What is your 7yo/2nd grader doing? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 10-05-2011, 03:41 PM - Thread Starter
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This is our first year HSing, and I'm curious what other 7 year olds are working on.  I've been taking it kind of easy with DS so far, since we're both learning how this is going to work best... not to mention, I'm 37 weeks pregnant, and lack much  motivation...lol.


We've been doing a lot of review as far as math goes.  Just doing some easy addition/subtraction worksheets, as well as doing some base 10 type worksheets and computer games.  I wanted to move on to adding 2 digit numbers, and carrying over, but I feel like it would be easier for him if he were quicker at the single digit numbers first.  


For language, we've been working on parts of speech with the help of a Spectrum workbook. We're also doing some reading comprehension stuff, where he reads a story/paragraph, then sees if he can answer questions without looking back at what he read.


As far as science related stuff... I'm kind of lost.  I was thinking that he might be interested in learning about the human body... maybe the names of the different bones and whatnot. He loves to do hands on experiments, so I need to work on incorporating those more often as well.  



So... what do your 7-8 year olds enjoy working on?  Any ideas to help a newbie out?

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#2 of 9 Old 10-05-2011, 04:03 PM
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I guess it depends on what style/approach you're looking for.  If this is your first year hsing, I'm guessing your ds was in school for at least a year or two already?  In which case, I wouldn't be doing anything at all this year and letting him "deschool" unless you're hoping to school-at-home (do a more traditional classroom type of learning, just at home and with room for him to move faster and slower).


My 7yo/2nd grader has been home for a few years and we do more activities than formal learning.  What formal learning he does is mostly through Charlotte Mason-y types of stuff.  So we're currently awaiting Life of Fred math series to fill their gap.  I OWN the Singapore level he's tested into, but we haven't really done it yet.  We're involved in two coops and our weeks have looked like this so far this year:


Mondays are at a museum (multiple ones have free Mondays)


Tuesdays we either go to the library or stay home and do whatever reading is needed for coop classes (we have two lit classes) and then have a piano lesson in the afternoon.


Wednesdays alternate--biweekly, we have a coop that meets from 1-4:30pm between two classes--one is for history and the other is Junior Great Books.  But when we're not at coop, we attempt to do another museum or whatever project he might be interested in that week (we had to paint a shield for the history class one week).  We also have Cub Scout meetings every other Wednesday night.


Thursdays are our social days.  There's a roller skating gathering weekly from 10am-2pm (we haven't made it yet) and a park date biweekly from 2-4pm (we go tomorrow).


Fridays we have another coop.  At 10am he's in karate, 11am is a Magic Tree House book-based class, we go home for lunch and at 1:30pm we have a Lego Robotics class.  We WERE doing a weekly gym & swim class (1 hour of each) but it was from 1-3:15pm and the robotics class interferes.  :(  Hoping it won't be that way next semester.


Saturday mornings, he attends a class from 9-11:30am that's for gifted students at a local college that involves chemistry.  It's only 8 or 10 weeks (can't remember!).


I actually expect to receive Sonlight curriculum tomorrow to move things along a bit.  We'll see how it goes.  We do a lot of things related to Scouts that are also educational; and we did a TON of camps this summer.  I log everything in Homeschool Skedtrack. It's free, takes a LITTLE bit of learning if you're fussy and want some specific stuff--but I really do love it.  They just added the ability to print out your week schedule--which rocks.  But I like that if you miss something that was scheduled, it just keeps it there.  So you work in sequence whatever your speed.  That being said, it's kind of hard to force a schedule into it.

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#3 of 9 Old 10-05-2011, 07:55 PM
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My DD was in 2nd grade last year (or would have been if she'd been in school.)  Some of the highlights from her year:


For math, she reviewed and practiced adding and subtracting with regrouping, learned most of her multiplication facts, and did word problems involving addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.  Partway through the year, I printed out some practice questions taken from our state's standardized testing for 3rd graders and had her try them.  (They test at the start of 3rd grade, so it covers what was learned in 2nd grade.)  Those were helpful for seeing areas where she needed more practice.


