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2nd grade - Independent Work


macmacmoo
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We school year round with January being when we promote to the next grade. Eldest will be starting second grade work, and I'd like to work on him doing things independently. I know what works for one wont work for other. But I'm not in love with anything we are currently using, so I'm all ears

 

If you have a second grader: 

-How strong of a reader are they? (Eldest is not a great reader. He can read, but we are talking Cat in the Hat level. He would drown if I handed him Magic Tree House.)

-What are you using? and could you label what level of independence (teacher intensive the whole time, quick lesson but work done independently, can read the lesson and does it all by themselves, etc) each one is?

-And if they had two hours to do whatever they wanted what would they do? (Mine would play video games: Minecraft or Wii U. If I make screen time not an option he'd build something probably with Legos or draw something. 

 

Thanks in Advance. :D

 

Edit to add: I think he is at a normal reading level for his age. But I think it's an important reference point. What a Magic Tree House reader can do independently is not the same as what Cat in the Hat kid can do. 

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We school year round with January being when we promote to the next grade. Eldest will be starting second grade work, and I'd like to work on him doing things independently. I know what works for one wont work for other. But I'm not in love with anything we are currently using, so I'm all ears

 

If you have a second grader: 

-How strong of a reader are they? (Eldest is not a great reader. He can read, but we are talking Cat in the Hat level. He would drown if I handed him Magic Tree House.)

-What are you using? and could you label what level of independence (teacher intensive the whole time, quick lesson but work done independently, can read the lesson and does it all by themselves, etc) each one is?

-And if they had two hours to do whatever they wanted what would they do? (Mine would play video games: Minecraft or Wii U. If I make screen time not an option he'd build something probably with Legos or draw something. 

 

Thanks in Advance. :D

 

Answering for when my 6th graders were that age...

 

- One was solidly reading MTH level books and maybe a little above. The other was reading books that were more like Nate the Great level - above Cat in the Hat, but the amount of text in an MTH would have drowned him as well. To reassure you, your kid is normal. Lots of kids are reading big, long chapter books at that age, but lots of kids are also finding their footing still. However, if you feel there's something holding him back, begin thinking about an evaluation.

 

- One kid was using MM, the other Miquon. We were DIYing science and history with living books (we did US history and earth science that year). My better reader wasn't doing anything for phonics or reading. I was just working with my less competent reader to help him improve. At the end of that year, we found Brave Writer and it was a HUGE blessing for us. I wish we'd found it sooner. Pretty much every bit of our work was teacher intensive. They did almost nothing independently. At that age, we did have a "morning work" assignment that was independent - it was usually a logic problem on a page or a math drill sheet or puzzle - usually something on the light side - like a "fun" worksheet. If you are expecting independent work by 2nd grade, turn your expectations around. A few kids can do it, but most cannot. And while you can do things that are more independent, they end to be easy, unchallenging, and more workbook based, which may not be the rich education you're hoping for from homeschooling. This is just a hard time. Most kids aren't really ready for much meaningful independent work for a couple more years at least and many kids need a parent to really work with them all the way through middle school.

 

- At that age, they would choose screens a lot if given the choice. But they would choose pretend play a lot as well. And since we had a screen routine that meant it was clear when the screens were available and when they weren't, they mostly did a ton of pretend play - making things for their games, arranging toys, making messes, dressing up, etc. They liked seeing their friends a lot. We spent more time outside at that age, just hanging out at parks and in the woods.

 

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I am usually more pro-independent work than most people here on the boards, but any kid that would "drown" with a Magic Treehouse Book needs you to be RIGHT THERE at all times, still. He can't do anything by himself until he's reading at a very high level.

 

That's just a practical observation, mind you. My 6 year old can't read enough even to play computer games like Prodigy Math by himself.

 

As to the rest, anyone given two free hours would choose what is most fun at that moment. I would (do)! No shame in legos, pretend play or watching a show.

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How independent are you planning to be?

 

My kids are older, I have a 10th grader and a 5th grader, and when they were in second grade they were both strong readers.  The older was reading Harry Potter and other longer kid novels at that age, and they younger was capable of reading that sort of book, but didn't feel confident enough to take one one. But was beyond the Magic Tree House stage. I did have the younger evaluated for reading issues, but he just needed time to bloom.  He took off like a rocket in reading last year, fourth grade.

 

I used the same thing for both boys at the second grade level so I remember it well, lol

 

Language arts:

Grammar: First Language Lessons 2

Composition: Writing with Ease 1

Spelling: Rod and Staff year 2

Reading: some assigned as it worked with history, some free choice

Handwriting: HWOT

 

History:

SOTW & activity book

 

Math:

Singapore Math

Miquon

some MEP

 

Science:

Pandia Press Earth and Space

 

Latin:

Song School Latin 1

 

Music:

Piano

 

Pretty much all of it was teacher intensive, but I never expected any different. At that age I expect to be fully involved.  Now, I could assign the math problems in the book and attend to my other kid but I didn't give either boy the math book and expect him to figure out the lesson.  I would instruct, assign and touch base as needed.  And I did things like read SOTW out loud and we did history projects and science together etc. I generally didn't expect to walk much further than the kitchen to get a cup of coffee or start lunch. I didn't expect to be able to do housework when we were doing lessons.

 

As for how to spend the 2 hours, it would have been outside playing, drawing, reading, legos, dressing up and engaging in imaginative play with a brother. I didn't (don't) allow screen time until 4:30pm so it would have not been an option until later in the day.

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My 7yo does not read Magic Tree House for pleasure, but he does read the warning label on my dryer and ask me what "spontaneous combustion" means.

 

Math, reading, writing, grammar, content subjects etc. are all done with me right there with him. He is learning how to do independent work and that is all I expect him to learn from doing independent work right now.

 

After he finishes his morning chores but before I finish mine, he fills out the meeting strip for his Saxon Math lesson, does a lesson from Wordly Wise A, a page of Daily Grams, and/or a page of the lowest level of Hey Andrew, but very rarely all of them the same day. He frequently asks questions and wants me to look at his work right away and needs to be reminded that we will do that after Math meeting.

 

Sometimes he also does Tux Typing and/or Tux Math after workbooks or answers a few questions on a text file on the computer.

 

If he had two hours of free time, his first choice would be to watch videos and if that wasn't an option, he'd be a very unhappy camper for a little while until he got busy with some sort of imaginative play with his puppets and stuffies.

 

He is my one and only minor child right now and 16 years younger than the ex-little brother so my memory is a bit foggy, but ds23 used the exact same workbooks when he was 7, didn't have a computer or a TV but did listen to audio books in his room when I was busy with his older sister's lessons, played with his toys, and was allowed to listen in if he didn't distract her.

 

Two hours is too long for a seven year old. I switched my dyad out every 30-45 minutes. They did independent work (Math, English, etc.)at the kitchen table before lunch and then content subjects (History, Science, Art, etc.) together in the living room or back yard between lunch and dinner.

 

My ex had visitation every weekend so that was when I did my freezer cooking and housework.

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Not "curriculum" like some think of curriculum, but one of the best things I ever got my dc that they'll go off and listen to for hours is a set of Your Story Hour CDs.  Talk about learning independently!

 

Ditto for Liberty's Kids and Magic School Bus DVDs.

 

I also get them whatever other educational movies I can find, especially dramas ("acting out") movies like the Disney "Ruby Bridges" movie.  

 

Now, I guess you could say that I am technically not teaching any of this and there is no workbook response to stick in a file about it, but they sure are learning from it.  :)

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I am usually more pro-independent work than most people here on the boards, but any kid that would "drown" with a Magic Treehouse Book needs you to be RIGHT THERE at all times, still. He can't do anything by himself until he's reading at a very high level.

 

 

Thank you i need to hear that. 

 

How independent are you planning to be?

I'm toying with the idea of implementing Workboxes. But the impression that I have of them is they require a fair amount of independent work. 

Personally my goal would be at the end of second grade he has on or two subjects where I just get him started and he is able to do the rest by himself instead of me having to sit and hawk over him the entire time. 

And then there is little brother who needs my very dedicated attention. And I'm torn with letting eldest do as he pleases in thirty minuet chunks after lessons versus having him do some semi education but independent things. 

 

What are you currently using?

Math Mammoth grade 2

Explode the code. We did books 1,2&3 last year no problem. 4 was very painful to ge thtrough this year. 5 is going better

We need a new language art: we started the year with WWE and FLL2. But drop it by March. We borrowed a friends copy of Sonlight LA grade 1 over the summer but dropped that as well

Story of the world 1: I read the passage and then we orally do the questions form the activity guide

I read a page form our science encyclopedia and take about anything that stood out to him

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I have a Gr. 2 right now. She is able to read MTH books and more, but she's a January birthday, so an 'old' Gr. 2.

 

That said, I find that reading a beginner's novel and accurately reading the instructions for a math lesson are two verrrrry different things. You can't skim math lessons and I can't leave her alone with schoolwork lessons/instructions.

 

We use:

 

- An hour of morning time together that includes Bible reading, prayer, memory work, journaling, and read alouds.

 

- HWT Cursive. I confirm that she can form the letter correctly and then she does her 2 pages and I check them.

 

- Explode the Code. I explain any new sounds and then she does 2-3 pages independently and I check them.

 

- GWG 2 - I explain the new concept, go over the exercises for that lesson. She does them independently and I check them.

 

- Calculadder - I set the timer and she does the exercises, then I check them.

 

- MM2 - I explain the concepts, work a problem or two, then let her proceed. This is her most teacher-intensive subject. Sometimes I can then let her work through the remaining problems, sometimes I need to keep explaining and helping. It varies.

 

This adds up to about 2.5 hours work, including the hour of morning time. 3 hours if it's a 'sticky' day.

 

I find that she can have a certain 'emerging' type of independence right now. I cannot send her to a different room with a list of things to get done. She does everything at the kitchen table and while she is focused on work for something that I have explained, I can wash dishes or hold a toddler or pull out lunch or explain something to my first grader. I'm around to answer any questions and to get involved again if she's having trouble.

 

We use a spiral notebook where I write down a list of the assigned pages for each subject each day and she checks them off. It helps me to keep on track without on the fly decisions, she knows what to pull out next, it gives a defined list so she can see what needs to be done, and I find it is teaching her to move through her work in an organized way. I hope to see this habit grow so that each year becomes more independent. This is much the way I remember being home schooled.

 

That's all the skill subjects... for content, we are all together doing SOTW, art, or science studies, etc. She does read the related library books on her own sometimes.

 

In two hours of free time, she will usually play with Lego or Playmobil, work on an art project she comes up with, play dress-up games or create a 'show' with her sister, or read. We are almost totally screen free except occasional family movies, but I know that if we weren't she would always choose that option. :) We have tons of audiobooks and she listens to those a LOT.

 

HTH!

 

ETA: We found Explode the Code 4 to be viciously painful last year and in the future I will skip that book. 5 has not been an issue. :)

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My 2nd graders were not strong readers, and most work was not done independently. I sat with them, or for something like math, went over instructions and was in the room with them (often folding laundry). We sometimes still "took turns" doing the writing for math (they'd say the answer), or sometimes they just needed me there to be able to complete the page. I made the mistake of letting handwriting be independent for my youngest, then found I had a bunch of reversals to work through later on. The things that could be independent were things like crafts (partial independence), puzzles, manipulative play, play dough and painting (I taught my kids young how to do all of the clean-up and had to do very little final touches afterwards), things like connect the dots or mazes, some math work (after instruction), listening to history on an audio...

 

Free time--screens were not a free time choice. We had a set 30 minute video time in the day, and they had no hand-held screens at that age. They played outside or inside with legos, lincoln logs, dolls, dress-up, cars, puzzles, looked at picture books or comic books (my son in 2nd grade absolutely loved Calvin and Hobbes!), magnets of all kinds (we had several magnet building types of kits, and my dd also had a set of dolls--kind of like paper dolls only magnetized), marble maze, pattern blocks, Rescue Heroes, stuffed animals...

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Cle math-short lesson with me, then she can do the rest independently.

Xtramath is completely independent

ELTL 1 short grammar lesson, read poem, read short story aloud. The rest is independent: she listens to the literature chapter on librivox while she reads along, and then does copywork.

RLTL completely dependent on me for spelling list dictation. Reads aloud to me.

 

She reads higher than Dr suess level. I don't know what magic treehouse books are like. She reads McGuffey Second reader easily. Third reader is slightly challenging.

