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Entering 2nd Grade Chat

  1. Mamaof2

    squash / 13159 posts

    @looch: oh I'll check out Greg Tang - love educational games

  2. Baby Boy Mom

    pomegranate / 3859 posts

    Our only homework for now is reading 30 minutes. But honestly the kids come home so tired there is no way I could get them to sit down for more work. 🤷‍♀️

  3. Mrs. Yoyo

    blogger / pomelo / 5364 posts

    Wow, sounds like we're in the minority. Sigh.

  4. Baby Boy Mom

    pomegranate / 3859 posts

    @Mrs. Yoyo: FWIW last year our homework was the same as yours- math, reading and a response plus vocabulary. The teacher and I constantly butted heads about it because I could never get him to do everything; it was just too much and took way too long with younger siblings at home and no real motivation on his part to do it.

  5. Mrs. Yoyo

    blogger / pomelo / 5364 posts

    @Baby Boy Mom: She has signaled some flexibility so I'll approach her if I think it's going to be a long-term issue. To his credit, we've only had one total meltdown so far. But I do want to get to the point that it doesn't eat the whole evening. He's not very independent (working on it) so it can be a process for both of us.

  6. Baby Boy Mom

    pomegranate / 3859 posts

    @Mrs. Yoyo: I feel you. Good luck! And definitely make the teacher aware of how long it’s taking...that was the only way I sort of got through to ours.

  7. lamariniere

    pineapple / 12428 posts

    @Mrs. Yoyo: that does sound like a lot!

    We have less this year, and I think it’s because this teacher is much more organized than last year’s. I always had the impression that she just invented assignments last minute without having a real plan. This year, I can see the organization and there’s a logic to it. Every week we have 2 small sets of spelling words, usually a poem or song or book to read, or maybe a few sentences to write and there’s an online math game every day, which only takes about 5 min. It’s such a relief because last year’s seemed so tedious and pointless and this year follows what they are learning. We don’t have a daily reading requirement but my son probably reads 20 min every day on his own for fun.

    Is anyone else still reading aloud at night? We still do. This past spring we started a lot of longer chapter books and we’ve been reading the Harry Potter series since June. We’re getting close to the end of book 5!

  8. 808love

    pomelo / 5819 posts

    Thanks for the Greg Tang recommendation. Do you have Fall break where you live? DD is doing a nature camp this fall and we are super excited. It will be a pain in my husband’s schedule to drive her that far but we are willing to sacrifice for a week. How are your activities going? DD doesn’t really care for gymnastics and wants out but it has helped her with her motor skills so much. Genes wise, she has very petite body structure (wrists/ankles) etc. I hate to pull her out but it has been an ongoing conversation for two months so we finally agreed to reduce her to one hour a week. I told her we would make an effort to do more family biking/hiking/swimming etc. in place of gymnastics. It just feels weird to pull out of a structured team atmosphere (and very highly quality staff) but nothing is sticking. We don’t want to do soccer because of injuries. Again, she is usually one of the smallest (but bravest) kids. So for now, she is still in Japanese. Well, we are on 2 week break and then she can join the next session if we decide to. She really likes it. But part of me thinks, how useful is this at this point? I mean the culture stuff is good and I think kids more easily learn language at this age but I’m not sure. Plus DH and I aren’t actively learning right now so it really is because of her interest level. Did your child find their passions yet...that you pay for?? How do you decide on activities if they are only lukewarm? Do you feel pressure to ‘do something’ paid? I liked it when I took a year off and we just traveled and did an occasional camp once in awhile. Part of me wonders if I’ll regret it though. Haha....mommy doubts.

  9. Mamaof2

    squash / 13159 posts

    @808love: No fall break here - our 1st break is Thanksgiving

    DD takes dance which she loves and does Girl Scouts - which she also enjoys.

    I do NOT feel pressured to put them in activities. I told my kids they need to be in ONE thing - DS picked nothing so I put him in Cub Scouts - haha

    DD picked 2 things and that's fine - but I wont add any more. Dance is twice a week and Girl Scouts is one Sunday a month plus 1 activity a month (days vary).
    Its plenty - my kids definitely need down time.

