Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Working With My Second Grader

After our math block and our language arts block comes my block of time with Rose, my second grader. We usually spend an hour or so together, just before lunch. During this time everyone else works on their independent work. At least in theory - I do have to check in occasionally to make sure said work is actually occurring!

Rose and I follow the same general pattern most days:

We are up to Lesson 191 - the end is in sight!!

  • I let her choose one or two books from our stack of Sonlight Core B reading for the day. We discuss each reading using the notes and questions in the Instructor's Guide. We also look things up on our map if there is a map assignment.  
Two of our current read-alouds and current reader

  • She reads aloud to me from her current reader
  • We do some more reading from our stack and discuss. 
I don't usually get to all of Rose's readings in a day; I fit in what we can in an hour or so. I try to end with her science reading, because I can start setting up for lunch while I help her with her science sheet. If the questions involve any writing she dictates to me, other times she is circling, matching, or quick things like that on her own. Her Usborne World of Animals reading lately has included some map work (coloring, labeling, adding animal cut-outs to an ongoing sheet) that she can do independently. Sometimes we end our hour with Abeku to Zapotec, a Sonlight book & CD combo. She listens while I get lunch going.

If I have extra time at the end of the day we do some of the readings we didn't get to. I am having trouble fitting in the science experiments from Core B, so we are a couple of weeks behind on those. I planned for science experiments to be a Friday activity, because they tend to be pretty disruptive to everyone around us, but we always seem to run out of time. She loves doing them though, and I don't want to skip them! So I am going to try doing them during our hour together. This will mean slowing down the pace of the readings, but I think it will be the easiest way to fit them in and there is usually only one experiment per week, so we can still get plenty of reading in.

My next block post will be about our lunchtime subject!


  1. Would you utilize this same routine when your oldest was Rose's age? I'm trying to figure out how to get some solid one-on-one time with my oldest (who is 8) each day.

    1. When Grace was 7, I had a baby, plus a 5 & 3 year no, this wouldn't have worked! I did try to have a list of what I hoped to do each day, but I had to fit it in around everything else instead of fitting everything else around the routine, like I can mostly do now. I tried to have a general routine, even if I couldn't always follow it...I would usually start with read-alouds for the older kids first b/c the baby/toddler/preschoolers might still be sleeping/eating or happy to play first thing in the morning, then maybe do math/language arts at the table and set something up for the younger kids to do, then have a snack to keep everyone busy while I read some more. One on one time was not easy and was always interrupted! I did try having any younger kids have quiet time for some period each day, when they could listen to a CD in their room or something if they had outgrown naps. I also tried to set out some things for them before we started, like coloring stuff, a basket of blocks, a puzzle...for some reason if I took a few minutes to set a few things out on the table they were much more exciting than they had been on the shelves and the littles would play with them for longer. I would also get out a bunch of picture books each morning and stand them up on the coffee table like a little library display and that always kept them busy for awhile. Things like that. But pretty much, it was a juggling act every day with lots and lots of interruptions...and still is, though not nearly as chaotic now.


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