Not Back to School Blog Hop: Curriculum Week 2nd and PK3/4

Not Back to School Blog Hop

I figured this would be a good way to dip a toe back into blogging waters. I wrote a post earlier this year about curriculum, but things have changed a bit, so I thought I’d go back over our plans.

2nd Grade
Ben has started second grade and clearly has some strengths we can build on and weaknesses we need to develop. He’s quick to learn new things, but he’s easily frustrated if he thinks he can’t do something. We have to work on attitude and determination.

English
WriteShop Primary A and B: A is probably a little too easy for him, but it helps to build his confidence and that’s what I’m after with writing. He sees writing as an extension of handwriting rather than as a means of communication, so we’re starting slow and easy and progressing at a reasonable pace. We might hit C before the end of the year, but I doubt it.

Writing with Ease Level 1 and 2: We’re finishing off level 1 and then we’ll move to level 2. He actually really likes this, even though there is handwriting involved. He’s learned to accept a certain level of handwriting in his life and is willing to work on it.

All About Spelling Level 2: After putting it away for awhile, he’s agreed to get back to this because he’s now seeing how it helped his reading.

First Language Lessons Level 1 and 2: Again, we’re finishing off level 1 and then moving to level 2.

Assorted Mead workbooks: reading comprehension and handwriting. He has to work on handwriting, but he doesn’t enjoy Zaner-Blosser and the Mead stuff makes sense to him.

Reading: At this point, he’s ready to tackle small chapter books, but he’s “afraid” to tackle small chapter books, so we’re easing in with June Jam by Ron Roy and then working on The Unicorn’s Secret series because he likes that sort of thing.

Math Life of Fred Elementary series. We just finished Edgewood. We’re taking a break for the next two weeks and working on basic facts by playing the addition game from Edgewood and Sleeping Queens.

Science We’re using Building Foundations for Scientific Understanding, vol. 1. We are a little over half-way through which is where we should be, I think. He has science classes at the zoo and at MOSI every month. We also have some REAL Science Odyssey stuff that he uses. Sometimes. But, they involve lots of handwriting and that’s just not his gig yet.

History Story of the World Vol. 1 and then start Vol. 2. Based on my projections, he’ll be into vol. 2 in early January. He did not like this the first time we tried it, but now he asks for it. I think I just started too young with most things for him.

Art/Music/PE We’re doing a mix of things here. I’m still very high on Artistic Pursuits, but I have to be very careful how I introduce it to him (more on that in a minute). He’s using Phonics for Piano right now and doing pretty well. PE is dance class and we have a PE program from FamilyTimeFitness that we use when Mama’s feet allow us to (right now, that’s a big negative). He also gets some PE type stuff from sports when he decides to do them.

The reason I have to be careful about how I introduce it is that I bought a book (I know, a shocker) about project-based homeschooling and it has rocked how we homeschool in a really good way. The thing is that Ben is currently most passionate about art (his art) and he wants near total control in how he does things and what he does. So, I’ve started bringing out Artistic Pursuits for MYSELF and about half the time, he joins in with me and we learn how to use a new kind of art material or we learn a new technique and that seems to work for him. Anything other than that, and I get a huge negative reaction and he refuses to even try. I’m going to be talking a lot more about this book in a future post, just not today.

PreK 3/4

Katie is a whole different world of student. She is very close to reading on her own. She is verbal, independent, and desperate to do school. We started trying what we did with Ben at 3 with her and it wasn’t not working, so we’re trying what is actually a PreK4 program with her even though developmentally she’s 3 (she’ll be chronologically 4 in November, but won’t be developmentally there until May-ish).I settled on using Confessions of a Homeschooler’s K4 curriculum. We’re using Explode the Code, book 1, but we’re moving extremely slow. We do “school” two or three days a week, maximum. Katie does a science class at MOSI every month. We usually wander the zoo while Ben does his zoo class, though we may alter that this year. We’re considering a tot class at the zoo every so often, but I’m not convinced yet. She has tons of learning games on her LeapPad including Little Pim Spanish (the panda game, as she calls it). She also starts her new dance class (ballet and tap) at the same studio Ben will be using. We are counting sleeps and she is VERY excited.

This post is part of the Not Back to School Blog Hop hosted at ihomeschoolnetwork.com

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One thought on “Not Back to School Blog Hop: Curriculum Week 2nd and PK3/4

  1. Hi, found you on the NBTS blog hop. Sounds like you have a great year ahead of you!

    I found your comment about seeing writing as an extension of handwriting rather than a means of communication really interesting. I’m wondering if we have a bit of that going on here, too. My 10-year-old son is an extremely reluctant writer. It’s not that he doesn’t know how, or that he doesn’t have ideas to put on paper–it’s the actual mechanics of moving a pencil across the paper. He hates the way his handwriting looks, too. Really hoping to make some progress there this year!

    I love how your son decided to participate in Artistic Pursuits when you got it out for yourself–I’ve used a similar approach with my kids many times!

    Sounds like your daughter is going to be a very enthusiastic student! Have a fun year learning together!

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