Sunday, August 18, 2013

Second Grade: Week One

We had an amazing first week of second grade, and, quite to my surprise, the transition back to school was not fraught with screams of agony and despair easy and smooth.

Our "first" day of school was spent spelunking at the Moaning Caverns. Because we can't spelunk ourselves crazy every day, the rest of the week was spent tackling the 3 Rs with a splash of history, science, and copywork.


We began Saxon Math, and already Aidyn is enjoying math again. During first grade, we used a colorful, busy textbook with poor connections between chapters, so we switched this year, much to our mutual excitement. There may be a colorful-math-textbook-burning party later.

We start out the morning with calendar work, daily temperatures, a review of the hundreds chart and birthday graph before the day's lesson. After the lesson, we do one page of math in the morning and the corresponding back page later in the day (and if we completely forget, first thing the next morning, I swear).


Aidyn has progressed to Sadlier Phonics C, and this week was spent reviewing beginning and ending sounds, autumnal words, and getting back in the habit of writing.

We also started grammar, which excites the very essence of my grammar-loving soul, with Easy Grammar. During some days, we rock out to "Schoolhouse Rock" videos and brainstorm examples of parts of speech.

If you squint at the verb brainstorm (which Aidyn supplied ALL the verbs for), you can see "fart." Oh, boys.

This 'n' that:

  • We are also still practicing Victory Drills, aiming for a reading speed of 55 wpm.

  • We've started a handwriting program to help him with his doctor-like penmanship as well.

  • He's done some easy independent reading with an I-Spy book and one of his phonics books. I'm trying to lean more heavily on library books than his phonics books this year.


We are reading from The Usborne First Encyclopedia of Our World, which focuses on earth science.
So far, we have read, broadly, about the planet Earth and our solar system.


We are using Story of the World: Volume 1 and have read the first sections: What is History? and What is Archaeology?

We've also read from Virginia Burton's In the Beginning: Creations Stories from around the World and had an interesting conversation about Christian myths.

Memory Work:

This year we have begun memory work to sharpen his memorization and recall skills and eventually introduce him to Latin phrases. We started off easy with a famous quotation:

"Birds of a feather flock together."

We talked about its meaning, rehearsed it over and over, and he wrote it out on note paper. On Friday, he "performed" it for his dad, grandma, and me, but totally forgot what it meant until we coached him to the right answer.

Our plan is to practice memorization with more quotations, science data, historical data, Latin phrases, and other tidbits.


  1. What an excellent first week! I'm so glad it was such a success. I'm still trying to decide on a math program for when my girls are older so I'll look forward to hearing about how you like Saxon.

    1. So far, Aidyn LOVES Saxon. I've heard though that some kids hate the "repetitive" nature of Saxon, but I see it as gentle review and connections between lessons. Aidyn's the type of kid that likes to feel like he's mastered something rather than figure something out once and move on. I think Saxon's success is dependent on the personality and learning style of the student.