Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Color Wheel and Color Theory Art Project

Today was our 2nd day of 2nd grade, and Tuesday is art day. Last year we did a lot of fun craft projects, but this year I'm focusing more on art theories and techniques rather than just crafting. We're learning about color theory for the first month, and I wanted to share this week's art lesson.

The first thing I did was print out a simple primary and secondary color wheel from Donna Young.org My plan was to have her color in the circles, but she said she didn't need to do that. I explained the primary color wheel first and put a big P in the center. Then we went over the secondary color wheel, and I put a big S in the center of that one. We talked about which colors, when mixed together, create another completely different color.

The second part was to create color wheel flowers using the art lesson provided over at Deep Space Sparkle. I LOVE this website and am using it almost exclusively for our lessons this year. We followed the directions provided to create our flower bases and petals. During our painting, we reviewed which primary colors created the secondary colors we needed for the petals. Once it dried, she cut and pasted her flowers together and drew some stems. Upon completion, I asked her to name the primary colors that you mix together to create the secondary colors, without looking at the color wheel as a reference. Then we went on the website and looked at the samples that other children have done. I didn't show her beforehand because I didn't want her to try to copy how the other kids did their flowers, since she's a bit of a perfectionist.

She really enjoyed this project, and I like that it covered color wheel and color theory for kids, cutting, pasting, and tracing. Happy homeschooling!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Our 2012-2013 Homeschool Curriculum Choices

We will be back into the swing of things starting July 23rd. We're starting a bit earlier than usual to allow for me to take time off in September to have the baby and readjust to very little sleep, which I haven't had to experience in well over six years. I know that many homeschoolers are currently shopping around trying to choose the best curriculum for this year or trying to replace something that didn't work last year. Here's our list of what we're using this year and why.

Main Curriculum:

Heart of Dakota's Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory

This is the curriculum I actually purchased to use last year, but shelved it after a few weeks. It includes all of the plans for our social studies, reading, spelling, and Bible. It covers all subjects, but I am only using those three as written and being a bit more eclectic with everything else. I like the Charlotte Mason approach to learning, and Heart of Dakota implements a well-laid out lesson guide using Charlotte Mason's philosophies.

Math: Saxon 2

This is a switch over from Singapore Math. While I agree with everything everyone says about Singapore teaching mental math and how to think through math problems, my daughter needs a bit more drill than that curriculum offers. After researching tons of math programs, I decided to try Saxon this year for 2nd grade. It seems to have the repetition needed and still includes the hands-on activities that make math engaging. Whether we will stick with it or not remains to be seen. I think math is one area we may switch around a bit to make sure each year "fits" just right.

Science: God's Wonderful Works by CLP, 101 Cool Science Experiments, Nature Study

God's Wonderful Works comes with HOD's curriculum, but instead of following the schedule in HOD we will be going through the text systematically. I also purchased the test booklet offered by CLP. We will be dedicating Friday to science experiment day using 101 Cool Science Experiments. Wednesday will be nature study day utilizing free nature printables I find online and her nature notebook.

Language Arts: A Reason for Handwriting T, Rod & Staff Grammar 2

This is our last year of formal handwriting lessons, and I've chosen to continue with ARFH using the T book which starts with print and finishes up teaching cursive. I like the simple lessons and how it integrates Bible verses for practice. Rod and Staff was chosen because it's the curriculum used by HOD, and I found very few negative reviews. It's simple, to the point, and seems to really teach the basics of grammar that is very much lacking in the public schools today. Spelling is integrated into the HOD curriculum, so I don't have a separate program for this subject.

Social Studies: American Pioneers and Patriots, Stories of the Pilgrims, Boys and Girls of Colonial Days

All of these texts are integrated into the HOD curriculum, and we will be following the activities and lessons as written in the lesson guide.

Reading: Various Book Titles Recommended by HOD, Explode the Code 3-4, Phonics Pathways, Reading Pathways

We are continuing with Explode the Code because it's great practice that reinforces what we learn in Phonics Pathways. We will finish up with Phonics Pathways by December, if not earlier, and with Reading Pathways shortly after that. Avlyn really took off with the phonics instruction methods of Phonics Pathways combined with the extra corresponding practice of Reading Pathways.

Art: Deep Space Sparkle Website

Deep Space Sparkle

I love this website! I spent a couple of hours browsing the site and designing up to 30 weeks worth of lessons. We are starting this year with color theory. The blog author is a public school teacher, but her website is so full of examples and organized so well that it's really rather easy to find art lessons you can use from kindergarten and up.

And that's what we're using for 2nd grade this year.You can see what other families are choosing at: School Days Gone By Link Up  Happy Homeschooling!