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Showing posts from 2023

Review: Test Prep: Grade 2

I know that a lot of homeschoolers choose not to give test or do any sort of testing. Some states will require that you get test done or go to a place to have a test administered. In Texas, this does not apply to us. However I do give tests, quizzes and we do reviews. I do not tell our daughter when we are doing any of these except the review. I will mutter to myself while looking at my planner and say that week is a review week so she sometimes overhears this. Does this make her nervous? No. Solely because I do not make a big deal about it. I know a lot of kids get test anxiety and I do not want our daughter to think that they are a daunting thing. Last year We used Test Prep  and I really liked it. It touches and 2 of the most important classes in school: English and math. The English portions cover reading, comprehension, vocabulary, writing and grammar.  A lot of the reading will be reading passages and then answering the questions that go with them. The will need the skills of suf

Tips & Tricks: Setting Goals

I set goals for the school year at the beginning of the year. I go through all the curriculum and see what it goes over then make goals from that. For example in our Math-U-See curriculum for 1st grade it mostly goes over addition/subtraction and solving for X. While the child can use the blocks to help them I set the goal that by the end of the year I would like our daughter to be doing the problems either entirely on her own or using her finger or blocks as little as possible. For subjects like history and science my goals are they she remembers the main ideas from the sections we read. Our youngest, is 2, is just about to start school so she will be doing preschool. In preschool I just teach the basic things. So my goals for her are that by the end of the she can do the following: letters; upper and lower numbers; 0-25 counting shapes colors weather and what you wear for them animals and their sounds drawing different kinds of lines kinds of vehicles same, different sizes places bod

New Videos

New videos have been added to my Tips & Tricks page for  Reading Lessons . There will be lots more to come so be sure to check those out as well!

Review: Famous Figures of the Middle Ages & Renaissance

This year's history class is over the middle ages and the renaissance time periods. We got Famous Figures to go along with it since it was so nice to use for 1st grade. In the front of this book there are little paragraphs that go over who each person is and what they did that makes them so memorable. I did not really use these last year. In fact we only ended up using half of the pages. For each person you get a teacher cut out and a student cut out. Our daughter at first had fun coloring the people but by the middle of it she was bored and did not want to color them so instead I just had the teacher ones cut out and put together for her to play with.  Sometimes I do have her color them just so she learns some patience. She thinks it takes to long to color them. Or sometimes I will color them with her to show her she can take her time and enjoy coloring even if it take awhile. I wish that the book came with the little pins to to put them together with but I found them at Walmart

Review: Skill Sharpeners Geography - Grade 2

While our history textbook does have geography it is really only over the geography of the time and there is not a lot of it. So to compensate for this we use Skill Sharpeners Geography . I would not use this as your sole history curriculum but rather to supplement like we do. There are 16 different sections for your child to complete. Each one has passages to read, questions to answer and a hands-on activity to do at the end of the section. As to be expected there is a ton of map work for your kids to work on and there are a couple non map sections like suburbs vs city and ocean habitat. The kind of work that will be asked of your child are filling in the blanks (with and without a word bank), multiple choice and writing the answer. I will say that I wish some of the lines were longer because some answers will take a lot more space to write than what is provided for them. So for this we write the answers on a separate piece of paper and then I staple it to the workbook pages. This wor

Review: Word Fun

I really like using books in our homeschool so I was very pleased to see Word Fun in our 2nd grade kit. This book goes over the different types of words. Nouns, verb, adjective, adverb, pronoun, conjunction, interjection and preposition are all included. The drawing is really nice and colorful. Our daughter finds the art style to be very funny which keeps her interest in what I am reading and explaining to her. Each new type of word is explained and has the symbol for it. Then you get to read a few passages about if you were that type of word. I really like how they did this book not only does it give you the basic definition of the word but then the passages go more in-depth like saying that a proper noun has a capital letter. It introduces the different kinds of nouns not just giving a blanket idea of nouns. Hands down our favorite thing about this book is that at the end of each section about the kind of word there is a game to play! We often play the game multiple times while we a

Tips & Tricks: Do's and Don'ts

Here are some do's and don'ts when homeschooling. Feel free to add some in the comments below. Do's: Not all child are the same so get the curriculum that works best for each child Praise your child when they do something good or something that they have been struggling with Read a lot to your child Let them be a kid not everything has to be educational Take breaks if necessary Do your own schedule; you do not need to copy others Join a homeschool group if possible Go out in the world; museums, zoo, water park, etc. Always encourage your child Explore things your child show interest in Don'ts: Compare your child to another Yell or show frustration Just write everything for your child Tell your child they are doing bad or that they are behind Show your child grade until they are older Push something your child is not ready for Let other people question your child to make sure they are doing good unless your doctor is concerned and then get a professional; your sister'

