Almost halfway through the summer, I thought I’d give a little update on how we’re doing. Since we school year-round, we’re going strong in July, but have had plenty of vacation days. This summer is our transition from first grade to second grade, as that’s what many of our subjects are covering. First of all, I added a new page – Second Grade Curriculum 2011-2012.

Going into second grade, we are happy to report that all of our official phonics and phonics review programs have been completed. Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading did a great job systematically going through teaching reading and Explode the Code workbooks continued on with a great review for Satori. We finished ETC last month. All that’s left is to enjoy reading!

Math is going swimmingly with Singapore Math. What a relief to find something that really works for us and that we both enjoy doing. We have plenty of extras that will challenge her – of course the Singapore IP/CWP books, and some new ones that we’ll be trying out this fall. I mention them on the curriculum page.

All About Spelling is fantastic as usual, we will be ready to start Level 5 the first of August. There are only seven total levels for this program (the 7th is not even out yet), so I’m starting to wonder what we’ll use next.

We’re finally utilizing an actual writing program every single day, and two different ones to boot! Winning With Writing was just released and we’re one of the first users. We started with Level 3 and so far it’s a cinch to get to everyday, and only takes minutes. More about that in a blog post next week. We also succumbed once again to using Writing With Ease, a more classical method of teaching writing for young children. We actually finished WWE 1 in less than one month and will move on to WWE book 2 next week. We want to be ready to start the level 5 program in a year or so. I showed her the samples and now both Satori and I are extremely motivated to do what it takes to be ready for that. Later this year, we’ll include Killgallon writing so Satori can improve her style. Main writing goal for first grade? PARAGRAPHS!

Following the classical education timeframe, we’ll also be starting both Middle Ages history and Earth & Space science next month. We’re going to use our timeline more, and I’m getting that all setup now. I finally ordered the new Pandia Press Classical Education timeline, which seems to give more space to more recent times than their old timeline does that we have. Looking forward to using it!  We’re adding another science program – My Pals Are Here science. It was painful to slowly keep purchasing all the different components to this program – I originally thought we’d just use the $3 student textbooks! But, being the perfectionist that I am, I should’ve known I would get the full program.

Ooh, Adventures in America was just released today. We’ll be starting that program asap. 🙂

MCT Language Arts has been a refreshing change of pace for us in the LA department. We’re still working through Grammar Island and have started Music of the Hemispheres poetry. We only do this a few times a week but should ramp it up more this fall. Newly released just this past 4th of July weekend is their new literature program which will be in our hot little hands any day now. More about that as we start using it.

Vocabulary is coming along nicely. We mostly use Wordly Wise 3000 (workbook and online) and have just started Book 3. Satori just loves to use new vocabulary, so this is a big priority at our house. I also am earnestly working on expanding my own vocabulary and trying to use it in conversations with her. All this work has definitely paid off. We also are using Evan Moor Word a Day, but we do one week’s worth in one day and we probably won’t continue with that program. Sadlier-Oxford Vocabulary Workshop intrigues me, but I really don’t want to extend my curriculum addiction even further…

Languages… Finished Song School Latin and I had Minimus lying around which caught our eye. I figured we’d zip through that quickly just for fun. People say their children enjoy it but don’t retain much. The book says its for ages 7-10 to get exposure to Latin vocabulary, which is what SSL did nicely, so I figure we could give it a whirl. After that, Lively Latin 1 is all lined up for the fall, which will be our first serious Latin program.

I recently blogged about REAL Homeschool Spanish. We use both that and online Elementary Spanish. We haven’t done much this summer with Spanish, but for sure this fall we’ll be diving in more.

For Geography I recently discovered the Evan-Moor Daily Geography Practice books and we’re finishing up Grade 2 this month and will move on to Grade 3. We used to zoom through independent geography books (tried almost every series out there), so I wasn’t sure how much I’d like this series. There’s more parent interaction, and I didn’t think I’d be up for that for geography. But I’m really liking this series so we’ll continue with it. We do other fun stuff for geography like puzzles, games, and more.

I should have just started out saying that we are having fun with every subject. Critical Thinking/Logic is no exception. We’re burning through a bunch of Prufrock Press books, good thing they’re inexpensive! Again, we also enjoy puzzles and games for this.

As for art, we don’t get to that every week, but when we do we thoroughly enjoy ourselves.

Both mom and daughter started Getty-Dubay Italics handwriting, but I’m not sure how easy it is to just be able to convert to a new style. We’ll chug along and see how it all pans out. After being all excited learning to type/keyboard this spring, we haven’t practiced that yet this summer. I can definitely see she needs practice, so we’ll have to start that up again. I want to see her blogging on her own again!

Satori continues to write like a maniac. Last week we ran out of blank books and she started freaking out, escalating to sheer terror yesterday. We made a few homemade books, but she started up a huge list of stories she was antsy to get down on paper. We both breathed a big sigh of relief when our big Rainbow Resource order arrived this afternoon, with 20 blank books! Also in the shipment was an ITBS Grade 2 Test Prep teacher/student book. I am curious to see how she’ll do in such testing situations. For Grade 3, we have to start taking this test for Colorado state requirements, and then every other year after that. This will be nice practice for that test, which she won’t have to take until two more years.

Apologies for the long post with no pictures, this seems to be one of those rare instances.

Looking back at last year at this time, it seems we’ve made tons of progress!  We look forward to what the upcoming year brings.