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  1. #1
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    Cool I feel like I am missing something...

    Hi all! I am homeschooling my 2nd grader. He does the online part of the schooling with T4L he does 2 activities in LA ext, 1 in LA and 1 in Math per day. Every Thursday we alternate Science and Social Studies. After his online portion, I have him work on vocabulary words that we create a sentence each week and those are his words. They are from the Kindergarten and 1st grade sight words. At the end of the week he tests on those words. I also have him do the worksheets that are provided with the corresponding activity that he did on T4L. Then at the end he writes in his journal and draws a picture with it. (I give him a different topic except on Friday's he chooses his own).
    My problem is that, this is only taking us an hour in a half to two hours. Then we are done. I feel like he isn't getting enough learning time. I am homeschooling him because he has a learning disability and was really struggling in reading. He is doing well with T4L. Not good in the fluency though, but I didn't expect him too.
    I have looked through other threads and I like the Handwriting Without Tears, I will probably order that workbook. I also liked Sonlight Science to add some Christian learning, only problem there is the price...ouch, can't afford it
    I would like some guidance on how to fill the void. Maybe some tips on more affordable supplements I could use. I really feel that our schooling should take around 3 hours. How long is it taking everyone else?
    Thank you soooo much for your help
    Dani

  2. #2
    Super Moderator fairylover's Avatar
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    My son is in fourth grade. We spend an hour to an hour and a half each day on school work. Then we supplement with lots of field trips. We visit historical sites, environmental centers, nature centers, the zoo, the art museum, science centers and things like that. I think you need to remember that in a school the kids spend a lot of time doing extra things. It takes time in the morning for the teacher to settle the class down. The they have to line up for recess, line up for lunch, line up for library time, line up again for another recess. Oh and don't forget lining up for the bathroom. Then with each of these activities, the teacher has to settle the class down again. It takes time to transition from one subject to another. Then there is the time it takes for the teacher to help those students who are not understanding the material while the rest of the class sits and waits. There is a lot of wasted time in the average school day. I read somewhere that out of a six hour school day, the average teacher spends 30 minutes actually teaching. I don't know if that is true or not, but it seems reasonable. When you are teaching your son one on one, you don't have all this wasted time. So he is getting a lot more in that two hour block than he would in a 6 hour day at school.

    That said, if you really want more work to do each day, have you tried Spelling City or Learning Games For Kids. Both of these are free sites that we use on occasion. I also like the Let's Read and Find Out series of books. You can find them on Amazon.com for just a few dollars or look for them at your local library.

    I hope this gives you a few ideas to try.
    Kathi Homeschooling Mama to Twelve year old Dakota

  3. #3
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    If he likes cutting and pasting, you could do some lapbooking. You could even look at coordinating them with his T4L science and social studies. Here are someother suggestions outside of T4L and if it sounds interesting something to google for more.

    You could take the sonlight catalog to the library and check out some of the books that they use. Don't forget to look into other literature-based learning options. In second grade FIAR volume 4 might be a fun option.

    You could do some hands-on arts or crafts like felting and finger knitting. Look into Waldorf crafts.

    Start a nature journal. Do trimester studies of poets, musicians, and artists. Look into Charlotte Mason- particularly Ambleside Online and Simply Charlotte Mason.

    Begin incorporating memory work. Do a Bible verse or a poem each week. Look into Classical Education- for memory work look particularly Living Memory and Classical Conversations' Foundations Curriculum Guide.

    Hands-on math! Dice, dominoes, and cards are cheap. Look into Manipulative-Based Math Instruction for more.

    HTH-
    Mandy
    ds Doodlebug 11yo
    currently homeschooling with an eclectic mess of stuff

    homeschool graduates:
    ds Cashew 20yo
    ds Peanut 22yo

  4. #4
    Super Moderator fairylover's Avatar
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    Great advice as usual Mandy. Can you just move to my house to keep me inspired?

    I forgot all about lapbooks. I think they're great. Unfortunately my son doesn't like them. There is a website that lists a whole bunch of them. This is one of them. I can't find the site I really like right now. Do a google search and a bunch of them will come up.
    Kathi Homeschooling Mama to Twelve year old Dakota

  5. #5
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    I thought more about this and wanted to add that I have heard this general guideline over and over since I began homeschooling:
    1/2 hour to 1 hour per grade level is just about all the pencil-to-paper (or in the case of T4L hand-to-keyboard) seat work that a elementary child can manage while staying focused and retaining the information.

    So, 1-2 hours is about right for 2nd grade. If he is leaving that 1.5-2 hours of seat work feeling positive, retaining, and moving forward, I would only add more seat work if he is asking for more. This doesn't mean that he shouldn't do more learning activities or school-related physical activity. It just means that he may already be at a good amount of time for seat work and if you add work you may want to stick with hands-on or oral. Most of what I suggested actually falls into those two categories, but I wanted to share those guidelines so that if you added more seat work you can look for signs that it is becoming counterproductive.

    Sometimes more isn't better.
    Mandy
    Last edited by Mandy in TN; 10-03-2011 at 08:53 AM.
    ds Doodlebug 11yo
    currently homeschooling with an eclectic mess of stuff

    homeschool graduates:
    ds Cashew 20yo
    ds Peanut 22yo

  6. #6
    Super Moderator fairylover's Avatar
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    The child's attention span is so important and it does vary so much with each child. There is no way my fourth grader could sit for four hours. I feel really lucky if we get 15 minutes of work done without taking a break. Breaks are short, get the mail, get a snack, type breaks but he needs them. Often I will read his work to him while he plays with legos on the floor. He has to be busy all the time.
    Kathi Homeschooling Mama to Twelve year old Dakota

  7. #7
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    Thanks ladies! I feel better knowing that the amount of time we are spending is pretty much on target. I had homeschooled my eldest son a few years back because of some bully problems we were having at a school down in Ft. Lauderdale that the school was Thanks ladies! I feel better knowing that the amount of time we are spending is pretty much on target. I had homeschooled my eldest son a few years back because of some bully problems we were having at a school down in Ft. Lauderdale that the school was ignoring. He was in middle school, and it took us so much longer to do school. But that makes sense. That curriculum was tougher.
    I believe my 2nd grader is retaining. He is certainly much happier than he was last year at public school. He not only has a learning disability, he also has some anxiety issues. And it really reared it's ugly head last year. He has really relaxed a lot. He still goes to the school for 2 half hours sessions of speech therapy. So he gets some other instruction and interaction. Which is great.
    I really love Time4Learning. I am happy to have a support group like this. I didn't have anything when I homeschooled my eldest, and it was difficult.
    I have had success with the Oriental Trading company on ordering theme type crafts, like he used to enjoy in school. Except this year we get to do Christmas and not Winter LOL.
    I would like to add a small amount of bible learning. Because of his anxiety and shyness problems, I haven't had any success in getting him into a bible school. I will check the library, but we are in a smaller town and they just don't have the selection. I went there trying to get the books that Time4Learning suggested according to the themes in the LA ext. and our library didn't have any of them.
    Maybe the Family Christian Book Store has something.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator fairylover's Avatar
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    Have you tried some of the lapbooking programs? Many of them have Bible oriented projects. You can do a google search for lapbooks.
    Kathi Homeschooling Mama to Twelve year old Dakota

  9. #9
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    Hi I'm Mississippimama, I have three girl's, 6th grade,2nd grade, and 19 mo's I just started homeschooling the oldest 2. I went and looked up my state standards online. Believe me it helps let you know that they are learning what they need. I also found a great web site for free printable worksheets for k-5th grade on all subjects.(www.superteacherworksheets.com) the worksheets are supposed to be made by a teacher and they have spelling list for the whole year for 1st-5th. I hope that helps!

  10. #10
    Super Moderator fairylover's Avatar
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    Hi Mississippimama. Thanks for the link. I love getting new resources. Have you been over to the Mississippi Forum yet? We'd love to see you over there.
    Kathi Homeschooling Mama to Twelve year old Dakota

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