May 03, 2008

Second Grade

I can't believe we're almost starting second grade! Two years of homeschooling have absolutely flown by! And with second grade comes a bit more "stuff" we're going to be exploring. Here's what we'll be doing for second grade around here:

These are things we'll keep using:

Five in a Row, Volumes 1-3

Of Course we're sticking with this! This is our core program. Sometimes we take a detour to do a theme based unit study, but I'm always so glad the next week when we get back to our Five in a Row manual! It's just what fits. We use this for Science, Social Studies, Applied Math, Art, and Language Arts. I am still thrilled and amazed with how much Jacob comprehends when we school this way. We don't go in any particular order like a school system or textbook approach, but there is certainly no lack of information in his brain! And more importantly, he has a love for literature and learning new things about the world around him.

This is a great website that has many free unit studies and other resources. The unit studies are written by home schoolers who are willing to share their work with others. Sometimes there is a great book we want to study, but it isn't a Five in a Row book. More often than not, someone else has already written a unit to share that I find here and we use those to supplement our Five in a Row core.

We're sticking with this Math program, because it's working well. Jacob likes it, he's learning well, and it has enough repetition that I can even cross some out if it's a skill he's mastered. Because it's a spiral based learning program, it provides good review as well. We tried a different program this year that was more "out of the box" and it did not work for us. It was way out of my "box" just to try it! And I spent a lot of time trying to correlate the "out of the box" concept to one that was already in his "box." Wayyyyy too much work! We like our Horizons!

Here's what will be new this year:

Leading Little Ones to God is a great book, but it is, uuumm, not so exciting. I think we're both glad to be almost done with it! It has provided Jacob with a very good doctrinal foundation, and has been the springboard of many good conversations this year, including the conversation regarding his prayer for salvation! So, it is not to be overlooked. That said, I'm really excited about the book we'll be doing next! It is based on a brother and sister making their own discoveries about Jesus and has some clue searching/finding as a big part of it. (I think that part will motivate Jacob to want to find the answers.) Then they take the answer and apply it to daily life. Anyway, not a great description, but you can go look at Amazon and CBD for theirs! If we like it well enough, we'll do Discovering Jesus in Exodus as well.

I'm really looking forward to this program. I feel like Jacob really needs some structure in the Language Arts area. He needs some introduction to basic grammar concepts, some copywork practice, opportunities to write, and things like that. We've only done a very small amount of this stuff thus far. This is a consumable book that provides a gentle introduction to written language arts and picture study. It has short lessons and was developed following a Charlotte Mason style. After looking through the book, it looks like it's just what I was searching for. Hopefully I'll feel the same after a few weeks of using it! (This curriculum is available for all ages.)

Jacob really enjoys drawing things when he has directions on how best to do so. Then he remembers how he did it when he learned it, and uses it later. I thought this would be a good opportunity for some more drawing and writing practice combined.

We tried this one last year, but it didn't really stick. It was a bit over Jacob's head and he wasn't very motivated to be responsible! He "gets it" a lot better now, so we're going to try again. It's just a once a week lesson. He could really use some success, so I'm hoping it will provide an opportunity for us to praise him for things he is choosing to work on. We have a lot of opportunities, but Jacob does very well with something being structured like this.

Music For Little Mozarts

Jacob loves to sing his own songs. He sings much of his communication through the day. And he loves to "sing" the stories he's reading. Oftentimes he'll say a simple phrase, and immediately begins a rap or rhythmic song that he repeats until I answer him. He also enjoys a couple of his computer games that involve basic music composition skills. So, all these things combined, I asked him if he was interested in learning some more about music and piano. He was, so we're going to do this program. I've seen the books, and I hope we enjoy it as much as I think we will! It has a very unique way of teaching basic concepts. (I can't explain it well because I don't own the books yet, but the website has a lot more info.) I'm going to let Mattie participate in the lessons as much as I can too. You don't have to be around her for long to know how much she loves music!! (It has animals too as the main characters, so she'll be thrilled!)

And finally, we kind of dabble in some disorganized sort of nature study. I can't seem to find a groove that feels natural, so I just go with the flow when we're outside. Maybe that's what it's supposed to be! Sometimes we go outside with a specific purpose, but for the most part we just enjoy playing outdoors. If we find a worm, so be it! If not, we enjoy the wind and sunshine. He gives credit to God regularly for our beautiful days, flowers, clouds, birds, or gorgeous sunsets, and I suppose that's the most important part of it all. We'll find our groove eventually, I suppose. And I suppose it's possible that I'm doing it a lot more than I realize.

Overall, I'm really looking forward to another year! I can't believe we have two years behind us already. We're going to officially start June 1. (We school year round, so we only have to do 16 days per month. It's a lot more manageable for our relaxed schedule.) We are done a month early, but have had Spring Fever big time this year! Next year, I'd like to be almost finished so we can enjoy the beautiful spring. (And I'm also leaving some time hoping I'll need to take a month off to move.) We have two weeks left of this year, two weeks off, and then...

Second grade, here we come!

1 comment:

Linda said...

Looks like fun for you both! I often wish I had been able to school with the 3 of you (Marcy, Jen and you, Liss) to bounce things off of -- Seems like I would have felt better about it than I did. But she turned out great, thanks be to God, so I can't complain!

Can't wait to see you! LY