Second Block

I decided recently to shorten our blocks and repeat them throughout the year.  Thus, everyone is pretty much finishing up their second blocks this week and beginning their new blocks.

I tried out a new curriculum this year for a few of  our blocks.  I purchased the Christophorus Waldorf books for some of the blocks.  The books have a nice layout and the story form is nice.  However, so far we are not loving them.  Parks’ second block looked at heroes.  He began determining what the word hero means to him.  We then went through the Saints and Heroes book and chose a few of the stories.  Overall, the stories were okay.  His imagination was not sparked as it usually is with stories.  For some reason, they did not resonate with him.  I do plan to try another heroes block in the next semester but I will use materials from the library and Waldorf Essentials.

 

The same went with Sawyer’s first man/animal block.  She really wanted to study owls, but for some odd reason (maybe my type A ness popped out after I had done a lot of planning) I could not bring myself to flow with it.  If I had let her study owls in the beginning, the block may have flowed better.  She began by looking at the human and the parts of the human.  We then went through the mouse, the cow and the lion.  Again, in her seconds man/animal block, I will most likely follow the plan set up in Waldorf Essentials.

So the other two blocks went ok but not stellar.  Sims’ block was awesome!  His seconds block looked at business math and economics.  He enjoyed it so much, he asked to continue it before going into our Rome Block.  We used the book Striker Jones by Maggie Larche as our guide.  The book also has a teacher’s companion that is well worth the extra money (if purchased through your kindle it was only an additional $1.99).  The teacher’s manual laid out the concepts that each chapter covers, the definitions, discussion questions, and assignments.  He loved them all!  He also demonstrated the ability to apply the concepts throughout the month in our discussions and errands.  Next, he is going to work through the Pet Store math curriculum by Simply Charlotte Mason.  He is looking forward to the Pet Store.  He designed his logo and started deciding on his inventory.  Over the next few weeks, he will “run” the store using the principles that he learned through Striker Jones.

Now onto block three!  Parks will begin  Animal stories,(although this week we read a story from Buddha’s Apprentice at Bedtime).  Sawyer will begin the Norse myths and Sims will continue with Business Math.

 

Second Grade Plans

second grade
I am excited to do grades 2 and 4 this year since I have experienced them once already. For grade 2, I plan on doing blocks on world geography/form drawing, heroes and saints, folktales, geology and biomes, animal legends and physics.

For the first block, I plan on beginning with a reintroduction to form drawings in order to get back into the school year. Then we will move into geography. For Parks, I plan to have him make a globe and label the oceans and continents. He will also work with the other kids on geography using David Sobel’s Mapmaking with Children.

His first individual block will be on saints and heroes. The last time I taught second grade, I only taught Christian saints. This year, I plan to shift my focus on both heroes and saints-no matter what the religion. Thus, as of right now I plan on teaching the definition of hero and saint. We will then read through stories on Genevieve of Paris, Kun and Yu, Rabia of Basra, Nandanar and Lord Shive, Finn Mac Cool, Judah Maccabee, Elizabeth, Hiawatha, Martin, Francis, Basil and the Baal ShemTov. I think my son will love the idea of studying heroes!

His second independent block, I plan to take stories from the Buddha’ Apprentice at Bedtime by Dharmachari Nagaraja. The book contains tales of compassion and kindness that teach the principles of the Eightfold Noble Path. The book also works on teaching meditation to children. Parks is working very hard to control his anxiety. For him, anxiety manifests in the form of anger and frustration. I am excited to bring some stories into his schoolwork that will assist in his control over his anxiety and to work on meditation..

Next he will work on geology and biomes with the other two kiddos. I do not have these blocks completely finished yet, so I will have to give you more input as time goes on. I am planning to do a joint block at this time based on previous years. I found that the time after the holidays is tough for us. Everyone has a difficult time getting back into the groove of school. Thus, if we work together then we can get more done.

His last independent block is on animal legends. in this block , I plan to read to use the Christophorus book on animal legends and the stories from Waldorf Essentials on Grandfather Frog. Finally, to finish out the year, we will work together on a physics blocks. Parks and Sawyer will focus on projects using the Earth, Wind, Fire and Air book.

In addition to his blocks, Parks will work on Teaching Textbooks level 3, Apples and Pears book A (he started this last year and will finish it this year), Growing with Grammar level 2, nature study and journaling.