Early Thoughts on Second Grade…and the End of First Grade…and a Bit of Third Grade

09 Mar

We have 15 weeks of first grade left. I know it sounds trite, but I just can’t believe it. I really can’t. I spent so much time thinking about first grade, planning, reading, preparing, imagining…I was so excited to start first grade and we have really enjoyed this year.

Here is a document I created outlining the remainder of the year. Subject to change, of course. Remainder of First Grade

And now my thoughts are turning to second grade.

I spent a huge amount of time planning first grade. Partly because I was doing so much research about methods, and partly because I was doing so much research on curricula. Now that we’ve got the method down, and we’ve tasted quite a lot of curricula, planning second grade isn’t such a big deal.

I made a new document. It began when I was outlining our final weeks of first grade (see above document) and I decided, just for fun, to draw up a schedule for second grade.  All throughout this year, I kept wondering, “Are we going to finish FLL/SOTW/Singapore Mat/etc on time?” I’m not really worried about it, but I like knowing where we are. I then decided to create one for second grade as well.  I spent a few very happy hours creating this schedule. If you click on the link below, it will open in a Word document. I created it in Excel to make it easier to modify, but WordPress won’t allow the uploading of Excel documents, so I copied and pasted it to Word.

Second Grade Curiculum Plan

Here is a key to the plan:

The black lines separate the year into 4 terms.

SOTW: Story of the World Volume 2.

FLL: First Language Lessons Part 2. Numbers denote lessons.

Minimus: Numbers denote chapters. We will use the first volume during terms 1 and 2, then Minimus Secondus for the second half of the year.

GSWL: Getting Started with Latin. Numbers denote lessons. For the first 5 weeks, we will do 3 lessons per week, after that we will do 3 lessons during weeks that have 3 lessons in FLL, and 4 lessons when there are 2 lessons in FLL.

Math: Singapore Math, level 2A and 2B.

AP: ARTistic Pursuits. B1= book 1, B2=book 2.

BFSU: Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding. Denotes lesson. The blank spaces are there because for some lessons, we may want 3 weeks, but I’m not sure for which lessons. Or we may work more quickly. Hard to say. I was hoping to finish BFSU during second grade,  but the lessons at the bottom are those that we will still need to cover (written twice for scheduling purposes).

SS: Sequential Spelling. Numbers denote lessons. I’m not totally sure when we’ll begin this. This is very much open to adjustment. I’d like to begin the second book during second grade, but I’m not too worried about it.

This schedule is most definitely not set in stone. It will get changed, I’m sure of it, especially the holdidays (as you can see, we’re doing lessons over Christmas…I doubt that will be the case). I tried to create plenty of wiggle room as well. I did not, for example, double up any SOTW chapters, apart from one week when one of the chapters has only one section. We can always do more than one chapter some weeks if we fall behind, because I do want to finish SOTW on time. I’m not so worried about other areas, though. The weeks marked as ‘review’ in the math column can be used to get caught up, do review, or play math games.

Here’s another document I created, outlining the curricula we will use for 1st through 4th grades. Again, subject to change. Curriculum Plan 1-4.

Further  second grade planning:

  • History

When we finish SOTW level 1, sometime this summer, we’re going to take 4-6 weeks to do pre-history. I would have preferred to begin with pre-history, but Esa was raring to go with Ancient Egypt, so I went with the flow. We’ll learn about dinosaurs, pre-historic man, and touch on evolution. Some of you may be wondering how that meshes with our religion. Well, we believe that we have a creator, obviously, but the idea of plants and animals evolving isn’t a problem. The idea of the earth being billions of years old isn’t in conflict with our religion, either, and neither is the big bang, really. The idea that humans evolved from animals is, however, a problem, and one that I will address when it comes up…not entirely sure how, but I’ll think of something…

I’ve just purchased SOTW volume 2 and decided to spring for the CD version as well. I wasn’t going to initially because Amazon was selling it for over £38 ($60), which is highway robbery. I had a peek at Book Depository and they were selling it for £23! So I thought it would be a nice supplement. We can listen to it in the car during long journeys.

There’s a slight problem with the SOTW volume 2 Activity Guide. It’s not available new here at a decent price (sellers on Amazon are asking over £80! ($120), so instead of paying exorbitant shipping rates and risking it being lost in the mail and/or incurring customs fees by having it shipped from the States, I decided to download it from the Peace Hill Press Store. It’s available as a PDF.

