Barefoot in Suburbia

Homeschooling & Special Needs, Inspired by the Montessori Way

2nd Grade Week in Review July 3, 2011

This week was incredibly busy, in terms of both homeschooling and family life.  Not only did Jedi complete a full week’s worth of schooling, we also had Vacation Bible School, and the 2 field trips I just posted about.  We wanted to make sure we got everything done this past week as we are taking this coming week off of homeschooling.

Geography: In Geography, we ended our study on China and began our unit on Russia.  Because we are not doing homeschool next week, we did both week’s lessons in one week.  Jedi studied how to say hello in Russian, where Russia is on a map, the fact that Russia covers 11 time zones, and it takes a week to get from one side to the other.  We also discussed the various climates of Russia, and animals that reside there.  We did a brief overview of what Communism was and how Russia moved away from Communism in 1991.  Finally, we listened to various pieces by Tchaikovsky.

Our language card for Russia

The Russia culture shelf

Jedi wearing a scarf from Russia

Adding the Russian Flag to his (not real) passport

Earth Science: In Earth Science, we continued our discussion on temperature changes.  Jedi measured the temperature of various locations (in the shade, in the sun, between the palms of his hands, on the kitchen counter, in a bowl of room temperature water, and in a bowl of ice water).  He discussed how each temperature made his body feel.

Measuring the temperature in the sun

Measuring the temperature of water

Life Science: The first lesson we did in Life Science this week was on the skeletal system.  Jedi made a paper model of the human skeleton, and labelled the major bones.  The second Life Science lesson was on the muscular system and how a muscle shortens to make the skeleton move.  He created a model of a muscle out of paper, string, and a metal fastener.

Putting together his paper skeleton

Labeling the bones

Jedi and his muscle. And Monkey & her tongue.

Chemistry: In Chemistry, Jedi learned how physical tests on the properties of substances differs from chemical tests.  And while baby powder, baking powder, and powdered sugar all look different, by performing chemical tests using water, vinegar, oil, and food coloring, it is easy to tell the three substances apart.

Jedi making his hypotheses before the chemical tests on baking powder, baby powder, and powdered sugar.

History: In History, we continued our discussion on the fertile crescent and the first farmers.  We focused on the area around the Tigris and Euphrates River, and the city of Jericho.

English: In English, Jedi worked more on contractions, as well as adding suffixes to words.  He’s really starting to get this concept!  We also worked on more of the single letter sounds this week.  There are still about 4 that he’s not getting–primarily those with 3 or 4 different sounds.  But, he’s well on his way to moving to double letters.

Math: In Math, we continued to work with the abacus and abacus tiles to discuss tens, hundreds, and thousands place values.  We also used 5 of the broad stairs to discuss various configurations you can use to show biggest to smallest with rectangles.

Jedi stacking the rectangles from the broad stairs.

Health: In Health, we extended our unit on feelings to now include being able to read the feelings of other people and develop empathy.  This is an area Jedi has a lot of trouble in, so we spent a good bit of time using dramatic play to discover how people can tell others about their feelings without using verbal words.

Ohio History: This week, we discussed that goods in Ohio used to be moved from place to place using rivers and canals, prior to the invention of semi trucks.  We also talked about some of Ohio’s first products…including Wendy’s.  Of course, most of what we talked about, our kids couldn’t try due to allergies, but at least they had seen commercials so they knew what I was talking about. LOL!

Art: The first lesson in art this week involved Jedi using watercolor crayons to produce a piece of art using a photograph as inspiration.  Jedi used a photograph of a solar eclipse from a science text as his inspiration.  The second art lesson was using oil pastels to draw something that he’s witnessed in nature.

Drawing his solar eclipse.

Outside drawing the play area and surrounding trees.


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2nd Grade Week in Review June 25, 2011

Here is what Jedi worked on this past week.

Life Science: This week in life science, Jedi learned about cells.  We talked about the difference between animal and plant cells, as well as learned the various parts of a cell.  He looked at various animal and plant cells under a microscope.  He also made models of animal cells and plant cells out of jello…the animal cell was jello in a round pan with a strawberry nucleus.  The plant cell was jello in a square dish with a strawberry nucleus and green grape chloroplasts.

Observing the outside of an egg

Observing the inside of an egg, and learning the parts of an egg (shell, white, yolk, blastodisc, chalaza)

Looking at plant & animal cells under the microscope

Mixing the jello

Cutting the grapes and strawberries for his science project

The final product!

Fully labeled

Earth Science: In earth science, he learned about weather changes.  Some of the weather changes Jedi learned about were humidity, storms, and temperature changes.  It seems really fitting that this week, we saw temperatures near 90, into the low 60’s, with plenty of storms and humidity!

Math: In math, Jedi did a lot of work with math equations that equal 10.  He learned to create these equations three ways: using an abacus, playing cards, and a math balance.  We also used a deck of cards from 1-9, 4 of each card, to play an adaptation of “Go Fish” where a match was considered to be two cards that add up 10.

Geography: We finished our unit on China this week.  Jedi learned about the various animals in China.  We also played with tangrams, made a Chinese fan, and made a meal of Chinese food (& ate with chopsticks!)

Playing tangrams

Working on his Animals of China report

Chinese food lunch!

World History: In World History, we discussed the first modern man, and the development of villages of people.  We talked about early houses and caves.  Jedi made a “cave painting” out of brown paper and paint.  He also learned about the fertile crescent and mapped out the fertile crescent, the surrounding seas, and the city of Jericho.

Making his cave painting

Ohio History: In Ohio History, Jedi learned about the ice age when Ohio was covered by ice.  He learned about the mastodons that used to live in Ohio, as well as the difference between a mastodon and a mammoth.  This coming week, we are going to take a field trip to see the mastodon skeleton that is on display in Columbus.

Writing: For his journaling this week, Jedi had to write a persuasive paper arguing why he should get a cell phone (he really wants one, but we won’t allow him to have one yet).  Then we worked together to edit it for spelling and punctuation.

Art: In art, he used a pencil to draw a real life scene, including details.  He chose to draw his fire bellied toads.  He also used watercolor crayons to draw an experience he had, and in particular, he needed to focus on the feelings and emotions during the experience.  He chose to draw a scene in the library where a  young child saw a spider and was scared.

Making a sketch of his frogs

Music: We continued our work with Bach this week.  I went on YouTube and found a bunch of adaptations of Bach’s music.  All three kids had ribbons and playsilks and moved to the music according to how the music made them feel.

PE: Jedi did 3 hours of Tang Soo Do this week

Health: In health, we read social stories about taking showers and washing hair.  We also worked on acting out various emotions.

Sewing his puppet that we use during health to act out various scenarios

English: In English, we discussed how to make contractions, as well as how to add the suffix ‘ing’.

Spelling: We decided to add a new spelling curriculum in order to help Jedi overcome his difficulties in this area.  We began All About Spelling.  This week, we went through all of the letter sounds in the alphabet to see which one he was able to make the pure sound for.  Jedi had already mastered most of them, which I expected, but we did find 10 or so that he had difficulty with.  This week, we will begin reviewing the ones he needs more help with.

Jedi decided that he wanted to go in the garden and taste every herb too

29 hours complete out of 900 required hours