Tips to Homeschool Third Grade

by Kimberley McGee
Homeschool third grade with confidence.

Third graders are becoming more independent learners, able to research and explore their interests, apply learned info to solve more difficult math concepts and read and write on their own (stop laughing! It can happen!). While my kids were independent learners, they did require redirection and a schedule to help them get their school work done without my constant prodding. Check out how to homeschool by age and grade, from Kindergarten to Second and through Fifth Grade, tips on setting up your homeschool and rules and tips on how to set up a co-op. Some parents who are distance learning or new to homeschooling have hired tutors.

 

We started homeschooling in 3rd grade, although we’d been homeschooling in some way since they were old enough to teeth on a fat cardboard book. Your child has been watching and learning no matter if they’re in a classroom or lounging on the couch.

 

I’ve put together a healthy list of the curriculum we’ve tried and loved when the twins were little for each grade so far. We’re going into 5th but we’ve used curriculum through 7th grade and high school. I love that about homeschooling!

Each Tuesday I update or add a new blog post for homeschooling tweens and teens. I’ll share those on the Vegas Kids Zone Facebook page as well. I have discounts on curriculum and local play places for all ages in the weekly newsletter!

The best thing about homeschool is that it’s about the child, their learning style and what works best for the family. What works for us may not work for you. We found that cherry-picking from different reviews helped us when we were first starting out. Find what works best for your kinder kiddo and use this as a guide to keep you focused on most of the basics they need.

Assessment Tip – In Nevada, you don’t have to take standardized tests or have your child assessed if you homeschool. However, I am one of those and I like to know where we are, strengths and weaknesses. My kids are weird and actually like tests, so again, this is something that works for our homeschool. There are a few places to get free assessments online, such as Kolbe Academy.

Requirements to Homeschool Third Grade

Each state is different in its requirements to homeschool. In Nevada, the education requirements are:

  • English (reading, writing, and composition)
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social Studies (history, geography, economics, and government)

You don’t have to send in a Notice of Intent to homeschool until your child is aged 7 or has previously been enrolled in a Nevada public school. A sample education plan is needed with the NOI.

Homeschool Third Grade Objectives

Aside from the math, language arts, science and social studies, kids are exploring more technology, art, music and foreign languages. You can build on what worked in second grade or explore entirely new curriculum sets.

Friends who are still in the public school or who are just starting out have asked what we used each year by age and grade, depending on how you style your homeschool. You can homeschool third grade kiddos easily, affordably and with confidence. We used Time4Learning for our full curriculum that included math.

For math, they will need to understand, compare and identify fractions. We reached out for help with this and hired a tutor for one month/once a week to do a project-based learning unit. Kids will also be learning mental math, times tables and basic division facts.

Language Arts and Social Studies

Language arts gets really interesting for homeschool in third grade, if you are into that sort of thing. Kids will read a book and describe characters and identify the main idea with supporting details. For instance, my daughter loves to draw. I created blank sheets with a list of traits and a paragraph for writing about the main idea. She made character sheets with how the character played a part in the plot. For my son, who hates all things writing, I had him create Lego characters and talk out the main idea with supporting details and write a sentence in his writing workbook.

The point wasn’t to finish a pre-prepared worksheet, but to make sure they understood the concept. Eventually, they both wrote longer text in chronological order using transition words, figured out punctuation and correct capitalization and made inroads into grammar. We stuffed our school day with Evan-Moor workbooks for language arts and science because they are fun and affordable.

We studied Ancient history and indigenous cultures around the world, learning about the way of life and belief/religion at different eras and peoples. I let the twins lead us down what interested them and found ourselves deeper into Pompei and Ancient Egypt. I paired their interests with online curriculum such as Study.com.

All the Good Stuff

Third grade is a time to really let kids find what interests them and then craft their studies around those interests. The library is a great place to start. We still use it for learning Spanish, Latin, exploring history and geography. Read books about the months of the year, days of the week, state birds or whatever floats your boat. Get the basics in, and go with whatever new idea has grabbed their attention. We built on our kid’s passions, which tend to include math and critical thinking as well.