Review: Me: A Compendium

This is such a cute all about me book. I love that Me: A Compendium has a hardcover book as well so the cover will not get bent. The beginning page has a dedication section. This is so cute! After your child finishes this book they can dedicate it to someone and give it to them as a gift. How adorable! There is a lot of drawing, coloring and writing in this art book. It has pages for things your child likes the most, does not like, favorites, etc. Foods, feelings, weather, where they live, holidays, etc. are all covered in this all about me book. Some pages are a bit more interactive. There is a pages that says how many steps from my room to the front door and another has them see how many jumping jacks they can do before getting tried. This is so cute. There were some harder ones for us like what team you cheer for. Since we are not into sport we picked like when we play on teams or her in gymnastics. I love that they have a about page for when your child was a baby. They have a who

Review: Building Blocks of Science 2nd

We have kept Building Block of Science for our science curriculum this year. What I like about this science curriculum is that it comes with a lot of things. You will get the textbook, teacher manual, student activity book, a lab notebook, lab kit and test. Some of the things you have to print out but the only ones that I print are the student book and the test everything else I just keep on my iPad as a PDF. I really like this science curriculum because it is really engaging. The pictures in the textbook are kind of cartoony and really vibrant and bright. Our daughter often thinks that they are super funny which gets her more interested. I also like how Building Blocks is laid out. There are 5 main subjects in science: chemistry, biology, physics, geology and astronomy. Each one in Book 2 has 4 chapters to it.  This books chemistry goes over tools used in history and today, acids and bases, how the acids/bases react, food and taste due to molecules. Biology covers tools used, protist

Review: Daily 6-Trait Grade 2

For 2nd grade I continued with Daily 6-Trait  for grammar lessons. I think it teaches things in an easy to understand way and to top it off our daughter has fun doing the work. There are 25 weeks of work in this curriculum with doing one page a day. So this curriculum is not overly intense and the work on each page is not a lot at all. An entire week will have work over the same concept that is apart about the main lesson for the unit. Each unit will be explained over 5 weeks. Before each week there is a parent/teacher 2 page spread. It will explain exactly how you should teach for that days page. The 5th day of each week if a writing prompt. It will tell you what prompt to have your child write about. One thing I wish was that it did better job at explaining how to expand your sentence. I did find a great picture online that helps with expanding your sentence and we use that during the writing prompts on day 5 of work.  The units you will go over are idea, organization, word choice, s

Review: Math-U-See Beta

We have been using Math-U-See for a couple years now and I must say that it has been an amazing curriculum for us. The teacher manual explains everything very nicely and you also get a DVD that has videos for each lesson incase you need some more help. A lot of people say that it is helpful to watch the videos with your child. If we ever come across a concept that I am not able to explain well enough then we will use the DVD but as a chemistry major I took math classes through calculus 3 and have a great understanding of math. I love that the curriculum includes a test booklet. As well has the Math-U-See website has pages you can print out if your child needs a little extra work. The block set is incredible helpful for when your child is first starting out and soon they will start to memorize the math facts and will not need the blocks to aid them in problem solving. The lessons typically go through A-G pages of work. Some people move onto the next lesson without finishing all the pag

Tips & Tricks: Taking Notes

I know in school a lot of kids have trouble with taking notes. This is a skill they will need for all of school, college and even some jobs they will need to take notes. So, it is important to learn and master a skill like this. I was a very studious child in school and took many notes in my time there. Here are some things I did. Each class had its own section in a binder or even its own binder loose paper with notes were in here I used notebooks for notes as well with every class having there own If your teacher says "this will be on the test" or "you need to remember this" then it is best to write this down If there were any vocab words or bold/italicized words in the textbook I write those down and what they mean Any equations get written down along with 1-3 example problem for how to solve or use the equations Important people mentioned and what they did write those down If something is mentioned a lot it is worth writing down The main idea of each lesson shoul

Review: 180 Days of Social Studies 2nd

For our history class, while I think Story of the World is amazing, I noticed that there was not a ton of focus on social studies and geography. Makes sense though since it is a history book. So, I went on the hunt for a social studies curriculum. I came across 180 Days of Social Studies . We have used the kinder and 1st grade versions. I think these are great and cover quite a lot so I have kept it going for 2nd grade. Just like with the other ones I wish the book was in color. It would make it more fun for our daughter to do I think. A great thing about this book is that it has 36 weeks worth of lessons and you only do 1 page a day. Now, if you have read before we have a 47 week school year but I do have the booklet spaced out to use throughout our whole school year. There are 4 main topics that this book goes over and those are history, civics, geography and economics.  There are a bunch of things covered in the 2nd grade version of 180 Days of Social Studies. It goes over things lo