  10. Mrs. Yoyo

    blogger / pomelo / 5364 posts

    My rule is just one thing outside of school, and one school club (they are fairly low-key) if he desires. He has a boys' gymnastics class and opted out of school clubs this time around, partly because I think he realizes that homework is more intense.

    DH wants our preschooler to do extracurriculars too and I've held off so far. I do not want to be shuttling them around every day, and a full day of school is more than enough at age 4.

  11. gestalt

    cherry / 147 posts

    No fall break either. My daughter has a piano lesson and soccer practice during the week, and on the weekends she has soccer game, language class, and swim lessons. Thankfully swim will be ending soon, and I'm hoping we can just have one day on the weekend where we have nothing!

    @808love: regarding language lessons, i feel it's important to do it early to get the accent/pronunciation correct. I think i read that once you get past 8, it doesn't sound very natural.

  12. 808love

    pomelo / 5819 posts

    Thanks for your responses. DD also does a weekly church event which will end in May so we have that too. I think we will stick with Japanese for one more 10 week session and see how that goes with gymnastics.

  13. lamariniere

    pineapple / 12428 posts

    @808love: regarding language, my LOs have been multilingual since birth since we are a bilingual household. From 2, my DS was immersed in a 3rd language since we were living in a different country. By the time we left, my son was native fluent with no accent (at least not in the local dialect), so trilingual. Now we live in yet another country and he gets exposure to an Asian language, although not as much. His C language is now very rusty orally, but he still has good comprehension and his D language is just basics and vocabulary. I don’t think he can speak the D language, but he has notions. Because of our expat life, I’ve seen all sorts of families and 3 languages are very common, and 4 is not unheard of. It is absolutely incredible to watch little kids be able to speak different languages with different people in different contexts. Honestly, I feel a little remorseful that my LOs only have 2 solid languages since they are slowly losing the C language and are beginners in the D language. All that to say, I feel very strongly about language learning and about how useful it can be!

    We have a 2 week fall break coming up. No idea what we will be doing though since I’m also in school and I’m only off one of the two weeks.

    As for activities, our school offers a whole catalog of after school activities on site at school, and it’s amazing since that means zero logistics for me. This semester my son will be doing guitar, manga drawing and hip hop dancing.

  14. looch

    wonderful pear / 26168 posts

    So, my son attends German school on the weekend. He's technically bilingual, but the goal for us is really for him to be biliterate because my German is my husband's native language, he has family there and we may relocate when my son is in high school. He doesn't have a choice right now, he goes and while he is there, he seems to be okay. I attribute it more to situational anxiety than anything and I have explained to him multiple times that sitting around on Saturday morning playing Roblox is not an option. He is also learning Spanish in school and I am thinking about brushing up on it so I can converse with him as I studied it for 4 years and was quite fluent. My mother has recently begun speaking to him in Italian and his comprehension is quite good, even though he responds in English with the exception of some words he finds hilarious (like underwear).

    I always like to mention my husband's language abilities, he is biliterate in 3, with native proficiency in 2 of them and conversationally fluent in a 4th. If you count his German dialect, that's a 5th language. He never left his home country, but just had an interest in languages, so he pursued it. I hope my son realizes that being able to speak multiple languages is a gift and that he seeks out opportunities to be exposed.

    We will also be joining the Y, so we can swim and play tennis indoors when the weather is poor. My son doesn't seem to be a team sport kind of person (and that is totally fine by me, I don't think sports are the only way for people to learn how to be part of a team) but physical activity is important.

    We do no afterschool activities unless they are part of the school's programming (afterschool clubs, etc) because I don't have the ability to drive him from place to place. So far, he hasn't complained or expressed interest in something but if he did, I would try to make it work.

  15. 808love

    pomelo / 5819 posts

    DH and I took Spanish so it is curious (and awesome) that DD took up an interest in Japanese. She doesn't normally eat any of Asian food but in class she does, especially the candy. I think it will be hard to sustain the learning if we don't get involved but she has made a Japanese, from Japan, friend so that may be a way to further help her growth. I just looked it up online and she will learn the 2 and start on 3rd different Japanese languages by March if we stick it out. I didn't know they had so many written forms that they all blend together. I think we should go for it since it is easier for her to learn it now and she likes it.

