Level 4

( Grade 4 – Age 9-11 )

Build Your Library: Level 4 - The Modern WorldIt was an age of conflict and invention, colonialism and communism, war and revolution. The Modern World was (and is!) an exciting time to explore. Using Story of the World Volume 4 and the Usborne Encyclopedia of World History your spines, you’ll study the rise and fall of world powers, the race to the space age and witness the creation of inventions that would change the world forever.

You and your child will enjoy a variety of beautiful read aloud literature this year. You’ll travel down the rabbit hole with Alice in Alice in Wonderland. Experience the Chinese Taiping Rebellion first hand with Wang Lee in Rebels of the Heavenly Kingdom and follow along with Harry as he discovers that he’s really a famous wizard in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone .

Your child will develop a love of reading as they read an assortment of fine literature this year. They’ll explore different genres, like historical fiction selections – Rodzina and Number the Stars, non-fiction – Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr.?, realistic fiction like The School Story and fantasy like James and the Giant Peach. There’s something for everyone’s tastes!

The science focus this year is physics – specifically mechanics like how things work, light and color and inventors and their inventions. You’ll be using 4 main books throughout the year, which will guide your study of topics like Energy, Friction, Flight and Magnetism. Your child will complete a variety of projects this year, from designing their own working gadgets to performing experiments to explore the concepts they are studying.

If you’ve been using Build Your Library all along, you’ve been studying art through the stages of history using Usborne Introduction to Art and Discovering Great Artists. This year you’ll finish both of those books – concluding your study of art through history. Your child will create masterpieces and learn about art techniques used by artist that lived during the Modern period. You’ll also study poetry – even writing some of your own, with Knock at a Star: A Child’s Introduction to Poetry.

My lesson plans guide you through the school year effortlessly. Your planning is done for you so that you can spend your time on the important things, like teaching your children.

The 339 page PDF lesson plans include:

  • a daily and weekly schedule for 36 weeks of study
  • reading list
  • a set of 8-10 narration cards
  • vocabulary words, discussion questions, and copywork passages tied to the literature readings
  • poetry memorization
  • timeline figures
  • research projects
  • 33 activity pages (including mapwork)
  • science lessons (including 19 science activity pages)
  • art projects

You can see a sample week here:

Download Level 4 sample week



Purchase Level 4 – The Modern World – $39.95

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See the full booklist here:

Disclosure: This list contains affiliate links, meaning I get a small commission if you make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you.


The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child, Volume 4: The Modern Age (Spine)
The Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia of World History (Spine –used in Levels 1 – 4)
Commodore Perry in the Land of the Shogun
Fields of Fury: The American Civil War
Where Poppies Grow: A World War I Companion
Escape from Saigon: How a Vietnam War Orphan Became an American Boy


Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland 
The Twenty-One Balloons 
Rebels of the Heavenly Kingdom
From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
Nory Ryan’s Song
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Book 1)
The Singing Tree
Angel on the Square
When My Name Was Keoko
Redwall (Book 1)
Because of Winn-Dixie
Shooting Kabul


The Capture (Guardians of Ga’hoole, Book 1)
James and the Giant Peach
Bull Run
Stuart Little
The Toothpaste Millionaire
Maggie’s Door
The Wizard of Oz
The Water Horse
Number the Stars
Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes 
The Borrowers
Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr.?
The School Story
Journey to Jo’burg: A South African Story


Knock at a Star: A Child’s Introduction to Poetry (Spine)

Science: (All 5 books are considered spines and used through the entire year)

The New Way Things Work
Gizmos & Gadgets: Creating Science Contraptions That Work (& Knowing Why)
Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women
What Color is My World?: The Lost History of African-American Inventors
The Usborne Internet-Linked Science Encyclopedia


Discovering Great Artists: Hands-On Art for Children in the Styles of the Great Masters (Bright Ideas for Learning) (Spine)
The Children’s Interactive Story of Art (Spine)
Why is Art Full of Naked People? (Spine)

As a reminder, if you are going to purchase books we would greatly appreciate the use of our provided Amazon Links! Thanks!

New to Build Your Library or looking for some more information about our curriculum and lesson plans? Please see our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Have you already purchased Level 4 – The Modern World? We would love to hear what you think and share your experience with others – Please feel free to leave a product review on the Contact Us page! Thanks for your support!

Current Full Grade Level Products Available for Purchase:
Level 0 – Level 1 – Level 2Level 3Level 4 – Level 5 – Level 6Level 7Level 8Level 9Level 10 – Level 11 – Level 12

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About Build Your Library

Have you been looking for a literature based homeschool curriculum that is secular? How about a way to incorporate narration, copywork, dictation and memory work into your child’s education? Or art study that ties into history?

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