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Thread: 2nd and 1st Grade Questions

  1. #1

    Default 2nd and 1st Grade Questions

    Hi Everyone ,

    I am curious what everyone is using for the 3 R's (and extras) for 2nd and 1st grade. We rowed a few books this last summer with FIAR and really enjoyed it. However, when I went to plan out our year for some reason I decided against using FIAR . Um yeah, I want that fun and peacefulness of FIAR back in our days! So, I need to see what we need to tweak or get rid of so we can continue with FIAR for the year. Our days have become extremely long. This is what we have going....

    Everyone Together:
    FIAR Vol 1-3
    Confessions of a Homeschooler Road Trip USA- (the boys really enjoy this and it only takes about 15-20min tops)
    Picture Smart Bible 2x a week, FIAR Bible Supplement 2x a week.
    Morning basket- I am trying to loop poetry, character study, artist study, Folk tales/fairy tales, and extra books. I think once I have a good FIAR schedule I can make this loop work a bit better.
    Science- Nature study once a week, R.E.A.L Science Odyssey 1-2x a week (science is my 2nd graders "thing", he thrives on it)

    2nd Grade-
    CLE- Reading 1 (reading comprehension workbooks)
    CLE- LA's (not sure this is entirely necessary at this grade but the ladies on the CLE boards insist it complements the reading workbooks nicely) ( This covers writing, spelling & grammer in workbook format)
    CLE- Math (workbook)

    1st Grade-
    CLE- Learning to Read (Ive had to split one lesson into two days because it was just to much for my 6.5yo.) (This covers writing, spelling, and reading with workbooks)
    CLE- LA's (covers grammer with workbook)
    CLE-Math (workbook)

    3yo-
    BFIAR (I want to start Before with him soon he is feeling left out)

    I feel soooo strapped for time. The reading, LA's and math take a good portion of our day because I have to work with each kiddo individually. If there are bad attitudes or dragging of feet the day is shot just with the 3R's. Any suggestions to streamline our day?
    Tawny- Mommy of three boys G-8, A-6.5, and B-3

  2. #2
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    Feb 2007
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    Hi Tawny!

    That does look long -- I can see why you want to streamline it. You have a lot of time when they are older to add things in (like all those LA subjects). I just googled CLE and see that it's a traditional "full" curriculum. It could likely be pretty involved and intense, lengthy for each subject. So you're almost doing two full programs (FIAR and CLE).

    If you really want to add LA topics there are many programs you can use that are gentle, short, and can be done a couple of times a week instead of every day. You can wait to add spelling and grammar until later. Writing can be done (for your oldest) through FIAR. Reading comprehension or any reading program can be eliminated unless your child isn't reading well yet or you have concerns in this area (just get library books and let your him read on his own, or read to him). So I would eliminate all of the CLE reading and LA, honestly. I don't know about the math. You need a math program, for sure, and CLE might be fine for that.

    You can also eliminate the Road Trip and extra science, but it sounds like you really want to keep those in because your boys enjoy them a lot. So that's great.

    You can eliminate the Morning Basket, at least every day. I do artist/composer study on Fridays (we start our day with it instead of the Bible story for that day). The other things you're reading can be read aloud at lunch or bedtime, or just let the older two read them on their own.

    Those are just some suggestions to cut down on your school day! Also, if you eliminate many or all of those LA subjects (at least in this form), you are cutting way back on workbooks and your boys may not drag their feet as much.
    "Ree-bee," Mom to United States Marine ds 21 * artist dd 18 * motion-loving ds 15 * piano-playing ds 10
    "For Miss Minnie loved children and she loved books, and she taught merely by introducing the one to the other." from "A Consent," by Wendell Berry

  3. #3
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    For 1st grade we did FIAR, math, & phonics. That was it. In second we added in a little handwriting, just a sentence from the FIAR book. We kept things pretty low key until 4th or 5th grade to be honest.


    If it was me, I'd drop it all except FIAR, math, & phonics. Seriously, I would because it's what we did & I have no regrets in that area. My kids did perfectly fine & I found that the more time we had the more we were able to spend on the little we did use & the more we were able to explore the world at large. You'd be amazed how many discussions & learning opportunities arise from exploring the world.

    I think it's just so easy to get caught up in "doing more means we're learning more.." but it's a false truth. The more we do, especially at a young age, the reality is we're more stressed out & the kids are overwhelmed. There is a lot to be said in doing less when the lessons are fun because Mamma isn't stressed. You really will get enough science, grammar/LA, & fun with FIAR as it's written..
    Kendra, wife of Lawrence, mother of three.

    I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.

  4. #4
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    Oct 2007
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    For 1st and 2nd grades, we've done math, handwriting, phonics, Bible, and FIAR. That's always been more than enough. I should add that I've also done First Language Lessons as a gentle way to introduce grammar, but I often alternated those lessons with phonics. I didn't add extra science or history until they were older.
    Mom to Grace (14), Sarah (12), and Hannah (10)
    Using my college degree in ways I never imagined....

  5. #5
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    Feb 2007
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    What I've added has depended on my children (my boys have definitely been different than my girls ).

    1st (maybe, at the most, 2 hours):
    FIAR
    Abeka Math (typically takes 15 minutes, maybe a bit more? )
    girls: I added Draw Write Now -- they picked a picture, drew it according to the instructions, and then copied 2-3 sentences (depending on abilities) -- this was for handwriting and for LA (sentence development).
    boys : they were still working on Sing, Spell, Read and Write because neither of them were reading well in 1st
    reading practice (they just read books to me)
    and a read-aloud (for fun) -- this was not considered school by them
    Bible

    2nd (again, 2 hours):
    FIAR
    Abeka Math
    Abeka LA -- I add this workbook at this age, but it typically takes less than 5 minutes.
    This year, I've also added the Abeka Phonics Workbook for my 2nd grader this year because he NEEDS extra help with his phonics. Again, though, it's less than 10 minutes of work
    Reading -- my girls were reading completely alone at this point, and I just made sure they were reading something. My boys were/are still reading aloud to me and were working on reading fluency and skills (the girls may read for HOURS, especially my oldest, but she loved to read and didn't think it was "school." )
    Draw, Write, Now for my boys -- the girls had "Creative Writing Tuesdays" where they drew a picture and wrote a "story" (3 sentences maybe?) about their picture using THEIR spelling (I didn't count off). The girls also had copywork -- a sentence or two from a packet from Queen Homeschool
    Bible
    Read Alouds
    Music (they started taking fiddle at this age)



    I did not add any "extras" (including spelling -- typically as they learn to read better, they learn to spell) until much later.
    When I had a 7th, 5th, and 3rd, I did add Notgrass' America the Beautiful (and this lasted 2 years).
    We TRIED some of the different Apologia Sciences (but didn't really like them) and had a bit of success with the Junior Anatomy (but still didn't finish the whole thing )
    When my oldest ds was in 5th, I did add Abeka Science because he LIKES science, and it's quick and easy, but he learns. He's in 6th now, and is doing the Abeka Science (maybe 15-20 minutes).
    My girls started Apologia General Science in 7th grade with coop.

    We've READ a LOT of history over the years through read-alouds. We've read an incredible number of books about WWII, about the Oregon Trail, about Lewis and Clark, about the Civil War, about the Romans and Greeks, and then we've read fun books. However, I never did any "extra" formal history study until we started the Notgrass Am. history study (and I only started that with my 3rd grader because he tagged along with his older sisters, and I felt at 7th grade, my oldest NEEDED it ). Oh, when my oldest was in 5th or 6th????, we did do a "states" study and worked on learning the states and capitals (I used a song and a map).

    There have been many, MANY studies about how young children learn through creative play and exploration and being OUT in nature. Expose them to the joys of FIAR and then let their creativity and imagination have fun with it Help them develop a love of reading (read to them -- fun books, history books, etc.), and you'll instill in them a love of learning.

    Several years ago (maybe when my oldest was in 5th? She's in 10th now), someone asked her, "What's your favorite subject in school?" She was quiet for a while and then replied, "LA, I guess " To her, the only "school" she did was LA and Math because those were the only workbooks that she had to do. I finally told her "HISTORY, reading, writing (she loves to write creatively still)!" She said, "But that's not school!"


    Hope that helps. Let us know if you have more questions
    Wife to Jim and Mama to Katie (1/01), Mattie (9/02), Cale (4/05), and Ben (8/08)

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebe View Post
    Hi Tawny!

    That does look long -- I can see why you want to streamline it. You have a lot of time when they are older to add things in (like all those LA subjects). I just googled CLE and see that it's a traditional "full" curriculum. It could likely be pretty involved and intense, lengthy for each subject. So you're almost doing two full programs (FIAR and CLE).

    If you really want to add LA topics there are many programs you can use that are gentle, short, and can be done a couple of times a week instead of every day. You can wait to add spelling and grammar until later. Writing can be done (for your oldest) through FIAR. Reading comprehension or any reading program can be eliminated unless your child isn't reading well yet or you have concerns in this area (just get library books and let your him read on his own, or read to him). So I would eliminate all of the CLE reading and LA, honestly. I don't know about the math. You need a math program, for sure, and CLE might be fine for that.

    You can also eliminate the Road Trip and extra science, but it sounds like you really want to keep those in because your boys enjoy them a lot. So that's great.