    And yes, I hear you on having them in one physical thing at a time. She likes free dance a lot but doesn't want lessons. She was like that with swimming. She doesn't like the rigorous discipline and structure but part of me says that is good. But then again, I don't like it either. I'm more recreational. But if it's recreational, then I don't want to pay.

    Just remembered, she has Jam courses right now too. They upgraded me recently and gave me access to all courses for some reason. She has been enjoying the Minecraft Video making course where she learned to screencast. We've done a few others. Cooking was my favorite. Check it out on jam.com if you are looking for educational screen time.

    @looch: underwear! Ha!

  16. gestalt

    cherry / 147 posts

    @lamariniere: I am so envious of your kids' language abilities! My mother is fully trilingual in three very different languages and i wish she had worked harder with us when my sis and i were kids.

    @looch: i wish my kids had the frequent exposure to other languages. Do you use any apps to supplement the weekend classes?

    @808love: My daughter is the same when it comes to swimming. She loves recreational swimming but finds lessons too hard. The only problem is we have no time to take her to the pool outside of lessons so i feel like it's a bit of a waste.

  17. 808love

    pomelo / 5819 posts

    @gestalt: I like the idea to supplement with apps. I'm totally going to do that! DD can swim but not with the proper side breathing so we decided to just have her join a swim club when the timing is right. I agree that the swimming in between the lessons is the key to picking it up. What about if you combined swimming with social playdates? Would that work? We have a smallish above ground pool in our yard now so that's fun on many days that I just want to get out of the house without going anywhere.

  18. Baby Boy Mom

    pomegranate / 3859 posts

    @lamariniere: Yes still reading aloud at night! I've wondered about Harry Potter but was holding off since I feel like some of the themes might be too scary for LO.

    @808love: We also have language school on the weekends, and this year we are doing swimming lessons until they are strong swimmers. I have them scheduled for the same day so we have one free day to do family stuff or nothing.

  19. looch

    wonderful pear / 26168 posts

    @gestalt: My husband speaks exclusively German and has since my son was born, and additionally we have German books at home. We also listen to German and Swiss music. We do a lot of cultural things as well.

    We don't use apps for language, but we do use them for math supplementation (Greg Tang, Dreambox).

  20. lamariniere

    pineapple / 12428 posts

    @808love: that’s so neat that your DD was interested in Japanese on her own. I always wondered if it was a language you spoke at home or had family ties to. Good for her!

    @gestalt: I can relate! My dad is also trilingual, but never spoke anything but English to me. In an odd twist of fate, I’m now living in his home country (something I never thought would happen!) and I feel like a dope because I don’t understand! I took one set of lessons when we first arrived, but have just been too busy to continue. Fortunately (or unfortunately) it’s fairy easy to get around with English.

    @Baby Boy Mom: I was worried too since DS is super sensitive to scary things. But he has been very brave and is really enjoying the series. He has zero interest in watching the films though.

    @looch: I’ve been thinking about the cultural aspect of our family for awhile. Right now, my LOs identify much more as French, especially since they go to a French school. When I tell my daughter to speak English because she’s also American, she looks at me with these big eyes and says “quoi”? I’ve realized I don’t do much to foster their Americanness and I’m more in touch with the French community here than the American one. We also go to France much more often than the US — we haven’t been in over 3 years! I have a feeling that they will come to view America as a distant second culture, especially since we plan to settle in Europe at some point.

  21. 808love

    pomelo / 5819 posts

    @lamariniere: We have a relative in which we rarely ever see that knows a few dozen words and have visited Tokyo twice. I took a few lessons before I went the last time.

    I noticed DD loves formal academic learning such as weekly Awana, a writer’s workshop we did in the summer, and her foreign language class. She craves that intellectual stimulation and is an avid reader. So although we have hopes to give her structured physical activity, she is just not into it.

  22. Maysprout

    grapefruit / 4799 posts

    Anyone have any suggestions for helping with a reading slump in 2nd grade? My daughter has always loved stories and wasn’t an early reader but always been on track. But.....she seems to be falling behind now.

