"Listen to a time of castles and kings
A time when God's church went through suffering and change
Back to the Middle Ages, then to the Renaissance
On to the Reformation, now we'll sing this song..."
As the above opening lyrics from the Fourth Grade History Song describe, this year picks up where third grade left off. The Roman empire has ended, and a new era of change is ushered in. From the classroom doorways adorned with striking gargoyles and "stone" archways, to the knights, swords, shields, and chandeliers decorating the classroom, students are transported to the time of "castles and kings." While learning the important industrial, arts, and science developments of this tumultuous period of Western history, students also discover the conflicts and the decisions that have shaped the body of Christ to make the church what it is today.
HISTORY AND GEOGRAPHY
The History curriculum uses the Veritas Press History Cards for the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Reformation, with 32 major events or concepts that are examined one week at a time. Many of our writing, art, and literature assignments relate to these history studies. Crafts and special immersive activities work together to help cement their understanding of the events we study. For example, when we study St. Benedict and Monasticism, the entire school becomes a monastery for the day, and the students dress in robes and conduct themselves as monk candidates who are taking a tour of the local monastery. When studying Marco Polo's journeys, their classroom becomes Venice, and they travel to various "countries" around the entire county, sampling foods, learning traditions, trading for goods, and even escaping pirates!
In Geography, students learn the countries of Asia using Geography Songs book and in-house materials. Students will be able to identify all the countries of Asia on a blank map by the time the year is over.
Our Bible studies take the class from Chronicles through Malachi, covering historical books as well as the major and minor prophets. As the students mature in their ability to grasp deeper meanings and concepts, so the material covered dives into deeper heart issues surrounding Biblical events and narratives. The class will use scripture, Veritas Press Bible Cards, maps, and biblical fiction and non-fiction to guide their studies. By the end of the year, they will be able to recount 32 major events or persons covered in this section of God's word.
LITERATURE AND LINGUISTICS
Some of the books we read in fourth grade include, Beowulf, The Hobbit, Adventures of Robin Hood, Macbeth, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, King Arthur, Dangerous Journey, Rolf and the Viking Bow and other books. We read aloud to encourage a love of narrative, and provide instant correction of phonic errors and measuring comprehension.
GRAMMAR, WRITING & SPELLING
Grammar studies in fourth grade continue with the Shurley method, in which students learn new grammar jingles, punctuation, mechanics, and capitalization rules. This year, we also add curriculum from the Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW). Fourth grade students will end the year with the ability to demonstrate consistent, correct use of predicate nouns, conjunction, interjection; identify them in complete sentences; know and use helping and question verbs; orally present information regularly, using solid grammar skills; demonstrate correct use of grammar elements through proofing and editing his own and others' written work; summarize narrative stories and write from pictures, and write limerick, cinquain and diamante poetry. New spelling and vocabulary lists are learned weekly.
Following the Saxon 65 math curriculum, fourth grade students learn factoring, finding greatest common factors, making mixed numbers out of improper fractions, mixed numbers, fractions, adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing, and reducing. They'll also tackle increasingly complex story problems up to four steps. As in all subjects at Veritas Academy, God's order, sovereignty, and design is discussed along with the practicalities, helping students to gain a well-rounded appreciation of God's hand at work in the world.
This year in Latin students work through Latin for Children Primer B. They will learn 1st-3rd declension nouns, pronouns, numbers, and tenses in the present system. Their translation skills will be sharpened this year, and students will be able to translate sentences of various structure.
SPECIALS: ART, MUSIC, & SCIENCE
Fourth graders will attend one art class, a choir class, a music class, and two science classes per week.