Fourth grade curriculum consists of using ABeka curriculum in all our major subject areas. Fourth grade language uses Shurley English to teach sentence patterns for further development in future years.
The Fourth Grade Bible curriculum is ACSI's Christ and His Word in which the students get a thorough introduction to Bible doctrine. They begin the year by learning to use timelines, maps, context, and a concordance to study the Bible. Serious doctrines such as the inspiration, veracity, and endurance of God's word, the omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence of God, the divinity of Christ, His substitutionary death, the indwelling Holy Spirit, man's creation in God's image, and salvation by faith, through grace, in Christ alone to name a few, are introduced by a couple of entertaining characters, ten year old Randy Holmes, who prefers to be called "Sherlock," and his "perfectly normal" talking dog, Woofson. Every week we discuss a new concept, reading many scriptures which underscore the lesson. The students also memorize a verse pertaining to the week's doctrine.
The year's study begins with a fast paced review of material learned in earlier grades including place value, one-step story problems, addition with carrying, subtraction with borrowing, and multiplication. Multiplication moves from one digit, to two, to three digit multipliers. Division with a one digit divisor is quickly introduced, then moves to a double digit divisor. Terminology is stressed for the four processes to increase comprehension and retention of material. A great portion of fourth grade math includes fractions. Students learn to add, subtract and multiple fractions with common and uncommon denominators, and with mixed numbers. Other fourth grade math concepts include Roman numerals, estimation, problem solving with two step story problems, graphs, counting change, and decimals. The year winds up with solving simple algebraic equations, geometric terms and shapes, and solving perimeter and area of squares and rectangles. Throughout the year, the students learn and review measurements, including metric measurements. All of this is accomplished by introducing concepts in small "bite sized" pieces which makes comprehension easy, which is then consistently reviewed in subsequent lessons for retention.
The fourth grade science curriculum begins with a study of insects then proceeds to plants, birds, matter (water, air, and weather), energy (sound and hearing), geology, and oceanography. Each study is accompanied by activities that illustrate the
concepts learned in each chapter. The culmination of our fourth grade science study is the creation of an "ocean" in our classroom.
The fourth quarter of the year is dedicated to the study of heath in which we cover the skeletal, muscular, and respiratory systems. We then proceed to dental health, and finish up with the study of the body covering (skin).
The first quarter of fourth grade history is the study of Ohio. As we cover the material the children create a personal scrapbook that includes Ohio symbols, geography, industry, agriculture, history, and landmarks. During the quarter the students memorize the 50 states and their capitals. The following three quarters are dedicated to the study of American history. The major portion of American history concentrates on English colonization, the Great Awakenings of revival, the War of Independence, and the growth of the nation. The year culminates with the Civil War, and final frontiers. Different projects punctuate the study of American history in order to increase understanding and appreciation of our history. Some of the projects are the creation of timelines and commemorative stamps, and acting in history play(s). We also experience a Colonial Day celebration and a Civil War Day commemoration with appropriate activities and snacks. The students also understand life in earlier time periods through field trips to place such as Hale Farm and Village.
LITERATURE: The fourth grade curriculum for reading is Bob Jones University Press's: I Met You in a Story. Individual stories are read with the class and discussed. In the discussions, the students' reading skills increase with the discovery of literal meanings. Critical thinking skills are also developed through discussions. In addition to the basal reader, the students have an opportunity to read a novel under guided reading conditions. Because reading increases reading skills, the students are encouraged to read through a class reward system. Four book reports are required, one per quarter.
SPELLING / VOCABULARY: To learn vocabulary in context, the students create personal dictionaries containing words from each reading assignment. In addition, each week the students learn to spell 20 words. Five of the 20 spelling words are vocabulary words and students learn the definition to the words as well as the spelling. The student master ABC order throughout the year by alphabetizing the 20 words each week.
LANGUAGE: Shirley English curriculum introduces the eight parts of speech and other basic concepts through fun jingles, and dynamic analysis of complete sentences. Concepts are never taught in isolation but are Integrated in sentences which enables the student to better comprehend, and thus be able to duplicate writing complete sentences themselves. This system provides a solid foundation for writing skills. The students learn to write three point paragraphs, as well as friendly and business letters.
Fourth grade penmanship reviews letter formation with a kinesthetic writing system called "Loops and Other Groups." We attempt to identify and change any errors in letter formation so that a functional handwriting may be developed and perfected.
Students are given experiences to create projects in programs of Microsoft Word, Excel, Power Point, and Publisher. These projects are related to classroom subject matter and are learned step by step in our computer lab. It gives students a wonderful opportunity to gain computer experience and apply technology to their classroom knowledge.