    I think she may have picked up some bad habits from reading stories that were harder but more interesting. When her teacher tests her for a reading level she’s very precise about whether you add the ‘s’ at the end of plurals and say ‘in’ instead of ‘on’. My daughter can read those words but just gets careless and I [before now] didn’t bother to correct her unless it affected the meaning. But it’s affected what level group she’s at by a lot, which means she’s being sent home with easy books she has no interest in and is just going through the motions of reading without paying attention to the story, which then affects her comprehension. But even sounding out words that I wouldn’t expect her to know but I would expect her to be able to sound out and figure out in context has been more of a struggle. And I’m not sure if that’s because she’s not as engaged of a reader, or if she started reading too hard of books in her head before where she might not know the meaning of the word so just started a habit of skipping the words, or making up a nonsense word, when she didn’t know. I’m not sure but just know reading has become much more of a struggle than it was last year even though at this point her teacher is having her read easier texts than she was last year.

    Any thoughts?

  23. Mamaof2

    squash / 13159 posts

    @Maysprout: Do you let her pick out books herself? If not I would start there - even if its a simple book - then sit next to her and make sure she reads every word correctly - then try ONE page of something harder (that she picked) and see how she does.

    Have you talked to the teacher? I would ask her to send home 2 books, a simple one for practice and one to challenge her

  24. Maysprout

    grapefruit / 4799 posts

    @Mamaof2: I just had parent-teacher conferences, which is where her teacher said she felt she was a little behind where she should be but tested her to see if she needed intervention and she was OK without it.

    Her teacher had been sending her home with easy books so sometimes I had her read the ones she was sent home with and sometimes let her choose. I had always just let her choose before though. But her teacher is pretty adamant that she’s choosing books that are too hard for her.

    Every week they do a passage they read for a minute at home to measure word count per minute. She does fine on that and pays attention for the minute, though I’m not sure if I’ve been as strict as her teacher about not enunciating plurals. But even if I were she reads anywhere between 60 and 100 wpm depending if it’s her first or second time with the passage, so she’s fine on fluency.

    She does need help on being careful and accurate, but it also ruins her paying attention to the story. And I do think she just makes words up when she doesn’t know. Her teacher sent her home with a book about baseball but she’s never played and we don’t watch it but words like “umpire” and “fielded” - words that aren’t all that hard, she couldn’t figure out by sounding them out (or even knowing the word field). And that’s I think where there’s a been a big regression is sounding out words she doesn’t know.

  25. Maysprout

    grapefruit / 4799 posts

    I guess are there any workbooks or games or other techniques to make reading fun again or just keep trudging through? Just feel like some of her problems is she’s lost some interest and isn’t as engaged of a reader for whatever reason.

  26. 808love

    pomelo / 5819 posts

    First, get her reading environmental print that applies and appropriate to her interest. Flyers, signs etc. I would go to library more often to find books she likes. Compromise and definitely let her pick out several books to your one book choice. Have a set family reading time if possible and talk about your books. Engagement, enjoyment and interest is the most important.

    Did they say comprehension is the main problem or fluency? For fluency, listen closely and write errors. Then study patterns. It really depends what she is guessing. Also, is she typically missing the middle or the end? That is where you encourage her to slow down. Also if you are up to it, teach letter combinations/patterns. For example IF she said it this way....*you have to check the real way she is saying it* write down umpire/umpeer unfielded/unfiled. So in this example, she would be having a hard time with the ire and replacing the i with the e sound. Write similar words with that pattern. Fire, tire, wire. For unfielded, she is is preferring the wrong vowel in a double vowel combinations. Again, encourage breaking off prefix and suffix and look at field. Pronounce with i sound- not right. Pronounce with the second vowel sound. Which makes the most sense? Field is pretty irregular....I can only think of yield and wield which aren’t really age appropriate. Really have to word attack the errors and you will unlock the mysteries! I wouldn’t stop her during her reading. Also you may want to show the prefix un with several examples and suffix ed with several examples.

    Let her know you will be checking for this while she reads a page or two before she starts. Wait until she is finished reading the page, don’t interrupt. Then go through the errors. Keep it in a notebook as she is reading so you can spot patterns.

