Category Archives: Year 2

Year 2 Wrap Up for Kid Dos

 

Average weekly time: Together (5), Kid Dos alone (10), total hours (15ish)

 

Rate each book (like, neutral, dislike).

Add a few comments (my comments are italicized).

Any changes for next child?

Bible/Spiritual Reading

AO Genesis & Matthew

Neutral. Hard to understand, it’s the Bible, I like God, but other times I just don’t feel like listening to it.

Dislike. It’s good to cover Bible highlights, but these are stories any churched kid will get at some point, so I would rather read other parts of the Bible.

James & Philippians

Neutral. Hard to understand, it’s the Bible, I like God, but other times I just don’t feel like listening to it.

Like. Kid Dos and Kid Tres didn’t like this much, but I liked combining them (in the interest of time), and reading parts of the Bible kids aren’t usually exposed to.

More Saints

Like. Loved! It’s so fun, and like exciting, and it’s just fun to hear.

Neutral. I think the first book was more engaging. A lot of these saints were very recent, and I’d rather cover older saints and martyrs, but this was a decent multi-cultural assortment.

Psalms with Daddy and other kids

Neutral. People sometimes take the things that I remember, and sometimes  I just want to keep on reading.

Like. I really appreciate DH reading a Psalm with the kids in the evenings.

History/Bios

Child’s History of the World (first half)

Neutral. Except for a few chapters that were about Christians.

Like. I love CHOW for a read-aloud overview of world history.

Signature Bios: Clara Barton, Amelia Earhart, Queen Bess, Crazy Horse, Helen Keller, Annie Oakley, Edith Cavell, JJ Audubon, Betsy Ross, Theodore Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt, FDR, Buffalo Bill, Kit Carson, Mozart, Louisa May Alcott, Geronimo, Daniel Boone, George Washington, Leif Erikson

Like. I love them! Fun and everything.

Like. She read quite a few of the 51 options this year.

Little Duke

Neutral. Hard to understand, and it’s not a place in Germany.

Neutral. It’s not worth reading for the history, but I think the character development is good. If I am stretched for time, this is droppable for future kids, at least in YR 1 when so much goes over their heads.

Joan of Arc

Like. Loved. She’s a saint, and she’s so courageous and brave and determined. And she follows God’s orders that she feels like he’s saying.

Like. We read the Signature bio instead of the Diane Stanley, and it’s so much better. Better writing, and easier to follow.

Geography

Tree in the Trail

Neutral. It’s boring sometimes.

Like. We spent a little more time looking at the maps than I did with Kid Uno, and that makes it more worthwhile as a geography book.

Seabird

Neutral. It’s fun and other times it can be hard to understand, and the pictures are so tiny.

Dislike. I still don’t understand why this is scheduled as geography. It’s hard to follow the 4 generations, and I may sub or drop this for future kids.

Science

One Small Square: Backyard, Rainforest, Swamp

Like. Love. It’s about animals.

Like. These are always fun and interesting.

Among the People

Like. It’s fun and about animals, but some of the stories are a bit short. Interesting.

Like. These are keepers.

Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding

Neutral. I spent a lot of time planning and using BFSU to organize science readings and demonstrations, and not nearly as much time implanting it. It’s just not easy to use. Now that I have the whole Let’s Read and Find Out Series and a lot of other good science books, I may just read through those in future years. And if I have time and motivated kids, BFSU can be a good resource for discussion and projects.

Nature Journal

Dislike. Hate. It’s so bad. The things you put on my list are so hard, especially the one that goes “follow the seed and things all year round”.

Like. Kid Dos likes recording (like listing all the birds she’s seen) better than drawing. I liked making a list of options for her at the beginning of the year.

Literature

Shakespeare

Like. It’s fun, and active, and Shakespeare wrote it all, and he wrote such good stories like Much Ado About Nothing. That was my favorite one.

Neutral. It’s worth reading. Several plays are quite confusing. I made drawings for Comedy of Errors, and that helped us keep people straight.

Understood Betsy

Like. It’s fun, and it’s about a girl.

Like. Love this book.

Robin Hood

Like. It’s so fun, and so adventurous and exciting and sad and scary. I especially like Little John.

Like. Very time consuming, so I scheduled it in winter.

Wind in the Willows

Like. My grandma gave it to me for my birthday, and it’s so fun and it’s about animals, but it has no girls, or hardly any.

Like. We read the edition she was gifted (just different illustrations from our other version).

Fiction: mostly Black Stallion, American Girls, Harry Potter

Like. All of them. They’re so fun and exciting, and about girls.

Like. Her reading really took off this year.

