Barefoot in Suburbia

Homeschooling & Special Needs, Inspired by the Montessori Way

2nd Grade Week in Review August 30, 2011

Life Science: This week in life science, we began our unit on animal classification.  For the first lesson, he worked on classifying fictional creatures (called Blobonians in the REAL Science Odyssey curriculum).  First he classified them based on his own ideas of which creatures belonged together, and then he classified them according to the provided classification chart.  The goal was to find the male and female of each ‘species’.

Working through the classification chart in order to pair the animals.


Chemistry: In Chemistry, we worked on the parts of an atom.  He learned about protons, electrons, and neutrons, as well as the nucleus and the space between the electrons and the nucleus.

Coloring his "Parts of an Atom" poster.


Math: In Math, we continued our work on multiples of 5.  We played a game called “Go to the Dump”, which is Rightstart Math’s version of Go Fish.  A match consisted of 2 cards where the values added up to 10.  We also began work on the addition board, completing the math facts from 1-10 of +1, +2, +5, and then all facts that add up to 10.

Working on his addition board.


Playing Go To The Dump


English/Spelling/Phonics : This week, Jedi continued working on beginning & ending blends in words 4-5 letters long.  He also worked on adding suffixes to the ends of words (ed, ing, er).  Jedi’s having a lot of trouble remembering the rules for adding suffixes, so we are taking extra time working on this.

Geography : This week in Geography, we began our unit on Australia.  Jedi learned about what it’s life as a child in Australia, and also learned about the flag and geography of Australia.  Finally, Jedi attempted to learn how to throw a boomerang…that is a lesson we’re still trying to figure out! 😉

Doing a lesson in the net swing

History–In history, Jedi continued to learn about ancient Egypt.  This week, we focused on the process of mummification and pyramids.  Jedi *loved* learning about mummification (sounds about right…this kid loves things like mummies!).  At the end of the week, Jedi sculpted a body out of clay and then dressed it in white cloth, King Tut’s mask, and then created a burial box, filled with “gold” treasures.  Jedi really got into that (the project was supposed to just be the mummy, but he decided to go all out and create a box filled with treasures. 🙂 )

Jedi wrapping his clay body.


The mummy


Filling the box with treasures


Art: In the first art lesson of the week, Jedi worked with water color crayons in order to create a picture using red, yellow, and brown.  The goal was to make new colors by blending.  In the second lesson, Jedi started his unit on places art can be found.  This week’s lesson was on cave painting.  First, we took a virtual tour of the Lascaux cave (  Then, Jedi created his own cave painting out of brown paper and black/red/brown/yellow soft pastels.

Making his cave painting


Jedi working on his color blending, with Bug wanting to color along with him.

Misc.: Jedi finally completed his puppet show writing project and performed it for the family this week!

Performing his puppet show, Silly St@r W@rs.


2nd Grade Week in Review August 7, 2011

Jedi had another really busy week with homeschooling.  It was the 6th week completed for our school year (it looks like we’ll have 8 completed weeks before our local school districts start up for the year…not bad!)  But, it’s not all books and labs this summer…Jedi gets lots of free time for playing and having fun, too…see?

Jedi working with Magnetos on a day off.


Jedi building a robotic duck from a kit


Aaaand....the duck can walk!


Making patterns with the pattern board


Art: This week in art, Jedi learned about shapes, and then the 3-dimension manifestation of shapes–forms.  For shapes, he observed a scene outside, and then drew and cut out the shapes of the objects to make a collage.  For forms, he created a 3-d paper sculpture of a zoo animal of his choice (he picked giraffe)

Working on his shapes collage--he was supposed to go outside and observe something, and then create paper shapes to represent those objects. He chose the mailbox and posts outside.


His scene


Jedi making his giraffe


Math:  In math, we worked on place values up to 1000.  We also worked on trading 10 10’s for 100 and 10 100’s for 1000.  Jedi seems to be getting this fairly easily.  Finally, we worked on adding long series of single digit numbers on the abacus.


