There are plenty of things you can do to get a jump on next year. This will be especially helpful if you have multiple kids.
- Print out my 2GRD Supply List
- Make wise book-buying goals. Check your library for the fiction books before you buy. Since we don’t have a required order, you don’t have to own them. Save your pennies for used copies of the liturgical and saints books!
- Check the liturgical calendar against your school year. Do you read to the kids in July? I don’t. Same for Thanksgiving and Christmas break. Buy the books that land on actual school weeks first.
- Order your blank books. I prefer THESE. There aren’t enough saints or maps (old plans) to fill one up, though. I’ve never found a good solution.
- OLD PLANS: Cut out your art cards. See THIS POST for more details about using the cards.
- Get a crochet kit. The syllabus says that any crochet instruction will do. We used the DVD Art of Crochet: 4 Kids, starring cute little boy, Ryan Anderson as the teacher. You will also need a ball of yarn and a needle (J size.)
- OR DON’T. Many families find that this is way too hard. We didn’t get very far with any kid until they were much older. Get a METAL potholder set; the plastic kinds break.
- The Klutz tissue paper flower craft is out of print. Alex Toys has a kit for giant tissue flowers that will last you through several kids. It makes 36 flowers.
Choose a handwriting plan. There are three choices, and if you count the WRTR handwriting next year, there are four! Sound Beginnings has manuscript instructions. The Writing Can Help series MoDG recommends in older syllabi divides the year into manuscript and cursive. I haven’t used the Writing Our Catholic Faith one for 2 grade, but in general, they’re black and white. The secular version has identical skills and is in color.
History and Geography
- Know the layout of your home and town. Can you rattle off a drawing of your neighborhood or route to church? You’ll need to do that this year.
- Find out the birth years of your family members up to great-grandparents; get a gauge on what time period they are so you can describe what daily life was like.
- Look over the history books and pacing in the assignments. These have yet to be read-alone for us. They start after Week 20 (or they used to; haven’t done this grade in a few years.)
- Check out these cards for states and capitals. We love them.
- Print my Read Aloud schedules, if you want a schedule for the all the fiction reading for the year, I made a couple. If you have a mix of kids, try this one. But if you are the type to beat yourself over the head with a schedule, run away!
- Somewhere on your Mom notebook, write “Copy, copy, copy” That’s the language arts focus this year. We’d like to build up to 5 solid minutes of copying by the end of the year. (However, for many of us, that’s 3 grade.)
- Read THIS a THIS to find out what Abeka thinks you’re doing. Decide what you think of that.
- Buy Math-It USED, if you buy it at all. It’s too expensive new, for what it is. For some of us, this is the first of the 3 “regret” purchases of the K-7 curriculum. (The other is a calligraphy book in 6th and the Art Memo game in 7th) If you’ve been doing the drill in Abeka, you don’t need it anyway. Also, we have been using Reflex Math through homeschool buyers co-op for 3GRD and up for years. Even at retail price, two years of it is less than Math it.
- Put math facts in the schedule MORE OFTEN. The old syllabi only have you use it weekly, (haven’t seen the new ones) but you need to do it or another math facts drill multiple times each week.
- The recommended book for the recorder is out of print; we use Nine-Note Recorder Method. (I really hate the recorder. These days we use Sing Solfa. It’s free and teaches sight singing.)
- For the Music Masters Series, you will need coloring pages. Dude is not “engaging” for littles.
Print the poems, if you don’t want to write them. If you did the memory book printing above, you already have them once. Print them out again and paste them in the notebook (or write them by hand yourself). That way, he can just put in the drawings as he finishes them. Some syllabi say to have the child copy it in. Almost none of them can do that.
Schedule Reading Practice. It’s in the online syllabi. Ignore the reading plans in Sound Beginnings. You will be SO BEHIND if you wait until then. MoDG assumes that this point that the child is already snowballing and needs no further instruction. Some of us need to drill sight words for that to happen. Daily 30 min reading practice. And I’ve found that the read alone books are still too hard, I go down my own Learning to Read Alone List each year.
- Breathe and get realistic. I don’t know whose started it, but so many curricula suck the FUN out of literature. Ramming the kids through a specific list of books, strictly stratified by grade level is legalistic and unnecessarily anxiety-provoking, especially if you have more than one student. MoDG is 100% AGAINST this mentality. Breathe. Plan to read 30 minutes from any MoDG literature list. It’s all good. Even the same good book over and over is fine. Quality, not quantity.
- If you want an example schedule for the all the fiction reading, try these: Read-Aloud-Schedule and the Bennet Supplement. These are EXAMPLE schedules. If you beat yourself over the head with them, you have to go to time out. MODG is about falling in love with literature and goodness. If the book is checked out, pick something else. The order is unimportant.
- OLD PLANS: Gather the “get ahead” supplies on my science supply lists. Also, see where the experiments fall in your seasons. Some of them might be off.
- Hide them from your family. Put it in a dedicated box; be a nazi about it. I seriously had a “hands off” roll of foil. Science only! It’s the only way to make sure you have the right supplies on the day. Experiment supplies are commonly found in the home, but they are also commonly USED UP in the home.
- Make sure you understand how Sound Beginnings works. Pretend to teach the first four to six weeks in your head and see if you know what you’d be doing. If not, email me and we can talk.
- Also, notice the wacky schedule. Since SB is built on a five day schedule, but MoDG only does 4 days a week, the assignments don’t feel consistent. And, the spelling dictation is supposed to go across two or more days, but they’re often back to back. If you HATE that and want to use my personal Sound Beginnings Rework. Feel free. Enter at your own risk.
- Get a primary lined book or white board. There’s a lot of writing!