Come Shoot The Breeze With Me

Hey, all, how’s the weather? It’s quite nice here – except that it’s allergy season. Achoo!

We had a lovely visit with my parents over the weekend. I can’t believe my mom drove that far to come get us and then bring us back. Ella está loca en la cabeza. O el corazón. Cualquiera. ;) But I love her!

We went shopping, met my new baby niece, went to my mom’s new church and met them, and relaxed and hung out visited a lot. I’ll have to tell you all about the trip to the outlet mall, but that’s a whole post in and of itself!

Also, my mom gave me some soap-making stuff that she had (I guess she’s had her run with that adventure and went back to store-bought soap) and since there was a bottle of glycerin in there and some green apple scent, I’m really looking forward to trying some more new things! Woo-hoo!!

I’ve been convicted to “get it in gear” for the rest of the school year. We’re definitely planning on testing Princess at some place such as Sylvan at the end of May. It’s not necessary but it will help prove to us (and mostly Big Daddy who is not home during school hours) whether or not she would be able to pass second grade and start third grade if she were in public school.

We school year round, so technically she doesn’t have to finish second grade until the end of July. Since we’d test her at the end of May or beginning of June, that puts me on the spot a little.

You can know for certain that I do not want her to fail that test! For one thing, it would mean public school in August, I’m sure of it. Not for my thinking, but for Big Daddy’s who -though he was initially the instigator behind home-schooling, has now become unsure of it and is worried about getting behind. For another thing, I would feel like I have failed her. I know that, too.

We need to finish anyway, but I feel this need to make sure we’ve covered all the necessary things before that test. My own personal assessment is:

  • Reading Level – just fine, no worries. In fact, I tested her online yesterday and confirmed that her reading level is above average.
  • Spelling (and phonics) – not so much. She stil spels very funetickly. However, she’s been improving a lot, and that’s an easy fix, really. I let her take the test on, and I’ll give her some extra spelling practice from Skillswise, Catch the Spelling, Houghton Mifflin, i4C, and Gamequarium
  • Grammar – She’s pretty good at grammar, but her biggest problem is that she either doesn’t use periods at all or. she. over. uses. them. Normal? I don’t know. She does know that she needs to and when, I just think she’s not really paying attention to it. For extra practice, she can use these grammar activities from Harcourt and also i4C.
  • Math – She can add and subtract double digits; also whole tens and hundreds. She just needs to get faster at it. Place value, telling and writing time is just fine. But by far her weakest is money math. We’ll use these activities to help: Online flashcarsds from (I’ve been having her do this each day and watching her speed increase as she gets better at it.); and the math, time and measuring activities from Woodlands Junior School. I can give her the Saxon placement test again to get an idea of where she stands now. (We’re not using Saxon now but we’ll be using it next year.)
  • Health and Social Studies, etc.. she’s probably okay but I have no idea how much of that is on the test!
  • And as far as science goes… *insert blood curdling scream here*… I really don’t feel like we have done science any justice. We don’t have a book (I wish we did) but I’ve found some great resources to help me make sure we cover the basics as we piece things together from the internet and library. This is a pretty good list of basic concepts for basic 2nd grade science from There is a science section on Skillwise. I LOVE this site from McMillon/McGraw-Hill. We’ll also go to the library to find books about the various topics.

I’m building a school notebook for Princess’s school stuff, something that will need a post of it’s own but is similar to my home management binder in form and function, but suffice to say that I’m adding a lot of this on there to help me keep track of it all. I feel much better after having a more specific plan. I always feel better with a plan! (Right, mom?)Other good sites for other ages that I found while searching for these:

  • Online Activities and Interactive Learning for all subjects and all grade levels from Scholastic.
  • “Where’s that U.S. State game” from Funschool.

So school on the brain is what’s going on around here… what’s going on with y’all? Leave me a comment and let me know if you go through these things, too, with your children, or if you have any recommended sites or online tests, or just in general any other thoughts. Or shucks, even questions. I read every comment and try to respond if I can. I mean, who doesn’t love comments?

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Teri in CO
Teri in CO
March 27, 2008 8:39 pm

Thanks for stopping by my blog! The sing-song is 5 little monkeys sitting in a tree… Good guess though!

It does sound like you are doing great with your homeschooling! But I totally understand wanting “proof”…

And “plans” are good!

Amy Jane (Untangling Tales)
Amy Jane (Untangling Tales)
March 28, 2008 4:22 pm

Thanks for visiting ;o) I couldn’t tell by reading here what level your daughter is at. I’m only just getting ready to start my oldest, so I don’t yet know anything about “standards.” In theory I object to them. Seriously. I am utterly confident that by the grace of God and the hard work of their parents my children will leave home knowing everything they need to know. I don’t like to be told when they have to know it by before they are labeled. (Some) People seem to understand this when one talks about, say, sex education, but they… Read more »

March 27, 2008 2:15 pm

It sounds like you are doing a great job! I will be praying for you and for her to pass the test! Kids learn at all different paces, but it sounds like she is on track. I am sure she will do just fine! Thanks for all of the great resources.

March 28, 2008 10:36 pm

Just by reading this post I could tell our daughters were in the same grade! We are doing almost all of the same types of things. I am going to use that reading placement test. She was a late reader, but I believe she is above grade level now, but I would like to know for sure.

Thanks for all the links! I didn’t have a bunch of them. I have quite a few links on my blog’s sidebar:

I think Em will really like some of those spelling games and other websites.


March 27, 2008 7:02 pm

Thanks! Both of you! You know, I did realize that kids in public school could test behind, too, I guess I just hadn’t thought of it all in perspective. If she was in public school and behind, she might be given extra help, or possibly even held back. It could happen just as easily in either situation. However, instead of worying about whether or not she’s behind in anything, I suppose I should just assess her for strengths and weaknesses and take action where needed, same as would happen in public school. It’s just harder, as I’m sure you know,… Read more »

March 27, 2008 2:54 pm

Don’t forget that kids in public school are testing below grade level too! For me one of the biggest reasons to home school is that you are not FORCING a child to learn at a goverment approved rate. What does the state know about your child? Not that its okay to slack off or anything:-). I taught public school for three years and the hardest part was that someone out there wanted all of my students to be at the same place at the same time. Test her, then enjoy her strenghts and just work harder on the weaknesses!

john mcmenamin
john mcmenamin
June 16, 2008 12:10 pm

just thought I would say hello from Ireland, President Bush was here today-oh, and his wife.
Its almost Midsummer, soon be time to visit the stone circle near my home and pay my respects to my Druid ancestors. The stone circle has a great “pull” on me, it must be folk memory.
I will lay a laurel wreath for you and you may dream about the queen of the May.
Little sun here today, quite cool.
All the best, JP McMenamin-Ireland 2008

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