Good morning! I have another What’s in the Workbox Wednesday post.
Today we’re taking a look into TinkerBell’s boxes. She’s in 2nd grade this year and we haven’t made any changes to her work since our 2013-2014 curriculum post. So it’s been going well.
1) Just like the other’s, her top drawer houses our expandable drawer organizer and it holds all of the pencils, glue, erasers, etc. It hangs on the drawer sides, so it can slide back and forth out of the way which is a nice feature. It also expands/contracts to fit most drawer sizes.
2) This drawer also holds Apologia Who is God? student notebook, which we’re enjoying. This curriculum is great for elementary aged students. This is just the student journal, then I keep the teacher’s guide in my shelves. We do this as a group with our 2nd, 4th, and 5th grade kids.
3) It also has her weekly assignment printout. I get a lot of questions on this, and it’s just a report printout from www.homeschooltracker.com that I print and spiral bind for them. Granted a few things changed since we started the year, so you might prefer to print this out on a weekly basis, but for the most part it works to help him keep track of her daily workload.
In her 2nd box I keep her Abeka Letters & Sounds 2 and Language 2. I also put the Abeka Basic Phonics Flashcards for her to review each day as well. I normally pull each day’s worksheet out and put it ontop of the books. But I wanted you to see which one’s she was currently working on.
In her next drawer we keep her Evan-Moor Vocabulary Fundamentals Grade 2. I think you can find them for less on Amazon or Christian Book, but I just wanted to show you a link so you could see what she’s doing. She does one worksheet per day. So far we like these sheets. Each topic comes in sections. So you learn the words, do sentences and other activities, then do a quiz.
She also has her BJU Spelling 2 and All About Spelling. Since I teach that one, I have the manual and flashcards etc. in my teacher’s manual area. And no, I do not order the teacher’s manual for the BJU Spelling, I haven’t found it to be too necessary up to this point.
Drawer 3 is our math drawer. TinkerBell is currently using Math U See Beta (the orange books under the box of blocks). I normally pull out each day’s work for her so she knows what to do.
She is also working through the Kumon Dollars & Cents, and the Kumon Telling Time book. Math U See does cover these topics, but she really needed some extra work on them and these books are great for that. One thing I particularly like is that they’re in color, so that has helped her with money quite a bit.
Her Literature Units and any other unit studies we do are kept in this drawer. She’s currently reading Anne of Green Gables, but this switches out as she moves through the units. This year she’s doing them independently, so she reads 1 chapter per day (unless otherwise indicated on the teacher’s manual) and then completes her mini-book and adds it to the lapbook herself. When she’s done, she shows me her work and we check the mini-book to make sure she did it correctly. This drawer holds whichever unit she’s currently working on and we rotate through them throughout the year, here are a few links to our unit studies:
- My Literature Lapbooks
- My Science & Inventor Lapbooks
- Famous Artists Lapbook & Unit Study
- Famous Composers Lapbook & Unit Study
What’s not in her boxes?
We do history, science, and writing together, so I don’t keep those things in their workboxes. We also don’t do them every single day, we rotate out 1 elective per day. But I did want to mention them so you can see what she does each day.
- Understanding God’s World 4 (Science). Like I mentioned we do this as a group, so it’s not in their daily workboxes. We do science 4 times a week right now, and I normally read the text to them, then we complete any additional quizzes, tests, or experiments as indicated in the lessons.
- The History of Our United States 4. Again we do this as a group, and I chose level 4 just because we hadn’t started with Abeka history from the start and I wanted to make sure we hit all of the topics. I read the text to them, then we answer questions, take quizzes & tests (Tinkerbell does this verbally), and complete any of our Evan-Moor History Pockets that go with our reading for the day. Right now we do history 4 times per week.
- P.E.: Family Time Fitness (1x/week)
- Piano: Piano is Easy (We’re starting with Teach Yourself Piano Step by Step) (1x/week)
- Typing: Typing Instructor (CD Version)(1x/week)
- Robotics: LEGO Education We’re using the Simple Mechanisms set this year.(1x/month)
- Art: World’s Greatest Artists 2 and See the Light Art DVDs(1x/week)
And that’s it for TinkerBell! I hope you enjoy seeing what she’s doing and that it helps your homeschooling journey as well!
3 weeks left ‘til summer break! Yipee!