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I can answer for my advanced Ker. We're going onto first grade work after Christmas. Reading is her 'poor' subject so she can't read for any practical purpose yet.

 

Handwriting is entirely independent now that she knows correct letter formation.

She does the 2 plus 2 does not equal 5 book, totally independently except for when we are introducing new facts. Her normal math book needs explanation for every activity but she can usually complete the activity itself while I supervise her sister.

Explode the Code is independent for us as well. 

 

So, there's some starting points for independence. 

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My current 2nd grader is a strong reader.

 

One-on-one with me:

Math: MEP

Language Arts: Junior English

Read aloud to me 

 

Independently, while I work with his brother:

Language Arts: Language Smarts and Cursive Success

Civics: The Complete Book of Presidents and States

Logic puzzles, analogies, dot-to-dot, and other puzzles

 

Excepting piano, all other subjects are done with his 4th grade brother. Those subjects are teacher intensive. 

 

Two hours to do what he wanted? Screens if I allow, otherwise, read, paint, play with LEGOs, or join in whatever his brother is doing.

 

When in 2nd grade, my current 4th grader did nothing independently.  It is just this year that he has reached the same level of independence in lessons as his younger brother.  My younger son has a strong independent streak.  My older son has a more passive nature.

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We school year round with January being when we promote to the next grade. Eldest will be starting second grade work, and I'd like to work on him doing things independently. I know what works for one wont work for other. But I'm not in love with anything we are currently using, so I'm all ears

 

If you have a second grader: 

-How strong of a reader are they? (Eldest is not a great reader. He can read, but we are talking Cat in the Hat level. He would drown if I handed him Magic Tree House.)

-What are you using? and could you label what level of independence (teacher intensive the whole time, quick lesson but work done independently, can read the lesson and does it all by themselves, etc) each one is?

-And if they had two hours to do whatever they wanted what would they do? (Mine would play video games: Minecraft or Wii U. If I make screen time not an option he'd build something probably with Legos or draw something. 

 

Thanks in Advance. :D

 

Edit to add: I think he is at a normal reading level for his age. But I think it's an important reference point. What a Magic Tree House reader can do independently is not the same as what Cat in the Hat kid can do. 

-How strong of a reader?-

He reads at MTH level and a bit higher. The Littles, Borrowers etc are all right up his alley.

 

-What are we using and how independent?

 -CLE math- semi independent

 -Pentime- independent

 -CTGE- mostly independent

 -Abeka science plus library books- with mom the whole time

 -RS for Social Studies plus thematic library books - with mom the whole time

 -Modern Speller - with mom the whole time

 -Reading- semi independent (he either reads to himself then narrates to me or reads aloud to me and then narrates)

There's other stuff we do as a family, but that's the bulk of it. I hadn't planned on having ANY of his work be independent this year, but he shoos me away. ;) 

 

-2 free hours?

 -read

 -legos

 -play outside

 -play monopoly or whatever game with his siblings

 -turn my living room into a fort

 -build an extensive railway system for my toddlers

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I have a second grader. He will be 8 in 2 weeks. I love these kind of posts BTW, they always give me good ideas for my same aged kids. 

 

How strong of a reader are they? He can read Magic Treehouse but they are just a tiny bit too hard for him, and he has to work really hard at reading them. He loves the Cat in the Hat too, LOL. He's reading level 3 books, like Amelia Bedelia, Henry and Mudge, Frog and Toad etc... pretty easily.

-What are you using? and could you label what level of independence 

CLE math 2- semi independent

Universal Handwriting 2- completely independent

FLL 2 with mom

SOTW 2 with mom

RSO science life- with mom

Sonlight Read aloud- with mom

Bob Jones Spelling 2 DVD class- completely independent

Spelling City practice - completely independent

​Star Wars Writing (Costco workbook, lol he loves it)- semi independent

reading- reads to me

 

-And if they had two hours to do whatever they wanted what would they do? Play Animal Jam, legos, draw, make paper airplanes, board games with me or friends, ride his bike. 

 

I can't send him off to work on much of anything alone, he gets distracted and I find him sliding down the stars in the laundry basket or jumping on the trampoline. Pretty much the only thing that I can send him to do by himself is handwriting, anything else needs me to get him started.

 

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I don't have a current 2nd grader, but I've had 3 go through that grade.

 

-How strong of a reader are they? Most of my DC were at the "Cat on a Hat" stage.  I had one that learned to read at age 4 and was reading simple chapter books at that age.  Honestly, they don't read much on their own at these ages.  

 

-What are you using? and could you label what level of independence (teacher intensive the whole time, quick lesson but work done independently, can read the lesson and does it all by themselves, etc) each one is?  

 

Here are some materials we've used over the years:

 

ETC--very independent

MUS--Short lesson (which can be mostly independent if they watch the DVD), go over directions, then work on the page by themselves

Singapore--short lesson, independent workbook

McGuffey readers--I like to have my DC read aloud from these for the first few years they are reading.

Copywork--I just set a timer for 5 minutes and help if needed.  My 3rd grader is learning cursive and sometimes needs help with letter formation

piano practice--They need reminders to practice, but rarely need help.

LLATL--teacher intensive, very time consuming, little actual reading practice

 

We have just switched to ELTL this year and my DC using levels 4 & 5 are mostly independent.  My 3rd grader is using level 2.  If I'm busy, she plays the Librivox recording for her literature reading, but I try to read it aloud to her.  The lesson we do together, but it's very short and there are only 3 lessons per week.  Some portions like the poetry selections, memory work, or picture study are often done as a family.  I really like this program!

 

Cathy Duffy's website has excellent reviews and she lists how much involvement is needed from the parent/teacher at the end of the review.  It's a great resource when you want to check out a specific curriculum!  

 

-And if they had two hours to do whatever they wanted what would they do?  My DC would watch Netflix or play computer games if they could.  Non-screen wise, they like origami, legos, Lincoln logs, drawing, sculpting with clay, riding bikes, or playing games with their Pokemon cards.  One of my DC was/is really into magic and watched youtube videos to learn different tricks.  Another learned clay sculpting & sewing with felt from Youtube videos.  I just made sure they stuck to specific "channels" on there to avoid inappropriate content.

 

ETA: About math, I have one DD that needs lots of math help.  We often have to go through problems together or she gets stuck in the middle of problems.  At times, I sit with her while she completes her page, especially when she's learning a new concept.  I don't think there will be a completely independent math program for her.  

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My second grader (7yo).

 

-reads Magic Treehouse/ Charlottes Web/ The BFG level independently. He has 30 min my choice reading and an hour his choice daily.

 

- He uses Beast Academy for math- this is not independent at all. We do it 100% together. Days I need "off" or if he's getting burnt out on Beast he uses Dreambox independently (2x a week usually), and often is assigned math warm up half sheets to do independently.

 

- Writing/grammar is ELTL 2. It's half independent, he listens to the selection on librovox, I teach the grammar lesson, he does the copywork independently. If it's a book I really enjoy I'll read it aloud ;)

 

- Spelling is also half independent. He uses Rod and Staff SSS. M/w he does the workbook alone. T/th we play a phonics or spelling game together via LOE. F I test him.

 

-Latin is Song School 1. This is 100% independent via dvd and workbook. Sometimes we will play games on a review week together.

 

- History/Science/Art we do together as a group. Living books, Notebooking, narrating, projects/experiments. Sometimes I'll throw an extra reading assignment (picture book, or related magic treehouse) at him.

 

- given run of his own time he would play minecraft, Mario party, or watch Pokemon. If screens aren't an option he's outside doing whatever boys do outside (run, dig, bike ride, throw things on the roof, you know...)

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My current 2nd grader would drown in a MTH book. She uses:

 

HWOT 2, independent

CTGE 1, mostly independent sometimes I have to read the directions to her.

Singapore 2, short lesson with me, independent workbook (though I help her read the word problems)

AAR and AAS, with me

History and science are done as a group

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I have a 2nd grader that will be 8 in January. Because of her age and her reading having been advanced since the beginning, she is closer to the 3rd grade level. 

 

-How strong of a reader are they? (Eldest is not a great reader. He can read, but we are talking Cat in the Hat level. He would drown if I handed him Magic Tree House.)

 I'll tell you how she was last year and how she is now this year. Last year she was reading some of the Level 2 DITHOR recommended books and some of the later Emerging Readers Set from HOD. She was pas Cat in the Hat by far. She still wasn't ready for independent work at 6 1/2 or newly 7. The maturity just wasn't there. This year, she started 2nd grade at 7 1/2. I don't base her curriculum choices on grade level though, so it doesn't really matter what grade I call her.  :laugh: Currently she is reading the rest of DITHOR level 2 readers. We have jumped around on the level 2 list some, but she is about to read Pioneer Cat. She does this independently and narrates what she reads. http://www.heartofdakota.com/drawn-into-optional.php

-What are you using? and could you label what level of independence (teacher intensive the whole time, quick lesson but work done independently, can read the lesson and does it all by themselves, etc) each one is?

Our current curriculum line up is as follows:

Math: CLE 200 semi-indpendent: I help her through the initial memory work type stuff and demonstrate the new concepts. Once I am confident she can proceed and she has finished her speed drill, she can move on to complete the lesson. I have to stay next to her to motivate her to stay on task. 

 

Reading: CLE 200 independent: She can do the lessons completely by herself. I sit next to her and she can ask me questions as needed. She loves CLE reading. She also reads aloud to me as scheduled in the guide.  She also reads through the DITHOR readers as mentioned above. You could look into their 1st grade reading to see if that reading level would work. 

 

Grammar: Growing with Grammar 2- semi-independent: I read and teach the lesson and example exercises, go over directions with her and let her do the exercises. I then check them and she corrects any problems.

 

Spelling: Soaring with Spelling 1 & 2- semi-indpendent: She does the exercises on her own. I'm there to call out words and answer questions. 

 

All that's listed above is what she does while I work from home. I initially used very teacher intensive items and it became too much. She responds better to these programs though, so it al works out. I will also add that she likely wasn't ready for this much independence last year since it sounds like you may have a very young 2nd grader. My girl is likely a full year older than yours. I hope any of this helps.

 

 History/Science/Bible: MFW Adventures-not independent at all. That's how I want it though.  :hurray:

-And if they had two hours to do whatever they wanted what would they do? (Mine would play video games: Minecraft or Wii U. If I make screen time not an option he'd build something probably with Legos or draw something. 

 

Um, my girls are still very much into playing together. If they had the option, this would be split between computer time, random make believe play, or outside play. They really like all of them equally. 

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My current 2nd grader is a pretty good reader, I'd say slightly beyond MTH level.

 

She does:

HWOT - 1 page/day mostly independently

Copywork - 2 sentences/day mostly independently (every other week alternating with copywork)

MOH with the rest of us - she colors the page while I read, then once a week she narrates to me what we she learned that week and I write it down - she does the maps with my help

MM2 - 2 pages/day - every once in a while I'll let her loose with doing a few of the boxes on her own after we've done an example or two together, but usually I'm right there with her the whole time

Easy Grammar 2 - one page a day, semi-independently

Writing Strands 2 - completely done with me (every other week alternating with copywork)

Reading to herself 20 min a day - independently

Reading to me out loud a chapter or two a day - completely done with me

Xtramath - 10 min/day - independently

Spelling - AAS - completely done with me except on Fridays she types the words &/or sentences into Word mostly independently

Science - variety of Magic School bus videos, kits, reading, narrating - kits and narrating are done with me - watching the videos and reading are independent (Ms. Frizzle gets on my nerves lol)

Music - 150 Rhythm Activies book - completely done with me

Art - Artistic Pursuits - I go over the lesson with her and show her what to do, but then she creates the art herself independently

 

In free time if screens are not an option she will play American Girls dolls or dollhouse or jump on the trampoline or play with the dog or build with Legos or draw with markers. She has several siblings around to play with most of the time too ... I have no idea what they're all doing most of the time when schoolwork is done. :)

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My 2nd grade dos:

 

Reading: Can read above MTH level but does not like to read longer chapter books by himself.

 

What we do.

 

Spelling/Reading: RLTL- 4x per week, LOE games 1× per week. 100% w/ mom. Spelling dictation, read aloud.

 

Literature, Grammar, Handwriting: ELTL: 25% Independent. I read the literature chapter (during breakfast), go over grammar lesson or take narration with him and go over memory work (verses, poetry, & grammar); he does copywork and draws picture narration from chapter independently.

