Sunday, June 17, 2012

Looking Back: Years 1 & 2 (AKA 1st & 2nd grades)

Now that I've touched on some of my ideals, lets go back and have a look at reality. How has this looked in this home with this kid? Well, we've just completed year 3 (3rd grade), so I've had to go back through my records to remind myself what we did those 2 years. We've done some trial and error - trying different types of books and materials figuring out what works best for us. So lets see how my brain does bringing back year 1 for us (take note of links, there are many free resources you may want to check out):

  • For Bible we read various Bible story books, went through his AWANA book, and read through 1st Corinthians.
  • Beginning Reading: Starfall, Word Mastery, and Progressive Phonics. We were rather relaxed with these materials as it has taken awhile for him to be ready to read. He especially enjoyed the stories at Progressive Phonics.
  • Character Study/Personal Development: we read through several Character Builder books in the Spyglass series. I got these on Paperback Swap, and I don't believe they are in print as this particular series. But I believe these books contain the same material: A Child's Book of Character Building, book 1, book 2.
  • Calendar: I actually started this in Kinder. I printed monthly calendars and each week we reviewed our week on Monday, he traced the numbers and wrote or drew something on days we had something planned.
  • Spanish: Spanish for Kids 2-12. I will have to look for the box that contains this book as I cannot locate it on Amazon. I had picked up the book at a used curriculum sale and purchased the accompanying CD online. It was a fun little intro program for kids.
  • For History we tried Ambleside Online's year one guide reading from An Island Story, Fifty Famous Stories Retold, and Viking Tales.
  • Literature: We read through a book of fairy tales given to us by Grandpa, A Child's Book of Poems, and started the Little House series. He loved Laura and Almonzo.
  • Math: Ray's New Primary Arithmetic. I really thought that was going well until we approached the end of the year and I realized he was not remembering things I thought he had learned. I am still trying to find a program that we can afford and will work for him.
  • And finally we dabbled in picture, composer and nature study. I've loosely followed Ambleside Online's guides for both artists and composers and have rather informally done nature study whenever it suited us. I noticed I did not include any science/nature readings in my records but do recall reading various animal and nature books like James Herriot's Treasury for Children.

And now, year 2:

I know I had him do some writing that year, very short items from our readings, like the Busy Bees (be obedient, be truthful . . .), but his fine motor was not proving ready for much writing yet. Reading also did not take off until the latter part of year 3. We primarily enjoyed our feast of books and practiced narration. Ah, those were good years.  :)

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