Break out those bedsheet togas and laurel wreaths, because your third grader is about to spend a wonderful, whirlwind year traveling through the birth of the Ancient Greek civilization through the fall of the Roman Empire.
In the classroom adorned with whitewashed, majestic columns and lovely mosaics created by each past third grade class, these kids dive deep into a fascinating period of history that was so profoundly influential in our way of life and thinking. They'll connect what was happening in the Bible at the same time as major events in Greek and Roman culture. They'll read classic works of literature...while snuggled together in a giant, wooden Trojan horse. They'll tackle increasingly complex math and writing assignments that challenge their critical thinking and communication skills.
Most importantly, they'll lean to recognize God's sovereign hand in the world and appreciate His goodness, justice, truth, and love (especially in contrast to the pagan religions of old). And they do it all with great joy and exuberance!
HISTORY AND GEOGRAPHY
Following the Veritas Press Ancient Greece and Rome History cards and additional sources, the students study a different culture or major history event each week beginning with the earliest Greek cultures of 2200 B.C. and ending with the fall of the Roman Empire in 476 A.D. Many fun and memorable activities enhance this study, including making a real mosaic that will hang on the wall for future years, a Greek Olympics, and the class play Zeus's family reunion, to name a few.
Geography covers the countries and capitals of Europe, and students will be able to identify every European nation on a blank map by the end of the year.
Both subject are learned often through song (and a bit of "dance" too!), helping to not only cement the facts in kids' minds, but also make it even more fun!
We pick up where we left off in second grade, just after Israel enters the Promised Land. We cover the Veritas Press Bible Cards (Judges-Kings), in conjunction with scripture reading from our own Bibles, studying one passage, person, or event each week. Through the year, we build a timeline of biblical events covered in these books and tie in what was happening in the Bible with historical events of the time, helping children understand the full scope of God's plan and the context of scripture. Through consistent review, and studying the locations and timelines of events, students will end the year with the ability to recall all 32 major scriptural events and stories from this section of the Bible and understand the significance of these stories.
Third graders love literature time, which usually comes at the end of the day and means snuggling up with blankets, pillows (and the Trojan Horse) in our corner reading nook and journeying through these great stories together. Some of the books we read in third grade include Detectives in Togas, Charlotte’s Web, D’Aulaires Book of Greek Myths, Homer Price, Black Ships before Troy, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, and Misty of Chincoteague. We read aloud to encourage a love of narrative, and provide instant correction of phonic errors and measuring comprehension. Through guided discussions with the teachers, students have the opportunity to examine reflections of God's truth, beauty, and goodness in stories and characters, and pull applicable life lessons from the stories they are reading.
GRAMMAR, WRITING, & SPELLING
Grammar continues with Shurley Grammar Level 3. Students will learn all parts of speech (and have a great time reciting them with the jingles and chants), direct and indirect objects, sentence types, verb tense and agreement, possessive nouns, punctuation; writing narrative, persuasive, expository paragraphs and letters. We work toward developing their writing prowess through writing assignments that teach and practice proper paragraph construction to allow for flow, readability, and persuasion.
New spelling and vocabulary lists are studied each week, with 20 regular words plus 5 "challenge" words for students.
Our math curriculum uses Saxon 54. Mrs. Casey often reminds students that they are diving into deeper waters now in math, and while problems become more challenging, the students are well equipped each week to tackle new concepts. Flashcards and memorization continue to play a big part in this year's math, helping to cement basic math facts in students' minds so they can confidently solve more difficult problems. Third grade students learn multiplication and division facts from 0-12, long multiplication and division, measurements (customary and metric), and working with fractions and decimals. Students also learn how to find variables in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. By the end of the year, students will be able to solve beginning level division, algebra, and geometry problems.
Latin continues to be a favorite subject for many third grade students, who work through the curriculum Latin for Children Primer A. They will learn 1st and 2nd conjugation verbs in imperfect, present, and future, 1st and 2nd declension nouns, adjectives, sentence translations with direct objects, predicate nominatives and adjectives. They will begin to flex their translation skills and read a story written in partial Latin through their curriculum.