3rd Grade Curriculum Choices

I can’t believe we are about to embark on our THIRD year of homeschooling. We are changing things up quite a bit as far as curriculum goes and I can’t wait to get started. We tinkered with the “workbook method,” as I call it, at the end of last year and it worked so much better for my girl. So, here’s what’s on tap for 3rd grade.

SCIENCE – Apologia (Swimming Creatures)

This kid swears that she wants to be a “marine animal vet” or a “dolphin trainer” when she grows up and she’s convinced that she will work at the Clearwater Animal Marine Hospital, especially after our visit last December, so this is the perfect curriculum for us. We actually did 3 lessons at the end of 2nd grade because she was so excited about it, and I loved it just as much as she did! We went with the Junior Notebooking Journal and that has also proved to be a good fit.

LANGUAGE ARTS – McGruffy (Third Grade SE) and Editor in Chief (Beginning 1)

I searched and searched and couldn’t come up with a language arts curriculum that I liked. We are going to try McGruffy and see how it goes. For starters, the workbook is full color and I’m hoping that helps to make it fun because the English language can be pretty boring and semi-complicated. I elected not to use their reading program (see below) but I’ve added in Editor in Chief for quick grammar reviews each day.

READINGStudent’s Choice

I don’t have any problems getting this girl to read and I want to keep it that way. Therefore reading will remain student’s choice around here with frequent trips to the library. However, because we are in 3rd grade this year, I will be asking for a book report at least once a week. I printed out several freebies from Teachers Pay Teachers and she can pick and choose from those as well. For our read alouds this year we are going to be working our way through the Harry Potter series. We have a surprise trip planned for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter near the end of the school year. Shhh! 😉

MATHChristian Light Education (200 Series)

Math is probably tLG’s least favorite subject but I’m hoping to hit a home run with this new curriculum. For starters, there are multiple tiny workbooks in this series (10 to be exact). My hope is that she will get a feeling of accomplishment from completing a book, which will spur her to continue. I like that the lessons can be self-directed if needed. We technically dropped down a grade level but from all the reviews I have read CLE is more advanced than most math curriculum and stepping back isn’t terribly uncommon. Regardless, the goal here is to help her enjoy learning math and we will not focus on grade level. We are continuing to work on math +/- facts over the summer with Rapid Recall so that we can hit the ground running in August.

HANDWRITINGA Reason for Handwriting and Pictures in Cursive (Book A)

We started cursive last year and tLG did really well with it so we are going to continue it this year. I’m excited about both of these books. A Reason for Handwriting includes scripture and Pictures in Cursive is an Art Study. When the RfH workbook arrived I was a little disappointed. It was bulky with a traditional binding and wouldn’t lay flat, which is not productive for handwriting practice. A quick trip to my FedEx Office with a “cut & bind” option fixed us right up. This is my new favorite homeschool hack!

GEOGRAPHYA Trip Around the World & Another Trip Around the World

History is not my favorite and I’m not sure I can handle another year of it so I’m switching gears and doing a geography / social studies approach this year. We will use these workbooks as a guide to learn about various cultures. It also means I get to incorporate fun stuff like passports, currency kits, flag stickers, and more! We will also use Globalmania for mapping practice.

That about wraps it up for 3rd grade. I’d love to hear what your curriculum plans are for this year.

*Affiliate links included because I love me some Amazon. Also, did you know that Amazon now has a “rental” program for some homeschool textbooks? This is a great alternative to buying them and you save $ too.


  • Staci Bishop

    I loved EP. It was free and easy to use. I also loved all of the amazing online resources she had put together but it wasn't the best fit for my kiddo. It worked for us for 1st and 2nd grade but I realized she preferred what I would call the "workbook" method. EP didn't put us behind in any way and it was an easy transition into our new curriculum. I'm still so thankful we found it. It was a perfect solution for us when we were just starting out in homeschooling and I was overwhelmed by all of the options out there. I think it's a great curriculum if the format also matches up with your child's learning style.

  • Amy

    I've spent all morning reading your homeschooling post! I could have written so many of these sentiments myself! We are pulling my 2 girls out of public school at the end of this year and I was so happy to come across your blog. I'm swimming in the sea of curriculum choices and have decided upon several that you chose as well. I'm wondering how you are liking McRuffy for 3rd grade? I will have one using 3rd and 1st. I was also planning on using CLE for math. Do you still like it?

  • Staci Bishop

    McRuffy is okay. Although, my friends and I joke that we are always searching for the elusive language arts program that we can love. I'm not sure it exists. I'm looking into First Language Lessons or Queens Language Arts for 4th grade but ultimately I'm still undecided. CLE is good. My daughter is doing very well in math but CLE is very repetitive. We don't always do every single exercise for each lesson. It wears her out sometimes. However, we have been able to cover a year's worth of material in 2/3rd of the time. We are switching to the next series next week. The goal is to have her on grade level by the end of next year. Best of luck and congrats on your decision to homeschool. It was one of the best things I ever did!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *