Monday, March 31, 2008

Next Year's Curriculum Choices

Wow, it has been a busy and fun month watching all the curriculum for next year (2008/2009) coming in. We've had at least one Box Day every week this month! I've waited until I had everything to make this post which highlights what we'll be using for the upcoming school year.

We are year-rounders so we don't have a specific date to start but will start using the new material when the old material is finished in each subject.

Here we go!

2008/2009 Curriculum for Grade 2

If you want a closer look at the pictures just click on them to see super-size.

The only subject not shown here is Math. I won't need to purchase that until 2009, but we will continue on with the next Math U See, Beta.

For science, Winter Promise's World Around Me


Our main program this year will be Winter Promise's American Story 1, which includes history, geography, art, crafts, bible, and read alouds. We will be studying US/North American history with an emphasis on Native Americans. All the books we will be using are shown below with the exception of one biography on George Washington which is still on backorder. Plus I added an extra book: Draw Write Now which covers Native Americans/Pilgrims/North America. Ds had so much fun with the DWN book we are using this year he asked if we could do another one. I also went with Sonlight's Book in Time for our timeline.


AS1 - 2

AS1 - 3

This next picture, sorry it's so dark, are the read-alouds scheduled with the program.


Since AS1 above is American History I will be tweaking here and there. Removing overtly patriotic American topics and substituting Canadian history topics. We will be using Donna Ward's Canada, My Country to learn Canadian geography plus the following history books. I also intend to use the library for more books as appropriate.

Canadian history

Ds will be using Sonlight Grade 2 readers for his personal reading.


Every school day morning just before lunch we read a short myth, legend or fairy tale. We will most likely read more than these but they are the three we will use for sure. They cover Canadian fairy tales, greek/roman myths and legendary heroes.

Myths, Legends, Fairy Tales

We also read poetry daily. Monday to Thursday we read two poems (one new and the other a favourite we've read so far from the current book), on Friday we just read favourites. Sometimes we end up reading more though so it is likely we will read more than the two shown below but these are the two I want to cover for sure.


Again, ds enjoyed the Ed Emberley book we used this year so much that he asked to do another one. I got a deal for buying two so picked up these. This will cover formal drawing instruction. There are also plenty of other arts/crafts in the above materials.


Art appreciation is covered informally with a new picture introduced and displayed each week on a little easel in our kitchen for viewing and discussion.

From Rod and Staff we will be using their English, Phonics and Health. For Handwriting we will continue with the next Handwriting Without Tears book.


All About Spelling


And finally for Music we will use God Made Music which covers both theory and appreciation.


It is going to be a fun year!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Read Aloud #1: The Bad Beginning

The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket
A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book the First

Pages: 162
Finished: Jan. 4, 2008
Reason for Reading: I have read the first three books in this series and thought the 7yo was old enough to enjoy them now.
First Published: 1999
Genre: Gothic mystery
Rating: 4/5

First Sentence:

If you are interested in stories with happy endings, you would be better off reading some other book.

Comments: I read the first three Unfortunate Events books about 3 years ago and for some reason never got around to reading the rest of them. In this first volume the Baudelaire children become orphans and are sent to live with the evil Count Orloff who treats them miserably and plans to take their fortune from them. This series is mostly a parody of the Victorian penny dreadful type of books and is really a lot fun. The atmosphere is dark and gloomy and the humour dry and ironic. Literary allusions abound. The setting is an alternate one being clearly set in a Victorian age while also having such conveniences as cars and walkie-talkies. Some parts went over the 7yo's head but mostly he understood the humour and when he didn't I explained it to him. He was certainly along for the ride and experienced a roller coaster of emotions throughout the story. The children are very likable characters and the villains are evil and dastardly. We are both anxious to read the next book.

Read Aloud #2: Dad just finished reading Little Pear by Eleanor Frances Lattimore as a bedtime book. Ds7 enjoyed it so much when I read it to him that he requested Dad to read it to him next.