Poetry

Walter De la Mare, James Whitcomb Riley, Christina Rossetti

Like. Cuz I memorized it, and my grandma’s father used to read it to her, and I memorized it for her birthday.

Like. These were all fairly enjoyable to read aloud.

Math

Rays Primary

Dislike. Hate even more than Miquon. It’s math, boring, hard, especially the man measurement ones, and different kinds of money.

Like. Simple and effective. There were several times during the year when I think she wasn’t developmentally ready for the next lesson, so we went sideways for a bit, and came back to it later.

I Love Math

Neutral. I’ve read all the books, and they get boring, but they can be fun, like a few stories.

Like. Worthwhile.

Miquon (Red and Blue)

Dislike. Hate, hate, hate. It’s so boring, and so hard, and it’s math.

Like. Kid Dos gets a mental block sometimes; doing the pages with her can help.

Writing

Rod&Staff 4

Neutral. It can be boring, but if I keep on writing I’ll learn how to write soon, and I really want to learn how to write.

Like. Her cursive is great.

Reading

McGuffey’s Second and Third Readers

Disike. Hate. So boring, and I have to read words, and there are no exciting stories, not fun at all.

Like. Very good practice at reading every word, not skipping or guessing, and sounding out syllables.

Foreign Language

Duolingo

Neutral. They always send me reminders when I don’t have time to do it. German is so hard, and when I try Greek it just sends me back cuz I don’t have the right letters on the keyboard.

Neutral. I wanted her to wait till next year to start, but she was very excited about German this year. I need to look into how to change the keyboard for different alphabets.

Salsa Spanish

Dislike. I can’t understand a single word they say.

Neutral. The kids pick up some Spanish vocab by watching them, and they are free and short episodes.

Art

Drawing Textbook

Dislike. It’s boring, and so hard sometimes.

Like. Not sure what to use for her next year.

Art Treasury

Dislike. I hate every single one, except the ballerina one. And I hate having to get out all the art stuff and put it back for something I don’t even like.

Like. This is such a good book with plenty of variety.

Scott Foresman 1, 2

Dislike. Same reason.

Neutral. The books are decent, but I might find something else that would engage Kid Dos in some type of art…it’s not her favorite subject.

Picture Study

JJ Audubon

Like. Love. It’s my favorite picture study.

Like. She spent extra free time looking at all the birds.

Cassat

Dislike. It only has babies. Or mostly babies.

Like. There were also several dogs.

Picasso

Dislike. It’s naked. And it’s boring dull colors, not very many bright ones.

Neutral. She’s right about the colors. But I always give the kids other options if they don’t like nudity in art.

Music

Hymns

Like. It’s so fun and musical and exciting and melodic.

Like. We have all learned some good worship music.

Celtic, Rag, Gospel, Bluegrass, Showtunes, Hip Hop, Polka, Jazz, Marches

Like. Three: showtunes, marches, celtic.

Like. Plenty of variety.

Piano Lessons

Neutral. It can be boring and hard to learn, but other times I like copying Dad and Granddad that they play.

Neutral. Good teacher, but maybe not the right instrument for Kid Dos.

Memorization/Recitation

Bible

Like. I liked the James one best.

Like. The Isaiah passage I picked was a bit too long and hard for everyone, but the rest have been manageable.

Poetry

Neutral. I liked Little Orphant Annie best. And Three Little Girls.

Like. She is fabulous at memorization.

Handicraft/Skill

Pudding, Grocery Shopping, Building Chicken Coop, Salamander Habitat, Parakeet Toys, Meal Prep, Paper Dolls, Pumpkin Carving, Tie Dye, Paper Snowflakes, Making Lunch, Hand Sewing, Embroidery, Building Snow Fort, Painting Mugs, Weaving, Kiwicrates, Birthday Cards, Puzzles, Painting, Cooking, Moving Concrete, Gardening, Caring for Chicks and Baby Rabbits

Like. Love. It’s so fun, and most of it is animals. I love playing with them and caring for them.

Like. A lot of variety this year. She tends to like animal-related activities more than crafts.

Outdoor Exploration

Hiking Cecret Lake, Peace Garden, Perseid Meteor Shower, Pineview Reservoir, Thanksgiving Point Farm, Millcreek Canyon, Uintas Lofty Lake, Cross E Ranch, DC Arboretum, DC Rock Creek Park, Jordan River—Rain, Muskrats, Beaver, Ducklings, Alantic Ocean, Indian River, Fishing, Florida Zoo, Edible Plants, Tulip Festival, Gilgal Sculpture Garden

Like. It’s so fun with salamanders [Cecret Lake].

Like. I love outings.