I noticed you’re doing Apologia Bible (instead of Grapevine?). I was seriously considering Grapevine for next year based on your past recommendation. Is there a reason you changed? Would love more insight into this. Thank you so much!
We just started the Apologia mid-year as we’ve done most of the grapevine studies. If they had more I would stay with them, my kiddos LOVE grapevine! I think the Apologia is a little more for older students as well.
Why do you use All About Spelling and BJU Spelling?
We’re using both this year because I LOVE the All About Spelling lessons, but I also like having a list and worksheet activities they can do each day for a little more practice. It’s not necessary at all, we just needed a little extra practice and so BJU worksheets were the easiest thing for me to add in :o)
Thanks for sharing your curriculum books that you use. There is so much out there to choose from. Where do you begin? My daughter will begin 2nd grade this fall and I am researching curriculum now. Our math program does not cover money very well. It does not introduce coins and their values in length nor does it offer sufficient practice. I will be ordering Kumon today, they look chock full of practice! I have been curious about Evan-Moor for sometime, wondering what they have to offer. I have purchased the History Pockets workbook for our Pilgrim unit that you showcased earlier. It was fantastic and so fun! What I am looking for is a solid language arts curriculum that covers spelling & vocabulary, grammar and punctuation, and writing. With lots of colorful visuals. Any suggestions?
I haven’t found an all inclusive language program that covers everything yet. That’s why we have different things for each one unfortunately. I do like what we’re using, but I’m with you in that I would love to see something that covered it all!!
I know getting started can be overwhelming! I wrote a book called Homeschooling 101 that will help answer all of your questions on how to get started homeschooling, choosing curriculum, creating lesson plans, etc.
When I was teaching in school I really enjoyed using Voyages in English – it incorporated grammar and writing using bright practice pages, games and a month by month lesson plan/unit that built upon a writing goal for the month. The kids thoroughly enjoyed the program, and the teachers did too. Unless the program has changed drastically over the past few years I plan on using it when we begin homeschool next year.
ABeka language is about as all inclusive as it comes. If you do their full program (phonics, language, writing and spelling) they all work together (they also dovetail into the ABeka reading program). In 2nd grade, ABeka also introduces vocabulary along with spelling.
Hi Heather and Eric,
Thanks for the reply! I will definitely check into ABeka! For this year, I purchased Soaring With Spelling, Winning With Writing, and Growing With Grammar Level 1 by JacKris Publishing. I really liked them and the cost. The only negative was the print is black and white ( no colors) and lacking in visual supports. What is nice is that each day is arranged in 36 weekly lessons 1 for each day. My daughter likes them and they do cover it all.
You mentioned that you do writing one time a week, what curriculum do you use for writing? I am debating whether to piece a writing curriculum together myself or to purchase one.
I was wondering if you used the Abeka readers along with your language and phonics program. I was thinking of doing the same for my son next year, but didn’t want to purchase all the readers if you don’t need them or they don’t keep the childs attention. I was also going to use A reason for spelling and draw write Now for writing and I was wondering if you thought those would work well with it.
I was wondering about the Abeka readers as well…do you still use them? Or do you like having them read books instead? Struggling to make some choices…
Yes we use the Abeka reading program as well. But right now my 2nd grader is going through some of my literature unit studies for fun. She’s a really good reader, so I thought I’d let her do something a little more fun for reading for now. If she were still struggling or needing help I would have her doing the Abeka readers. All of my students used them for the first half of the year, then we started doing my lit units for the 2nd half.
Great thanks! That helps a lot.
Which book do you use from Apologia for you Biblical studies? Also, my boys 5 & 7 know most Bible stories, would you still recommend the Grapevine?
Thank you for all of your invaluable information.
We use the “WHO IS GOD” book right now. And yes, we still love the Grapevine studies. The Who is God series is more critical thinking type study, while the Grapevine are more going through the scripture directly. So it kind of depends on what you’re looking for. I would highly recommend both :o)
Do you use A Beka Spelling at all or just purchase the phonics/language books and readers? I have been thinking about All About Spelling as well, but see A Beka has spelling, too.
I just use the Abeka phonics and readers, and we use All About Spelling for our spelling practice and it also has phonics in it as well. At 3rd grade the Abeka spelling goes to a little word list each week with some ideas on how to practice the words, so I don’t really like Abeka spelling after 2nd grade.