Monday, June 29, 2015

Faith - second grade

    Faith is an intense mixture of fiery determination and independence.  That "Me do it!" phase of toddlerhood was never outgrown. ;-) Most days she wants the comfort of me staying near her when she does her seatwork, but unsolicited help makes her prickly in a hurry. She's a strong little student who works better independently than any of her older siblings did at this age.

   She loves roller skating lessons. A solid T-stop is her current nemesis. Last week her coach bragged up her latest trick. While rolling she can hold one foot out straight in front of her and bend down like a squat on the other leg. No hands. Dude!

   In west coast swing she and her partner are the *cutest* couple on the floor. Hands down. They rock it. They mastered the new routine they've been working on before many of the big kids.

 She also has the most delicious dark brown eyes!

     Here are the plans for her second grade school year.


  • Grammar: Rod and Staff English 3 - We'll do this orally, skipping the writing lessons, diagrams on a whiteboard, short 'n sweet
  • Spelling: Rod and Staff's Spelling by Sound and Structure 3
  • Writing: Her history will have plenty, but not all of it will be appropriate for her skill level. I'm planning on having enough writing elsewhere that we can just pause if history has some good rabbit trails. She's already using Primary Lessons in Language and Composition (Maxwell), and it's working well, so we'll just continue with that.
  • Penmanship: Beginning cursive with Zaner-Bloser Handwriting 2C, because I found an unused one for $2 at a thrift shop and the font is pretty enough. She has such sweet print already that I'm picky about what I give her to copy. (She would have had my handwriting across the top of her tablet paper otherwise.)
  • Literature: Besides LOTS of American Girl reading and read alouds...
            Aesop fables
            A Child's Garden of Verses
            The Racketty-Packetty House
            Milly Molly Mandy
            Velveteen Rabbit
            My Father's Dragon
            Little House?
            My Book House volume 2


  • finish part of Song School Spanish, continue with The Fun Spanish level 1


  • Horizons 3 is her main, everyday book. She goes back and forth between saying it's boring and too hard. Those statements are best translated as "I resent having to practice this skill again" and "I don't know this one inside out and backwards," respectively. Beast Academy 3 is an extra to shake it up and keep her engaged. (I keep Math in Focus in mind just in case...I'm not sure Horizons' challenge level will keep her satiated long term.)


  • American history, based on the American Girl books - We're using Portraits of American Girlhood and several other resources for this, hoping to cover most if not all of the historical girls. Faith and Grace are somewhat combined in this. I don't expect Faith to read all the books, but probably the first 2 books or so of most of them.


  • fleshed out rabbit trails done unit study style from the American Girl study, this will include nature study, astronomy, health, nutrition, and more ****Update: Well, we'll probably roll these plans into read alouds instead since we already have most of the books. We won a totally free copy of Shepherd Science's new Introductory Science course! It has on demand videos, a correlated workbook, and just enough activities to not make mom feel overwhelmed. We chose level B for her based on the samples. She is super excited! It covers a wide variety of topics in an age appropriate depth. ****

American geography

  • 50 States from Barefoot Ragamuffin, Eat Your Way Around the USA, and mail order travel guides from all the states (well, except for 2, Massachusetts was download only and Washington charged for theirs)

**** Mid-year updates added March 2016****

  • Rod and Staff English 3 has been a great fit. She finds most of it pretty easy. 
  • Spelling 3 was too ambitious. She took longer than anticipated to get through the 2 book, and we just set the subject aside for the rest of this year. She'll pick up the 3 book at the beginning of 3rd grade instead.
  • Maxwell's Primary lessons was fabulous! Wonderful little book. We broke many of the lessons into half and spread them across two days. It doesn't babysit and hand hold like modern curricula, which was a perk for this kiddo. Somewhere through the year she decided she'd rather just write out the Rod and Staff English lessons and kill two birds with one stone, so Maxwell is currently shelved.
  • My literature plans and her literature plans didn't collide. She read every The Littles book known to man, and is currently *loving* the shorter Burgess chapter books. 
  • We lost that penmanship book before 2nd grade started. O_o She started with the first cursive book from Brookdale House, and then the second one they sell on Amazon. She's nearly done with the latter now, and will just start adding subjects to be done in cursive until they're all in cursive. 
Language - The Fun Spanish has been a perfect fit. In January I made her a Duolingo account and she also practices in that daily. She still asks for help spelling the Spanish or the English occasionally.

Math. Oi. Math and this child. She did one unit in Beast Academy and firmly declared she was never going to do Beast Academy e.v.e.r. again. I've never seen her react to a school book like that. It's shelved.
   Horizons wasn't working as well as it had in the past. She was racing, saying she was bored, Horizons was stupid, gah. I handed her Math in Focus 3. She calmed right down and enjoyed math again. After a couple months the newness wore off, MiF was now stupid, and she was misty eyed about the Horizons math of her youth. We bounced back, doubled/skipped lessons to get her where she belonged, and started moving forward again. Lather, rinse, repeat. She's currently quite content in MiF, but I'm not even putting Horizons back into the cupboard. The back and forth between two very different approaches is working and I'm more than happy with her skill development. I'll plan on ordering the next level of both for 3rd grade.

Science and history have gone swimmingly. No complaints.

All those grand American geography plans? Yeah, none of that materialized. It was a dust collector. 

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