Sport/Physical Activity

Kids Community Ballet at Missio Dei

Like. It’s fun, and I have lots of friends, and the teachers are nice there, and I get to be very flexible. I can do the splits now.

Like. This was a good place for her for relationships and skills.

Running, Swimming, Playgrounds, Roller Blading, Biking, Hiking, Sledding, 5k, Boogie Boarding, Kayaking, Sledding, Jump Around, Ice Skating, Snowboarding, Basketball, Bowling, Tennis

Like. Love. So fun and exciting and cold and warm and wet and fast and bumpy and windy.

Like. All good stuff.

Horseback Riding at Luki Arabians

Like. Love. It’s horses, and the teachers are very nice, and I get to learn posting, and a hundred other loves!

Like. We need to figure out when and where for future lessons.

Cultural Event

Parade, Bees Game, Summer Olympics, Bluegrass Concert, Tuacahn Plays, Colorado Christian University trip, State Fair, DC trip, Museum of American History, Nutcracker, Learning German, Discovery Gateway, Grand America Tea, Weddings, Indian Restaurant, Sleeping Beauty Ballet, Ash Wednesday, Leonardo, Paquita Ballet, Coppelia Excerpts Ballet, Orthodox Church 

Like. Love, love, love. So fun and beautiful.

Like. So much fun stuff. She especially loved visiting St. Peter & Paul.

Service

Hosting Friends for Dinner, Babysitting, Hosting Housechurch, Taking Food and Flowers to Friends and Neighbors, Sunday Serve, VOA with Housechurch, Helping Mommy after surgery, Pioneer Park w/ Rescue Mission, Visiting Grammy, Decorating Church Building for Easter

Like. It’s fun and I actually get to be busy instead of doing school.

Like. I think we could do more, but we were more intentional than last year, so that was an improvement.

Overall evaluation:

Kid Dos’s suggestions for next year: More horse riding lessons, no math, maybe stop piano, get a dog, learn to write, go to FL and see my friend.

I think this year has challenged Kid Dos in a good way. A step up in the workload from last year, and this year instead of working with Kid Uno, she worked with Kid Tres, so she got to be the older and more experienced one. She has an amazing ability to remember stories in great detail, and narrate them verbatim, even weeks later. Her volume of free reading has increased a lot. She reads depending on what kick she’s on—animals, horses, Harry Potter, Star Wars.  I think some days it’s really hard for her to concentrate and “do school” but she generally has a good attitude about it. She spends a lot time imagining and acting things out. Next year, I may change her art to something more interesting for her. Maybe focus on theatre/drama/film instead of drawing/painting/crafting. She has grown a lot in responsibility over the year. We started strong with all the readings this year, but it got hard in the middle with my unexpected surgery, and toward the end with basement construction. I pared down some reading in the middle of the year. We had so much travel and so many activities—it’s been a very full year! There’s not a lot I would change for future children; I feel like the books and all our activities are enjoyable and well-rounded…it’s just a matter of fitting in so much good stuff.

 

 

 

 

 

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Kid Uno’s Year 2 Course of Study

This was how we PLANNED to do Year 2 with Kid Uno. I’ve noted where we have dropped, added, or substituted books from the AO Year 2 schedule.

Here are the updated evaluations of how it went: Year 2 (my version) and Year 2 (Kid Uno’s version).

Reading

  • (Daily) Kid Uno will read aloud from the Second McGuffey Reader (probably moving on to the Third). We will define vocabulary and talk about punctuation.

Writing

  • (Daily) She’ll work through the Grade Four Rod & Staff penmanship workbook.
  • Then she’ll move on to the Pentime series, starting with the Grade Five workbook, spending about 5-10 minutes a day completing a lesson or half a lesson.

Math

  • (Daily) We will work through the multiplication and division sections of Ray’s Primary Arithmetic. The first time through sequentially with beans and marbles and matches; the second time through alternating multiplication and division, mostly working out the problems in her head. If we finish the book, and whatever other exercises are in the Eclectic Manual, we may move on to Ray’s Intellectual Arithmetic. Or I may use Kitchen Table Math or some of Ruth Beechick’s suggestions for more practice.
  • (Weekly) I’ll read her one or two lessons from the Life of Fred series. She’ll write the answers on paper or a whiteboard.
  • (Weekly) She’ll do several pages from the Miquon books. I’ll assign the pages, sometimes explain how to do things, and correct them.
  • (Weekly) She’ll pick a book from the I Love Math series and read whatever she wants (for about 20-30 minutes)

Bible

  • (Weekly) Kid Uno will read aloud the passages scheduled by AO, and then narrate. Sometimes we’ll discuss the reading.
  • (Daily) We usually read to all the kids from Egermeier’s or The Jesus Storybook Bible.
  • (2-3x Weekly) We (or I) will pick 1-2 lengthy passages per term, and will memorize them together. I might also assign some lists to memorize (like the books of the Bible).