Read Alouds for 2007

77. Gingerbread Baby by Ursula Moray Williams
76. The Good Little Christmas Tree by Ursula Moray Williams
75. Merry Christmas Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola
74. Harvey Slumfenburger's Christmas Present by John Burmingham
73. The Adventures of Buster Bear by Thornton W. Burgess
72. The Complete Poems of Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne
71. Little Pear by Eleanor Frances Lattimore
70. Swim, Little Wombat, Swim! by Charles Fuge
69. Stone Soup by Ann McGovern
68. Hunwick's Egg by Mem Fox
67. Tasting in Living Things by Karen Hartley
66. Wombat Stew by Marcia K. Vaughan
65. Do-it-yourself Magic by Ruth Chew
64. When Agnes Caws by Candace Fleming
63. Poppy and Rye by Avi
62. The Hoboken Chicken Emergency by Daniel Pinkwater
61. Frog Went a Courtin' by John Langstaff
60. The Story of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting
59. Animal Senses by Pamela Hickman
58. Secret Seven on the Trail by Enid Blyton
57. Poppy by Avi
56. Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl
55. The Giggler Treatment by Roddy Doyle
54. Cactus Desert (One Small Square) by Donald M. Silver
53. Flossie & the Fox by Patricia C. McKissack
52. Bub, Snow, and the Burly Bear Scare by Carol and Bill Wallace
51. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle by Betty MacDonald
50. Viking Ships at Sunrise (MTH#15) by Mary Pope Osborne
49. Ereth's Birthday by Avi
48. The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne
47. The Day of the Dragon-King (MTH #14) by Mary Pope Osborne
46. Animals and Thier Young by Patricia Hickman
45. Secret Seven Mystery by Enid Blyton
44. Vacation Under the Volcano (MTH#13) by Mary Pope Osborne
43. Tropical Rain Forest (One Small Square) by Donald M. Silver
42. The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden
41. Polar Bears Past Bedtime (MTH#12) by Mary Pope Osborne
40. Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne
39. Lions at Lunchtime (MTH #11) by Mary Pope Osborne
38. Gost Town at Sundown (MTH #10) by Mary Pope Osborne
37. Secret Seven Adventure by Enid Blyton
36. The Tarantula in My Purse and 172 Other Wild Pets by Jean Craighead George
35. Dolphins at Daybreak (MTH #9) by Mary Pope Osborne
34. The Complete Tales by Beatrix Potter
33. Midnight on the Moon (MTH#8) by Mary Pope Osborne
32. Animal Defenses by Etta Kaner
31. African Savanna (One Small Square) by Donald M. Silver
30. Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling
29. Sunset of the Sabertooth (MTH#7) by Mary Pope Osborne
28. The Secret Seven by Enid Blyton
27. Afternoon on the Amazon (MTH #6) by Mary Pope Osborne
26. Andrew Lost #8: In the Deep by J.C. Greenburg
25. Night of the Ninjas (MTH #5) by Mary Pope Osborne
24. Pirates Past Noon (MTH #4) by Mary Pope Osborne
23. Socks by Beverly Cleary
22. Andrew Lost #7: On the Reef - J.C. Greenburg
21. Ant Cities - Arthur Dorros
20. Flash, Crash, Rumble, Roll - Franklyn M. Branley
19. Andrew Lost #6: In the Whale - J.C. Greenburg
18. Andrew Lost #5: Under the Water - J.C. Greenburg
17. James Herriot's Treasury for Children
16. Andrew Lost #4: In the Garden - J.C. Greenburg
15. The Adventures of Grandfather Frog - Thornton W. Burgess
14. Andrew Lost #3: In the Kitchen - J.C. Greenburg
13. Pippi Longstocking - Astrid Lindgren
12. Andrew Lost #2: In the Bathroom - J.C. Greenburg
11. Andrew Lost #1: On the Dog - J.C. Greenburg
10. The Magic Carpet Slippers - Dick King-Smith
9. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
8. Barn Owl - Phyllis Flower (OOP)
7. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang - Ian Fleming
6. How to Eat Fried Worms - Thomas Rockwell
5. Pete's Home Run - Marion Renick (OOP)
4. Merry Adventures of Robin Hood - Howard Pyle (abridged)
3. The Complete Adventures of Blinky Bill - Dorothy Wall (OOP)
2. The Marvelous Land of Oz - L. Frank Baum
1. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz - L. Frank Baum

Friday, December 21, 2007

Read Aloud #72: The Complete Poems of Winnie-the-Pooh

The Complete Poems of Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne
Illustrated by Ernest H. Shepard

Pages: 211
Finished: Dec. 21, 2007
Reason for Reading: Every school day we read one new poem and then re-read a few of our favourites. We've been reading from this book for several months.
First Published: 1924
Genre: children, poetry
Rating: 5/5

Comments: This is a compilation of two books "When We Were Very Young" and "Now We Are Six". In this edition the original illustrations have been hand painted in gentle watercolours. These poems are a delight, a joy. They are very much written from a small child's point of view. The poems have rhythm and are very fun to read and easy for a child to remember after hearing repeatedly. Overall, the poems are happy, playful, funny and sometimes slightly cheeky. We have had a lot of fun reading these and I think it is time spent together that we will always remember. Highly recommended to read aloud.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Read Aloud #71: Little Pear

Little Pear: The Story of a Little Chinese Boy by Eleanor Frances Lattimore
First of the Little Pear books

Pages: 138
Finished: Dec. 18, 2007
Reason for Reading: this is one of my favourite books
First Published: 1931
Genre: children fiction
Rating: 5/5

First Sentence:

There was once a Chinese boy called Little Pear.

Comments: The simple, heartwarming, funny misadventures of a five-year-old Chinese boy in his village in China. There are no words to convey just how much I love this book. I remember reading all the Little Pear books and many other books by Eleanor Frances Lattimore when I was a child. I have very fond memories of reading them and taking them out over and over again, especially Little Pear and Peachblossom.

I read this to my older son when he was little and it was a favourite with him so, of course, I knew I would read it aloud to the 7yo. I think I love this book even more now than I did before. The 7yo was simply enthralled with it. He has decided that Dad is going to read it to him next for his bedtime story.

Little Pear is a mischievous, often naughty, boy who is always behaving in ways which are quite shocking to a 7yo of today. What young child of today can imagine what it would be like to walk to the nearest city all by yourself and not get back till after dark?

The writing is very descriptive. There are many scenes, pages long, that describe the Chinese village, the market, Chinese homes, etc. and the language is utterly engaging. The reader can tell that Lattimore loves and respects both China and the Chinese people. (She was born and raised in Shanghai). Lattimore also illustrated the book herself and the simple line drawings enhance the playful mood of the book. I have nothing but praise for this book and highly recommend it.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

When Agnes Caws Lapbook

The next lapbook we did was When Agnes Caws by Candace Fleming using the unit at Homeschool Share. Ds is having a blast lapbooking and learning so much. This story was a lot of fun.


This shows the Decade Book. DS7 loved this so much. He thinks its so cool that for years 9 and 10 there was no him!

Opened up



Completely opened up



Monday, December 10, 2007

Frog Went a Courtin' Lapbook

This is the lapbook my son made when we did the unit study for Frog Went A Courtin' at Homeschool Share.

While we were studying this we also got the CD Songs for Singing Children by John Langstaff from the library which has this song on it. It is a wonderful CD!

The Cover


Cover opened up



Completely opened up



The back