Our Curriculum Picks and Book List for Grade 3

There’s just something about the new school year that always makes me a little giddy. By about January, I’ll be tempted to ditch everything and try something new – but DON’T WORRY. I’ve learned this is normal. I’m committed. 🙂

This is going to be a long post, with a massive booklist – so feel free to just skim to the section that interests you.

*Note: Many of the history books we are using came from book lists from aswewalkalongtheroad.com and wildflowerramblings.com

2021 curriculum blog

Grade 3 Curriculum

{We use an eclectic mix of classical and Charlotte Mason styles with some unit studies thrown in.}

Language Arts

This year we’re using a mix of The Brave Writer Dart program and Handwriting Without Tears (Cursive Handwriting). Now that my son is comfortable with print, he’s ready to move on to cursive, which I feel is still relevant, and an important skill to have (although some may disagree!).

What I LOVE about the Brave Writer program is that it teaches the mechanics of writing (including grammar, spelling, punctuation, literary style, etc.) through a story, in this case – Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective. This is one of my son’s favorite books and it’s been a joy to see him learn writing through literature itself. He’s happy, I’m happy! This is the first year I’ve seen him excited about language arts lessons. Big win!

We’ve also been loving Grammarland as a read-aloud ~ it teaches grammar through a story (Judge Grammar puts the parts of speech on trial ~ I mean…. adorable) and there are simple but fun activities to do at the end of each chapter, assigned by Judge Grammar himself!

Math

This will be our fourth year using Right Start Math. It’s hands on and manipulatives-heavy, so it’s not for everyone. But I love it because it teaches number sense in a gentle, easy and fun way, provides lots of time for mastery, and is very in-depth, covering literally EVERYTHING you could think of.

Now that my son is 8, I’ve seen the fruit of this program in the mental math he’s able to do. He seriously blows me away! And now I’m watching my 5 year old quickly grasp math concepts through games and hands-on fun.

Morning Time ~ Courage

If you’ve been around here for a while, you know Morning Time is my favorite! When the boys were little, we kept it really short and sweet. Last year we used A Gentle Feast Morning Time, which I still adore.

This year, however, we tried out Morning Virtues Courage and we’re loving it. It includes composer study (Beethoven), artist study (Renoir), scripture, poetry, read-alouds and more – all centered around the virtue of Courage.

There is a book list included in this Morning Time curriculum – my son has already read more than half of the novels and has loved them. Here are additional books centered around courage that we added in:

Geography

Classical Conversations goes pretty deep into geography, but we added Draw the World to our morning time. It’s a fun, easy and step-by-step way for kids to learn to draw the world, with a bit of a map-blobbing style (which I find helpful for the perfectionist student who worries about things looking just-so).

Science

For many years, we’ve used The Good and the Beautiful science units – and we’ve got Botany and Geology on the docket for this year (my son chose the subjects he was interested in). My kids really enjoy hands-on science activities and experiments, and this curriculum offers those. However, following my personal convictions about the company in recent weeks, we will be looking at other science curriculums moving forward.

We will also be reading through The Storybook of Science, and checking out picture books from the library as my son is interested in the subjects we cover.

Nature Study

We enjoy learning about nature topics as we experience the seasons unfold around us –  so we will continue using The Seasons nature journals, with the activities and books that go along with them. Learn more about The Seasons here.

seasonal spread photo

We have also used Exploring Nature With Children for many years, although we’re taking a break this year.

Last year we started a new tradition ~ Nature Tea Times, on Thursday afternoons. We get out some tea and honey, a sweet treat and I read through one of the delightful Burgess books while kids paint or color the animal we are reading about. Can’t say enough good things about these books!

Spanish

This will be our first year using an actual Spanish curriculum, along with Duolingo (an awesome Spanish app). We have already started with The Cultured Kid. You can learn more about their free 7-day trial here. (affiliate link)

History + Social Studies

I’m saving this one for last because, well – there are a LOT of books here. I’ve chosen these to follow along with our Classical Conversations ancient history timeline.

I actually hated history as a kid in public school – only memorizing facts and dates for exams, and then swiftly forgetting them once they passed. I actually still sometimes have nightmares about taking history tests (and forgetting to study for them!) – how funny is that?

With the help of living books (NOT textbooks), I’ve fallen in love with learning about history. We will be reading these throughout the year (some as read-alouds, some my oldest will read independently), with narration and notebooking to follow. (Here’s some info on how to get started with notebooking.)

So here are some of the books we’re reading through this year:

The Story of the World (audiobook)

We listen to this one in the car (we’re halfway through already), and it reads like a story, covering early civilizations up to the last Roman Emperor. (Note: While we enjoy this audiobook for our family, I would not recommend this one for secular homeschoolers.)

Picture Books and Social Studies

Ancient Egypt

(this one covers Ancient Rome and Ancient Egypt)

Ancient Rome

The Children's Plutarch: Tales of the Romans (Yesterday's Classics) by [F. J. Gould]

Ancient Greece

You Wouldn't Want to Be a Greek Athlete! (Revised Edition) (You Wouldn't Want to…: Ancient Civilization)

India’s History + Folklore

Ancient China + Chinese Folklore

Japanese History + Folklore

Muslim Empire

African History + Folklore

Well, I think that’s enough for one day! If you’re still here – thanks for sticking to the end. I hope this was helpful!

**I’m an affiliate of Amazon, which means every purchase from product links helps keep this website going. I only write about things I’m truly passionate about, and products I actually recommend and use for our family.**

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