I’m exhausted. My house looks like it was hit by a tornado. But, Madison is speeding along with her schoolwork happily. The things I have learned from week two and three of homeschooling are:
1. There’s absolutely no point in making her do multiple things to master a concept unless she actually needs it and it’s rare that she does. And when we do multiple things, they are always different. If she grasps a concept and has to do anymore with it, she feels as though she’s missing out on focusing her time on something worthwhile, whether that is playing, reading, or learning something new.
2. As an extension of number 1, there are hands on learning activities for each lesson we do. I have started letting Madison choose if it’s something ‘extra’ she wants to do for fun or if it isn’t, we skip it and move on so she can spend time doing fun activities of her choice.
3. I do have her do some worksheets that require writing. Madison hates printing. And I don’t use the word hate very lightly. She is on her way to mastering cursive and typing and when she does so she can do either instead of printing, but for right now, I do think she needs the fine motor skills and it is important. So she gets very creative with her worksheets and adds her own creativity to each one. It takes longer to complete them because of this, but it is who she is and I applaud her for making them entertaining in her own way.
4. Madison is very driven when learning new information. As long as it isn’t something she already knows, she loves to learn. For hours. It’s very hard to keep up with her. She asks questions about everything throughout the day and relates what she learns to daily life. Thank God for Google. I have no idea what I’d do with it.
5. She requested grade skipping today and described what is actually subject acceleration. She misses being in a school environment very much. I had to explain her school wasn’t receptive to that idea, but that yes, would have been the best scenario. Am I bitter about it? You bet. But at the same time I don’t agree with the methods being taught in the public school right now or the choice of technology tools. But her and I both know she would be miserable in any of the second grade classrooms right now, so she is grateful she’s not bored, but was hurt that it was discouraged and not really made an option for her. She point blank said today that she knows school would have been great if she was able to be in 3rd or 4th grade.
6. I realized Madison learns even faster than I thought she did. Which honestly scares me to death. I knew she could grasp information above her grade level quickly, but what she is learning and retaining and the pace she is doing it in is amazing and blows my mind. It makes me rethink her being in a school setting completely. That is until college. We’ll see, I plan on having her take the SCAT through John Hopkins CTY Talent Search and if she qualifies we will consider having her take courses online through their CTY Online course offerings. If she was in K or 1st she would have qualified with her prior testing, but they require the SCAT for grades 2-6, but at least I know she has a good chance at qualifying since she would have prior with no problem. So if she does qualify and enjoys it maybe it was meant to be.
Here is what she has learned and mastered in the past two weeks:
Identify Money: Identify pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, and half-dollars and their values. Count pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters up to 50¢, Count Mixed Coins: Count mixed collection of coins, Model Money Amounts: Model the same amount in more than one way. Model an amount using the fewest coins, Add and Subtract Money: Solve addition and subtraction problems involving money, with and without regrouping, 100% mastery on each section quiz and 100% mastery on the Unit Test on Money.
Sort Objects: Sort objects by attributes of shape, size, or color. Recognize and explain how patterns are made (e.g. repetition, transformation, or other changes to attribute), Venn Diagrams: Sort objects using Venn diagram with one intersection, Pattern Rules: Describe a given pattern and explain the pattern rule, Build Patterns: Predict, extend, and create patterns that are pictorial or symbolic. Transfer patterns from one medium to another (e.g., change red, red, blue, green, red to 1,1,2,3,1), Compare Patterns: Compare repeating and growing patterns and analyze how they are generated, Real World Patterns: Identify patterns in the real world such as repeating, tessellating, and patchwork, Patterns on a Hundreds Chart: Identify number patterns on a hundred chart, Number Patterns: Predict and extend a linear pattern and 100 % mastery on the Unit Test on Patterns.
Position Words: Identify, locate, and move objects according to positional words such as to the left, above, and behind, Directional Words: Identify the location of objects according to two directions such as upper-right, upper-left, lower-right, and lower-left, Using a Map: Locate objects on the first quadrant of a coordinate grid, Plot Numbers on Number Line: Locate, plot, and identify known and unknown numbers on a number line from 0 to 50 by twos and from 1 to 100 by fives, and 100% mastery on the Unit Test on Positions.
