Jewish Homeschooling: Third (3rd) Grade (Secular subjects)

Maybe you’ve been reading along as I wrote about our kodesh choices for my 3rd grade son and kindergarten son for 2012-2013? Choosing secular curriculum is yet another adventure (here’s our K plan).

One way to go is to order a complete curriculum, such as these from Timberdoodle (an awesome homeschooling curriculum company!) Timberdoodle lets you customize your order to fit your needs. Since some of the choices are from another religion, that’s something the Jewish consumer would do! I used some of their products, but branched out quite a bit on my own.


Language Arts:

  • Language lessons: a good Charlotte Mason based introduction to all sorts of language topics, including narration, artwork, copywork, poetry, and more. This mave have some other religious content to it. I’ll read ahead in the future and adjust as necessary.
  • Beginning word roots: This is a good quick series of lessons on prefixes and suffixes. It helps ds8 break the words down better, and has been helping his spelling as an added bonus. Speaking of spelling…
  • Sequential Spelling: This is one spelling “quiz” each day based on word families. It requires active one on one interaction, and after each word, it is corrected so it can be done right for the next word. But this is a good daily spelling lesson.
  • Editor in Chief: This is a proofreading book, with brief lessons and then a paragraph to correct. Ds8 likes it because it’s quick and because the number of errors he should have found is laid out, so he can tell that he did it right.
  • Lots of books, including some graphic novels, some easy readers, some chapter books that I read aloud, and more.
  • Handwriting without tears: There are a bunch of books in this series, but the mnemonics and visual helpers make this series stand out for handwriting. With ds8, we’re up to cursive this year. (They have a Hebrew script version for older kids, too.)


  • Teaching Textbooks 3: This is a great resource! It’s a computer based system, and since ds8 has been asking for more computer learning, this is right up his alley. There is a quick lecture and then practice problems. I can check the gradebook and find out how he did each day, and even see if he checked the solutions on any he got wrong. It’s pretty easy for him right now, but we’ll see how it goes.

  • Wrap ups: Remember these from your childhood? It’s a plastic piece with numbers and a string that you wrap from problem to answer. Then flip it over and check your answers! We have the multiplication set.
  • Daily word problems: These are just what they sound like. They are pretty short, and we just usually do one week of work on one day. Or sometimes more – my kiddo likes math, and especially story problems.
  • Montessori bead cabinet: (see photo above) This is a great hands-on activity for numbers. Each of my older boys has spent hours working on this bead cabinet, alone and together! They learn chains, skip counting, multiplication, division facts, organization, responsibility, etc. This was expensive, but is a fantastic learning tool!

English: An American Goldfinch (left), a femal...


  • Birdwatching: We have set up bird feeders near our house and are actively working at seeing, identifying, and observing the different birds here. So far, our favorite has been the beautiful magpie!
  • Zoology, Flying Creatures of the Fifth day: This has some items that need to be changed, but overall, it is a good book with a focus on something my son is interested in. There is an accompanying notebook as well, but you can make your own (it has some copywork that is not Jewish-friendly, and to be honest, we haven’t really used it much).
  • BBC’s Planet Earth: this set of DVDs has fascinated both kids. They remember a surprising amount and love it!


A globe (Globus)

Other subjects:

  • Daily geography: This is a quick and easy review of concepts like maps, globes, and countries.
  • Story of the World: Remember our mummy, pharaoh chicken? That’s just one of the projects we did from this book. The stories are interesting and the activity book has some good ideas for working with what you just read. We’re still working through book one and on our way to book two – this is something everyone sits in on. And we just bought the cd set, which means the kids can listen to what they’ve heard whenever–they love it in the car especially!
  • Logic: Critical thinking puzzles and skills are something we encourage. But this has short units of Halloween and the “December Holidays” that should be adjusted depending on your family’s views.
  • Typing Instructor: A computer game that teaches typing. We haven’t started it yet, but bli neder, I will update as we get into it.
  • See our Jewish /Kodesh list for third grade here.


  • Ollo robotics: Good for following directions and building fun. (See one of his first projects above.) It’s like Lego kind of, but the locking system is different. And it’s really challenging and interesting!
  • Reading eggs: A computer game with step by step interactive reading lessons. Both of my kids like this site, and we use it as a treat when they have finished their daily work.
  • English language library trip every week for new books
  • Just for fun: Smencils (scented pencil set!)

Wishlist (depends on how far we get…):

  • K’nex angry bird set – doesn’t this look like fun?! (OK, we got it for Hanuka. For the kids…mostly.)

So that’s it. It sounds like a lot, but we set it up by how many pages/lessons should be done in a week. DS works out how he wants to do it and then he gets to work. We’re still adjusting the exact weekly schedule, and probably will be for the month as we get through Tishrei. More on on how we do things to come, bli neder.

About Amital

A die-hard listmaker and observant Jewish mommy of 5, managing the challenges of life bit by bit with the help of a Shalom Bayit book and lists. And chocolate, of course. Lots of chocolate.

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