Monday, July 26, 2010

First Day Fun!

Wow, I cannot believe second grade is now officially underway! I had originally intended to begin the second week of August, but it looks like August is going to be a very busy month for us between baton-twirling camp, doctor's appointments, and a possible trip to Virginia!

Kristen began her day with a name collage. This went along with the lesson in her Language Arts book that God made her special and unique! She worked very hard on it, and was very proud of the end result.

We also began a calender board. I got the idea from Carisa over at 1+1+1=1. I thought it was really cool, and Kristen loves it!

The upper left corner she practices making the date with coins that I printed out and stuck velcro-dots on.

Underneath, she writes the day of the week, the date, and then she writes the entire date. (I laminated this and we use a dry-erase marker)

Underneath that, I attached a skip-counting sheet. I found this over at There, you'll find skip-counting sheets for numbers 2 on up! I really want to do this with her everyday to enforce some early multiplication skills. To the left of the Skip Counting, I attached the 2 muliplication table so she can make the connection between the skip counting and learning to multiply!

Also on our board is weather tracker, where we will be able to keep track of the weather for the entire week. She just chooses a card with the picture of the current weather outside, and attaches it on the velcro dot.

We also have a hundreds chart where we are going to chart the day of school it is and keep track. Once we reach a hundred, we'll have a little celebration. I also have a place value chart where she can record each day of school there as well.

Everything on our board is laminated and easily attaches with velcro dots.

Kristen has a passion for Ramona these days. I read the entire series to her at the beginning of the summer and she loved them! Ramona was a big favorite of mine when I was a kid, and I love that Ramona is now bringing my daughter joy.

I brought Kristen this past Friday to see the movie Beezus and Ramona and of course she loved that too. I was surprised to find Kristen deeply absorbed in reading Ramona and her Father herself today!

In the book Ramona and her Father, and also in the Beezus and Ramona movie, Ramona and her dad decide to try and draw the world's longest picture. I found a roll of drawing paper at the craft store, and today Kristen was hard at work making her own masterpiece just like Ramona.

Overall, we had a great day. We even managed to get a little time in at the park where we just brought our school books with us. I have a lot of hopes and plans for this school year, I can't wait to see how this year pans out!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

TCI Social Studies

I was very fortunate yesterday to meet a wonderful woman who used to be an editor for a wonderful educational book series called TCI. They offers a wide array of teaching text books and materials and have a wonderful Social Studies Alive curriculum for elementary grades. There are different components to the Social Studies Alive program that include My Community, Regions of My Community, and My Community and Beyond. Each component comes with a student book, teacher's manual, student workbook, transparancies, music CD, colored placards that correspond with the lesson.

Because she was the editor, this woman was given her own set of the curriculum as a reference to keep on hand. Since she had this curriculum on hand for so long, and really no place to put it, she gave it to me happily after meeting with me and Kristen. She was thrilled to have it go to a homeschool family.

I am so thankful to this woman, what she did was wonderful and I will never forget her.

Moving Beyond the Page

I decided to go with Moving Beyond the Page curriculum as one of my "main" curriculum this year. I did choose a couple others to supplement other subjects as well.

I was initially hooked by the fact that it is geared towards kids who enjoy more hands-on activities rather then tons of seatwork and bookwork. Don't get me wrong, Kristen does do seatwork, but I can get so much more out of her if she has something to touch, build, or draw. The price is a little steep for me, but I did like that they offer a couple different payment options.

My shipment arrived last week, and I can say now that I have it in hand, I am even more excited! The curriculum included so many wonderful storybooks. It also included some manipulatives and scales. I looked through the teacher's manuals and the lessons are well thought out, and the activities are well planned.

I think the one potential "downfall" would be that the illustrations on the worksheets are hand-drawn. I don't think this will be an issue for me, but if it does become an issue, I plan to supplement any pictures that I may need off the internet.

Overall, I am really excited. Kristen is thrilled and is eager to start.


Tomgirlz book series by Dana Lurie

Kristen has recently discovered a wonderful chapter book series called Tomgirlz, written by Dana Lurie. The characters in the book are a group of young girls who help each other through life's problems. The concept behind the books are to show young girls that they can stay true to themselves. One of the books even addresses bullying which unfortunately is a topic a lot of girls deal with these days. They are definitely worth reading!

Dana Lurie is a wonderful author who stands firmly behind her books and her fans.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Curriculum decisions for 2010-2011

I have thought long and hard about what exactly I wanted to do for her this coming school year. I did not want a repeat account of this past school year. I relied primarily on printing her worksheets of the web. While there is nothing wrong with doing it this way, it just did not work for me. I found myself frustrated, often staying up until the wee hours of the morning planning our day. She is by no means a work from a book kid. She is more hands-on, and prefers to touch and do. This is what I came up with:

Math: Math is Kristen's strong point. She is great at it, and loves it. I wanted to challenge her a bit, so I went with 2 maths this year.

Horizons Math Grade 2 and also Rod and Staff Math Grade 3.

Language Arts: Alpha Omega Lifepac Gold Language Arts

Moving Beyond the Page complete curriculum ages 6-8

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Birds Birds Birds!

Kristen had a birthday party to go to today. It was held at a wonderful place called Parrot Safari. Its a pet store catering only to birds! They also have several birds in house such as macaws, and other exotic birds. The staff spoke to the children about the different types of birds and then the children were allowed to pet them! It was really great. Kristen was a little scared at first but quickly warmed up! We had a great time and I am looking forward to going back soon!

Friday, July 9, 2010


This blog was created so I can document my journey in homeschooling my little girl. We began last winter when I had to pull her out of public school, and since then it has been an adventure to say the least. Following blogs has helped me through so much in my beginning this wonderful journey. It is my hope that maybe someone out there can find inspiration here.Homeschooling is a great adventure and I am blessed to share it with so many!