Poetry

  • (Daily) We’ll take turns reading the scheduled AO poets. I dropped Eugene Field because he sounds too sappy for me; I may replace him with an Australian poet or some haiku, or just read extra poems by the other scheduled poets.
  • Kid Uno will memorize and recite 1-2 poems per term.

History

We are not really following the AO history progression anymore.

  • I’m not using Our Island Story nor This Country of Ours. They are a bit dated, a bit imperialist, a bit racist, and a bit more detailed than I want for a six to nine year old. We still may use Our Island Story later, but probably not the This Country of Ours.
  • We are doing an overview of world history by reading A Child’s History of the World (the updated, not-racist version). One or two chapters a week. Half this year, and half in Year 3.
  • I’ve been buying lots of the Landmark and Signature series, and plan to assign one per week for Years 2-6. Haven’t decided yet whether to assign them in a particular order or just let Kid Uno pick whatever strikes her fancy. She will read the book, narrate to me, find some places on the globe, and put some people/dates on her timeline.
  • Trial and Triumph and The Little Duke: We’ll read as scheduled by AO.
  • I printed a free timeline from SCM and put it in a 3 ring binder. Every couple weeks, Kid Uno will add some names and dates from our readings.

Geography

  • (Weekly) Seabird and Tree in the Trail: Will read as scheduled.
  • We’ll use a little globe and a big US map to find places we read about.

Natural History/Science

  • Handbook of Nature Study: We didn’t touch it last year, and I don’t plan to. It’s for the teacher, not the student. It’s not open-and-go, and I think there are better modern options. I’m considering using The Amateur Naturalist and/or The Nature Handbook: A Guide to Observing the Great Outdoors for the other kids and future years.
  • (Weekly) Instead, we’ll finish Nature Connection. We started with the weather section, since Kid Uno is into weather, and then finished with the naturalist section. We’ll do the monthly section in Year 2.
  • (Weekly) She’ll also keep a nature journal through the year. I usually assign her something specific outside to draw or paint.
  • (Weekly) We will read four of the One Small Square series. There are twelve books, and I plan to read them all in Years 1-3. They cover various habitats, with the various animals and plants that live there.
  • The Burgess Animal Book for Children: Dropping this…it’s going in the Free Read pile because I can’t stand reading Burgess. I may sub The First Book of Mammals, and maybe something by Jim Arnosky.
  • (Daily) All our kids spend at least an hour outside daily, regardless of the weather. They get lots of nature time!
  • (Every other week) This is the year I’ll implement Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding. Half this year; half in Year 3. I’m considering doing it as a family, or at least with Kid Dos, too. That way, I’ll only need to teach it every other year. I may also try to find the suggested supplemental books at the library, and let Kid Uno pick a few to read.

Literature

  • We will read all the AO selections except
  • Parables from Nature. I pre-read a couple of the stories, and couldn’t stand the moralizing. Also, most of the forum comments I read said that the Year 1 children couldn’t understand much of it at all, and it took one or two years to grow into. So I decided not to bother, and instead we’ll read from
  • Among the….People. They are much more palatable. If we read 33 chapters per year, we will read all the books by Year 3.
  • For Shakespeare, we read Lamb’s. Then listen to it on Librivox. Then watch most of the plays on YouTube.

Art

  • (Weekly) I picked one artist per term (Mary Cassat, Raphaelle Peale, and Picasso), and bought a coffee table art book by each artist. I’ll pick one painting each week for Picture Study.
  • (Daily) Kid Uno will do about one lesson daily from the Drawing Textbook (unless she has another art project scheduled).
  • At the beginning of last year, I bought all the art supplies for the Usborne Art Treasury, and set them aside for school. Kid Uno picked one project every other week, and did it herself. There are about six projects left, so she’ll finish them up at the beginning of this year.
  • Then, she’ll probably move on to a couple of Scott Foresman art books…I’m still deciding how to use them. (Chapter by chapter? Concept by concept? Randomly?)
  • On alternate weeks, she’ll choose from free YouTube drawing lessons by Shoo Rayner, Mark Kistler, and Jan Brett (and others).

Music

  • (Weekly) I’m picking three genres of music per term, and we’ll use Pandora, Songza, and CDs to listen to a variety.
  • Hymns: I asked DH to pick some favorites, and then printed and filed them. We’ll sing them together a couple times a week (and go over the vocabulary).
  • Folksong: Does watching WeeSing DVDs count?
  • Kid Uno wants to play violin, so we are looking into music lessons. If we get a piano soon, we may add that this year, too (or instead).