Using the math cards to add with the abacus, and learning to change 10 10's for 100, and 10 100's for 1000.

Life Science:  It was a busy science week for us.  We worked on the muscular, heart, & circulatory systems over the past few weeks.  We reviewed those systems again, and observed them with both the human torso model and with giblets from our dinner chicken.  Jedi also watched some Bill Nye videos on human organ systems that I found in the library.  We also began learning about the digestive system.


Working with the human torso model


After taking out all of the organs, this is what he found.






We were also fortunate to have found the giblet pack inside a chicken that we rotisseried this week, so Jedi was able to observe a real heart (with it's chambers), liver, and gizzard.


We were talking about how long a human digestive track is by using a 21' long piece of yarn. On the yarn, we taped cards where he wrote his 5 favorite foods. Card 1 is at where the mouth is (3"), card 2 is the esophagus, card 3 is the stomach, card 4 is the small intestine, and card 5 is the large intestine.


Then, we counted how many times longer a digestive track is than can fit 5 Jedi's on the 21' long track, plus have a few additional inches left to go.


Watching Bill Nye videos


History: In history, we completed our unit on Ancient Mesopotamia.  Jedi took his first ever history test, and scored 16 correct out of 17!  He really enjoyed learning about Sargon and how Sargon conquered and unified Mesopotamia.


Writing: Jedi really really dislikes handwriting and spelling.  Both of those subjects are extremely challenging for him, to the point of them being frustrating for him.  This week, I came up with an assignment that made him excited to write, at least for awhile.  Homeschool Creations (http://www.homeschoolcreations?.com/StarWarspreschoolpack.htm?l) had a Star Wars preschool pack available, and in that preschool pack were Star Wars puppets.  I had Jedi cut them out, laminate them, and glue them onto popsicle sticks.  Then I had him write a script for a puppet show, and my only instructions were that he had to use every character he had puppets for, and every character had to have a minimum of two lines in the script.  Since I knew spelling would be a problem, I told him that after he wrote the script by hand, he could type it into the computer and we could work on editing in the computer (he’s still working on it…typing’s also a little difficult for him, but I’m pretty sure he hasn’t really learned typing yet).  After we’re done editing his script, he’s going to perform it for the family.


Cutting out his Star Wars puppets from http://www.homeschoolcreations?.com/StarWarspreschoolpack.htm?l


Spelling:  In Spelling, Jedi continued to work on alphabetizing the letters of the alphabet…he’s getting much faster with it now!  We also worked on the short a, short i, and short 0 sounds for three letter cvc words.


Working on making CVC words


English: In English, we worked on comprehension questions with both fiction and non-fiction short essays.  We discovered he has a very easy time comprehending fiction, but a very very difficult time comprehending non-fiction.  But he’s also a fantastic reader when it comes to fiction!  But it does show that he knows how to comprehend what he’s reading…he just needs more exposure to non-fiction!  We also worked on the “WH” question words (where, what, why, when)


English workbook


Health: In health, we talked about family rules and why families have rules (safety, health, and comfort).  I had Jedi choose one family rule, and then make a poster explaining the rule.  He chose “we can’t watch too much tv”–his poster had to show why we have the rule (for his health), and what happens if you break the rule (an unhealthy body, being too tired, etc.)


Music: In music, Jedi continued to work on his piano playing.  I haven’t showed him how to read music per say, but in his Alfred’s book, they start very simply by just reading the finger numbers.  He learned to play a couple more short songs this week.


Misc: Since we went creeking and found crawfish recently, I decided to do some tie-ins this week.  I found Jedi three worksheets.  One practiced graphing, as it was a story about three people using crawfish as fishing bait.  Jedi was supposed to graph the number of crawfish each person used.  The second sheet was one where he was supposed to write three facts about crawfish. The third sheet was one where he worked on a crawfish food chain and food web.

Working on his crawfish graph