 

History: TOG. 20% Independent. We buddy read history/literature book. I work with him on oral narrations, get him stared on and help out with map work and other projects. We work on together on a long term writing project once a week.

 

Math: Rightstart C. 30% Independent. We work on lesson together and play math games together. He does worksheets independently.

 

Science: 100% with mom. Elemental Science: Sassafras Anatomy. We buddy read, I guide him in filling out logbook and doing demonstrations.

 

Latin: Song School Latin - 90% Independent. I will watch DVD w/ him and sing songs w/ him and will play Monkey Match. He does workbook on his own.

 

Art: Artistic Pursuits: 75% Independent. I go over lesson/artists and get correct supplies. He is then on his own, though I often join him in doing the project.

 

I'm using this year as a start in a journey towards independence. Copywork & the few worksheets we have are the only thing completely independent. (Though I'm still in the room working w/ his brother or sister, so I can keep him on task.) Buddy reading this year will hopefully get him comfortable to read his history/science books on his own next year. His oral narrations and guided writing will hopefully lead to his own short written narrations next year.

 

ETA his activities.

 

Yeah, screen time would be his first choice, barring that:

Imagine play - which to him is: run around the house with a light saber, bounce off the back door, run back through the house, somersault unto the sofa, bounce off, rinse and repeat. WHen I ask him to imagine play outside, he says, "I can't - there's no sofa outside." We went to a local nature center Friday and newly installed in their "natural" play area was a sod sofa. I need one of those!

 

Besides that it is:

Lego, wrestling with his brother, reading super hero readers, playing in our 8x8 sandbox and playing with little sis.

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My daughter was in 2nd grade last year.  She could read something MTH level, I'm sure.  (We read "Classic Start" books - I think they're about that same level.)

 

Here's what she did independently last year:

Teaching Textbooks 3

Cursive (workbook)

Spelling Workout (workbook)

Easy Grammar 2

We did history/writing (IEW)/science together.

 

I will say that she was an older 2nd grader (Feb. birthday) and I actually bumped her up a grade (at her request), so she's doing all 4th grade work this year.  Which is to say that I'm not sure that she was really a "typical" second grader last year.  She's motivated and wants to "work ahead".

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My 2nd grader do a one page spread of a all in one curriculm book each day. It was the best thing for teaching confidence in working alone. It's beneath his skill level so that helps. I think of it as review and warmup. I teach all subjects in addition though.

 

I would suggest English Lessons Through Literature (ELTL) with the free Librivox versions. I sit him down with the book and start the audio. He follows along and little brother happens to listen in too. (I make my breakfast). Then I explain the lesson and hand him the book to look back at if necessary. Buy the workbook or (what we do) write out the lesson in a spiral notebook. He does the lesson.

 

Math Mammoth is the same kind of thing. I explain the lesson which is on the top of the first page. He always has it to look back at. Then he does the pages and asks questions.

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We school year round with January being when we promote to the next grade. Eldest will be starting second grade work, and I'd like to work on him doing things independently. I know what works for one wont work for other. But I'm not in love with anything we are currently using, so I'm all ears

 

If you have a second grader:

-How strong of a reader are they? (Eldest is not a great reader. He can read, but we are talking Cat in the Hat level. He would drown if I handed him Magic Tree House.)

 

My dd struggled with reading so in the beginning of 2nd we started out level 1 & 2 easy readers I would check out from the library. I'd ask her to read one of these books for 10 min to herself starting out. Eventually she was up to 20 min and reading level 3 / beginning chapter books by end of year. We also did "book basket" for 10 min a day working up to 20. This was a basket of books that related to topics we were studying, mostly picture books and easy readers.

-What are you using? and could you label what level of independence (teacher intensive the whole time, quick lesson but work done independently, can read the lesson and does it all by themselves, etc) each one is?

For independent work in 2nd, she did Rod and Staff Spelling by Sound and Structure and exercise like 3x each, sentences, etc. For phonics she did explode the code books 3-5. She also would do math independently if introduced the lesson already bit sometimes needed help. We did Singapore Math level 1A/1B. Reading and book basket was also independent and she would do a age or two from Handwriting Wothout Tears Printing Power 1-2x a week. That worked out to about an hour of independent work a day. We didn't do all her Lang stuff every day.

-And if they had two hours to do whatever they wanted what would they do? (Mine would play video games: Minecraft or Wii U. If I make screen time not an option he'd build something probably with Legos or draw something.

She has an hour of quiet time a day. She can not do electronics and has to be in her room and quiet enough I cannot hear her. She reads, plays with her toys or draws or does crafts.

I usually then shot for an hour of outside time and an hour of play time with her siblings. I try to limit screen time until the evening while I make dinner and do chores (maybe an hour) and then after dinner as a family (another hour).

 

Thanks in Advance. :D

 

Edit to add: I think he is at a normal reading level for his age. But I think it's an important reference point. What a Magic Tree House reader can do independently is not the same as what Cat in the Hat kid can do.

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My eldest child is ending second grade now (she also runs Jan-Dec). She was reading at a high level by the end of grade 1 and I do send her away to read a chapter of an assigned book independently. However I do still work on reading with her - she always has to read a certain amount independently and some aloud to me regardless of the level at which she is reading. The same applies to my younger child even if the independent reading is just looking at pictures initially.

 

My eldest child does not like to do anything independently - she calls me to watch her play outside, or watch TV with her, or watch her if she wants to make something in the kitchen. Occasionally she will play on the tablet by herself and she may take her younger sister and play certain games outside with her. The time when I know she will be apart from me happily is when her friends come over and she spends time with them. This child just wants permanent company - she is not shy and leaves me easily, but doesn't like to be alone. My youngest on the other hand will shut herself in her bedroom or another room in the house and look at books or watch TV or play with toys until I start to wonder where she has disappeared to so I am not convinced that independence is just an age issue - I think personality plays a role too.

 

As far as school work goes my 2nd grader can do a lot of it independently as long as the teaching has been done beforehand. Spelling and dictation I must be there for as well as WWE - the rest of language arts she can do alone and then bring to me to check, science and history I do with her, Math she can mostly do alone depending what we are doing that day.