Foreign Language

  • We may continue Spanish very informally

Handicrafts

  • Chores: She will learn some new ones 🙂
  • Possibly a pottery class?
  • Probably continue sewing or weaving…

Free Reads

  • Kid Uno is a reader–she will probably fly through all the AO Free Reads again, so I will be consulting all my favorite booklists again!

Sports

  • She and Kid Dos will probably start ballet again in the fall.
  • Sledding in the winter. Maybe learn to snowshoe or cross country ski?
  • Maybe swim lessons? We’ll see what she’s interested in this year.

Extras

There’s so much we can count as “school”! Pretty much just life in general. But I will try to keep track of the extras we do like

  • Zoo membership

Exams

  • At the end of each term, DH will do exams with Kid Uno. I’ll used the AO exams for Year 2, tweaking to fit the books we used.

And that was our first version of Ambleside’s Year 2!

Year 2 Wrap-up for Kid Uno (my version)

Average weekly time: Total 13 hours

Together (8 hours)/ Kid Uno independently (5 hours)

Rate each book or activity (like, neutral, dislike).

Add a few comments.

Any changes for next child?

Poetry and Recitation

Walter de la Mare

Neutral. Not super memorable.

James Whitcomb Riley

Like. But holy cow—reading that dialect aloud!

Cristina Rosetti

Like. I liked her far more than I expected. Kid Uno loves her.

Memorize at least one poem per term

Like. Kid Uno complains, and picks the shortest possible poems, but she is good at it, and it’s good for her. Learned “Little Orphant Annie” for Gigi for Christmas; did pretty well.

Music

Celtic, Rag, Gospel, Bluegrass, Showtunes, Hip Hop, Polka, Jazz, Marches

Like. AO music appreciation is all classical music, which is fine, BUT there is so much other music out there! So I picked a variety—some I thought Kid Uno would like, and some she wouldn’t—and listened to each genre for four weeks. I think she liked it all except jazz and hip hop.

Hymns

Like. This includes some non-hymns we sing frequently at church, and she gets really excited and sings loudly when there is one she has learned. 🙂

Violin Lessons

Like. Found a teacher and rented a violin beginning of Term 3—yay! Practices 10+ minutes per day. Bought a piano, and she plays around on that too, and composed some music.

Literature

Tales From Shakespeare

Like. We both think they are a bit repetitive—two couples get confused, girls disguise themselves as boys, everyone pairs off in the end. Except Macbeth—that was a breath of fresh air.

Pilgrim’s Progress (Part 1)

Neutral. The theology was over Kid Uno’s head, she hasn’t read much of the Bible so all the Biblical references were over her head, and reading it aloud was a tongue twister (lots of giggles at “the which”). Halfway through the year, I debated dropping it. But I decided to keep it for the exposure to the older English, and it is a classic that lots of children grew up reading. I’m very glad she had already read Little Pilgrim’s Progress, so she knew the storyline. It’s very Protestant, of course, and there were one or two derogatory references to the Pope, but I didn’t have to do any explaining since it went completely over her head anyway.

Understood Betsy

Like. Actually, I loved it. How did I never read this one as kid?! Looking forward to reading it to Kid Dos.

Wind in the Willows

Like. I remembered this as a very boring book from my childhood, but I really enjoyed reading it aloud. The language is very lyrical…and I need to keep my phone handy to look up some words the next time around.

Little Duke

Like. Started slowly, but a very good story. This is one I wish I had pre-read, to know who the characters were, what the historical significance was, and how to pronounce all the French. Eventually I printed a map so we could see what was happening. And AO schedules half a chapter per week, which we eventually doubled because that pace was way too slow—we kept forgetting it between readings.

Robin Hood

Like. Loved it. Great stories, funny. The chapters are so long—about 45 minutes to read one aloud. I scheduled the entire book (AO only does the first half), so two chapters a week. I wish I had pre-read the first couple chapters to get a feel for the language before reading aloud.

Science

One Small Square Backyard

Like. Good illustrations and organization. Not easy to narrate but retained fair amount. This one is the easiest for actually doing activities—Kid Uno made a little square in our backyard.

One Small Square Rainforest

Like. Good illustrations and organization. Not easy to narrate but retained fair amount.

One Small Square Night Sky

Like. Good illustrations and organization. Not easy to narrate but retained fair amount. This is my least favorite—I don’t think the small square idea works so well in the sky.

One Small Square Coral Reef

Like. Good illustrations and organization. Not easy to narrate but retained fair amount.

Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding (k-2; first half)

Like. This is not easy to use (it needs an editor and better formatting) and is time consuming. It requires some prep and pre-reading for me for each lesson. I did them in the order suggested by a mom online. But I love that it integrates all the sciences, and I love the discussion…we need to improve in discussion around here. I love that it explains so many scientific concepts (for me to teach) because I just don’t remember them from way back when. The activities are easy to do; some more engaging than others. Magnetism and gravity were big hits. I check out library books on most of the topics, and hope (not require) that Kid Uno reads them. I think it’s a more modern and comprehensive science resource than the Handbook of Nature Study used by AO.

Among the …. People

Like. Old and quaint. Nice combo of accurate animal descriptions and slight moral. I’m not tired of reading them yet, and we’ve learned quite a bit. Sometimes we look up pictures and info online or in a field guide.

Nature Connection

Like. Practical and versatile. Kid Uno picked activities from each of the monthly sections. I may use it again for Year 3 (there are plenty of monthly activities left).

History

Trial and Triumph

Dislike. Very much. It was ok until the end of the Francis of Assisi chapter, when the author’s offensive (and wrong, imo) theology suddenly poked its head out of its hole and started climbing out. That is not the kind of church history I want my kids to hear. So I dropped it, permanently. I might keep it around for later years (might be useful for analyzing a certain theological viewpoint). Or not. It was also difficult to read aloud, and finally I decided it wasn’t me…it’s poorly written, with lots of run-on sentences, and references to people and events with no background information, and long quotations that don’t mean much. Anyway, it’s a relief to have that book gone for good. Luke has been reading Acts to the kids at night, and next year we will read short biographical sketches of different saints (Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant), so that will be our “church history”, which is plenty at this age.

Child’s History of the World (First Half)

Like. I skipped the first three chapters, since we were reading Genesis anyway, and we read through chapter 46 this year. Kid Uno narrates every couple of paragraphs, and we follow closely with the globe. It has been a great overview of world history and geography. I’m using the most recent edition, so there is almost no racism/classim. I edit (on the fly) very infrequently, and feel like the author gives pretty fair treatment to different religions and people groups (other than the many references to “Christian” nations and rulers).

Joan of Arc (Stanley)

Neutral. This is the fourth Stanley book I’ve read, and I’m not a big fan. The pictures are good, but the writing isn’t very engaging. We read the Signature biography of Joan of Arc, too, and it was much better (though longer). I’m not going to schedule any more of Stanley’s books in the future. There are more interesting authors.

Biographies

Landmark Biographies

Like. But I am postponing them for Year 3 and beyond. Kid Uno started the year reading one per week. Some were good, and some she just didn’t get. So halfway through the year, we switched to the Signature series, which are written for younger children.

Signature Biographies

Like. These are so good for this age. I have vivid memories of Pasteur and Audubon from reading these as a kid, and Kid Uno has been gobbling them up…2-3 per week. With good narrations afterward. I bought 50 of the 51 (couldn’t justify $14 for Jackie O), and she has read about 2/3 of the series. Minor drawback is that they were written in the 50s and 60s, so slaves are referred to as “servants”, and there are references to “Negros” and “colored”, so we have discussed those terms. But the Crazy Horse and Geronimo and G.W. Carver bios are nicely done; not stereotypical. And there are lots of bios of women, which is awesome.

Geography

Tree in the Trail

Like. Not as good as Paddle; the storyline doesn’t flow so well. But the pictures are great, and the mapwork is good.

Seabird

Like. But there is very little geography. I would classify it more as technology, with about 3 chapters of geography, if that.

Copywork

Rod&Staff Penmanship 4

Like. Completely self-directed, takes about 10 minutes a day. Beautiful penmanship, and I like that the copywork is Bible and bird/animal themes. We split each two-page spread into three days.

Rod&Staff Penmanship 5

Like. Completely self-directed, takes about 10 minutes a day. Beautiful penmanship, and I like that the copywork is Bible and bird/animal themes. Kid Uno liked the Braille and Morse Code bits. We split each two-page spread into three days.

Math

Life of Fred

Neutral. Kid Uno loves it. The bloom has worn off for me; I’m tired of reading the story, and don’t find it funny anymore. We do it once a week, and she rarely remembers the previous concepts. We did Dogs and most of Edgewood. I will probably hand it over to her next year; it is solely a fun supplement, so if she still enjoys it, it’s all hers.

I Love Math books

Like. Kid Uno learned quite a bit from reading these. Toward the end of the year, she complained that there was nothing new; she had read them all several times. So I won’t schedule them again for her next year.

