Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Apparently Disney Needs a New Ride

 Will, age 8, asked me to take a picture of a roller coaster he designed and wants to submit it to Disney. Here is his creation... of course it involves a train. :)

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Friday, June 24, 2011

2nd Grade Curriculum Reviews

Found this in my posts that were never published.  This is from the 2010-2011 school year.


We used Sonlight's Intro to World History Part I.  We studied mostly about Egypt, Greece, and Rome.  Will said his favorite was all the Greek Mythology stories. It took me a while to get used to the writing style in A Child's History of the World.  Eventually I came to realize that for his age, History should be just an introduction and read more like stories than a text book.  Later he will study more in depth, but will already have a general understanding from these early years.

Every time we discussed a new country, Will labeled it on our map.  This proved to be very beneficial for everyone.  Even Witt and Nathan were able to point places out... especially Italy because it's shaped like a boot! :)

At the end of the year, I gave him geography tests for the countries we studied in Africa and Europe, as well as a test of the continents.

The only thing I wish Sonlight had was more hands-on ideas for history.  I had to search other books and the internet for ideas beyond just reading from the book. However, we will used Sonlight again next year for History, but will move on to American History Part I.  We ordered the Core Tips CD for next year in hopes of finding those "extra" hands-on activities we want.


We used Sonlight's Grade 2 Readers and the corresponding LA sheets. At the beginning of the year, I really liked that the LA sheets went with what he was reading that day; however, as the year went on and his reading progressed, he wanted to read ahead of the schedule.  I adjusted his sheets to go with what he was reading, but eventually he was so far ahead that the sheets no longer coordinated.  We back-tracked and used the sheets anyway.

After he finished the Grade 2 Readers, he moved on to the Grade 3 Readers and completed four of those. For each book Will read, he drew a picture and wrote a couple of sentences about each book.  Then he would take a test on Book Adventure. Here are some of my favorite "book reports":

The Hill of Fire

The Big Balloon Race


The Long Way Westward

We used Sonlight's spelling word lists for the entire year.  Each day I gave him a different activity: 1) read the words and spell out loud while looking at them, 2) Make a sentence with the word, alphabetize, or some other exercise 3) Write words 2 times each, 4) Oral test without looking at words, 5) Written Test without looking at the words.  Spelling was his least favorite subject.  Many tears were shed over misspelled words. We will not be using this system next year.

We will used Sonlight's readers next year, but will not use their LA sheets.  I am satisfied with the amount of LA information Will learned this year, but some of the questions were strangely worded to where I had to find the teacher's manual to understand what they were asking for. Plus there was the whole non-corresponding issue... although that's a good problem to have based on our reasons.

For 3rd grade, Will will use Easy Grammar 3 and Daily Grams 3  for Language Arts and A Reason for Spelling C for well, spelling. :) (I also like that scripture is included in the spelling program.)


We used Book C of Getty-Dubay Italic.  Mid-way through the year cursive italics was introduced.  He's still working on the joins of his letters, but he's getting much better. We will continue with Book D next year.

By far, math is Will's best subject.  I am thoroughly satisfied with RightStart Math. It is a fabulous curriculum and we will continue with Level D next year.  This year in Level C he studied time, money, fractions, addition, subtraction, multiplication, area, perimeter, and more. 


We used Apologia's Exploring Creation with Astronomy. While we really enjoyed this, I personally found it hard to stay within a single topic for the whole year.  I like to bounce around a little bit among the sciences.

We did use the notebook and I found this to be a nice tool to teach Will how to start taking notes on important information.  I would read aloud and tell him what to write. Sometimes I would write for him and let him draw a picture about what I wrote.  

We really enjoyed the activities in the book and the extra ones in the notebook.  I think their favorite was the edible mars rovers, though!

Another fun one was mapping out the solar system on a scale of 1 inch= 35,000 miles.

(I really should have flipped this last picture around... oh well.)

While we did enjoy this curriculum, we will not stick with the submersion of a single topic next year. We are going to use A Reason for Science to give me the bounce-ability I prefer. :) Plus, it ties science and bible together. 


We did a few different things for Bible this year. We started out with Character Traits, moved on to a Who is Jesus? lapbook, and concluded the year using up sheets  from Bible Study Guide for All Ages that we had left over from last year.  We worked on memorizing the books of the Bible and looking up scriptures.  We also began working toward the Cub Scout Religious Emblem.

We will continue working toward the Cub Scout Religious Emblem and on Bible Study Guide for All Ages.

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