Tag Archives: Charlotte Mason Math

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.

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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.

How We Do…Math

MATH = TEARS

That was my homeschool math experience.  😦 I guess I liked it early on, when there were speed drills, and counting M&Ms that I got to eat, and pennies that I got to keep…but fast-forward a couple years, and math was the most misery-inducing subject imaginable. I finished homeschool knowing I was horrible at math, and had to take an intermediate algebra class at the community college before going on to Algebra 101 or whatever it was….and I almost laughed out loud when the sweet professor told me I was good at the class and should go on to higher math! No thanks….but it was amazing what a difference it made having a professor teach me concepts, and having tutors available to help, rather than staring at a workbook page and trying to figure out problems that didn’t come out right no matter what I did. This is not meant to reflect poorly on my parents; homeschooling options were a lot more limited in the ’80s and ’90s than today!

And Ambleside Online, like most un-boxed homeschool curricula, leaves it up to the parent to choose a method for learning math. So, when it came to our children and math, I had two goals: They will not be afraid of math, and they will have a strong foundation in math so they can choose STEM careers if that’s the direction they want to take. And I decided that math would be one of the core elements of our homeschooling (along with writing and reading). So I started sorting through all the options; good old process of elimination. A Beka–bad memories. Saxon–maybe, but so many years of workbooks. Singapore–very interesting, but still a workbook…maybe later. Math-U-See and Math Mammoth–weird names 🙂 An abacus based curriculum a friend gave us–I couldn’t figure out the abacus before Kid Uno started kindergarten 😦 Ray’s–hmmm, that looked promising! A hundred year plus track record, inexpensive, non-consumable, compact (one little book for 2 years of school), all mental math and no writing, lots of manipulative practice, teacher intensive…It has been a good fit so far. Teacher intensive is important for reading, writing, and arithmetic, in my opinion. I discovered the Eclectic Manual of Methods about halfway through the Primary book, and it has been a great help in knowing how to use Ray’s. (BTW, the manual also contains teacher instruction for the McGuffey’s Readers, as well as other vintage books). So Ray’s is our main math source. We do it daily, usually a lesson or half a lesson. Kid Uno started when she was about 6. We first worked through the Addition section, and then the Subtraction section, using beans or marbles or matches for each problem. Then we went back through both sections, alternating addition and subtraction problems, and she answered them without using manipulatives, unless she got stuck on a problem.

But I also wanted to have the kids learn things from different angles; that way, if one approach doesn’t click, hopefully they won’t get bogged down and discouraged. So I started looking into some supplements. Life of Fred looked interesting. I bought the first couple elementary books, and Kid Uno loves LoF (she likes the stories and the questions) and I enjoy reading it. DH thinks it’s weird; obviously, he must have a different sense of humor! 🙂 I know some people use it as their main math, but I like it as a supplement…we read it once or twice a week, and I love how it introduces “advanced” concepts so naturally, and it just feels like a lighthearted approach. It is spendy, so it’s definitely the frosting on the cake. If I had to drop anything based on budget, LoF would be the first to go. Miquon is our other supplement, which Kid Uno does once or twice a week. It’s a very novel approach for me, so there is a little bit of prep involved before I hand her a few pages to complete. I definitely need the Lab Sheet Annotations–I don’t think I would understand how Miquon works without it. I haven’t used their other two books for teachers. I like that it gives her a bit of practice with writing and reading math problems, and how it covers math topics with a less straightforward approach than Ray’s. It also fills in some gaps (telling time, measurement, geometry). And although it’s consumable, it’s cheap enough that I don’t mind buying it for each child. Our final supplement is living books–there are some fun math books out there. Life of Fred fits in this category, and I also bought the I Love Math series, and some Anno books, and a few of the Young Math series. Our library has some random good options, too. Kid Uno picks whichever book she wants, and reads it for about 20-30 minutes once a week.

So far, so good! With Ray’s, Kid Uno covered Addition and Subtraction in Year 1, and I anticipate her working through Multiplication and Division in Year 2, as well as the measurements and other miscellaneous topics at the end of Ray’s. I plan to work through the Intellectual and Practical books after she finishes the Primary. According to the Manual of Methods, they are supposed to be used simultaneously, not subsequently the way Mott Media shows them.

She worked through a good chunk of the Miquon Orange and Red books; I think she’ll finish the series by the end of Year 3. And we will probably just keep reading through the Life of Fred series.

I also have Kitchen Table Math which I read and liked but haven’t really used. Maybe I’ll do some of it with the younger kids. Three or four different math approaches have been more than enough for me to juggle. 🙂 Ruth Beechik’s The Three R’s and You Can Teach Your Child Successfully: Grades 4-8 have been really useful resources for me, and they include a scope and sequence for each grade, if that is important to you. There are plenty of other resources out there for those of us without a strong background in math who might be a bit intimidated at teaching it to our kids!

After the kids complete the Ray’s series, I’m not sure what to do….maybe Singapore? Maybe Khan? We have a couple years to decide. Meanwhile, Kid Uno and Kid Dos are counting the money they just earned selling lemonade at the park 🙂