Welcome to TwoCowgirls, the blog about our crazy life in Downtown Saint Paul!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Second Grade, First Quarter In Review

I'm almost done with my first quarter of homeschooling Millie!  So far so good.  We've both learned a lot, and made some really nice friends.

Here's what we've been doing, in detail:

Math - She's using Saxon Math 2, and breezing through it.  She really "gets" math.  We just finished lesson 50 today.  We've been skipping forward quite a bit, or else she'd be bored.  I think I'll be buying Saxon Math 3 before the school year is over.

Science - She spent a couple weeks learning about North American animals (...and culture...and geography.  She wrote and performed a 1 act play as part of her presentation on wolves), dinosaurs, volcanoes and plate tectonics, how machines work, and magnets/batteries. 

Reading/Read Alouds - She has been reading a book per week.  She's progressed to the "next level" of books already, and is now focusing on reading classics by DK Readers Level 4 (Black Beauty, in specific).  I'm really pleased with her progress!  We're also reading out loud each night.  She especially enjoyed The Cricket In Times Square and The Boxcar Children.

Spelling and Grammar - The spelling program that I'm using is helping a lot with phonics.  She's doing great!  Her first few weeks of grammar were focused on sentence structure and different types of sentences and punctuation.  Right now (and for the rest of 1st quarter) she's working on a writing unit.  Her first project was to write about an experience (The Renaissance Festival).  Right now she's working on writing about our trip to Craguns.  It's fun to see the progress she's making!

History - We're both LOVING history!  We started with the dawn of time, dinosaurs, evolution, etc.  It's been really fun (I can't believe how much I'm learning!).  She loved the book Life In The Great Ice Age

Fine Arts - She learned about Pieter Bruegel, and studied his use of color.  We used pastels to create warm and cool color pictures.  We also studied Georges Seurat, and made pictures using only tiny dots.  Millie started piano lessons, too.  Her teacher is fantastic, and Millie can read notes and play a few simple songs already :) 

Phy Ed - We haven't done as much as I'd like in this department.  Our phy ed has mainly been walking, biking, and hiking.  This is an area that definitely needs improvement for next quarter!

Field Trips and Out-of-the-home classes - We've taken MANY field trips during the 1st quarter!  Her first was out to Silverwood for a class about papermaking with her co-op friends.  She took another class out there about textures in nature, and made texture tiles out of clay, using textures she found on a nature walk.    When she was learning about fossils, we went hunting for fossils at the Lilydale Brickyard and made fossils at home using plaster of paris.  Every week for the past 5 weeks she's gone to a Farm Explorers class out at Gale Woods Farm in Minnetrista.  It's an absolutely fantastic class!  Only one of those left...  We are learning about the renaissance period later this year, so we took a trip out to the Renaissance Festival.  She learned about local history, dipped candles, and watched someone pretend to make ice cream at Gibbs Farm.  The last three outings of the quarter will be science day at the Roseville Library (Newtons 3rd law), a trip to see Luna Negra at the Ordway, and a mother/daughter trip to the theatre to see Dolphin Tail (she learned about Winter the dolphin last year, and it's now a movie, so we're going).

It's been a really great first quarter!  So far we're both loving this homeschool thing :)

What do I need to improve on?  Adding more phy ed into our day, and sticking to our monthly "unit of inquiries".  It was my intention to do more art, and  a lot of nature study.  We didn't do ANY nature study, which I'm disappointed about.  I'll have to up my efforts in the Spring.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Sounds like a fabulous first quarter! I wish my boys "got" math as easily, that is one of our hardest areas.

    Hope you guys enjoy the movie...we want to see that one as well. The boys hadn't heard about Winter before seeing the trailer for the movie, but they have since looked her up. She has her own Wikipedia page! ;)

    Thanks for sharing, looking forward to reading more of your blog!

    Mom to a 2nd grade homeschooler who is learning that a spelling curriculum CAN be fun!