The base fourth grade curriculum is typically focused on 4 core subjects: Math, Science Language Arts, and Social Studies. Some exceptional homeschool children will have already advanced well past their peers in certain subjects but may still struggle in others. In this article we will plan out a curriculum for our advanced fourth grader.
For third grade math we chose a practice book with tons of practice questions. It had no introductory material for any of the math so I had to teach him every new concept as it came. It also had page after page of practice questions which I'm confident has kept him on pace with his peers if not passing. That being said, we wanted something with just as much rigor yet with actual instructional material so he will need less direction. For math, we found this Mathematics book. We'll start with this book and see if it works out. Every book we choose for curriculum can be easily swapped for another more suitable book but we can't know what works in advance. We try out a book to discover what works and what doesn't and we adapt.
For science, most books for this grade level are very light on details. There is very little depth to be found in these textbooks and most simply rehash the same material for grades 3, 4, and 5. Instead of repeating the very cursory material found in those books every year we decided to start digging deeper by going straight for a 6th grade Earth Sciences book. We started this book towards the last months of his third grade year after he very quickly finished his third grade science book. We started it as a trial to see if he would be capable of doing it. He excelled and seemed to enjoy the more focused material over the random science tidbits provided by his third grade science book.
Next, we'll use a seventh grade Geography book. This book has some overlap with the sixth grade Earth Science book but it covers enough different material that it's sufficiently different material. We also started this book last year after he finished both his social studies and an American history book. He did extremely well last year with this book so we will continue with this book until he finishes it.
For Language Arts we want to focus on reading comprehension and composition. These will be invaluable skills for your child as they continue their education so we will focus strongly on it this year. We'll start with this Language Arts book. There are a lot of short stories he'll need to read and then answer questions about them. In addition to this book, he has 30 minutes of quiet reading time each morning where he reads a book of his choosing. Last year he read about 10 books throughout the whole year. This year, when he finishes each book he will write a book report summarizing what the book was about, what he liked about it, what he didn't like about it, and any other thoughts he might have about the book.
We will skip social studies at the start of the year. If he finishes one of his science books early we will start on a world history book. If he finishes the other science book, we'll move on to a sixth or seventh grade Natural Science book.
Physical Education is often overlooked by schools and homeschoolers alike including us. This year though we will have a dedicated class for it. We will start each PE class with a warmup exercise of some stretching and jumping jacks. We have a variety of outdoor and indoor activities to choose from. I will let him pick an activity to focus on for the week but not to repeat weekly so we can maintain variety. Some activity ideas include: swimming, basketball, bike rides, hiking, running, and weight lifting. By the end of the year the goal will be for him to have much more physical strength and endurance. It's also important to instill a love for outdoor activities and hopefully find some peace in them.
Last year he started learning Piano with the Simply Piano mobile app. He made great progress and will continue with this app this year as well.
And finally, he loves art so we will continue having an art class. Initially this will probably be drawing and using Fortnite Creative to create artwork in-game.
Once I get him a computer I hope to teach him how to use Photoshop and maybe get him started again with the 3d graphics Blender lessons we began last year. Depending on how the year progresses, I may also create a technology class again where he can continue learning to program.
This is the starting point of our fourth grade homeschool curriculum for the year. We'll adjust it and adapt it as needed to maximize his interest and motivation. The books we start with may not be the books we finish and the classes we start with may not be the classes we end with. We try to be pragmatic about his education by focusing on strengthening his weak areas and pushing him harder in areas where he is stronger. Be mindful not to push your child too hard though because at some point it will stop being enjoyable for them to learn. The goal is to maintain interest and encourage their own curiosity.
Each of the books I linked to in this article you can find online but I'm not sure if the pdf versions found online are freely available or protected by copyright. I felt it safer to just link to the books on Amazon in this post but feel free to Google the titles for the pdf versions if you want to print your own copy.