Beware: You are not able to save it to your computer. You are given 5 downloads and have to get it all printed off in that time. Sadly, I wasted 2 of my downloads because Firefox was blocking the pop-up that had the actual file. I’ve since managed to print all the student pages when I opened it the next time with Internet Explorer. I had wanted to save it so I didn’t have to print off the teacher’s pages and could just open the file as and when needed. I understand why they won’t let you save it, but still…

  • Math

We’ll be using Singapore, level 2. We’ve loved Singapore and it’s really fostered Esa’s natural abilities with mental arithmetic. I’ll be using the Singapore Math Practice books as supplements, along with Family Math, The Book of Numbers, math games, and any other lovely things we find.

  • Science

We’ll be continuing with BFSU, which is THE BEST science curriculum I have seen…ok, I haven’t actually seen many (or any, apart from  online samples), but when something works for you, you love it. We’re loving it. This will probably last until the end of second grade as we’re moving quite slowly.

For nature study, we’ll use James Herriot’s Treasury for Children along with lots of other goodies and work on our nature journals.

I need to find a few more resources for science next year.

  • Handwriting

We’ll continue with Italic handwriting. Esa will probably still be on the level B workbook, but will move on to level C after a short time.

  • Writing

I’ll have another look at Writing With Ease, but mostly we will continue with copywork and narration and begin dictation. I plan to use Classical Writing, which uses the Progymnasmata, beginning in third grade.

  • Spelling

At some point during second grade we will resume Sequential Spelling. Well, we’ll probably start it from the beginning since we were only 18 lessons into it when I stopped it and I’m sure Esa will be needing the review. Amazingly, I am still seeing the benefits of those 18 lessons in his creative writing.

  • Grammar

We’ll continue with First Language Lessons, moving on to level 2.

  • Latin

We will be finishing with phonics instruction this summer and so will begin Latin this autumn. We will be using Minimus along with Getting Started With Latin. Actually, I plan to purchase GSWL first. It may be enough for first grade, but I’m not sure. I really love the colourful and engaging format of Minimus. I’ll purchase the student book and CD, but I won’t bother with the teacher’s manual. £43 is just too much for a few supplemental activities and worksheets. I can make those up myself if we need them. I’m really hoping to get to the States this summer, and if I do, I’ll purchase Lively Latin to be used in third grade.

  • Art

We will continue with ARTistic Pursuits, moving on to the second book whenever we’re finished with the first. We’ll also continue with artist study and will possibly be studying expressionist painters such as Wassily Kandinsky, Edvard Munich, Anita Malfatti, and August Macke.

  • Music

More of the same. I’ll choose a composer for each term, purchase a CD, and we’ll enjoy it during art, or whenever.

These plans aren’t terribly exciting as they don’t differ too much from first grade. I’m sure they will change, so I’m trying not to purchase too much in advance, but I will have to start making more purchases come May in order to have all of our spines by August so that I can organise/read/plan, etc and be ready by September. I’m not a good saver, and my husband would have kittens if he saw that many books being delivered within a week or 2, so I spread the book-buying out over a period of months. Many of these purchases will be funded by the books I sell on Amazon.

Hmmm…what else can I plan……..?


4 responses to “Early Thoughts on Second Grade…and the End of First Grade…and a Bit of Third Grade

  1. Steph @ AnnoyinglyDomestic

    March 9, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    I just have to say that this entry of yours was incredibly helpful to me (I’m a new subscriber, btw). We’re still in the homeschool planning stages and our boys are still going to school outside of the home, but as soon as we have our plan worked out, they’ll be learning at home. Anyway, you’ve just helped me put yet another piece of our puzzle together (specifically, the Latin one), so thank you.

    Best wishes,

    • whimsyway

      March 10, 2010 at 7:01 am

      Congrats on taking the homeschooling plunge! Glad I could help, Steph. 🙂 Your blog is beautiful, btw. 🙂

  2. dougwolven

    May 12, 2010 at 10:54 pm

    Your “school” is only as good as the teacher your child has that year.

    • whimsyway

      May 13, 2010 at 5:42 am

      You’re right. And that’s largely why he’s *not* in regular school. According to my yearly report (carried out by a teacher of 20+ years), I’m doing an excellent job. My son is advanced, shows an enthusiasm for learning, has an amazing vocabulary, and is reading 3 years ahead of his grade level. He’s learning about things most school children aren’t allowed to delve into until much later, and he’s loving it. And yes, he does get social interaction, in case you’re wondering (with children and adults of all ages and abilities.) 🙂 The post to which you’ve commented speaks a lot about planning and resources. It’s hard to judge my teaching from this post…and really, from this blog. The only way to judge my teaching is to be here. Which you’re not. 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: