Monthly Wrap-Up ~ The First 6 Weeks of Homeschool

Monthly Homeschool Wrap Up K, 3rd and 7th Grade



Instead of holding myself to a weekly wrap-up, I thought I might give a monthly wrap-up a try.  This is a big homeschool year for us, as we ditched our cyber-school and are enjoying a new way of learning!  I am wrapping up 6 weeks of learning in this post.  During those 6 weeks, we had two short weeks, so all together it’s about 5 weeks of learning.

Yes, this will be a long post.

You can see our detailed curriculum posts by clicking on the graphics below.

All Together Subjects Homeschool Curriculum Choices 7th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices 3rd Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum Choices

 


All Together School

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We have a wide grade and age range between our three kids, but I am thrilled to say that we have found quite a few subjects to learn all together!  I wasn’t sure how it would work, but a month later I can say…so far, so good!

We do the following subjects all together, and I will share mini updates below!

 

Mystery of History

Our Mystery of History time together has been simple and fun.  I must be honest, we aren’t doing much in the way of extra activities.  We are in a season of life which requires a bit less and I am finding peace in less.  We are enjoying the reading, the coloring pages, the timeline, a few extra books to go along, and some great discussion. My oldest is doing the notebooking pages also.

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Everyone’s favorite seems to be the coloring pages. Thankfully they all three enjoy coloring.

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Mystery of History -9943

As I write this we have completed the 5th week.  We enjoyed a documentary on Netflix about the Pyramids, a LOT.  We also have been enjoying The Read and Share Bible {shown below} to watch some of the Bible stories. This really helps the younger two.

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I struggled with a decision over our timeline and finally decided to use the free printables from Contented at Home.  I am SO pleased with our choice, perfect for this season of life

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We are all learning a lot, I am very pleased with our choice for world history.

US History ~ Christopher Columbus

I LOVE this!  I know my kids are learning so much but I am so excited about all that I am learning!  It’s amazing the very basic knowledge I had of Christopher Columbus, until now!  It took us about 6 weeks to read the entire book, we usually read 2-4 times per week.  See all we did here!

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World Geography

I chose a very simple world geography curriculum and made some printables {sharing soon} to go along. We are following along with the book Passport to the World currently. So far we have made it through G is for Germany.  Our goal is twice a week, but some weeks we only did one. We are all enjoying this simple way to touch on new countries consistently.

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Bible

We are using What’s in the Bible DVDs and coloring book for our main focus, with Picture Smart Bible as a once a week focus for the boys only.

What's in the Bible Homeschool

Music Appreciation

We are using A Young Scholar’s Guide to Composers, with just the boys.  L is invited but not required to participate.  I waited to begin this subject until near the end of the month, as it is a once a week extra. I have done the first two lessons with the boys.  They like the music samples {which are linked on YouTube in the curriculum}.  We all enjoyed the first lesson, but the second was a bit slow for us {the first two lessons are about the early history of music and not actual composers}. The third lesson bring us to our first composer and we are looking forward to that!

 

D.E.A.R.

Drop Everything And Read is happening in our house during the thirty minutes right before lunch. It is usually enjoyed by all kids.  During this time, Pac reads whatever chapter book he is reading, and L and K choose their books.  All of these photos were shared on Instagram!

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7th Grade

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PacMan is almost entirely independent this year.  I teach him writing and Who is God? and the rest he does independently.

One big change for our family is having Daddy FULLY in charge of overseeing Pac’s science {Apologia General Science}! I caught them in action below {love their faces}.

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Pac is not only reading and doing the work himself, he is also setting up, completing, and cleaning up his own experiments!  This curriculum has a LOT of experiments and he loves it.  I love that he is able to handle the time consuming part.

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He invites us in to see the end result, I am usually pretty impressed!  These are some neat experiments.

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We do writing {Write Shop 1} in the afternoon together, can’t say it’s a favorite for either of us {writing in general}. This is the one subject I would pay someone to teach my kids. The curriculum is great, I just don’t like teaching writing.

He is doing really well with Teaching Textbooks Pre Algebra, you can see him in action below. it is a GREAT fit for our family so far.

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He chose The Bronze Bow as his first novel and he LOVED it.  He is now reading The Hittite Warrior, also his choice {from a stack of books I preselected for him, shown below.}

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We are pleased with our curriculum choices so far.  He is learning, it is flowing, and we are getting through school in a reasonable amount of time!


3rd Grade

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Krash is blessed to be going to his best friends’ house for science every morning.  One of my dear friends {the author of Calendar Connections} is teaching her son and mine using Apologia’s Botany.

I do the rest of his school with him in the afternoon. Each day I grab his stack shortly after lunch and we dig in!

His favorites are Life of Fred Math and reading. We continue to use and love Lessontrek {see his on top of the stack} for lesson plans.

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He is doing well with Teaching Textbooks Math 4, I am pleased with this choice so far.

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In addition to this we also do timed multiplication fact tests at least once a week.  He LOVES these and begs to do them.

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We are using Write Shop D for writing and it is going well.  He enjoys the many activities and the final writing but does not like the brainstorming part  He just likes to write freely so this is cramping his style a bit. The curriculum is great, I just dislike teaching writing.

3rd Grade -0753 3rd Grade -0828

I am using First Language Lessons {starting with book 1 and moving quickly} to work on oral comprehension and solid grammar skills.  In addition to this he is using Growing with Grammar 2 which I am loving.  Can’t say he loves it, but it is working and simple.

I am using P’s old Calvert 3rd grade reading books {shown on right below} to have him read passages aloud to me to work on fluency. Ladybug likes to listen.

We are also using the book list from Sonlight 3rd grade to read through.  He reads the books on his own and then answers questions and discusses with me. I also have a stack of books ready for him to choose freely from.

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We are using Vocabulary Connections D and again, he doesn’t love it, but I know it’s good for him.  Calvert used this and I like it for some simple vocab review and growth. The cat likes it more than he does. It’s one of those traditional choices that just makes me feel better.  Touching on vocab, grammar, and comprehension.

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All About Spelling continues to work for him.  We are almost done with Level 2 {didn’t finish it last year} and will move onto level 3 soon.

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Kindergarten

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Ladybug goes first with me in the morning for her school with Mommy time.  We usually get started around 9am and finish up by around 10:15.  Sometimes she wants to go longer and we will do more in the afternoon, sometimes we will stop before 10:15.  I am super flexible with the Kindergarten year.

I do specific posts for much of Ladybug’s Kindergarten {Kindergarten Literature Units, You Can Read, Spielgaben, RLRS and Theme Units}.  Here’s direct links to the posts showing her in action during this first six weeks of homeschool {click on the graphic to see the posts}.

 You Can Read Sight Words Unit 4 You Can Read Sight Word Review You Can Read Sight Words unit 5 Apple Theme Homeschool Kindergarten Fun

My Cats Nick and Nora Kindergarten Literature Unit In Action The Selfish Crocodile Kindergarten Literature Unit in Action Playful Learning with Spielgaben August 2014 Playful Learning with Spielgaben September 2014

I have been asked how the timing of our units works out.  Here’s a brief outline to show how I fit things in during the first 6 weeks so you can see what overlaps with what.  Basically I create a plan like this with loose goals and then adjust as needed each week. This image shows what we actually did for the past 6 weeks.

{LOE=Logic of English Foundations A, YCR=You Can Read, RLRS=Raising Lil’ Rock Stars}Kindergarten Plans the First 6 Weeks

 

She also has other Kindergarten fun that we don’t blog specifically about, and I will include in the wrap up posts here!

We are using and enjoying Logic of English Foundations A. I specifically chose the cursive as I believe in their method of teaching cursive first, BUT my daughter did not agree.  So, I am following her lead and we are instead working on identifying cursive letters, but using print for handwriting. So, although we are bypassing the handwriting portion presented in LOE Foundations A, we are loving the phonogram teaching.  We are up to lesson 11 and her favorite is the oral sound work with the worksheets for her to circle on.  She has improved SO much with her oral skills.  In the beginning she couldn’t listen to me segment sounds and figure out a word at ALL.  Now, weeks later she is truly grasping this.

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We do lots of active games to work with the phonograms. You can see her in action below in photos and video!

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For handwriting, I am using my Letter Tracing Printables & flashcards, LetterSchool app, and the Alphabet Tracing Pages from This Reading Mama. I have a post coming soon sharing how we are using these.

We are using Speekee for Spanish, she does this with Krash and they both LOVE it!

We are doing our Integrity Time Bible lessons a bit slower right now as we iron out our other subjects.  My goal is once a week. Below you can see her with the characters from Letter F.

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On days when we have extra time we play games together.  A favorite is POP Rhyming which is simple and effective.

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Lots of work on rhyming words, which she still needs!

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It has been a great first 6 weeks, I am loving the shift from cyber school to traditional homeschool.  It is working for us.  I am still ironing out a few daily routine things even 6 weeks later.  It is an ongoing process, it seems we are always adjusting! But that’s the beauty of homeschooling, we can!

Linking to ~ Weekly Wrap-Up

Speekee Spanish for Homeschoolers

Speekee Spanish is a great Spanish program for homeschoolers! We are loving it and are excited to share our thoughts as well as a great giveaway with you!

{disclaimer ~ Speekee is a blog sponsor and I was given a membership to use for this review}Speekee Spanish for Homeschoolers



Years ago we used Speekee, and we kept our monthly subscription long after our initial review in 2011.  Want to see how long ago?  Here’s a photo, aren’t they cute?!

Speekee

Eventually I let the subscription go, but then Jim from Speekee got in touch with me recently to come back on board as a blog sponsor. I knew they had redone the Speekee website and was excited to see the changes and if it might work for my family.

I was mostly interested in the Fast Track, which is a 40 week homeschool Spanish program with lessons! I figured we would like it but wasn’t sure how much.  We are going through a lot of changes this year and I wasn’t really looking to add another subject to our day.  I figured we could review it for a month or so and then put away for another year.

Boy was I wrong.  There’s going to be NO putting it away, the kids LOVE it!  Seriously, these two beg for the daily lessons!

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Speekee_Advert[1]

What is Speekee?

Speekee is a multi award-winning Spanish learning program​ for 2-11 year olds. It’s the most comprehensive Spanish program for children ever to appear online. Games, videos and challenges are all part of this super fast way for kids to learn Spanish!​ There are 40 videos that form the backbone of this program tailor made for homeschoolers.

 

What is Speekee Fast Track for Homeschoolers?

Speekee Fast Track is a 40 week program for young learners of Spanish, targeted for ages 2-8. It focuses on the first ten episodes in the Speekee series of videos. Each week 4 activities are suggested, with corresponding worksheets, videos, and other activities.

Here’s a peek at the first 4 weeks {clipped from the Speekee website, scroll to the bottom of the homepage and click on the words “Fast Track” to see this}.

Speekee Fast Track Week 1-4

 

How Much Does it Cost?

Speekee is an online subscription service, giving you access to all of the materials with your membership.  You can see current prices here {scroll down to the bottom}.

 

Fast Track is what we are using and what I am focusing on in this review. My kids are ages 5 & 8 so this is a perfect fit.  My oldest is 12 and although he listens in sometimes, he is not participating with us regularly.

Each school day, the younger two work with me on the day’s assignment.  The Fast Track plan does not say to watch the video each day but my kids insist.  So, we do the activities, plus the video each day.

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On day 2 of week 1 you are told to help the kids make puppets to represent Dino and Lupi ~ the adorable puppets in the videos.

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Honestly I didn’t not want to do this.  I wasn’t in a crafting mood.  However, I am so glad I ignored my feelings and just did what the lesson plan said.  They LOVE these puppets.

We now have Dino and Lupi sit with us for each lesson and they have REALLY helped with encouraging natural dialogue.

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Below you can see a bit of the screen showing the puppets in one of the videos.

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They also each have a Spanish notebook.  This is for the printables from the Speekee lessons and a few more I have created on my own to enhance their learning.  I will share these later on my blog, I am not done with them yet!

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I am so glad Speekee came back on as a sponsor and that I was required to dig back into it.  It truly is a perfect fit for my two youngest and they are begging for the lessons each day. We will be continuing on with the Fast Track program this entire school year!

One of you is going to win a 40 week membership to Speekee so you too can enjoy the full Fast Track program!!

Use Rafflecopter to enter to win below.  Giveaway is open worldwide and ends 9/26/14. Be sure to click over to the blog to be able to see the widget if you are reading via email or RSS.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Our 3rd Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices

3rd Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices



My middle son is 8 and going into 3rd grade this year. Up until now, we have used Calvert as our base curriculum, you can read here why we chose to change.  Below are the 3rd grade homeschool curriculum choices we have made for Krash!

{disclaimer ~ affiliate links are used below}

3rd Grade Subjects

These are the subjects only Krash will be doing {the others are listed below in the group subject section}

Krash ~  3rd Grade, age 8

The visual version…

Botany  TT4  Vocab Connections CGrowing with Grammar 2  WS_Junior_D  elementary-kit  First Language Lessons  Home Art Studio

Group Subjects

I also I chose some subjects to do with all 3 of my children together, you’ll see these below.  My kids will be Kindergarten, 3rd grade and 7th grade so I will adjust these subjects to each child’s academic ability as far as my expectations.

    The visual version…

YWAM-Heroes-of-History-U.S.-History-[1] Draw your way through the Bible  Continent-Boxes_thumb9 Whats-in-the-Bible-DVDs-and-Coloring Geography-and-Cultures10 Young-Composers13

Tot School Ideas for Ages 18-24 Months

Tot School Ideas Ages 18-24 Months



Tot School is simply playing with your tot!  The name came from my son many years ago, but don’t let the term “school” fool you, it most certainly is not school in the traditional form.  It is simply exposing early learning skills through focused play with your tot, something parents have been doing for many, many years!  I am a firm believer in developmentally appropriate practice and letting kids grow and develop at their pace, not pushing education too soon.  However, it is usually the MOM who needs an actual plan, idea list, or even a program to follow. For those of you who love to gather ideas for playing with your tot, I am sharing several posts in a series, broken down by ages. Many have asked for this, and finally I am taking the time to do it!

Many of the ideas presented in former posts are also great ideas for this age group. Some are duplicated here, but many are not. Be sure to look back if you haven’t yet!

See our other posts in this series…

Tot School Ideas for 9-12 Months

Tot School Ideas for 12-18 Months

Tiny Tot School Ideas for Ages 9-12 Months  Tot School Ideas Ages 12-18 Months[1] 

All ideas are presented with the understanding that you are playing WITH your baby, these are not all independent activities as some of the items are choking hazards. Please only use ideas that you feel comfortable with and feel you can ensure your tot’s safety.

 

1. Foam ABC Puzzle

This ABC puzzle has been a long time favorite in our house.  We have the upper and lowercase version, and Krash especially LOVED this puzzle.  We used it almost daily, mostly for hammering letters into.  It is foam and durable.  See the post this photo is featured in here.  He is 23 months old in this photo.

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- Foam ABC Puzzle from www.1plus1plus1equals1

 

2. Blokus

Blokus is one of our favorite games to use not as intended!  The pieces are great fine motor work for little tot hands and Ladybug especially loved creating with this.  She is 22 months old in this photo.  See our Tot School post that featured this activity!

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- Blokus from www.1plus1plus1equals1

 

3. Straws

Straws and empty containers {Parmesan Cheese shown below} always provided hours of entertainment. Ladybug was 21 months in this photo, see the rest of the Tot School post here.

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- Straws

 

4. Felt Play

We have many felt sets, most are Betty Lukens, since we reviewed them years ago.  This one is Creatology from Michaels. She loved designing felt scenes at this age.  See the Tot School post this photo was featured in, she was 22 months.

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- Felt Play

 

5. Dress Up Play

My tots began to love dress up play during this stage and I LOVED seeing them dress up! Krash is on the right at 22 months, the post is here.  Ladybug is on the left at 22 months, the post is here!

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- Dress Up from www.1plus1plus1equals1

 

6. Matching Favorites

Our theme based printable packs are great for fun matching activities.  Tots love matching their favorite characters to cards with the images.  Shown below are cards from our Cars Preschool Pack, she matched the real cars to her cards. See this Tot School post here, she was 22 months.

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- Matching Favorites  from www.1plus1plus1equals1

 

7. Foam Blocks

Foam blocks are such a great tool for tots of all ages.  One of our very favorites for many stages.  She was 21 months in this photo. See this post here.

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- Foam Blocks

 

8. Cutting Food

Cutting food is a great toy for tots!   Krash was 22 months in this photo, see the post here.

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- Cutting Food from www.1plus1plus1equals1

 

9.  Lacing on a Firm Stick

Lacing is difficult for tots this age when using a flimsy string.  We use firm sticks to lace on at this stage.  Below she is using a heart on a stick bought at a craft store, not even sure what they are called officially, I think they go in plants maybe? The idea is something thin and firm to lace bigger beads on.  Once this is mastered, you can move on to lacing on a pipe cleaner. She was 21 months in this photo, the Tot School post is here.

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- Lacing on a Firm Stick from www.1plus1plus1equals1

 

10. Spooning

A spoon, a container to spoon into, and small items to spoon are all you need for this simple activity! She was 21 months in this photo, the Tot School post is here.

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- Spooning from www.1plus1plus1equals1

 

11. Basic Pattern Block Puzzles

These basic pattern puzzles are a great toy for tots this age.  Just challenging enough for most, but not too overwhelming.  Both kids loved these at this age.  Krash was months in this photo, the Tot School post is here.