    You can eliminate the Morning Basket, at least every day. I do artist/composer study on Fridays (we start our day with it instead of the Bible story for that day). The other things you're reading can be read aloud at lunch or bedtime, or just let the older two read them on their own.

    Those are just some suggestions to cut down on your school day! Also, if you eliminate many or all of those LA subjects (at least in this form), you are cutting way back on workbooks and your boys may not drag their feet as much.
    Yes, I am now realizing how workbook heavy we have become this year. For my wiggly boys this is not a good thing, lol. Your right CLE is full and very thorough, which I like, but I wasn't sure if the kids needed all the grammer and spelling drill at this age. Thank you very much for your suggestions! I will seriously consider dropping Reading workbooks and LA's. I need to think on the science and USA study
    Tawny- Mommy of three boys G-8, A-6.5, and B-3

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kendra AU View Post
    For 1st grade we did FIAR, math, & phonics. That was it. In second we added in a little handwriting, just a sentence from the FIAR book. We kept things pretty low key until 4th or 5th grade to be honest.


    If it was me, I'd drop it all except FIAR, math, & phonics. Seriously, I would because it's what we did & I have no regrets in that area. My kids did perfectly fine & I found that the more time we had the more we were able to spend on the little we did use & the more we were able to explore the world at large. You'd be amazed how many discussions & learning opportunities arise from exploring the world.

    I think it's just so easy to get caught up in "doing more means we're learning more.." but it's a false truth. The more we do, especially at a young age, the reality is we're more stressed out & the kids are overwhelmed. There is a lot to be said in doing less when the lessons are fun because Mamma isn't stressed. You really will get enough science, grammar/LA, & fun with FIAR as it's written..
    When you said you have no regrets, that's exactly what I need to hear! I guess I need to learn to trust the curriculum and the gentle approach. It kinda makes me nervous to not do any spelling and LA's :/ as the homeschoolers I know all have heavy loads even at these young ages.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Laura F View Post
    For 1st and 2nd grades, we've done math, handwriting, phonics, Bible, and FIAR. That's always been more than enough. I should add that I've also done First Language Lessons as a gentle way to introduce grammar, but I often alternated those lessons with phonics. I didn't add extra science or history until they were older.
    Thank you! Ill check out First Language Lessons. Im pretty sure thats what my sister has used with her girls.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Paige P View Post
    What I've added has depended on my children (my boys have definitely been different than my girls ).

    1st (maybe, at the most, 2 hours):
    FIAR
    Abeka Math (typically takes 15 minutes, maybe a bit more? )
    girls: I added Draw Write Now -- they picked a picture, drew it according to the instructions, and then copied 2-3 sentences (depending on abilities) -- this was for handwriting and for LA (sentence development).
    boys : they were still working on Sing, Spell, Read and Write because neither of them were reading well in 1st
    reading practice (they just read books to me)
    and a read-aloud (for fun) -- this was not considered school by them
    Bible

    2nd (again, 2 hours):
    FIAR
    Abeka Math
    Abeka LA -- I add this workbook at this age, but it typically takes less than 5 minutes.
    This year, I've also added the Abeka Phonics Workbook for my 2nd grader this year because he NEEDS extra help with his phonics. Again, though, it's less than 10 minutes of work
    Reading -- my girls were reading completely alone at this point, and I just made sure they were reading something. My boys were/are still reading aloud to me and were working on reading fluency and skills (the girls may read for HOURS, especially my oldest, but she loved to read and didn't think it was "school." )
    Draw, Write, Now for my boys -- the girls had "Creative Writing Tuesdays" where they drew a picture and wrote a "story" (3 sentences maybe?) about their picture using THEIR spelling (I didn't count off). The girls also had copywork -- a sentence or two from a packet from Queen Homeschool
    Bible
    Read Alouds
    Music (they started taking fiddle at this age)



    I did not add any "extras" (including spelling -- typically as they learn to read better, they learn to spell) until much later.
    When I had a 7th, 5th, and 3rd, I did add Notgrass' America the Beautiful (and this lasted 2 years).
    We TRIED some of the different Apologia Sciences (but didn't really like them) and had a bit of success with the Junior Anatomy (but still didn't finish the whole thing )
    When my oldest ds was in 5th, I did add Abeka Science because he LIKES science, and it's quick and easy, but he learns. He's in 6th now, and is doing the Abeka Science (maybe 15-20 minutes).
    My girls started Apologia General Science in 7th grade with coop.

    We've READ a LOT of history over the years through read-alouds. We've read an incredible number of books about WWII, about the Oregon Trail, about Lewis and Clark, about the Civil War, about the Romans and Greeks, and then we've read fun books. However, I never did any "extra" formal history study until we started the Notgrass Am. history study (and I only started that with my 3rd grader because he tagged along with his older sisters, and I felt at 7th grade, my oldest NEEDED it ). Oh, when my oldest was in 5th or 6th????, we did do a "states" study and worked on learning the states and capitals (I used a song and a map).

