I enjoy writing this post each year. I always feel that we could have accomplished more or that we should have worked more on an area until I take the time to reflect. We had a fantastic year filled with many fun activities. I will work through each grade over the next few posts. Now onto the review of how grade two actually went!
My original goals for Parks:
Parks (second grade): 1) Read instructions independently 2)Reciprocity in discussions (he likes to take over the discussions) 3) journal 4)begin reading silently 5)work independently for 30 minutes 6)increase his independence with communicating his emotions and needs
Believe it or not, Parks met all of my goals (note, that these are not his goals but mine. He makes his own goals for the year and we discuss them). He continues to struggle with reading endurance, however he did wonderfully with reading his activities/instructions which allowed him to work more independently than he has in the past (yes, I know he is only in second grade, but I need him to be comfortable with working by himself a little bit). He also asks people questions and is doing very well with actually conversing with people instead of just talking to a person. The fourth goal was just recently accomplished-sort of. He continues to fight me on reading stories himself but he finally opened up to the idea of using Learning Ally to listen to audiobooks on his own. He loves it! Goal 6 was Parks’ biggest undertaking this year. He works through a lot in his brain-ie, it never stops thinking! He has worked very diligently this year to be aware of his emotions and what he needs. He can take a break when he needs it and is able to walk away/verbalize when he begins feeling overwhelmed.
Onto curriculum. I know this is what everyone wants to know about this time of the year.
Spelling: We started the year using Apples and Pears. He began to complain almost instantly. We worked through it for about two months and then took a break. I noticed that he began taking interest in spelling words that he used in daily life correctly so I went with it. We are now using All About Spelling in conjunction with the cursive Montessori movable alphabet. So far, it is going well. He is also enjoying Spell Well as an independent workbook.
Math: Parks star year off with Teaching Textbooks level 3. The work was a good fit but he did not enjoy doing math on the computer. Thus, we made another switch (the lesson to be learned here is that there is not one curriculum that fits all-unfortunately). We started out with going through the Life Of Fred Cats books until I found a good fit for him. He ended up working through the Math Mammoth level 2. Overall, he enjoyed Math Mammoth. We did break out the Montessori bank game and beads throughout the year to have some manipulatives.
Grammar: I know, I know-why is a second grader doing grammar? Well, mainly because he enjoys it. He chose to work on grammar first most days of the year. Everyone used the appropriate level of Growing with Grammar. We LOVED this series. Overall, it was very easy to adapt. Some days, Parks was ready and willing to write out the answers. Other days, he wasn’t so he could simply cross out what was incorrect and write above the sentence (such as “rewrite the sentence using the correct usage of capital letters) or insert the appropriate punctuation.
Main Lessons: We continue to love Waldorf Essentials. For Parks’ main lesson blocks, he worked on maps, heroes, trickster stories, stories from the Buddha’s Apprentice and geology. During the main lessons, Parks worked on comprehension, narration, copy work and art. The main lesson times are cherished as they are the most intimate part of schooling. We have lots of discussions as we each work on our drawing, painting or sculpture together.
Enrichment: We are a little over zealous in this area. 🙂 Parks took classes on physical science, chemistry, woodworking, orienteering, geocaching, drumming, horse back riding, gymnastics and art. Of course, he participated in our weekly hiking adventures as well.
I am very pleased with where he ended up this year. Throughout the summer we will continue to work on a couple of activities such as spelling and reading. I will give an update on those later as we just began three weeks ago on our new curriculum.