. Mora gave several great suggestions for creating a good environment to write in.  So, Hailey got everything all set up and got to work on her first rough draft.

Here to Help Learning Review

Hailey working on her first rough draft.

Here to Help Learning Review

Hailey read her first rough draft to us.

Here to Help Learning Review

After we went over her second rough draft together, Hailey wrote her final copy.

Here to Help Learning Review

Then Hailey made a presentation folder for her essay.

I can not say enough good things about Here to Help Learning.  I absolutely love it!  Mrs. Mora really does make teaching writing and learning how to write fun!  Not only is it fun, but the lessons are excellent.  Hailey learned so much from just one flight.  I am planning to continue using Flight 1 Essay Writing this year and then finishing it up next year before we move on to Flight 2 Essay Writing.  I can definitely see us sticking with Here to Help Learning for our writing curriculum.  I highly recommend this curriculum!!

Hailey’s review- “I loved it!  The videos are so much fun.  I give it 5 out of 5 stars.”

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Here to Help Learning Review
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