Saturday, April 26, 2014

School Profile -- Mariposa, 2nd grade

Well, school is almost over for the year so I figured I better do a "school profile" for each kid before I put all the books away!

Mariposa -- 2nd grade
age 6.75 in September, age 7.4 now at the end of school
 We follow Mother of Divine Grace (MODG) for our schooling, and I start each child in "Kindergarten" when they are 4 years old in September.  The program has a gentle start so all the kids have been able to handle this just fine.  (I modify the religion program since MODG does 1st Communion prep in the 1st grade year, which would be when my kids are 5...just too young!)  For Mariposa, we work together about 1 hour a day, for the 3 days that Mrs. N is here to watch Sedric.  We also fit in whatever we can in the afternoons and the 2 other mornings without child care, but it doesn't amount to much time--maybe 1 or 2 more hours.
A Beka grade 2--just learning multiplication.
She is picking it up very well!  She does great on addition and
subtraction too (borrowing and carrying).
The math program works very well since it is worksheet-based, and all my kids enjoy worksheets.  There is no formal teaching other than what is on the worksheet.  She also does speed drills each day.  I do almost all the math along with Mariposa, although she has progressed to where she can do most/some independently if I need her to for that day.

This is her weekly checklist (Seddy decorated it).
This checklist has worked out well for Mariposa, because it is not divided by specific day.  She/we can choose what work to do on a given day, depending on our schedule.

An overview of (almost) all of our grade 2 books.
Let's see, we have:
Math: A Beka Arithmetic 2 (as described above)
Handwriting: we started with "A Reason For Handwriting" (not shown) but we finished it.  I like that program because it is broken down into 4 days, and the 4th day the child copies a bible verse and decorates the border.  For these final few months we switched to "Draw. Write. Now." which is a lot of fun (pictured above) because the student copies factual sentences about a subject, and then they get a drawing lesson!  We think handwriting is so important for young students, and it's a shame it's being dropped from the school curriculum in most group schools. 
States: This year Mariposa has memorized all the states and she is almost done with all the capitals.  She really enjoys this.  We mostly use flashcards but I found a fun book from Dollar Tree that she sometimes works on for "extra credit."  There is a workbook in our curriculum, "Know Your States," and this helps put the "randomness" of the flashcards into an order for her little mind.
Science:  At this age, science is mostly nature observation.  We use the workbook "Seasons and Living Things" and the Usborne book "Science With Plants" (not shown).  We also have her keep a nature notebook, and she gets a LOT of "science" from everyday life and her older brother and sister and from watching Nova, Nature, and Wild Kratts on PBS.
Poetry: (not shown)  Mariposa memorizes famous childhood poems as part of memory work.  Poems by Robert Louis Stevenson are favorites.
Phonics: She graduated from "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons" last year and is now working on "Sound Beginnings."  I like this program because it still utilizes memorization (so important at this stage!!) as well as handwriting and of course dictation (writing down what you hear someone say).  She's learning that each phonogram (one letter or a group of letters) can have different sounds.  Why is English so complicated????
Religion: we worked on the Baltimore 1st Communion Catechism for most of the year, and she has memorized the questions and answers.  We still go over it a little, but I know it will all come up again next year.  She also attends Religious Ed classes at St. Matthew and we have family discussions about many religious topics.

"Draw. Write. Now." close-up  (I had the book cut and spiral-
bound at the copy shop so it would lie flat.)
Examples of phonograms and some of her dictation work.
Other than school, Mariposa has responsibilities around the house.  She does her morning and evening routines (hygiene, room care) and helps keep the house tidy.  She is fantastic with Gemma and Sedric, so I often ask her to play with one of them.  She'll also read to Sedric.  After lunch we have "chore cards" and she is able to do any chore on the list.  Her favorites are "sort recycling" and "dust the stairs," but she is great at sweeping and cleaning glass as well.  She feeds Burby (the cat) and cleans the upstairs bathroom counter when I remind her.  ;o)  And I can always count on her to help in the kitchen--she knows her measurements and techniques, and also knows where to find all the ingredients.
    This summer we will finish up any work (math, phonics) and add some fun subjects. I'm considering sewing, art lessons, various lapbooks, Oregon studies, and math drills on the computer; there's so many options, it will be hard to pick just a few!

UPDATE:  I forgot to mention her extra-curricular programs for the year!  I definitely want to remember those.  This year Mariposa is taking Ballet I at the local dance studio, as well as in-home piano lessons with Mrs. E.  It's hard to do extra-curricular classes/sports when you have a large, home-based family, but we make it work by LUCK...we are so lucky to have a dance hall in our rural community just a few miles down the road (the next-closest one is 10 miles!), and we are blessed to have Mrs. E agree to come to our home to teach piano and guitar.  Mariposa also did some one-time events like the Builder's Expo and volunteering at church, and she has a monthly Little Flowers group meeting at St. Matthew.


  1. Sounds like Mariposa (and you) are doing great work!

  2. We are nearing the end as well. Just two more weeks! Congratulations on another year under your belt!

  3. Thanks Patty and Aunt Christine! We have a lot of fun. I always wish I could do "more" but when I see it all written down in one place, then I see I'm doing as much as I can (given my limitations of 5 young kids and a husband who travels). I'm looking forward to writing about Bunny and James next. I want to remember all of this in the years to come! :o) Becky