She practiced reading and writing.  I taught her the spelling rules for adding suffixes like -ing, -ed, and -er (dropping silent e, doubling consonants), and pluralizing words ending in y.  We talked about what makes a complete sentence.  (She had already learned about nouns, verbs, and adjectives the year before, by playing mad libs.)  I read lots and lots of books aloud - fiction, non-fiction, and poetry.  I gave her some questions from the reading part of the state standardized test, just to see how easy or hard they were for her.


For science, she got interested in bats, so I read her a lot of books about bats.  We read a lot of books on other topics, too.  She particularly liked ones about biologists studying rare animals in exotic places.  She also spent a lot of time collecting and raising caterpillars.  She knows way more about moths, butterflies, and caterpillars than most adults.  We got a Snap Circuits set and worked with that.  Those were the biggest science things.


Social studies was mainly reading books about different places, times, events from the past, etc.  She's really into sled dogs, so I read her some books about sled dog racing, and we followed what was happening in the Iditarod when that was going on.


We did a lot of skiing and ice skating in the winter, and she took several sessions of swimming lessons.  She likes art, so we did some exercises from a book called Drawing with Children, and she did a lot of drawing and painting on her own.


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#4 of 9 Old 10-06-2011, 08:11 AM
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my son is 7 1/2 and in grade 2. here's what we do academically (being lazy & cutting and pasting):


Rod & Staff English 2 (orally)

Spelling Plus & the Dictation Resource Book

MATH - Christian Light Education

Hooked on Phonics (review with Level 1 before starting Level 2)
Spectrum Writing Workbook (Grade 1 & Grade 2)
Emergent Readers from Heart Of Dakota & library books

SCIENCE - Singapore (for grades 1 & 2), "Let's Read & Find Out About" books, and Christian Liberty Press Nature Readers (1 & 2)

HISTORY - Adventures in America - http://www.elementalhistory.com/


socially, we enjoy biking, field trips, playdates, etc.  when my daughter was in grade 2, we did something totally different. i think what you're working on sounds fine smile.gif

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#5 of 9 Old 10-06-2011, 11:51 AM
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My 2nd grader is doing the following:


Math: We are working on double digit subtraction and addition without carrying or borrowing yet.  Also we work daily on mastering the calendar; the clock and money. I am introducing basic fractions through cooking and stuff like that and we are starting to do easy multiplication.


History and Geography:  We are finishing up Story of the World Book 1 (she is learning about Rome now).  Then we will move onto Book 2 (The Fall of Rome through the Middle Ages).  Also we draw and use maps of our neighborhood and we read biographies of notable figures in history that we get from the library.  We keep a notebook timeline.


Language Arts: Read; read; read and read some more.  Everything we can get our hands on.  We are always at the library!  She keeps a journal with a daily writing prompt. (Today's was "Tell About Your Favorite Place to Be").  She practices alphabetizing and we are learning parts of speech and punctuation.


Science: This year I am focusing on Earth Science and Space.  We are learning about the Moon right now.  Also we are learning to identify plants and trees and birds; the basics of nutrition and biographies of famous names in science.


Music:  We listen to many different forms of music throughout the day and discuss stuff like rhythm and pitch and scale.  Also she will be starting piano lessons soon.  We read biographies of famous names in music. (See a theme here? lol)


Art:  Again with the biographies.  We also visit art museums and get books about art from the library.  She's encouraged to express herself artistically in a variety of ways. (Drawing; clay; painting; sewing Barbie clothes etc.)


Civics:  We discuss current events as are appropriate.


Latin: She does Song School Latin.


Safety and PE: She does yoga; Wii and plays on her trampoline and runs around outside with friends.  She just completed a coloring/activity book on Fire Safety (required by PA law).



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#6 of 9 Old 10-06-2011, 04:04 PM
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We're in 2nd grade too. We're in the exact place you are with math.  We're reviewing single digit adding and subtraction to prepare for double digit with borrowing and carrying over.  We're doing this mostly with games (see education.com, they have a lot of great ideas for games and activities all listed by grade).  We're using Singapore Math.  We switched from Math U See that I thought moved too slow and didn't cover measuring, graphs, etc.


One of the things that is working really well for us is using the kitchen timer and doing subjects for a short amount of time.  We do 10 minutes of grammar and are using First Language Lessons.  We basically mock the book and laugh and joke through the lesson.  But boy does my dd know her parts of speech.  We're flying through it with only 10 minutes a day. 


We also LOVE All About Spelling.  This is our 2nd year using it.  It has been super effective in helping to spell and read.  Our coop has a book club and my dd rushed to the library to get next month's choice the day after this month's club.  We also have a writer's group at the coop.  DD chooses to write stories for that. We're doing handwriting one day, writing exercises from Writing With Ease another day, working on letters to penpals another day, and now she is working on her own version of the cinderella tale which she'll illustrate and make into one of the bigger writing projects of the year.  Writing can be really difficult at this age.  They have so much to say, but scarcely the ability to render it in writing that is readable to anyone besides themselves.  I find this mixing it up really helps keep dd motivated. 


History we're working from History of the World Book 2 and I try to do at least one project per week from the Activity Book. 


Science we're using R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey, Chemistry this year.  If you don't want to make that commitment/investment, take From Mudpies to Magnets out of the library.  I just returned it today.  It is full of ideas for experiments and great lessons to go along.  A wonderful survey of loads of stuff.  You can also buy it cheap from Amazon.  DD also started violin lessons this year and is continuing her dance classes, swimming on our local rec team and playing soccer.  Life is super full, but we love it.  We work for a few hours in the morning, and then regroup for history or science after lunch.  


My biggest advice is to make it fun.  Sacrifice quick progress for a good experience, especially as he's getting used to learning at home.  There are so many games and projects that can teach the same thing as worksheets and reading assignments.  And have fun yourself.  Remember how much time they spend at school just getting all the kids to pay attention or all the kids to move from point a to point b.  A few hours at home each day will accomplish so much. 

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#7 of 9 Old 10-07-2011, 10:41 AM
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My ds would be in second grade this year if he were in school (he's never been).  He's an active guy and not too into sitting still for long periods of time, so I try to keep the formal schoolwork to a minimum.  We do touch on most of the topics that everyone has mentioned every morning, just briefly though; e.g., 2 pages of math takes 10 minutes max, 1 page of Easy Grammar takes 5-10 minutes, that sort of thing.  If he actually did it all without dawdling it would probably take no more than 30-40 minutes to get it all done!  

We also do things - "formal' and 'informal' - at other time of the day, like Xtramath.com (review of math facts) happens often in the afternoon, and we have him read to us every night.  We listen to Story of the World CDs in the car.  We do science with our homeschool group once a week.  He does a Spanish class with his sister once a week.  We go to the library all the time, and he looks up topics that interest him.  We bake, and double the recipe.  I don't know, the list goes on and on.  


Have you hooked up with some other homeschoolers yet?  That's probably the most critical thing (IMO), especially with a new baby coming soon.   

~ Meredith, mom to dd(Jan '02), ds1(May '04) and ds2 (June '07) ~ :
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#8 of 9 Old 10-07-2011, 02:58 PM
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We are doing second grade this year, also.

We use:

Five in a Row - we use this for all subjects

Language Arts: Handwriting Without Tears, Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading (phonics), Explode the Code (phonics and writing)

Math: Right Start B (I can't recommend Right Start enough. I never thought math could be so fun and hands on.)

History: Story of the World vol 1 (My son loves this, too! There are lots of fun activities to go with each chapter and literature suggestions.)

Science: Earth Science and Space

Music: He takes fiddle lessons. We also listen to music from various cultures while we work on other things depending on the boys' current interests, lately Native American and traditional Chinese.