Every child is different, every learning style requires a different kind of approach and not every concept will be checked off the list for most kids. They’ll get it eventually with patience and tailoring the curriculum you use to the way that they best learn information. Scholastic has a truly thorough list for third grade.

Books, Boxes and Best Practices

Here’s what you’ve been really looking for. Forget that big list above and just concentrate on what you and your child enjoy doing, in my opinion. I have a twin who hates reading, but loves being read to snuggled in and sleepy. Her twin brother prefers to do the reading and has to look at the book as it’s being read to make sure you don’t miss any juicy parts. Bend to your kid’s preference, not a checklist of what they should be learning and how.

You can buy a full years’ worth of curriculum, which we did when we first started homeschooling in 3rd grade. It’s definitely less work and has all you and your child need to succeed in that age or grade. However, for our learners, I found that pulling together a curriculum based on each child’s learning style and interests made the school day go by without tears or nudges from mom or dad to get it done.

Also, look around for free worksheets you can download and print. They are great in a pinch. We used treats and coins to add and subtract, group numbers or show less and greater than. This helped them to visualize the concept.

WriteShop For the Win

WriteShop Primary

Writing has not been easy for either kids. They didn’t take to it easily or willingly. I loved handwriting since I can remember and found myself creating beautiful letters basically by myself at the table while they toddled away, bored. I turned to help with online color pages and prodded them into writing a few words about what they were coloring until I finally found Write Shop.

I was frustrated because it seemed like such an easy thing for me to teach. The full curriculum for writing got the kids writing and talking about the prompts, games, crafts and other info in the step-by-step process WriteShop provides. We are continued to use this through age 10. I liked that I knew what our writing curriculum would be and didn’t have to worry about finding new workbooks each year.

Evan-Moor is Easy, Affordable and Worthwhile

I reached out to a fellow twin mama and homeschool veteran about where we should start when we first started homeschooling. I thought she’d have a list of expensive curricula, just to start. When she said to stock up on Evan-Moor, I was surprised.

 

We’d been using Evan-Moor for fun in our house since the kiddos were Pre-K. The puzzles, games, easily understood directions and large areas to write or work out math problems made it a favorite of the kids. I liked it because I could rip out the pages easily, copy a set and only had to buy one book for both kids. We use them in our homeschool third grade more than before. There are more subjects covered as the kids’ get older. We liked the Evan-Moor Higher Order Thinking book with teacher guide. This is full of games and puzzles for math and critical thinking, reading and comprehension.

 

The teacher’s guide is helpful and provided more ways to introduce key math and reading concepts to kids when they were struggling with the work inside the book. We also used these extras for areas where the kids wanted to know more about a subject or concept. It’s affordable and covers everything from science to geography and grammar for little ones. They go on sale quite often.

My Teaching Library

A teacher friend turned me onto this when the kids were about 2. It continues to be a great resource through elementary school. We turn to My Teaching Library when we need specific subjects to supplement our homeschool, such as Earth and Life sciences, growth mindset activities, grammar, art, social studies and all the other areas, including math, reading and language arts. My Teaching Library has worksheets and activities for all holidays, seasons and family events, like birthdays, that are affordable and fun for kids and parents for kids through high school.

I get bored easily so I need something that is going to keep me excited as we go through our day, particularly when the kids were little. Arts and crafts is my jam! So I thought I’d be all over all the fun science and art projects. Nope. Be patient, don’t expect it to go fast and let the kids take their time if they get off track and find something interesting within the detailed projects My Teaching Library offers.

 

10 % off My Teaching Library

 

This post may contain affiliate links. It doesn’t affect your price, but I get a few cents to keep the info flowing. Have a question about homeschooling or looking for a local deal? Let me know what you need and I’ll track down the info to make your homeschool easier and certainly more fun and affordable! 

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