Ray’s Primary Arithmetic

Like. Methodical and easy to use (with Eclectic series teacher guide). I LOVE that one little book covers two years of math. Have thoroughly covered multiplication and division up to 100. She is not solid (needs to memorize the facts) but understands the concepts and is pretty good with the lower numbers. Introduction to lots of measurements at the end of the year. She did most of the work orally, till we got to the tables section. I ordered the Ray’s Key, and am glad I did, since the problems take longer to check now.

Miquon

Like. Have finished red and some of blue. Love that it introduces concepts (like equations and negative numbers) far earlier than traditional math. Also concepts not covered (so far) by Rays. Kid Uno does several pages 1-2x per week. Usually enjoys it—sometimes complains, but frequently does extra pages because she’s been having fun. I plan to finish the series next year.

I think we have a strong math program combining Rays and Miquon.

Bible and Memorization

AO Genesis and Matthew Selections

Neutral. I like having some Bible scheduled, and I like not having to schedule it. But the AO selections don’t touch any passages with violence or sex, which makes it disjointed and kind of random. And starting with Genesis and Matthew is not the most creative system ever. It’s good enough for now, though. We’ve had some nice discussions.

Memorize Bible Passage Each Term

Like. Kid Uno complains every day, and gets a bit overwhelmed by long passages. But I think it’s a much better way to memorize than random single verses. We have some friends who organized some verses for their own memorization (I think they are topical or thematic), and I may incorporate their selections next year.

Reading

McGuffey’s Third Reader

Like. Great for student read-aloud skills. Great for vocabulary. This level has been a challenge for her (vocabulary, pronunciation, and content). It’s good for learning to read critically. I’ve been asking Kid Uno to find the main idea in each paragraph, or asking her to explain it in her own words, or asking a question that must be answered in the paragraph.  I find the extreme moralistic tone highly entertaining, and Shalom likes most of the stories. Covers interesting topics. She reads aloud every day, breaking up each lesson into 2-3 days. Have started dictation with the vocabulary words at the end.

Art Appreciation

Mary Cassat

Like. The mirror, and female/child theme was interesting.

Raphaelle Peale

Like. All the still life paintins started to look the same after a while.

Pablo Picasso

Neutral. I thought I liked him more than I do.

Art Instruction

Art Treasury

Like. Kid Uno finished the book during Term 1.

Scott Foresman Art Grade 1, 2, 3

Like. Kid Uno picked one of two projects each week. She didn’t like the first grade book, but was enthusiastic about the second and third. It seemed a bit heavy on the cut, paste, paper type projects, but some of her projects were really cool. Self-directed.

Drawing Textbook

Like. She finished the book this year, and I think the daily practice really developed her skills in perspective and shape.

Nature Journal

Like. Combo of observation and art. Kid Uno doesn’t put much effort into it, so the results are fairly mediocre. About 1x per week. Might help to assign topics more methodically, but I think it’s ok as-is.

Sports

Ballet at SLC Ballet

Dislike. She and Kid Dos took the fall semester together. Neither of them were very enthusiastic. Partly because they didn’t perform at the end (we were out of town), and partly because the teacher was not very good. High cost, low yield.

Soccer at Sorensen Rec Center

Like. All three older kids did a month of spring soccer (2 games per week). Good overall; low cost, short time commitment, coaches and refs ranked non-existent to mediocre, but it was fun. Would do again.

 

Outdoor Exploration

I aim for one outing a week, and include travel/vacations

Like. One of my favorite aspects of homeschooling. Lots of zoo visits, This Is the Place State Park, lots of walks on the Jordan River trail, lots of parks, three weeks of FL beaches at Christmas, road trip to CA, Pacific Ocean, sledding, hikes, camping, Stockton visits, ice skating, exploring downtown SLC, Wheeler Farm, gardening, raising chicks and rabbits…It’s nice to keep track to see the variety of experiences over a year.

Handicraft

Skill building (chores, baking, big art projects)

Like. This category needs a different name. It includes art projects that are time consuming for me (clay sculpting and needle felting), chores she learned (cleaning the bathroom), skills Kid Uno wants to improve (baking—brownies, cookies, rice krispie treats, pie), and projects/activities she initiates (building forts, riding a bike, selling lemonade and paintings, cooking eggs and chili). About half way through the year, I realized she really wanted to do more cooking/baking, so I bumped it up on my priority list, and I’m glad I did.

Overall evaluation: We are very strong with all kinds of reading. I would like to use a bit more media (documentaries, listening to music, good movies, online games for rewards and drill, etc.) We love experiences and activities; I would like to make them a higher priority next year, but with a new baby, 3 school kids, a preschooler, and a toddler…we will see how much energy it takes. We are great at getting outside and being active. We have plenty of socializing (extended family, friends, nursing home, church, kid activities…). I have a good amount of art and craft materials available, and want to continue prioritizing crafts, art, music, cooking, building, etc.  I’d like to make board/card games more visible, and get some nice older-kid toys (like Legos). I plan to transition Kid Uno into mostly independent work for content subjects in Year 3, and to add some written narration toward the end of the year. It’s been a good, full year, and went very well overall.

