Your 4th grader is growing so fast! Homeschooling fourth grade is a whirlwind of new adventures and forward progress. Find out everything you need to know to make this year a success!
Guide to Homeschooling Fourth Graders
When homeschooling fourth graders, you will continue to build on the foundations laid in the early years of elementary and also transition to the more detailed and formal work of upper elementary. This does not mean you short-change the fun!
Unit studies, cross-curricular projects, interesting writing prompts, and educational field trips excite and engage the fourth-grade child. You also want to allow plenty of time to play; fourth-graders still have a lot of energy and creativity to work out.
This year is also famous for what teachers call “the 4th-grade slump.” A fourth-grade reading level has a huge boost of vocabulary words (it typically quadruples from third grade), so kids who have struggled with learning to read may experience frustration at fourth-grade level texts. There is a similar jump in the amount of writing a fourth-grade child is expected to complete.
Remember, you can only move forward from where you are. If needed, take the time to move forward incrementally and work on those fundamental skills. Every step should be celebrated; your child is learning a tremendous amount!
Fourth Grade Learning Objectives
These learning objectives are guidelines. This is especially true for the content subjects of social studies (or history) and science.
- Knows decimals and place value to hundredths
- Can compare and relate fractions to decimals
- Performs long division of a 4-digit dividend by a single-digit divisor (with and without a remainder)
- Can multiply a 2-digit whole number by another 2-digit whole number
- Knows and draws points, lines, rays, segments, angles, and two-dimensional shapes
- Can add and subtract multi-digit numbers with regrouping
- Interprets tables and graphs
- Solves problems using basic algebraic thinking
- Works word problems with units of measurement
- Knows fourth-grade level high-frequency words
- Can read advanced spelling patterns
- Can identify author’s purpose (explain, persuade, entertain, describe, or inform)
- Draws conclusions and uses inference
- Can tell basic parts of the story (characters, plot, setting, climax, resolution, moral)
- Finds main and supporting details from informational writing
- Can writing a three-paragraph paper with an introduction, body, and conclusion
- Identifies all 8 parts of speech
- Knows and identifies nouns and their usages (subject, direct object, etc.)
- Learns different types of adjectives and adverbs
- Conjugates verbs across three simple tenses (past, present, future)
- Memorizes personal pronouns
- Learns types of sentences (declarative, exclamatory, etc.) and sentence structure (simple, compound, etc.)
Science (these will vary depending on your curriculum)
- Performs simple experiments and organizes data into tables
- Learns about the classification of living things (domain, kingdom, phylum, etc.)
- Understands unique adaptations of living things
- Learns part of plants and special attributes of certain animals
- Knows about magnetism
- Knows about conduction and insulation
- Works with the basic closed-loop electrical circuit
- Identifies cloud types and severe weather
- Learns about weather, seasons, and climate
Social Studies (these will also vary)
- Researches state history
- Learns state flag, symbols, capital, song, etc.
- Identifies key positions in state and local government and understands their roles
- Knows basic timeline of state history
- Discusses cause and effect of historical events
Fourth Grade Homeschool Curricula
As you learn the particularities of your child, you will better understand how she learns. For this reason, many homeschoolers opt to choose subject-specific curriculum instead of all-in-one options in fourth grade (where all your curricula are provided by a single publisher).
If you prefer the “everything in a box” approach, there are plenty of great options like Timberdoodle, ABeka, and Sonlight, but you will also find a myriad of great individual programs to mix and match for fourth grade.
Memoria Press is a classical, Christian publishing company. They carry wonderful language arts materials, and their excellent Latin language program begins in elementary school.
Mystery of History is a chronological history curriculum from a Christian perspective. This is a four-volume series, but you cover one book a year.
All About Reading and All About Spelling
This reading program is designed with struggling readers in mind–particularly those with dyslexia (its corresponding spelling program works well with students with dyslexia and dysgraphia). Although it has four levels and your 4th grader may be beyond level 1, there are placement tests to find out where you should start.
This K-12 math program emphasizes what its name promises: math you can see. It uses manipulatives throughout the program, even in 4th grade, to ground math concepts to the concrete. The fourth-grade level is called Delta.
While not exactly a curriculum, this education book can be the centerpiece of a study of chemistry. With cartoon chemical elements, jazzy poems to help you remember key points, simple experiments, and fun facts for every group of the periodic table, this book makes chemistry fun! This series (The Williamson Kids Can! Series) has other great books as well, including a physics-inspired book, Gizmos to Gadgets, and The Kids’ Natural History Book.
This site offers free homeschooling resources in math, reading comprehension, handwriting, and spelling. Do you have a left-handed child? The spelling lists even come in a left-handed version, so the child can see the word he is copying.
This Charlotte Mason-inspired site has a fourth-grade US history book you can download for free: A History of the United States and Its People. They even developed their own Charlotte Mason Activity Book to use with the program.
4th Grade Homeschool Schedule
Most 4th graders are ready for some more independent work and longer lesson time. That being said, they still thrive with breaks, outings, crafts, games, and hands-on projects.
- 7 am Wake-up, get dressed, eat breakfast
- 7:45 am Morning circle time (read a short story, poem, or Bible lesson together, stretch, sing–whatever centers you!)
- 8 am Math (40 minutes) – lesson time and independent practice
- 10-minute break
- 8:50 Handwriting or typing practice (10 minutes)
- 9:00 am Grammar and Mechanics (20 minutes)
- 10-minute break
- 9:30 am Writing (20 minutes)
- 10-minute break
- 10:00 am Spelling (15 minutes)
- 10:15 am Snack/free play/outside time (30 minutes)
- 10:45 am Social studies or science lesson on alternate days (45 minutes)
- 11:30 Lunch & free time
- 12:30 pm Literature through read-alouds, audiobooks, or independent reading (30 minutes)
- 1 pm PE time – walk, yoga, dance, outside time, playground time (unless your child is involved in organized sports later in the day) (30 minutes)
- 1:30 pm Optional additional school time: projects, activities, learning apps (30 minutes)
If you did not do so earlier, schedule some independent reading time in the remainder of the day (just before bed works). You can also fill the remainder of the day with board games, crafts, audiobooks, and outings.
What You Need to Know for Homeschooling Fourth Graders
When you homeschool fourth grade, you can give your child individualized instruction that will help make this pivotal year successful. By choosing the right curriculum for your child, knowing your goals, and planning your schedule, you can soar through homeschooling fourth grade!