Thursday, September 25, 2008

Progress Report: Cornflower (Year 2)

Read the first part of the progress report here.

Here are the things Cornflower has been working on. She's a steady little busy bee, and can do quite a bit on her own. I work with her for an hour or hour and a half each day.

Citizenship: She has enjoyed Ben's Guide to Government, which has different grade levels of content.

Geography: She asked at the beginning of the term if we could read through the Usborne Book of Geography, and I didn't see why not, so we started out reading it together. She quickly took it over as her own free read, though. (Free readings are not narrated at our house.) She is also coloring in maps of England, France and other parts of Western Europe, and putting the names of people she comes across in her readings onto the appropriate country (Heidi in Switzerland, the little Duke in northwest France, Harold Godwinson in England, etc.). We have a new geography poster that has really caught her imagination as well-- in her free time, she sometimes makes little landscapes out of rocks, sticks, shells and dirt, and lets me know which item is the volcano, which is the delta, which is the plain. In fact, geography seeped into her phonics lessons as we learned the difference between a 'plain' and a 'plane' this week.

History: She is free reading the second volume of Susan Bauer's Story of the World series-- we have had the series four years and her sisters still read it over and over. AO's Year 2 focuses on the Middle Ages, so her history books all have to do with that era: Our Island Story, Child's History of the World, The Little Duke. She keeps a time chart in which she writes the names of people she comes across in her readings-- the people she has added in the past few weeks include Charlemagne, Haroun al-Rashid, Harold Godwinson, William the Conqueror, Hereward the Wake, Richard I of Normandy. I am starting to have her add events as well: The Battle of Stamford Bridge, the Battle of Hastings. We read the first chapter of This Country of Ours this week, and will add Eric the Red and Leif the Lucky to the chart on Friday.

Language Arts: She is in Book B of the Italics penmanship series and does one page per week (half one day and half the next). She also writes copywork twice per week. Sometimes she picks what to write and sometimes I pick. She is trying so hard to make her penmanship attractive and I think she is doing a great job. We haven't been consistent with doing two copywork assignments every week, and I want to improve. She is also in Unit 4 of the green Alphabet Island workbook-- she has been learning different ways to make long 'a', and what is meant by a homonym. We have also started a bit of phonics-related spelling work. We talk about the rules that necessitate a certain spelling, and then I use CM method to have her visualize the words.

Literature/Tales: We are reading Heidi aloud as a free read-- a chapter per day, which is kind of fast per CM, but we are so enjoying it! We have also done Lamb's tale of Shakespeare's Two Gentlemen of Verona and two chapters from Parables from Nature. And we are four or five chapters into Understood Betsy. (Cornflower's personality is more Cousin Ann and less Elizabeth Ann, so she is having a little trouble understanding Betsy's breakthroughs. Sometimes I explain a little and sometimes I just let her mull it over.)

Math: She is working through the Scott Foresman/Addison Wesley 2nd grade workbook. She really likes math, and tends to do a lot most days. She works on her own mostly, with little helps from me when she hits a new concept. This is a spiraling text, so she is working on a little of lots of things. She is almost two hundred pages through the book, and when she finishes, I will move her to the Scott Foresman Exploring Mathematics series of texts.

Memory Work/Poetry: She has memorized three Walter de la Mare poems and also the Western Europe and British Isles songs from Geography Songs (and might actually be able to recite them on request-- she has worked on each until she could recite, but hasn't reviewed any of them yet. I want to build a memory work system for each girl like the one described at Simply Charlotte Mason but I haven't had time yet. I have a family memory system, but it became clear to me last year that the girls, with three years difference between each pairing, need to have at least some individualized memory work. Getting each of them their own memory binder is one of my goals for term 2.) We also read a Walter de la Mare poem aloud most days. I find it is necessary for me to read it aloud even though she could read it herself, because she needs to hear my inflection and rhythm.

Music: She has started Book One of the Faber series of piano books, and is working on hand-over-hand arpeggios as well as five-note scales.

Science: We are reading the Burgess Animal Book and she draws a picture of one of the animals for each chapter. We are also highlighting the category for each chapter in the animal taxonomy outline, and writing the name of each animal next to its official name in the taxonomy. We have also read the first two chapters of Pagoo-- she narrates orally and draws some of the pictures from each chapter. My favorite is her drawing of all the plankton Pagoo is with when he is a little guy. We had to start Pagoo because she and Mariel and doing Jeannie Fulbright's Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day (Apologia) this year, and she just didn't have enough of a literary picture of the ocean, if you understand what I mean. In the first chapter of the curriculum, Mariel and I kept saying, "That's just like in Nemo!" or "That's just like in Pagoo!" Cornflower got the Finding Nemo references but not the Pagoo references. I'm finding that much of her education at this point has to do with me making sure she has what she needs to be included in the family culture. (Hopefully no one objects too strenuously to me using the term 'culture' in such a simple way.)

No comments: