Friday, July 30, 2010

Our new system - Starting 2nd Grade work...


We our beginning our second full year now of homeschooling. I can't believe we are starting second grade work but here we go..........!

Originally we pulled our son out of kindergarten in the public school system back in Feb. 09. This year begins a whole new system of learning with The Red Ranger doing more for himself.

We started by using the Sue Patrick Workbox System that I had read about on a fellow homeschoolers blog - Confessions of a Homeschooler. I found the way it was described on Confessions of a Homeschooler very easy to adapt for our usage.
First, its not a curriculum, its an organizational system to make things easier for you and your children. It will (and this is BIG) stop, it has for us at least, the "how long are we doing lessons today?", "when will we be done?", "how much more do we have to do?"
We had to adapt it for us because we just don't have a seperate room or space for the storage carts. Our classroom is all around us, living room, dining room, even part of the kitchen, not to mention lessons all over the house. So we are using a hanging file folder system/pocket chart that I recently got from the website Really Good Stuff.

All we do is use labels to direct our son to centers, his easel for art, his computer lessons and so on for things that can't fit into the pockets. Then as The Red Ranger finishes each folder he places the folder and work into a box placed under the chart and continues to the next folder. We have two built in 10 minute breaks and a half-hour lunch and there's also the new fitness program we just started which is helping with the fidgets of having to sit and learn after playing. I'm finding that it really focuses him on his learning and its fun as well.
I'll add pictures of just how we are set up soon and also the books we are using for our 2nd grade work as well as the fitness program we are using later.
There is one thing that I've learned going from 1st grade work into 2nd, we didn't have enough of a variety with the 1st grade work. I was only using one curriculum book with supplemental materials and I've now found that there is a gap. I'm thinking it might be because I switched the brand on the curriculum and we didn't have a broad base to start with the one book. Instead of only one comprehensive curriculum book we are now using three with many, many supplemental books to switch things up each day for fun.

For now these are our main books:
  • Learn at Home Series from Carson Dellosa - it gives you an entire year's worth of lesson plans to help you start off with done week by week. Its a great starting point.
  • Flash Kids Series - Complete Curriculum from B&N.
  • And the Big Second Grade Workbook from School Zone.
Supplemental Books:
  • Learning with Literature series, two books one each for a Math twist and Science Twist. For grades K-2. (Carson Dellosa)
  • Several Homework Booklets from Carson Dellosa on phonics, grammar, reading comprehension.
  • Supplemental Workbooks and flashcards for math, science, history, geography, space. Most of these have come from the $1 bins at Target and the Dollar Store. They are perfect for independent work, busy or I'm finished already work, or as compliments to other lessons. 
Another tool that I'm adapting for us is the Hot Dots system. They actually have extra dots for making your own flashcards, tests, etc. and if you have a child like mine that likes to check his own answers, they get immediate feedback on whether they are correct or not from the Hot Dots pen. I also purchased Learn Arounds from Really Good Stuff for the same reasons but with a different approach.
We also have a science program, HOP reading and I'm sure I'm forgetting stuff but its a start for this blog. I'll post how our day works along with a more detailed description of our lessons and system at a later date.

Summer Reading List:
The page looks so blank so here's our summer reading list (even though yes we have school during the summer). We are more than halfway through!

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