Satis Bene

If I were asked how our second grade year went, that would be my answer: Satis Bene–“Very Well.”

Turkey and Bunny have learned so much since last August, so much that it seems like a very long time ago. They have mastered carrying and borrowing in math, (which was one of the things I dreaded teaching the most!), and the “times tables” are almost memorized, which was probably my second biggest concern. They have started beginning fractions, and even a brief introduction to simple algebraic equations. That’s a lot of progress!

We have all been learning Latin, (even Moose and Ladybug–they like to recite the Sanctus with us), and I think we’re all smarter for it. It’s interesting to see word origins, and let’s face it, learning Latin just makes you feel a little superior. There, I said it right out loud. Latin makes me feel important. I’m so happy that I get to learn it right alongside Turkey and Bunny.

We’ve completed our third trip through the Bible, courtesy of a third Bible storybook. We even had Old and New Testament workbooks to go along with our reading–and Turkey and Bunny really liked that, because they’re workbook children.

They finished the Explode the Code series, two books of vocabulary with Wordly Wise, and a volume of MCP Phonics. Their creative writing, (particularly Turkey’s), has really blossomed, and it’s so much fun to read what they’re writing. Their reading has, of course, improved–they’re both bookworms, even if Turkey doesn’t like admitting it. Their handwriting has also improved–Bunny is usually still in a rush, so her writing isn’t as neat as Turkey’s, but comparing what she wrote in August with what she wrote today really demonstrates that she’s come a long way.

We had an overview of ancient history this year, from the beginning to the fall of Rome. I think Rome was their favorite thing to learn about, not because it’s what we studied most recently, but (I’m guessing) because it was something Turkey and Bunny were already familiar with, having heard of some of the people and places in Bible stories. They also both really enjoyed learning about China, especially the Great Wall of China; and Egypt, and the pyramids. So, great feats of engineering are popular here.

We also got to study many different things in science, including animals of the world, (which also overlapped nicely into geography), the human body, and outer space. It’s no big surprise that the space unit was the favorite here, and it was a nice way to end the school year, even if Turkey and Bunny didn’t really learn anything new. Review is good, right?

We read a lot of great books this year. Classics, like Charlotte’s Web, (our first read-aloud of the year), and books I had never heard of before, that became instant favorites, (such as Detectives in Togas). We read books that made us want to read other books, (who wants to stop at Homer Price when Centerburg Tales is waiting to be read?), and we read books over and over and over… (Greek Myths for Young Children was an overwhelming favorite of both Turkey and Bunny, and I enjoyed refreshing my memory of mythology as well).

Our electives were especially fun this year. More classical music–the children have picked their favorite composers, and are better than I am at identifying who wrote a piece of music just by listening to the style. We studied great works of art, (and visited the Art Museum again), and learned a bit about architecture. We also had a separate health curriculum, which was surprisingly fun, and focused on more than the food pyramid and saying no to drugs.

It was a great year–I’m really looking forward to third grade (after a vacation from teaching, of course)!

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