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- Shape Puzzles from www.1plus1plus1equals1

 

12. ABC Fishing

We have loved this magnetic fishing ABC set for years. It is great hand-eye work for this stage, as well as a fun way to work on letter names!  She was 18 months in this photo. See this post here.

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- ABC Fishing from www.1plus1plus1equals1

 

13. Shape Sorter

Any shape sorter will do, and you probably have one or two, they are popular!   She was 23 months in this photo, see the post here.

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- Shape Sorter

 

14. Stickers

Stickers are great fine motor skill work for tots!  Krash was 22 months in this photo, see the post here.

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- Stickers

15. Tossing

Ladybug had some gross motor delays during this stage so we tossed a lot to help her muscle development.  We often used a laundry basket and any indoor toy or ball that could be safely tossed!  See the Tot School post this photo was featured in, she was 21 months.

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- Tossing from www.1plus1plus1equals1

 

16. Sidewalk Chalk

Many tots love the freedom of sidewalk chalk, mine did! See the Tot School post this photo was featured in, he was 22 months.

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- Sidewalk Chalk from www.1plus1plus1equals1

17. Poking Pasta

An old cereal box with small holes poked by you in advance and some uncooked noodles make for a great activity for tots during this stage.  I remember Krash playing with this a lot!  See the Tot School post this photo was featured in, he was 23 months.

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- Poking Pasta in a Cereal Box from www.1plus1plus1equals1

18. Water Painting

I did it when I was a kid and you probably did to!  A bucket of water and a grown up paint brush. Much fun for tots and big kids!  See the Tot School post this photo was featured in, he was 23 months.

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- Water Painting

19. Instruments

Our instrument collection has always been a favorite of all.  Tots this age love to make noise and explore instruments of all kinds!!  See the Tot School post this photo was featured in, he was 21 months.

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- Instruments

20. Chunky Puzzles

Chunky wooden puzzles are great for young tots, consignment sales and thrift stores are great places to find them!  See the Tot School post this photo was featured in {puzzle is here}, he was 24 months.

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- Chunky Puzzles


I created a simple PDF file featuring all of the images from this post on one page.  Back when we were Tot Schooling, I loved to have lists I could refer back to.

You can download the Tot School ideas for Ages 18-24 months here!

I also went back and added PDF files like this to the 9-12 month ideas post and the 12-18 month ideas post!

Tot School Baby Play Ideas Ages 18-24 Months

See our Tot School Ideas for Ages 18-24 Months Pinterest Board here! If you are a blogger and have specific posts for this age group, leave a link in the comments to share with others!


Looking for more ideas, be sure to grab our Where to Begin with Tot School eBook for free here! In the eBook you will find pages with different ages and ideas for that age group!

Tot-School-Ideas-By-Ages_thumb111


~ Coming Soon ~

Tot School Ideas for 24-30 Months

Tot School Ideas for 30-36 Months

Tot School Ideas for 3-4 Years

In the meantime, you can visit our Tot School Ideas by Ages!

A Reading Log Printable for My Bookworm

Free Printable Reading Log



My son Krash has become a little bookworm. It developed out of nowhere, as he has NOT been much of a reader until now. He enjoys being read to, but wasn’t like Ladybug who always has books near her and will sit and read for hours.

In the past 5 months or so, something has clicked and unlocked this side of him.  When he read his first chapter book for fun, and enjoyed it, the fire was lit inside of him!  The first chapter book her read was a book I was sent many years ago as a sample copy from Scholastic, Looniverse. It sat on my shelf for years since it was not at a level for any of my kids but then suddenly I remembered it and pulled it out for him.  It was perfect for him…just enough pictures and words, a funny story line and characters he loved. We went on to buy the other 3 books in the series and he read them all quickly, the last one arrived one morning and he had it finished that night!

Chapter Books for 2nd Grade Boys

I soon realized I couldn’t afford to buy his books so we hit the library together.  He chose the A-Z Mystery series and picked out 4 he liked.  He has read 2 of those 4 and loves them.  Thankfully we have many more in the series for him and our library has them all!

Chapter Books for 2nd Grade Boys

 

I realized too late that we should have had a reading log for him all this time, but honestly his reading enthusiasm caught me so off guard, I wasn’t prepared!  I decided to change that and whipped up a quick reading log printable for him including what we wanted on it.  The title, number of pages, date started and completed,and a place for him to rate the book 1-10.

Reading Log

{click image to download Reading Log Printable}

Here’s his filled in chart, we did the best with the dates we couldn’t remember

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We also have Jigsaw Jones on our list to try next.  Any other suggestions?