Barefoot in Suburbia

Homeschooling & Special Needs, Inspired by the Montessori Way

2nd Grade Week in Review January 9, 2012

We’re finally back after taking almost all of December off homeschooling.  As you might remember, we worked through the summer so that we could take an extended winter break because of our planned vacation.  We had logged in over 600 hours out of the required 900 hours, so we decided to take the rest of the month off as a reward for the kids working so hard this school year. 🙂  The kids enjoyed their month off, but it was good to get back in the schoolroom.

As you might expect, getting a child with autism to get back into the school routine was not an easy task.  The first couple days were really rough–a lot of frustration and tears on his part for various reasons.  He thought the math and spelling were too hard, the watercolor paints mixed on his paper (he really really hates when paint mixes colors), etc.  But, by the middle of the week, he was back into his routine and doing well again.  Today, we were finishing up a science project and he kept repeating how he was really loving the science stuff and that homeschooling is great because he gets to do so much science.

Here are the pictures of Jedi’s week in review.

Meet George--Jedi's new betta. We needed a fish for one of the science lessons, and so George was purchased.


Pretty little guy


Jedi labeling the parts of a fish


Jedi measuring the difference between body temperature in a cold blooded animal and a warm blooded animal (the fish vs himself). He also weighed George by weighing him in a cup of water, and then weighing the cup of water without a fish. Now that George's role as a science project is over, he currently happily resides on the school shelves by Jedi's fire bellied toads.


Finishing his unit on fish, Jedi learned how fish float and swim. He put an empty glass eye dropper into a plastic bottle of water (it floated). The second time, he filled the eye dropper completely with water and put it in the bottle (it sank). The third time, he filled it halfway with water--it only sank a little. Then if you squeeze the bottle, increasing the water pressure inside the dropper, the dropper sinks. This experiment helped simulate the fish's air bladder.

This week, we began our two week unit on the United States for World Geography. I filled the top of the shelves with various objects that represent America--some art, postcards and flash cards of monuments, Native American figurines, pioneer figurines, cowboy/western figurines, a bowl of American animals, a flag, and a deck of US animals.


Jedi doing a watercolor portrait of his sister. He was studying Van Gogh, although after his meltdown over mixed paint, we had to do an impromptu lesson on Picasso.


In health, Jedi learned about good habits. He had to choose one habit he wanted to change, keep track of it for a week, and reward himself if he met his goal. His goal that he chose was to eat 2-4 servings of fruit a day. After the week, he was averaging three pieces a day, so he earned his chosen award--30 minutes with MarioKart. 🙂


In math, Jedi learned to tell time on a clock to the minute. He did really well with this!


Reading about Mount Rushmore. He also watched a short documentary on how Mount Rushmore was made. Surprisingly, he loved the documentary!


Jedi also learned about Old Faithful. After reading about it, he watched the live webcam. He was thrilled that 30 minutes into it, the eruption happened!


Learning to add 4 digit numbers, pseudo-Montessori style (with symbols representing the ones, tens, hundreds, and thousands)


Close-up of his work. Keep in mind that this was the same kid who was testing *2 years* behind in math at the beginning of the school year! Look how far he's come in just a few months of homeschooling!


Jedi reading to his sisters

Jedi measuring the weights of food substances in different forms (water vs ice, grapes vs grape juice, powdered sugar vs brown sugar)


In Earth Science, Jedi learned about the layers of the Earth. To reinforce the parts, he made us a "cross-section of the Earth" pizza--crust (the pizza crust), mantle (the white area), outer core (yellow area), and inner core (tomatoes).


The other things Jedi did that don’t have pictures:

Handwriting: Daily journaling

World History: Ancient Egypt–King Tut, the Middle Kingdom, and the New Kingdom

Geography: The map, flag, and geography of the US



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