    There have been many, MANY studies about how young children learn through creative play and exploration and being OUT in nature. Expose them to the joys of FIAR and then let their creativity and imagination have fun with it Help them develop a love of reading (read to them -- fun books, history books, etc.), and you'll instill in them a love of learning.

    Several years ago (maybe when my oldest was in 5th? She's in 10th now), someone asked her, "What's your favorite subject in school?" She was quiet for a while and then replied, "LA, I guess " To her, the only "school" she did was LA and Math because those were the only workbooks that she had to do. I finally told her "HISTORY, reading, writing (she loves to write creatively still)!" She said, "But that's not school!"


    Hope that helps. Let us know if you have more questions
    I actually have Draw Write Now sitting on the shelves and haven't been able to use it because our schedule is so stinking full! I think the boys would enjoy that much better than the handwriting in the workbooks. I appreciate you taking the time to write out your schedules for me to look at, thank you!

    - - - Updated - - -

    So if I wait on grammer, spelling, and reading comprehension when should we start that? I know that my kids need to take a state test in 3rd, 5th, 7th and 10th. I'm not quite sure what they are going to be tested on but I do know that reading comprehension is on the test. Will they gain enough reading comprehension skills by reading and being read to?
    Tawny- Mommy of three boys G-8, A-6.5, and B-3

  8. #8
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    Feb 2007
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    Alabama
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    I think they'll gain reading comprehension by reading and by being read to (ask them questions as you read -- what do you think's going to happen next? What does the author mean by that? Tell me what this sentence shows about her personality.)

    I tried Sequential Spelling at one point, and if I used a spelling program, that would be it. But, I learned (quickly) for my children, that with reading came spelling. Now, I'll also tell you that my children have not been great spellers until 5th grade (probably). If that thought bothers you, then work on it, but I SAW the learning happening and working. All 3 of my olders do very well now.

    As for testing, I start testing in 5th just so my kids have practice and aren't scared of standardized testing. In 6th, I actually have them prep for the tests -- I've bought workbooks that we practice with because my kids are not "natural" test takers and because there are "tricks" to standardized tests that I don't think you realize unless you practice (that's why schools practice ). I do not "care" what they make on science or history because it's not "standard" -- I do what I want to do for those subjects and don't follow a prescribed curriculum in the early grades. For math, English, reading, etc., though, they're fairly standard.
    Wife to Jim and Mama to Katie (1/01), Mattie (9/02), Cale (4/05), and Ben (8/08)

  9. #9
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    Aug 2011
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    I think you have been given some great advice.

    Here, we do FIAR, math and phonics until the child can read well. Then we do FIAR, math and handwriting. This year I've switched from handwriting with my dd (grade 4) to more content writing with IEW. I have no regrets about not adding more. If they become interested in something specifically then we have the flexibility to not row a book for a week or two and follow a rabbit trail - we read books from the library, find videos about it on youtube, I find some learning activities online (only meaningful ones, no busy work), and we do that for a week. They remember it because they chose to learn more about it, and that's how I feed their passion for different subjects.
    Sunshine - mom to 4dc - dd9 1/2, ds8, ds6 1/2 and ds5.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tawny W View Post
    So if I wait on grammer, spelling, and reading comprehension when should we start that? I know that my kids need to take a state test in 3rd, 5th, 7th and 10th. I'm not quite sure what they are going to be tested on but I do know that reading comprehension is on the test. Will they gain enough reading comprehension skills by reading and being read to?
    Some people wait on grammar until around 7th. I started it in 5th with my youngest (this year). If you do start it earlier (I did that with my first two), you can use FLL or some other quick, gentle program. I actually use a very rigid, rigorous textbook (Rod & Staff) because I like it, but we do most of it orally and I break lessons into parts so they're short. I don't care how long it takes us to finish the book.

    Spelling can wait until 5th or so IF they're a natural speller. If they struggle mightily with spelling, you might want to start earlier.

    Reading comprehension will come on its own for most kids. Paige's ideas were good for helping with this!

    I hope you can find time for Draw Write Now. My kids loved it! My 10yo still uses it when it ties in with his FIAR book. He just used it this week to draw a great sailboat picture, and he just did cursive for the handwriting instead of printing. Those books are so much fun!

    Remember, don't try to teach to the test. As homeschoolers, that's one huge advantage we have over public school teachers -- we don't have to teach to the test! Hallelujah for that.
    "Ree-bee," Mom to United States Marine ds 21 * artist dd 18 * motion-loving ds 15 * piano-playing ds 10
    "For Miss Minnie loved children and she loved books, and she taught merely by introducing the one to the other." from "A Consent," by Wendell Berry

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