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We school year round with January being when we promote to the next grade. Eldest will be starting second grade work, and I'd like to work on him doing things independently. I know what works for one wont work for other. But I'm not in love with anything we are currently using, so I'm all ears

 

If you have a second grader: 

-How strong of a reader are they? (Eldest is not a great reader. He can read, but we are talking Cat in the Hat level. He would drown if I handed him Magic Tree House.)  Fairly strong. She's reading chapter books but anything too long still intimidates her. She was reading MTH a year or so ago, but doesn't seem to care for them anymore. The last one I gave her to read conveniently got "lost". Three times. :/ 

-What are you using? and could you label what level of independence (teacher intensive the whole time, quick lesson but work done independently, can read the lesson and does it all by themselves, etc) each one is?

***DD7 has SPD and is very rarely fully independent. When I say independent, that's when I'm not sitting at her elbow helping her and can actually try for a few minutes with my 3yo. I still have to tell her every couple of minutes to stay on task, or look over her shoulder to make sure she's not just doodling, or help her find her pencil, or fix her pencil grip, or she asks me to check what she's doing....***

 

Right Start Math level C - Lessons are teacher intensive, worksheets are often integrated into the lesson. She's semi-independent if worksheets come after, but she can't handle more than a few problems.

All About Spelling level 2 - teacher intensive (1-2x's a week), Spelling City online for practice - independent once logged in and list chosen.

RSO Earth & Space - teacher intensive

Geography: Evan Moore daily (done a week's worth at a time, 1x a week) - independent w/ occasional questions. Little Passports - just starting, so I'm not sure yet.

Evan Moore Grammar and punctuation - quick lesson then she does the work independently but I have to be right. there. EM 6 trait writing - I'm involved the whole time.

Lapbook - she loves doing lapbooks from HOAC. quick lesson then mostly independent.

Handwriting without tears (1st grade book, fine motor skills are behind) - I try to stay close and watch her, but once she's started I can walk away for a minute or two if needed.

Home Art Studio 1st grade - She could probably follow the DVD really well herself, but I am fully involved anyway to help my 3yo participate. If she did it herself I would have to gather materials and get the DVD set.

 

-And if they had two hours to do whatever they wanted what would they do? (Mine would play video games: Minecraft or Wii U. If I make screen time not an option he'd build something probably with Legos or draw something. 

Play with her sister and/or get into the art center. She could entertain herself for hours with scissors, glue, and a stack of construction paper.

 

Thanks in Advance. :D

 

Edit to add: I think he is at a normal reading level for his age. But I think it's an important reference point. What a Magic Tree House reader can do independently is not the same as what Cat in the Hat kid can do. 

 

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I do have an old 1st grader who does almost all her work independently. She happens to be an independent child in general, preferring to do her own thing, and she's an amazing reader (long chapter books). She also loves workbooks. We use:

 

Story of the World (she reads it on her own, does a project at co-op)

Spellwell

Miquon (I assist in math more often than other subjects, but typically I teach new concepts. She does the problems on her own, using rods as needed.)

Life of Fred (on her own)

Mr. Q Science (on her own, does experiment at co-op)

Handwriting, I try to watch it when I can

WWE (does copy work on her own, dictation at co-op)

Daily Language Review, Paragraph Writing (asks me when she doesn't know something)

Various reading assignments for literature, history, science

Piano (on her own, I help if I hear an issue)

Latin (listens to Song School Latin, has class at co-op)

 

It looks like I ignore her! And maybe I do, but she's my happiest homeschooler. She loves doing her work, and she shows me her work often so we can go over anything she missed. It really is all about the kid - my 4yo isn't going to be like this, even when he reads at this level. He loves to be with people, all the time.

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I remember Susan Wise Bauer saying in a lecture that until about 4th grade, you will need to be pretty much right there for your child to do their school work.  It doesn't mean they can't do it, it means they likely won't.  But they do need a lot of instruction and hand holding until about 4th grade.  My oldest who is in 6th became pretty independent in about 4th grade.  My daughter is in 2nd grade.  She can do her math worksheets independently after I explain a few things.  She is doing Saxon 2.  I'm moving slower with her than I did my son.  She can probably do 3.  She will be on 3 before the year is out.

 

I can give her some English worksheets, explain a few things, and she can do it.  Also Critical Thinking workbooks - Building Thinking Skills - she can do that  on her own.  Copywork too.  But again, I have to be right there for her to actually do the work.  If I leave and ask her to do it, it won't happen.  She will get there one day, but I think it's asking a lot to expect an 8yo to do work independently out of sight.  Some can do it, but for most, it's not developmentally appropriate.  I wish it were! :)  My 9yo is a challenge and needs all hands on attention, and it would be so nice if I could give her work like I give my 6th grader, here's your stack, bye.  :)

 

 

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If you have a second grader:

-How strong of a reader are they? (Eldest is not a great reader. He can read, but we are talking Cat in the Hat level. He would drown if I handed him Magic Tree House.)

 

** My second grader is a strong reader, and this is why he is able to work on individual independent tasks. He can read books as well as read the directions and instruction for assignments. If he was an emerging reader, the only independent work I would give him would be math fact practice, audiobooks, mazes, puzzles, etc.

 

-What are you using? and could you label what level of independence (teacher intensive the whole time, quick lesson but work done independently, can read the lesson and does it all by themselves, etc) each one is?

 

** Because he was and early/strong reader, he was able to accelerate, so don't necessarily compare what your kid is ready for to what mine is doing. My older son was a late reader and we focused on the 3 Rs instead of trying to be as well rounded, and that was fine.

 

We are using Calvert's 3rd grade package and Math in Focus (along with various supplements). I think it is meant to be fairly balanced between teacher intensive and independent. Things he does totally independently: geography workbook, spelling practice in his workbook or on Spelling City, reading/literature/mythology, Math Minute, and 70 Must-Know World Problems. He just hands them to me when done and I correct the work. I teach math, grammar and composition and then he does that work independently. He is a pretty strong writer though. For science and social studies I listen to him read the text aloud and make sure he understands directions for any worksheets, then check his work as soon as he's done. Usually we'll follow some rabbit trails and look up more info or do extra activities.

 

-And if they had two hours to do whatever they wanted what would they do? (Mine would play video games: Minecraft or Wii U. If I make screen time not an option he'd build something probably with Legos or draw something.