Art: Between, Five in a Row and History we end up doing at least one, if not several art projects a week

PE: He takes horse ridding lessons and runs, jumps, plays all the time everywhere ;)


This is our second year homeschooling and we are doing significantly more than last year (our first year HSing). I wouldn't overwhelm yourself or him, with too much. Just focus on reading lots and some math and whatever else seems fun. Don't feel pressured to cover everything this year. You have a new baby coming any day now so, try not to stress about school. Do what you can and know that it will all work out eventually.

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#9 of 9 Old 10-07-2011, 03:13 PM
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Its fun to be able to write this all down!  It makes me see that we're actually doing alot, although I often worry that we aren't 'keeping up'.  With a few exceptions (math and handwriting are the biggies), we try to have DS1 be as self-directed in his learning as possible...and isn't that the beauty of homeschooling?  We are trying to help DS1 find ways to show his knowledge/work/learning without resorting to worksheets, and while keeping the work as interest-driven as possible.


Math: We use Mammoth math as a basic text and supplement with work in Unit Studies and mental math practice.  He's about half-way though their 2nd grade book - just beginning carrying & borrowing.  I completely agree with the importance of having those single digit number facts down solid!  We did/do a lot of math games, oral review, skip counting while bouncing on the trampoline, etc. DS1 likes 'kinetic' math:)  We usually alternate a few days of 'paperwork' with a day or two of project math (answering logic problems, etc.), math games (math bingo, cards, etc), and mental math.


Language Arts: Last year, our primary goal was for DS1 to become a completely independent reader & now he's in long chapter books.  His reading is almost completely self-directed.  The library is a highly anticipated outing :)  Our goal for this year is for him to become an independent writer as well...to that end we encourage/develop as many writing tasks as we can all stand.  We all journal every night and and DS1 is learning more formal writing as part of his unit study work.  We alternate spelling words from the unit he's working on with lists that are mostly basic second grade spelling words. 


Handwriting: We're reviewing print and are about to start cursive with Handwriting without Tears


Unit Study:  We've found that Unit Studies are a great learning tool for our family.  DS1 can do a tremendous amount of reading and research on his own, and his 3 yrd old brother can participate in many of the field trips etc. that deepen the work.  The subject of the unit is always something that DS1 is really interested in studing.  For example, right now we are working on a unit about owls.  This developed out of DS1s love of the books The Guardians: Owls of Ga'Hool...which he discovered at the library a few weeks ago and has been devouring.  He got out 'factual' books about owls, has been researching them, learning about taking notes, absorbing information and then recording the important pieces.  We went to a zoo/farm and observed live owls, drew them and wrote poetry about our experience.  We've charted their wingspan and created a scaled down chart to include in our report.  DS1 generated a list of spelling words which he studies, has created word searchs and other games with for the grown-ups to do. DS1 has drawn and labeled diagrams of owls eyes and wings. I ordered owl pellets from Amazon that we can't wait to disect!  Through this one unit (that's lasted about 3 weeks) we've covered: writing, research skills, library skills, reading, art, poetry, math (measuring, charts, etc), spelling, and LOTS of science.  Our next unit (per request) is going to be on Ninjas - that one will have a big piece of geography, history, etc.


In addition: recorder, geography games, a giant time line that lives in our hallway and that we add to as we find interesting events to record, self-directed science experiments, tons of reading - both fiction and non-fiction, cooking, knitting, art, whew!...and that only covers the stuff we do at home!


Most of the actual 'school-work' happens in the early morning or late afternoon, with a piece after dinner with Daddy.  Our out-of the-house schedule includes a homeschool Ninpo (martial arts) class, homeschool naturalist class, weekly library run bookgroup, 2 park days, a weekly meet-up with a group of 7 & 8 yr old homeschool boys we've connected with, and town soccer.   


Enjoy your second grade year homeschooling!  Have fun! 








Loving mama to magical boys Skyler (11/21/03) and Gryffin Emrys (9/30/08). 


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