4GRD Do-Aheads


our lady of divine grace - 4GRD Do-Aheads


  1. Print out my 4GRD supply list PDF (or in excel.)  It’s got every worksheet, map, flashcard, everything you need for the year.
  2. Construct a realistic scheduleTHIS IS THE BIG HASSLE OF THE YEAR.  
    • Directed reading: In the Writing Manual and Language Arts Overview, sold by the school, it is clear that the “directed reading” and the history assignments are supposed to be separate, unless you have a reluctant reader. It is recommended that this time in the evenings, but that is not my life. So, we have done it three ways.  We either do it on audio, let them do it before bed, or just count their history reading. Use the 3GRD fiction list.
    • History Reading:  Check out History Reading Times 4GRD for how the pacing works out if you follow the assignment structure in the syllabi. It’s really uneven.  Sorry.
    • Religion Reading:  Those Schuster stories really pile up later in the year.  We do best reading one a day.  Not the five at once.  YIKES.
  3. Bundle the memory work resources. Try to do it in one sitting. Print out my Master Memory Book. You’ll need Baltimore Catechism No. 1, K-4 poetry, the geography stats, and the Latin prayers. (EDIT: Beginning Latin doesn’t do those.)
  4. Copy your worksheets. Music Worksheets, Latin Quizzes, Saxon Math Fact Drills, Math Tests,…or at least as many as you can stand for now. They’re on the supply sheet mentioned above.  You can do them in bits all year and keep up with what you have and haven’t done.
  5. Order your blank books. If this is your first year with it, see the bottom of THIS post to figure out how many books you need and what sizes.


  1. Get Draw Squad to at least SUPPORT the McIntyre drawing book. It’s JUST LIKE McIntyre (even names the exercises after him) but the instructions are step-by-step VISUALLY.
  2. Print out my4GRD-5GRD Art Paper. It helps to have a grid.
  3. Go ahead and cut out your art cards. I have an attractive, cheap way to store them HERE.

Language Arts

  1. Check out my ILL color pictures. Those assignments are way better easier if it’s in color.


  1. Look over the history books and pacing in the assignments. We got a lot on audio. Many are difficult and I couldn’t read all of them aloud. Check out History Reading Times 4GRD
  2. If you want flashcards, print mine for the dates, mountains, and rivers I got nothing so far on the “largest states” and what not.
  3. If you need rhymes and memory hooks, bookmark these memory hooks for mountains and rivers.
  4. Check out Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum, p. 73. We are supposed to teach something from that page about the different regions as we go.  I have yet to do that right.  Unlike the rest of the geography facts, it’s not written into the online syllabus assignments.  I don’t get it.  Anyone?  Bueller?
  5. Print your outline maps for geography like this one.The syllabus mentions using a puzzle too. I use this one and this one and there’s a printable one HERE.


  1. PL: Listen to the pronunciation CD now. This year, if you do nothing else, learn the prayers and the pronunciation.
  2. PL: Consider the DVD’s, for YOU.  If this is your very first year with Latin ever, maybe buy the DVD’s and watch them yourself.
  3. If you do Beginning Latin, there’s less to do.  We switched.


  1. Compare the facts sheets to what you kid knows. Daily facts drills on something they already know is BORING. I spread out the frequency when it’s a known skill. That and some of the sheet are HUGE. I cut them in half, literally, with scissors.


  1. Read Week 1, Day 4 in your assignments.  That’s the playlist for the year.
  2. Bookmark my youtube playlist for 4GRD. Most of the assigned pieces of music are already linked for you.


  1. Print the poems out again. If you did the memory book printing above, you already have them once. Print them out again and paste them in the notebook. That way, he can just put in the drawings as he finishes them.


  1. Choose your saints NOW for reports and gather find the resources. We have a static list that every one does when they hit 4th grade, using the St. Joseph Picture Books.
  2. Print out six or so  oral report forms.
  3. Mark up your catechism. Some Q/A’s change next year.  Some appear for six weeks and then disappear until at least 8GRD.  Go HERE to get the overview and HERE to make notes in your catechism.


  1. Gather the “get ahead” supplies on my science supply lists.
  2. Put it in a dedicated box; be a nazi about it.  I seriously had a “hands off” roll of foil.  Science only!  It’s the only way to make sure you have the right supplies on the day.  Many supplies are “commonly found in the home,” but they are also commonly USED UP in the home.
  3. Pass an eye over the bird illustrations in the science book. If they’re “not enough” for you, make sure you have an alternate resource. We’ve used Golden Guides, Encyclopedias, and a North American bird book we found at Aldi ages ago. However, the Abeka bird cards we got used were the best. (For the dysgraphic kid, we got coloring pages and had him do it “accurately”)

*From the Teaching Tips school publication, it seems that the Abeka bird, flower, and taxonomy cards were used when teaching this year?  Dunno.  We pooped out on it since it’s not in the syllabus.


  1. Get ready for WRTR. Print my  “mini-lessons” pdf  (or the teaching cards version) so you have a script anytime you need to “teach this rule” or provide more practice (or learn it yourself). If you want to pace out your year and know the word lists ahead of time, get my pacing guide here.