Third Grade: Week 2 Plans

Week 3 (9/14/09) Our Lady of Sorrows, Rosh Hosannah, Jackson’s Birthday

Circle Time: Apples

  • A September Finger Playby Bertha E. Bush (from Little Acorn Sept. Newsletter)
  • “Apple Tree”(from Little Acorn Sept. Newsletter)
  • Apple Star Story
  • The Sleeping Apple(from Little Acorn Sept. Newsletter)

Main Lesson:

Container Story/Jewish Studies:

  • Monday: Oma arrives, childhood stories, What is the Torah? Intro to Jewish faith
  • Tuesday: Jewish Calendar
  • Wednesday: Farm harvest.  Go to Tuttle’s Orchard and pick apples, learn about orchard farming
  • Friday – Rosh Hashanah, bake challah

And There Was Light – Creation

  • Monday – read “The Worlds’s Beginning” and “Michael and the Dragon”
  • Tuesday – read “The First Day of Creation”
  • Wednesday – read “The Second Day”
  • Thursday – read “The Third Day”

Story of the Bible: The Story of a Beautiful Garden – Genesis 1:1 to 3:24

Secondary Lessons

Social Studies: Childhood stories, Hebrew alphabet

Math: Re-do 2 times clock, review 3 times table (oral counting, oral problems, 3 clock, 3 star)

Nature Study: Apples

Grammar: Nouns – common and proper

Independent Reading: Little House on the Prairie (2-4 chapters)

Handwork: Knit x 2

Form Drawing: Crossing the Midline

Music: Recorder – Review B note, Intro A note

Other: Journal x2 , HWT

RE: Our Lady of Sorrows


First Day of Main Lessons!

I’ll be honest that I don’t feel like I’ve planned or prepared near enough, but the show must go on.  The last minute planning that I was hoping to accomplish didn’t happen with daddy gone camping and the trip to the library failed when we discovered that they were closed not only on Labor Day, but also on Sunday.  I din’t find the book that I was hoping to find at Half-Price books, but I did find one that I wasn’t looking for and think it will be quite helpful in planning all of our Jewish celebrations and holidays.

Circle time went well with all the kids.  We continued with our story and theme from last week, since they’re both short weeks for us.  We added math review of the 2 times table in for Alex with the bean bag toss.  I also tossed it to Jackson, who took turns counting with me and Izzy, who just enjoyed the game of catch and throw.

We followed circle time with a quick snack of toast and strawberries before I attempted to get Jackson and Izzy set up in their activity so Alex and I could get a little one-on-one time for his main lesson.  We didn’t get around to painting Jackson’s dog house, so that was the activity for the little ones.  Jackson did his dog house and Izzy got a smaller cardboard box that she declared to be a doll house.  They loved the painting, but wanted me to “look at this mommy” many times over during Alex’s lesson.  Painting may not be the best activity during main lesson time – lesson learned for me.

Jack painting

As for Alex’s main lesson, I introduced the container story from A Little Garden Flower‘s third grade curriculum.  We talked about farming and chores a bit before I asked Alex to write a letter to “Oma.”  He composed the letter on his own very quickly and told me that he enjoyed our lesson.

DSCF9278We ate lunch and left for the chicken farm and co-op.  Visiting a farm ties right into our farming family that we’re talking about in our main lesson!

We got around to our secondary lesson after our errands and some outside play – including another dip in the pool.  We did our first recorder lesson, which Alex LOVED and caught onto very quickly (using the beginner recorder book from Oak Meadow and our cheap-o plastic recorders for now.)  He wanted to jump ahead to the next lesson and is begging for more tomorrow.


We did our Lively Language Lesson from Serendipity about nouns.  He enjoyed the picture books and at first tried to take a short cut in his assignment by writing very large when I walked away from the table.  He didn’t fool me though  😉 and we talked about how a job worth doing is worth doing well.


Tomorrow “Oma” will arrive and we will start the story of creation.

Oh and one more lesson for me:  Alex adored the Lyra pencils.  I ordered the skin tone set, thinking that they would compliment the colored pencils that we already had – decent quality ones that I invested in back in college.  Well, the Lyra ones are such a hit with Alex and with me that as soon as our budget permits, I will order a regular set.

Winding Up for Lessons

We went out of town with Daddy on business trip on Monday and Tuesday of this week.  It was lots of fun (mama got to go to IKEA) and the kids really enjoyed the hotel experience, but it delayed our start up date of starting in with lessons to next week.  I decided I needed the extra few days to do a bit more planning, catch up on harvesting and preserving, and get caught up on laundry and housework.

