Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A New Year: 2nd Grade

SECOND GRADE!! When did that happen? Ugh

I am looking at this year with different eyes because I taught 2nd grade for 5 years before G was born. I know what 2nd grade looks like in public school both urban & rural. When I look at G and think about my past students, he is ahead in many areas and behind in others. This discrepancy has more to do with my philosophy path rather than G's abilities. I follow more of the Well Trained Mind/ Classical path which in my interpretation focus more on math and reading up until now (actually even until next year) rather than spelling & writing. G's reading is right on track if not a grade or so above. We will be spending the year studying multiplication. But he's never had a spelling test or written a prescribed story. He has written me notes while I am talking on the phone and I have been pretty impressed with his sound spelling. So as I plan this coming year I have to remember to stick to my plan, which I've been really happy with, and keep off my dusty public school glasses.

This year I have new goals in mind for both of us. For me, plan more hands on activities. I did too much oral work, lets get it done so we can move on last year. We are studying Medieval History and Earth Science think of all the cool things we could do! I want to do them! I also want to go on more field trips.... maybe one a month. For G, I want him to learn to enjoy reading for pleasure, write letters to his best friends who moved away and begin to complete some assignments without me sitting right next to him. If we can progress in these areas we will have a great year.

Our Curriculum includes:
Story of the World 2 with picture notebook for narration
I also bought loads of literature to support this
Explode the Code 3-5
Math U See Beta (6 weeks) & Gamma
Draw Write Now
Language Lessons for the Very Young & Elementary Child
Earth Science (Earth 18 wks, Space 18 wks)
I will make up my own lessons from library & classroom resources.

On the shelf if we need it (have I mentioned I LOVE Paperback Swap):
Natural Speller
Sequential Spelling
Minimus Latin
Writing Strands 1 & 2
Four Square Writing

University Homeschool Music & Gym classes
Piano lessons
Homeschool Children's Choir
Library Club

Online Resources & Supplements
Book Adventures
e- Learning
Leon's Math Dojo
Sheppard Math Games
IXL Math
Enchanted Learning

Whew... I'm tired already... giggle


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The theme of summer reading at our local library was nature and over the course of the program they displayed many live life cycles: frogs, butterflies, ladybugs, silkworms. Well, when the program was over the silkworm cocoons needed homes and yep, we got a set. We had studied silkworms last year in history so it was really amazing to watch them grow and change. The new eggs have not started hatching and I don't know what I am going to do when they do.

Walking with Dinosaurs

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We were fortunate enough to go see the Walking with Dinosaurs arena show when it was close by. While it was beautiful and quite a sight to behold the music drowned out the narrators story. What actually was more interesting to me was that a few days before our local PBS station showed the documentary of the year or so before it started. The engineering behind the behemoths is truly awe inspiring. So to have seen all the trial and error and inner workings of these life size puppets made the experience more enjoyable. On a side note, we sat about halfway up in an NBA field house paying in the middle of the price tier and I don't regret this cheaper choice. These tickets are so over priced and the dinosaurs are so big there is no reason to pay more to sit lower.

China Leaning Kit from CHINA

China Learning Kit
A few months ago Jimmie blogged about a fellow mom in China who was creating a business by selling China learning kits. I jumped at the chance to receive one of these kits because I am a tactile person and I love being able to see and touch real objects. I was not disappointed.

The kits are $13 and include 10 objects and an identification pamphlet. It took about 25 days for the package to arrive. The stamps and writing on the envelope were just as exciting as the items inside.

G looking at the package, trying to figure out where it is from.

Paper Lantern

Red Money Pouch

The entire kit

Monday, July 6, 2009

Beautiful Picture Books

We have read some truly gorgeous picture books lately.
Check out your local library and see if they have them.
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Kids Bowl Free

We are really enjoying our Kid's Bowl Free Coupons this summer. Have you heard of this? Kids under 15, i think, get 2 free games every day. You just have to pay for shoes. We also purchased the family pass for 20 something dollars so Daddy & I could play. One day we went it would have been $28 for the three of us but with the coupons we only paid for shoes... $6 total! We go at least once a week but went more while Daddy was layed off from Chrysler. It is really fun and the bumpers save our self esteems... giggle. You need to see if there is a bowling alley in your area that participates.
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