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What Your Fourth Grader Needs to Know: Fundamentals of a Good Fourth-Grade Education (Core Knowledge Series) by [Hirsch Jr, E.D.]
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What Your Fourth Grader Needs to Know: Fundamentals of a Good Fourth-Grade Education (Core Knowledge Series) Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 97 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this revised edition, Hirsch (retired English professor and author of Cultural Literacy) presents the basic backbone of a fourth grade curriculum in language arts, history and geography, visual arts, music, math and science. The content reaches far, mixing the standard signposts of an elementary education with a new focus on understanding the world beyond American shores. In the literature section, for example, adaptations of the legend of King Arthur, Treasure Island and Rip Van Winkle are enriched by stories from around the globe. The visual arts and geography and history sections have a global accent. Students cover American and European history as well as that of Chinese dynasties, African kingdoms and the rise of Islam; in art, they examine everything from Medieval architecture to the Taj Mahal, and from Chinese silk paintings to Leutze’s Washington Crossing the Delaware. The music section emphasizes both music-making and appreciation of masters like Mozart, Haydn and Handel, while the science and math chapters skirt the "joyless, soul-killing drudgery" of memorization and timed drills in favor of forward-looking lessons on basic geometry, meteorology and geology. While Hirsch offers expansive guidelines for parents and teachers in each subject, he acknowledges that this is not comprehensive and should be supplemented with additional lessons and materials. Overall though, this compendium sketches a coherent and creative curriculum that students and parents will find especially engaging in this era of education reform. Color illustrations not seen by PW.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

PRAISE FOR THE CORE KNOWLEDGE SERIES:

“A new vision for the education of America is being tested in Florida—and it works.”
Life magazine

“I wanted to take a moment and thank you for the knowledge I am able to give my children through your series. They absorb the information like sponges and can’t get enough of it. It is clear to me that children have the capability to learn so much more than is expected of them in most schools!” —A Parent, Florida

“Core Knowledge has increased the enthusiasm and commitment of our teachers, and our rising standardized test scores show that the program is effective.” —Gina M. McKinnon, PDC K–6, Mystic Valley Regional Charter School, Malden, Massachusetts

“We credit Core Knowledge for the improved achievement levels of our socioeconomically disadvantaged students.” —Joan Jamieson, Principal, Santa Barbara Community Academy, Santa Barbara, California


Product Details

  • File Size: 20675 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Delta; Revised edition (September 22, 2010)
  • Publication Date: September 22, 2010
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0042JSOB2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #327,296 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The "What Your Nth Grader Needs to Know" books are a narrative of the information your child should know separated into sections such as:

World History

American History

Science

Geography

Fine Arts

Math (list of what they should know)

English (list of what they should know)

Literature (excerpts, poems, sayings, stories)

The writing is wonderful! It flows. It's interesting. It is not dummied-down! My 4th grader (an average reader) reads it out loud so I can help with vocabulary. My 6th grader reads it independently. Unlike books aimed at students, these books are good reads for adults. I finally got interested in history!

The only drawback for homeschoolers wanting to use these as texts is that there are few if any activites or review questions included. However, you can get the Redwood Games worksheets that go along with the books (free) over at [...]

For homeschoolers, one need only add a math book and the worksheets. For parents of public school kids, these books will be an eye-opener in evaluating your child's education.

Karen Crowthe
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Format: Paperback
This and the other books in this series, are such a great idea.
They give a basic structure to what your child should be learning about each year, which is particularly important if your child is likely to change school districts, or go from private to public school, or from homeschooling into a school setting. Because so many schools use the Core Knowledge guidelines, your child won't have big gaps in her education, if she has been taught a curriculum based on these guidelines.
Each book in the series cover all the basic subjects: math, science, history, geography, language arts, art and music. The sections are broken down into small pieces, and one part can be taken up each day pretty easily.
Additional references are included for every subject, so your child can more fully explore the areas that interest him.
The language arts section includees excerpts from some great adventure classics, like "Treasure Island" and "Robinson Crusoe." It also covers poetry, grammar, and common sayings and phrases. The grammar is not in itself adequate, and I would recommend that homeschoolers use additional materials for grammar.
World Civilization covers the Middle Ages. European history is extensive, but this also includes a very nice look at Asia during this period of time. This is much more extensive than what I was taught of the Middle Ages during my entire elementary education. The geography section corresponds with this study, but also looks at all parts of the world.
American Civilization pretty much covers the period from the signing of the Constitution through the 1840's (Manifest Destiny and the Mexican War).
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We bought this to use with our daughter who just started fourth grade. We used the third grade version this summer and were pleased enough with it to give this one a try. As with the other, the history portions were well written and easy for her to understand. The choices for poetry and literature are just unusual enough for her to be interested in. If I were homeschooling, I wouldn't rely on this alone, but it does make a very helpful and handy tool for suplimenting a public school education.
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Format: Paperback
This book is great if you homeschool or want to help your child during the summer. The topics that this year covers includes: the Middle Ages, African Kingdoms, China, The American Revolution, Early Presidents and Politics, The Human Body - Circulation and Respiration, and Meteorology.

FYI: If you want to use it for homeschool, Hirsch has also made a teacher handbook. The Teacher Handbooks provide background about language arts, history and geography, visual arts, music, mathematics, and science. Each handbook has been written to look like the Core Knowledge Sequence. For each section in the Sequence, there is a matching section in the handbooks. The handbook is not necessary, but having the teacher guide probably will save you time.
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Format: Paperback
One reviewer stated that homeschoolers experience some difficulty making use of this series due to the lack of worksheets. Visit coreknowledge.org for details.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I went back to school for special education after many years in a different job. These books not only helped me to do very well on the Praxis exam for elementary content knowledge, they were a big help in preparing for resource classes.

For Mothers and Others who have been away from the classroom for many years, these books are great refreshers.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm a student studying to become an elementary school teacher, and in doing so, I needed a study guide for the CSET Multiple Subjects Exam. This book helped guide me in many different topics, especially the History and Geography, Visual Arts, Music, Mathematics, and Science. It's an easy to follow book, that I can definitely see useful for both teachers, parents, and students. I work with fourth grade students, and this book definitely helps covers material for forth graders.

The History/Geography topics include: World Geography (very detailed information on Mountains, Hemispheres, Coordinates!), Europe in the Middle Ages, The Rise of Islam, African Kingdoms, China: Dynasties and Conquerors, The American Revolution, Making a Constitutional Government, Early Presidents and Politics, and Reformers.
For this section, I love that they are not biased when it comes to history. Some elementary school history books try to hide the "real" facts of history, and this book is great when listing the true facts without the "romanticizing" the stories.

There are great poems, stories and myths, and they also teach about parts of speech, sentences, and punctuation. There are also uncommon sayings and phrases and how to interpret them.

The book includes art from the Middle Ages, Islam, Africa, China, and American Art. It has the elements of music, listening and understanding music, including some fourth grade songs, and U.S. Armed Forces songs.

For Math: Numbers and number sense, multiplication, division, fractions and decimals, measurement, and geometry.

And for Science: the human body, chemistry, electricity, geology, meteorology, and some science biographies.

Great book overall, highly recommended for all teachers, students, and parents. I highly suggest the other books in this series by the same author!
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