Ezra,  Family,  Homeschooling,  Little Brother,  Special Needs Parenting

3rd Grade Homeschooling End-of-Year Recap & Review

Beautiful in His Time is a participant in multiple affiliate marketing programs. The author of this blog may receive commission for purchases or clicks made through links on this website.

We have just finished up our FIRST year of homeschooling and the completion of Ezra’s 3rd grade year! June 1st marks our first day of year two!

As we moved through the summer of 2019, I spent a lot of time just trying to figure out where Ezra was, academically speaking. Some areas needing improvement were VERY obvious – like penmanship. Other areas, I did not realize just how behind he was until I began trying things with him. I began a list on my computer of things he didn’t know.

Ezra is a very bright child. As I was now able to observe his behavior all day, every day, for the first time since he was four years old, I realized just how detrimental his ADHD and mood issues are to his learning environment. My heart broke as I kept thinking, “I have no idea how he functioned for so long in public school!” 

While his reading skills were above average, I noticed deficits in math (which surprised me, because he has a very mathematical/engineering brain), as well as grammar. After much internal struggle, evaluating his deficits combined with his fine motor skills / penmanship issues (and setting aside my own pride), I purchased a lot of kindergarten, first grade, and second grade curriculum.

This was definitely the right call for him! I also fell in love with two curriculum options. There is no perfect curriculum, and I liked them both (and for totally different reasons), so I went ahead and got both. Meaning we are working through two curriculum for both language arts and math. This may be overkill; but, giving Ezra a good foundation in these KEY areas is very important to me. I feel like the curricula complement each other very well and make up for each other’s weaknesses. It’s been the perfect pairing for Ezra.

The Good and The Beautiful is very strong in managing multiple learning styles and regularly incorporates kinesthetic and auditory learning options throughout the curriculum. It’s fun and games, with a lot of manipulatives and variety! The Good and the Beautiful also is stronger in its “spiral” approach and a lot of review!

Homeschooling Year 1: 3rd Grade Recap & Review

Masterbooks has a stronger doctrinal base, and incorporates Scripture and Bible stories into the curriculum (even the math and language arts). It is also more closely aligned with the beliefs which our family holds. There is also more copywork, which is good for Ezra to continue practice and honing his penmanship and fine motor skills. I feel like Masterbooks is a weaker in how it explains things, especially with math, and its amount of review.

What Ezra Finished for 3rd Grade:

Homeschooling Year 1: 3rd Grade Recap & Review



Language Arts:

History (Combined with Little Brother):

I originally intended to study the 50 states using Road Trip USA from Confessions of a Homeschooler to have a US History overview – one state per week. This did NOT work! I joked that we were “being held hostage” by the Northeast, because there was SO much history to cover. We did a ton of reading and studying using living books, TV documentaries, art projects, YouTube videos, and so much more! Here’s some of the things we covered in a LOT of detail – click the links for our book lists!

Our favorite US History Resources:

By March, we were still only on our 9th state. I was starting to feel that, if we continued at our current rate, we will be studying US History until Ezra graduates from high school! From March until May, we did a rush overview of the last few colonies (Vermont, Rhode Island, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia).

On June 1st, when we started year 2, we began using America’s Story, a chronological US History curriculum. We will also be using Timeline of the Revolution and Biographies of the Revolution.

Science (Combined with Little Brother): 

Homeschooling Year 1: 3rd Grade Recap & Review

For science, we are doing a DEEP DIVE through the seven days of God’s creation with both of the kiddos FOUR curricula (listed below as “in progress”) as well as a lot of additional living books and educational TV shows. We have just finished up Creation Day 4 and are moving onto Creation Day 5 on June 1st!

We have studied the following subjects in great detail:

  • Creation Day 1: Light science, shadows, colors, and the rainbow
  • Creation Day 2: clouds, the water cycle, thunderstorms, rain, snow, and the layers of the earth’s atmosphere
  • Creation Day 3: the 7 continents, the layers of the earth, dirt, soil, and botany (trees, leaves, plants, fungi, flowers, seeds, grasses, fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, photosynthesis, and pollination)
  • Creation Day 4: sun, moon, stars, space exploration, including biographical studies of Neil Armstrong, John Glenn, and Mark Kelly & Scott Kelly

Our favorite science resources:

*Stars indicate that these shows do contain evolutionary concepts. It’s not pervasive, but worth noting and discussing with your kids if you hold to Christian creation beliefs. 

Crossover Studies:

While we studied the states, I also chose certain of the state symbols to study to enrich our science studies. We studied the following state symbols:

  • Maryland: Atlantic blue crab, black-eyed susans, Baltimore oriole
  • Maine: lobsters, blueberries, pine cones, black capped chickadee
  • Massachusetts: cranberries
  • New York: ladybugs
  • Pennsylvania: white tailed deer, fireflies, and chocolatecreation science collage

Books, audiobooks, documentaries, TV show episodes, and movies we’ve read & watched for this 3rd grade year – view our master list here!

US History (1st 13 Colonies & DC): 595

Creation Science: 759

Math: 87

Language Arts: 50

Character, Behavior, & Social Skills: 136

Bible: 10

Art & Music: 1

(Plus 218 more preschool-level educational books that I read JUST with LB, and an additional 117 books about firetrucks, of course!)


3rd Grade Homeschooling End-of-Year Recap & Curriculum Review | Special Needs: ADHD, Anxiety, Mood Disorder, Gifted, & 2E #masterbooks #thegoodandthebeautiful #specialeducation
Click Here to Pin This!

What’s In-Progress for Ezra:



Language Arts:


Bible (Combined with Little Brother):

    • Jesus Storybook Bible – we are on our third listen through of the audiobook. We also have the DVDs and have watched those multiple times.
    • New City Catechism – We are using the free app and listening to the songs over breakfast. We have memorized the first 12 questions and their answers.

Music (Combined with Little Brother):

What I Shelved:

  • The Verbal Math Lesson – I still may go back to this, but Ezra is a tactile learning more than he’s an auditory learner
  • A Reason for Spelling – honestly, I just hated the illustrations, as well as layout with a separate teacher guide. Plus, he’s getting enough spelling in his other two curricula.
  • Life of Fred – we tried the first book. I do not understand how people consider this a curriculum!!
  • Masterbooks My Story and the World around Me (social studies) – I like the concept, but it is SO disorganized and disjointed, it just didn’t make sense to me. It felt mostly like busywork!

3rd Grade Level Testing:

During the last week of May, I administered the 3rd Grade Level California Achievement Test (online, untimed) to Ezra. I was pleasantly surprised that, while we spent the majority of this year in review of 1st and 2nd grade material, he tested at or above 3rd grade level in every subject! Thus, I feel confident advancing him to 4th grade!

California Achievement Testing

Leave a Reply