 

**Video games, for sure. When those are off the table he plays with Legos and listens to audiobooks (simultaneously). We play a good number of games together, but it's usually at my suggestion. Lately he's been choosing to read more often, which I love!

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I have a 2nd grader.  He's a solidly strong reader (reading Harry Potter aloud right now), but he is not independent with very much AT ALL.  He can focus on puzzles, games, and reading *that he finds interesting* for long periods of time, but most other things I must sit with him or he will wander off or hang upside down from his chair.

 

He's using:
Math: Beast Academy -- Is able to read the comics, but doesn't absorb much when he does.  So I have to sit with him and read them to him.  He can quickly and reliably do the worksheets independently, BUT only if I'm there to read the questions aloud to him.

Science: Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding -- Extremely teacher intensive.  There's almost nothing that is done independently.  He will read independently to himself from related books that we borrow from the library, but only if he's interested.

History: Story of the World -- I read to him or play the audio book.  I ask for narrations of the sections and write them for him.  I have him copy a sentence or two as copy work.  He often does this without me standing over his shoulder, but if I were to leave the room, I would come back to find nothing written on his page.  The projects and other things we do are also very teacher intensive.  He sometimes finds the books we check out from the library on the week's topic of interest and will read them independently for entertainment.

Writing: Writing With Ease - Just like with SOTW (except that there are no library books, lol).
Handwriting: Handwriting Without Tears -- can do a page or two independently, as long as I'm nearby to remind him what he's supposed to be doing.
Typing: Keyboarding Without Tears -- This he can do completely independently!  And it's awesome.

Grammar: First Language Lessons -- teacher intensive.  It's all a conversation and repeating after me.  We don't do any of the copy work, so he doesn't do anything independently here yet.

 

We also do ASL and Song School Latin, and none of that is independent.  We haven't started spelling yet (one day... sometime, eventually, soon...).

 

When given 2 hours of uninterrupted time:

If I insist that he's quiet, he's happy to read to himself, play video games/ watch tv, play card/math/board games, play with legos, do math puzzles, draw maps of imaginary places, or design his own board games.  If I DON'T tell him he needs to be quiet, he's likely to run in circles/ do cartwheels/ spin in place/ do forward rolls in our family room, make forts and/or obstacle courses out of the furniture (usually involving a circuit and repetitive jumping off of the banisters), create a zip line out of floss for his toys to ride down the stairs, or organize self-imagined physically competitive games (think tag or racing games with complicated, non-standard rules) and order his younger brothers to play with him (and they listen!).  Sometimes I have to remind him not to climb up the walls or to stack furniture to the ceiling.  <-- I wish I was kidding there, but I'm completely serious.  He does have SPD (sensory seeking and sensory modulation disorder variations) so that's likely the explanation for his apparent transient insanity.

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My second grader has a late August birthday so she is on the young side of second grade.

 

If you have a second grader: 

-How strong of a reader are they? (Eldest is not a great reader. He can read, but we are talking Cat in the Hat level. He would drown if I handed him Magic Tree House.)

She's not at the level of reading Magic Tree House yet. She can comfortably read Frog and Toad, Amelia Bedelia, and others along those lines.

 

-What are you using? and could you label what level of independence (teacher intensive the whole time, quick lesson but work done independently, can read the lesson and does it all by themselves, etc) each one is?

 

I read from our science book and a book of short animal stories every morning. She then draws a picture to do with either of these and writes a few sentences for narration. The drawing and writing are independent. I correct for spelling and grammar when she is done. 50% independent.

 

We do science demonstrations and exploration together. 0% independent.

 

Math fact practice is Reflex Math. I log her in and then she's independently involved for 15ish minutes. 100% independent.

Math in Focus. I teach the lesson and then sit beside her while she works in the workbook. I help her read the word problems (she can do this herself, but doesn't think she can). I would say she about 30% independent here.

 

ELTL 2 for handwriting, writing, grammar. She does the copywork independently. The rest we do together. I'd call this about 20% independent.

 

Apples and Pears for spelling. 0% independent.

 

Typing is Keyboarding without Tears. 100% independent.

 

She reads to me and I read our history book to her. 0%

 

Most of our work is together. I pretty much expect that. My oldest is in 5th grade this year and she's probably 50% independent. I could probably find more independent work for both of them, but I really like being involved.

 

-And if they had two hours to do whatever they wanted what would they do? (Mine would play video games: Minecraft or Wii U. If I make screen time not an option he'd build something probably with Legos or draw something.

 

She'd spend the entire time watching videos on Youtube Kids or playing games on her iPad. When those are out, she likes to create with stuff out of the recycle. Paint. Play outside. Cartwheel and handstand her way through the living room. Hang upside down from the arms of the couch. Cuddle the pets. Play whatever she can talk her sister into playing.

 

 

 

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.........Sometimes I have to remind him not to climb up the walls or to stack furniture to the ceiling.  <-- I wish I was kidding there, but I'm completely serious.  He does have SPD (sensory seeking and sensory modulation disorder variations) so that's likely the explanation for his apparent transient insanity.

 

I feel you! My seeker loves to climb the walls. I've gotten now where my only request is that she not land on her sister when she drops back down!

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My current second grader is an older second grader (Oct birthday).

 

How strong of a reader are they?

He's a decent reader now. He just finished the Fabulous Mr. Fox and is moving on to Clementine. He did not intuit phonics easily AT ALL, though, so we spent a lot of first grade adjusting that.

 

-What are you using? and could you label what level of independence (teacher intensive the whole time, quick lesson but work done independently, can read the lesson and does it all by themselves, etc) each one is?

Beast Academy was half independent, half not. FLL is teacher driven. WWE 2 is independent some days (dictation and copy work) and teacher driven others (narration). Spelling is with me (he needs to be taught advanced phonics explicitly). Math CAN BE independent, but he often takes forever if I'm not sitting next to him.

 

-And if they had two hours to do whatever they wanted what would they do?

He'd play outside.

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We also change around January, so my 2nd grader was young, not yet seven until after we started 2nd grade. Here's what we used. https://itavitaafrican.wordpress.com/our-homeschooling-journey/curriculum/our-curriculum/2014-curriculum/

I wish I'd had time to also post a review of the year, but if you skim my few posts from 2015, you will see that our lives changed abruptly last December, and have been crazy this whole year. Thankfully we are only a month or two behind for this year, so my upcoming 2nd grader will use a lot of the same things mentioned in the post there.