We have started a new program for our Math facts. I had tried flashcards and worksheets and nothing seemed to be working. So when I heard such wonderful things about Times Attack, I went and purchased the download for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Madison has already mastered her addition facts and is now working on mastering her subtraction facts. She loves the game and begs to play it. It has a free demo download that you can find HERE.
Here is the certificate we printed out:
And then we went to Chuck E Cheese to celebrate!
She’s getting better at subtraction. There are 13 levels for subtraction versus 7 for addition.
And she has started multiplication and LOVES it! The game is a bit different and much more exciting. It won’t be long and she will have mastered subtraction and multiplication (without ever using flashcards) and move on to division.
• Plurals s, es; Summarizing: Plurals s and es; high frequency words; fluency with commas; vocabulary; reading a leveled text; summarizing; and writing.
• Double Consonants; Authors Purpose: The double consonants tt, pp, and ll; high frequency words; fluency focusing on reading with a sense of anticipation; vocabulary; reading a leveled text; Author’s Purpose; and writing.
• Vowel exception le; Root Words; Context Clues; Inferences: The vowel exception le; the root word “graph”; high frequency words; fluency focusing on phrasing; vocabulary and context clues; reading a leveled text; making inferences; and writing.
• Silent Consonants kn, wr; Authors Viewpoint: Silent consonants kn and wr; high frequency words; fluency with rhythm of poetry; vocabulary; reading a leveled text; author’s point of view; and writing.
Language Arts Extensions: Directions, Maps and Globes and Symbols and Keys
• Background/Story: Madison learned thematic content through discovery and achieve comprehension by reading literature with emphasis on vocabulary. Stories use controlled vocabulary to enhance phonemic awareness.
• Sounds, Letters & Words: Through a series of learning activities focused on discovery, recognition, and application, she practiced phonetic skills focusing on re-, un-, -eat, aw, au, dr and gh. She experienced words in a variety of modes, including rhyme and story.
We also watched educational videos on maps and globes as well as how to make a map and Madison is planning on drawing her map tomorrow.
Use of Instruments: Identify various instruments used to collect and analyze data.
Nature of Matter:
Physical Properties: Determine the physical properties of matter using customary and metric measurements that incorporate tools such as rulers, thermometers, and balances, Physical Changes: Identify matter as liquids, solids, and gases. Identify and describe examples of physical changes in the states of matter produced by heating and cooling, Weight: Investigate and realize that the weight of an object is equal to the sum of the weights of its parts, Observation: Use hand lenses to observe and document minute physical properties of objects, 100% mastery on lesson quizzes and 100% mastery on the Unit Test on Nature of Matter.
We also had fun doing several experiments!
The World in Spatial Terms:
Geographic tools: Use geographic tools, such as maps, globes, and atlases, to gather data about the Earth’s surface. Locate and name your community, state, country, and continent. Identify the major oceans: Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Arctic and Antarctic. Identify the seven continents: Asia, Europe, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, and Australia. Identify the hemispheres: Northern, Southern, Western, and Eastern. She also learned about the Equator, Prime Meridian, Longitude and Latitude. She passed the lesson quiz with 100%.
I have the 2nd grade word list from time4learning.com that includes 375 words. So I have her spell the words as I read them off from the sheet. So far we have averaged 40-50 words before I can find 10 she gets wrong. I’m chalking it up to handwriting practice. 😉 Then I will have her write each word three times at the beginning of the week. She can play a game online with the spelling list words. Then she takes the test. Here are the words in her wordbank that she has been tested on and knows for a 3 week period:
So I am going to move up to a harder spelling list and at the same time keep track of which words she misspells while she is writing and those will be our spelling words.
Madison also LOVES to read. We took a little break from the harder books and she’s had fun reading easy books she can get through in an hour. In the past two weeks, she’s read the Magic Tree House High Times for Heroes, Perfect Time for Pandas and Stallion by Starlight. She also read Freckle Juice, The Twits and Geronimo Stilton: The Mysterious Cheese Thief and Surf’s Up, Geronimo!
She has been reading Ramona and Beezus out loud to me every day and my husband Jeff has been reading Wind in the Willows to her each evening.
My next post will include pictures from extra activities from the past couple of weeks that we had fun doing. Hopefully I’ll be able to figure out how to strike a balance between homeschooling and the life I used to know where I had time to clean and fix dinner. LOL. I am sure each upcoming week will be a learning experience for both of us. 🙂