What Do You Teach Anyway?

When you decide to homeschool your children, the first question you might ask yourself is “What do I teach anyway?”

You probably remember the school subjects you took but that probably doesn’t help you narrow down a starting point. What should students learn every year? Is there a place I can look?

Fortunately, there are some great answers to these questions.

World Book – Typical Course of Study

Remember the World Book Encyclopedia? They have some wonderful online resources. The one I want to share with you today is the Typical Course of Study guides they have for each grade. These are updated regularly as well and give you a quick overview of what your

Here is what they suggest for Grade 3 Reading . . .

  • Identify main topic, idea, lesson, moral, or argument in grade-level text
  • Show understanding of key details in a text
  • Identify text evidence to support the author’s message or reader’s responses
  • Retell stories, including tales from diverse cultures
  • Describe characters in a story and how characters’ actions contribute to the plot
  • Determine meanings of words or phrases as used in a text
  • Describe effects and uses of words and phrases in passages
  • Describe overall structure of a passage and its effect on the message
  • Describe how parts of a story, poem, or drama build on other parts
  • Use text features and search tools to locate relevant information
  • Explain connections between events, ideas, concepts, or steps in a text
  • Explain differences in points of view of characters, narrators, or writers
  • Explain differences between an author’s point of view and their own
  • Explain how visual images and graphics contribute to and clarify a text
  • Compare and contrast themes, settings, plots, or ideas in two texts on the same topic or by the same author
  • By the end of the academic year, read and understand grade-level literary and informational texts at grade level independently and with proficiency

These are great skills for your student to master at this grade level. You can use these to plan the educational experiences your provide. Make sure your child can do these things by the end of the school year and you will be set.

Provincial / State Curriculum Documents

The curriculum documents that teachers are required to use in the state or province where you live are easily accessible online. They are available in plain text and PDF versions for the most part.

In Ontario, Canada, the Language Arts document is fourteen pages long and extremely detailed. It starts with four overall expectations. Here are the ones for Grade 3 reading . . .

By the end of Grade 3, students will:

  • Read and demonstrate an understanding of a variety of literary, graphic, and informational texts, using a range of strategies to construct meaning
  • Recognize a variety of text forms, text features, and stylistic elements and demonstrate understanding of how they help communicate meaning
  • Use knowledge of words and cueing systems to read fluently
  • Reflect on and identify their strengths as readers, areas for improvement, and the strategies they found most helpful before, during, and after reading.

Each of these bullets is then broken down with a number of specific expectations. Every subject and grade is laid out in the same way.

You can also choose to look at the curriculum documents from other states or provinces and pick and choose which ones you will incorporate in your homeschool.

Here are where you can find some of them . . .

Annual Teaching Plans

Teachers have to write Yearly Learning Plans for their classrooms. You may be able to find some of these online and use them as a guide in your homeschooling.

Choose What Works Best For You

Remember that these are just starting points. You can pick and choose elements and combine them in interesting ways to meet the needs of your family and children. I plan on writing my own plans soon. The benefit to doing so is that I can focus on things schools typically don’t and I can avoid some of the things that I feel are relevant.

Seek Out Professional Help

I hope this post has helped you out. If you need further assistance, please don’t hesitate to ask. I can help you plan a great year of learning for your family. I can coach and mentor you or your students to help things run smoothly.