 

Eldest would have found MTH a bit too hard at the beginning of 2nd, definitely not at the end. Second boy can read them now at the end of first grade. But my eldest's strength was in math, not LA.

 

Of that work, here's what he did independently:

MUS worksheet page, including reading word problems (5-30 minutes depending whether it was Beta level at the beginning of the year or multi digit multiplicAtion from Gamma level at the end of the year)

Xtramath drill (5-10)

ABeka phonics worksheet page (5)

Piano practice (15)

Handwriting page or copy work (10-15)

Book basket (15)

 

This allowed me to teach his brother for some K work. All the rest was with me, including reading aloud to me every day, as his reading involves a lot of skipping and guessing. I think there are vision issues.

 

He'd play outside. Second place would be a toss up between Legos or other toys, game with brother, or movie if I allow.

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My 8 yo 2nd grade Ds does very little independently. He does not love school amd needs mom-at-elbow to stay on task. Much of our curriculum in mom intensive, by choice.

 

If he had two hours, he would play outside, play with Lego, or play a story with his sister. Screens are not an option here most of the time. He will almost always choose to play with other people if he has the option. L

 

He reads reasonably well, though he doesn't love it. He is past the magic tree house stage and into real chapter books. He is reading Robert Clyde Bulla's Squanto this week and he just finished The Mouse and the Motorcycle. He does love comics!

 

We use:

WWE 2 - copy work can be independent

FLL 2

AAS 2

Right Start C - I supplement with MM 2 and he can do math worksheets independently.

NAC cursive book 2 - this he can do independently

 

Memory work - Bible, poems and catechism.

History - SOTW Ancients. He listens to the audiobook independently. Loves audiobooks!

Science - mommy made, not independent

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We school year round with January being when we promote to the next grade. Eldest will be starting second grade work, and I'd like to work on him doing things independently. I know what works for one wont work for other. But I'm not in love with anything we are currently using, so I'm all ears

 

If you have a second grader: 

-How strong of a reader are they? (Eldest is not a great reader. He can read, but we are talking Cat in the Hat level. He would drown if I handed him Magic Tree House.)

 

My children at that level enjoyed books like Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel and other picture books. They didn't read all the words but remembered many and enjoyed the pictures. Afterwords, I asked them to tell me about the story. Some of this was not "reading" per se. However if your son is seven, and still at cat in the hat with respect to sounding out, I'd almost rather make all reading quality time and then have him do reading games, like this:

 

http://www.carsondellosa.com/search-catalog?q=reading%20games

 

My girls did that before they were able to read chapter books. The K-1 is a GREAT book for kids who like puzzles. You can always photocopy and print it out if you don't want him to see the grade level.

 

Both my kids were at Cat in the Hat around age 6, but jumped pretty quickly at around 6.5 into much more complex stuff. It was like a switch went on. As your son is a boy, that seems like it would be around the same trajectory, percentile-wise, as boys develop on a slightly different timeline on average.

 

-What are you using? and could you label what level of independence (teacher intensive the whole time, quick lesson but work done independently, can read the lesson and does it all by themselves, etc) each one is?

 

We afterschool, so I can't really answer because I specifically choose challenge work so all is supervised.

 

-And if they had two hours to do whatever they wanted what would they do? (Mine would play video games: Minecraft or Wii U. If I make screen time not an option he'd build something probably with Legos or draw something. 

 

Exactly the same: screen if allowed, lego or draw if not, or imaginary play with the neighbors. We have a TON of kids around so that's nice. My little one occasionally does math worksheets for fun. She's kind of a freak. The older one would never choose that. Ever. However, she would play the piano for fun. 

 

Thanks in Advance. :D

 

Edit to add: I think he is at a normal reading level for his age. But I think it's an important reference point. What a Magic Tree House reader can do independently is not the same as what Cat in the Hat kid can do. 

 

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My last year 2nd grader:

Was not a strong reader. She was probably at Cat in a Hat level as well. 

Her free time would have been playing with sibs, outside or in playroom. 

 

Independent seat work:

Explode the Code

Spelling Workout

handwriting

math facts practice 

Veritas Press self-paced history -- this is semi-independent.Last year, she would call me when she needed help with an activity but otherwise it was 75% independent. This year, 3rd grade, 90% independent. 

 

 

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Dd is a second grader this year. She reads fluently at this point. Most of her fun reading is novels at a fifth or sixth grade reading level.


 


We don't really have a literature program at this point. We discuss what she's reading and our read alouds. That's pretty much it. We just started The Hobbit as our current read aloud yesterday, and it's awesome. So much to discuss. :)


 


For spelling, I give her a spelling test each Monday with a list of words from SWR. If she gets them right, that's it for the week. When she gets one wrong, I plan to have her practice it a couple times and retest on Friday. 


 


For math we're doing Math Mammoth. That's probably our most teacher-intensive subject, except for history. If we're starting on a new topic, I give her a lesson, do a few problems with her, and let her try the rest on her own. If it's a review topic, I give her a quick overview if it's been a while, and then she does the problems herself, asking if she needs help. We use Miquon as a supplement, and that works pretty much the same way.


 


We're doing SotW for history, and that's quite teacher-intensive, too. She could read the book herself, but I do it as a read aloud so we can discuss it. Pretty much all aspects of history we do together, including the projects from the activity book, map work, etc. We supplement with a lot of library books that dd reads herself.


 


Science this year is Mystery Science. It's an online program, and in theory dd could do it totally independently, because each lesson is narrated and they walk you through the experiments step-by-step, but we usually do it together because I'm a nerd and it's fun. :) Again, we supplement with library books that dd reads independently. 


 


Dd and I are both doing Mango French. We do our lessons independently, then practice having simple conversations in French. This year is really just an introduction to the language, so we're pretty laid back about it.


 


I'm probably forgetting a subject, but that's the gist of it. Even though dd is a fantastic reader, most of her school still requires a lot of time and input from me. That's just how it is in second grade. 


 


Oh, and if she had two hours to spend however she wanted, she would go outside and play with her friend, who is also a second grader. If her friend couldn't play, she'd either read a book or watch a movie, depending on what kind of mood she's in. 


 


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