Since I had built up the idea of starting lessons, I decided to go ahead and wade into it by doing a few things and starting up with the main lessons next week.

For the Little Ones:

Circle Time Theme: Harvest and Preserving (and in all honesty, I made this all up from the top of my head 5 minutes prior to gathering everyone.)

  • We read the poem “Autumn” from A Journey through Time in Verse and Rhyme, page 171.
  • I told “The Giant Turnip” from Wynstones Press Autumn, page 67.
  • We’re having fun with circles this week.

Grapes, tomatoes, basil, beef jerky, oats, and wheat berries, oh my!  All of it getting harvested and/or preserved in some way and everyone is helping!

Picking Grapes

For Third Grade:

  • Form Drawing:  Circles Circles
  • Handwork: Knitting a coaster
  • Nature Study: Grapes
  • Grammar: Nouns
  • Math: Review (done in the car to and from our destination and in practical form around the kitchen)

And since Summer isn’t officially over yet and it warmed up a little bit today to remind us, we filled up the pool and went swimming!

Having Doubts

I’ve spent weeks planning.  I’ve taken frequent breaks in order to pray and meditate.  I’ve made list after list.  I’ve ordered some bare minimum supplies (still waiting on those to arrive) and have a wishlist for books that would make the year run smoother.  I have a library list of other books to use and several internet links to free resources.

And yet, I sit here doubting myself.  The backbone of our Old Testament block is Story of the Bible by Jesse Lyman Hurlbut, available for free on  I honestly don’t know much about the OT and I’m really looking forward to learning along side Alex for this block, but I think I’ve over done it.  In my current plans, I split the OT part of the book into 4 stories per week, one for each day I plan to actively present lessons.  This means that our OT block will be taking up all of fall and most of winter to get through all 109 stories presented in the book.

Now that we’ve jumped into full fledge circle time and activities with the little ones and we’ll be adding in a full day of homeschooling co-op, I realize that 4 stories per week is too much.  Three would work out much better with our schedule, Monday, Wednesday, Friday.  But then that stretches the OT over the entire year if we read all of the stories and doesn’t leave time for our other block studies.  That doesn’t work.

I also feel like I scheduled too many weeks and didn’t leave us enough time to prepare and celebrate festivals and holidays, not to mention wiggle room for when baby is born.

So do I cut out certain stories?  Which ones?  Like I said, I’m not all that familiar with the OT, so I don’t know this story from that. Do I switch to a different book?

I’m thinking of turning to one of the two resources that ALGF recommends for the third-grade curriculum. The first is a series of three books (And There Was Light, Journey To the Promised Land, and We Will Build a Temple) from Jacob Streit, $47 before shipping.  I have no idea what these books contain though.  How many stories are covered?  Are they told in a way that Alex can relate to?  I already ruled out the other resource based on the description of only having 12 stories.  I don’t think that will be deep enough for Alex, but I could be wrong here too.

And then I keep getting directed in one way or another to other people’s plans and the Live Ed website and positively drooling over the examples of the lessons and contents of each and every book in the third grade curriculum.  It goes into detail about doing the wet-on-wet painting for the creation part of the story, adding a bit more to it for each of the six days of creation.  How cool does that sound!?  I want to be able to present it like this, but I’m clueless on how to do it without very explicit directions.

Why does Live Ed have to cost so freakin much!?  Why can’t I have $1300 (the poorest district budget according to a priest that spoke at our church last week, $3000 something was the average public school budget) to spend per child per year on schooling?

I still need to buy more books and supplies, but I’m trying to prioritize and figure out what I can put off to better accommodate our budget.  It’s not a fun process!

And all this is over one part of the entire year.  I haven’t planned our math blocks in great detail, just “penciled in.”  I don’t have any of our projects or paintings planned in detail.  I haven’t even touched religious studies that pertain to our faith.  Sigh.

So I guess what it comes down to is that I need to spend more time in prayer and rework my current plans.  That is why I worked the plans in a spreadsheet format so I could easily adjust it, so I guess that’s been the plan all along.

It seems like many of us homeschooling moms go through this period of doubt and maybe that’s part of the process too?  I’m betting that even if I had a bigger budget to buy all the supplies and books that I wanted for the school year and/or bought the Live Ed curriculum, there would still be doubts and things that I felt were missing or not quite the right fit for our family.  So maybe the doubt is a good thing and keeps us striving to do better?