Year 2 Wrap-up for Kid Uno (her version)

Average weekly time: Total 13 hours

Together (8 hours)/ Kid Uno independently (5 hours)

Rate each book or activity (like, neutral, dislike).

Add a few comments.

Any changes for next child?

Poetry and Recitation

Walter de la Mare

Neutral. Liked some, didn’t like some.

James Whitcomb Riley

Dislike. Most were long, and I didn’t really like it.

Christina Rossetti

Like. Love it. She’s my favorite poem writer.

Memorize at least one poem per term

Neutral. I liked doing Rossetti, but not the others.

Music

Celtic, Rag, Gospel, Bluegrass, Showtunes, Hip Hop, Polka, Jazz, Marches

Like. Polk and Marches. Neutral. The rest.

Hymns

Like. Silent Night. I also loved Amazing Grace.

Violin Lessons

Like. Love it.

Literature

Tales From Shakespeare

Neutral. I liked some and didn’t like others. They sounded beautiful.

Pilgrim’s Progress (Part 1)

Dislike. So grown up and talking, and I didn’t really understand it well.

Understood Betsy

Like. She’s cute and I love the story.

Wind in the Willows

Neutral. It’s all about boys.

Little Duke

Like. It’s very exciting.

Robin Hood

Like. Loved it. It’s very exciting and fun.

Science

One Small Square Backyard

Neutral. Kind of all about animals and no people and stuff.

One Small Square Rainforest

Neutral. Kind of all about animals and no people and stuff.

One Small Square Night Sky

Neutral. Kind of all about animals and no people and stuff.

One Small Square Coral Reef

Neutral. Kind of all about animals and no people and stuff.

Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding (k-2; first half)

Neutral. I liked some, I didn’t like some. I liked the candles [evaporation/condensation].

Among the …. People

Like. Love it. Because it has exciting stories about animals.

Nature Connection

Dislike. It wasn’t that fun.

History

Trial and Triumph

Dislike. Lots of it was about men.

Child’s History of the World (First Half)

Neutral. It’s all about history [yes, yes it is].

Joan of Arc (Stanley)

Neutral. It’s not about what she says and stuff [no dialogue].

Biographies

Landmark Biographies

Dislike. It was hard to understand.

Signature Biographies

Like. Love them! Well, some I like, some I dislike, so neutral. They’re all very interesting.

Geography

Tree in the Trail

Dislike. Kind of boring.

Seabird

Dislike. Boring.

Copywork

Rod&Staff Penmanship 4

Dislike. Hate it. I hate writing.

Rod&Staff Penmanship 5

Dislike. I still don’t like writing.

Math

Life of Fred

Like. It has stories.

I Love Math books

Neutral. I’ve read them over and over again. They’re not really interesting after a few times.

Ray’s Primary Arithmetic

Dislike. I hate math. It’s so hard, and I just don’t like it.

Miquon

Dislike. It’s math.

Bible and Memorization

AO Genesis and Matthew Selections

Like. Because it’s the Bible. It tells about God.

Memorize Bible Passage Each Term

Dislike. So hard.

Reading

McGuffey’s Third Reader

Dislike. It’s so boring. The second had stories, but the third is just so boring.

Art Appreciation

Mary Cassat

Like. Love it because it’s so pretty.

Raphaele Peale

Dislike. It’s all so…things that can’t move.

Pablo Picasso

Dislike. It’s all so dark.

Art Instruction

Art Treasury

Neutral. It’s good art.

Scott Foresman Art Grade 1, 2, 3

Like. Because they’re fun.

Drawing Textbook

Dislike. It’s so hard. You have to do all the right things, and I don’t get to draw what I want.

Nature Journal

Dislike. Because I have to draw nature, nature, NATURE!

Sports

Ballet at SLC Ballet

Neutral. I didn’t know Charlotte that well, she wasn’t like Miss Hillary. She taught us the same things. Why can’t I go into level 2 or 3? I’m tired of learning the same things over and over again.

Soccer at Sorensen Rec Center

Like. It’s fun. Same stuff as last year.

 Outdoor Exploration

I aim for one outing a week, and include travel/vacations

Like. I loved all that outdoor stuff. Fun.

Handicraft

Skill building (chores, baking, big art projects)

Like. Love. It’s fun. Baking, selling [favorites]

Suggestions for next year:

Lots of crafts, less math, lots of stories, lots of outside time.