Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Afterschooling in the Second Grade

School started on the day after Labor Day. With only three school days, there is approximately 4 hours of homework a week, with the majority of it being done on Mondays and Fridays. That curriculum/work-at-home has little to no flexibility.

So how do I afterschool? I supplement what they are already doing, and add in a few other things that I think might be interesting and fun.

They are reading The Courage of Sarah Noble. We read a different pioneer story with a boy as the main character. It also dealt with the issue of slavery, as the family in question was moving to Kansas Territory before it became a state so that when it did become a state, they could help make it a free state.

Now we are reading A Cricket in Times Square, which is on several "lists".

They are studying cave art as the first unit in art. I have ordered some additional books from the library, but the book on Jackson Pollock came in first. We skimmed it and then Samuel made his own art inspired by Pollock, using crayons instead of paints.

They are not working on multiplying or dividing in math, but we have had a half dozen or so times over the last month where we need to divide by 2 or 3, and I have had him "help" me figure it out.

As Cub Scouts gets in full swing, it seems that there are many opportunities for him to learn something and get rewarded (with a patch, belt loop, or pin) at the same time.

And there are ALWAYS animals. This is his main passion, if an average 7-year old has a passion. Be the Creature with the Kratt brothers is a new series being recorded on our DVR. We also have a binder where he received animal cards in the mail every 2 months, as well as many zoo trips. He knows things about animals I never dreamed existed.

So, even though I don't teach him everything at home, I am still "in charge" of his education. Thank goodness for his wonderful school, with curriculum I would choose if I were homeschooling, and teachers who really care.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Second Grade!

Samuel has finished his first week of second grade. I thought it would all be review. Oh no. They started reading The Courage of Sarah Noble, learned five Latin words, and began the learning the 2,9,11 triplet. In first grade they learned the +/- facts by "fact houses"; this year they'll learn all the fact triplets up through 18, as well as multi-digits with carrying and borrowing. He's loving it all and very proud of himself for being a second grader.

I'm still dedicated to afterschooling to his interests (like animals), providing good literature as bed-time reading, and encouraging creative play during non-school hours.

Samuel's extra-curricular activities this year include Awana and Cub Scouts, and in mid-October he wants to pick up swimming again.

I never wanted an only child and I always wanted to homeschool, but I love my life the way it turned out.