    Comprehension is another story...

  27. Maysprout

    grapefruit / 4799 posts

    @808love: Thanks! Those are great suggestions. I’ll try those. I think she does get confused with endings of words. She was at the conference with me and since I was asking q about her reading the teacher called her over to show an example. She had said anymore than 3 errors per page is going to affect her reading comprehension and she should read an easier book at that point. Luckily she only got 3 wrong bc the book was fairly simple. One error was forgetting the ‘s’ at the end, one was saying ‘in’ instead of ‘on’, and she stumbled on the word ‘trotted’. She seemed to recognize the word trot once we stopped her, but struggled recognizing and understanding the past tense of the word.

  28. looch

    wonderful pear / 26168 posts

    @Maysprout and @808love: In talking about content, what do you both think about picking out a book that the child isn't interested in and having them read that?

    I do that with my son because I don't want him to only pick topics that he is interested in (vehicles). I also have the view that at some point, he's going to have to read to learn, so the material is naturally going to be something he knows nothing about, with technical words, and I figured I had better start now in terms of introducing him to texts that he normally wouldn't pick out.

  29. 808love

    pomelo / 5819 posts

    Absolutely pick out books, in addition to their choice, if you feel it is better. If less engagement in reading then you will need to let them pick out more to keep it tilted toward enjoyment. Sometimes you can get best of both worlds using library/internet research. Also by end of third grade, they should be ready to read to learn, especially informational non-fiction text. With fiction, get them to visualize what they read right now to help comprehension.

  30. Maysprout

    grapefruit / 4799 posts

    @looch: it def makes a difference for her and after talking to her teacher and seeing it in action I def think it’s something we need to work on. For her reading time today I had her read that baseball book her teacher gave her, which she’s not interested in, and then one she picked out. She flew threw the one she picked out (did forget some s’s and and silly mistakes like saying ‘and’ instead of ‘the’ but that was less than once per page). For the baseball book she was making like 3-5 mistakes per page. Both books were at DRA level 24. Isn’t that an appropriate reading level for 2nd grade or am I misunderstanding how the levels work? But that’s the book her teacher handed me saying we needed to simplify her reading bc she wasn’t at a second grade level yet. I guess I’m a bit confused now what to do. That was about the level we had her reading at home at first grade but she’s picked up harder books now. I can see reverting back to that level since books she’s not interested in she has more stumbles. But it seems counterproductive to go back to a first grade level.

  31. gestalt

    cherry / 147 posts

    My daughter tends to rush through a passage if she is forced to read aloud. She'll sometimes mix "in" and "on" but it's more to do with being careless than her not knowing how to say the word. I would be concerned if the teacher put her in a lower reading group because she was just trying to read too quickly. Is that really the main example the teacher gave to explain why she is put into a lower reading group? In my opinion, i wouldn't think that would warrant being placed in a lower group.

    I would want to know if the teacher detected patterns in the errors she is making while reading. Are you able to sense a pattern in the mistakes? Are they the easy words? Multi-syllable words? Is it related to sounding out words only?

  32. 808love

    pomelo / 5819 posts

    For careless mistakes you can still address with a quick reading tip. Don't take away from the reading and wait so you don't interrupt understanding the content. So like for 'in' and 'on' mistake I would be make it clearer. Do you put a hat on your head or in your head? Do you put your hand on the dog or in the dog? Bring awareness to the mistake with silliness can sometimes help kids beyond saying 'slow down' and read it carefully. You want them to get that they are reading for meaning...not letters in the page.... I mean on the page. Hehe. Also don't worry if your child is placed in a 'lower' group. Perhaps the other readers need other kinds of support. Maybe the group is for the kids who are not reading accurately and need the extra tips. Again, don't worry about which group....just that there is appropriate placement for the needs shown and that you are able to encourage progress.

  33. Maysprout

    grapefruit / 4799 posts

    @gestalt: Yeah I think I need more detail if she really is at that reading level because it’s such a change.

    @808love: that’s a good idea how to make her focus on the silly little mistakes. She brought home a book yesterday that was way too easy, but it was still at a more advanced level than her teacher has her in. She only made the careless mistakes once every few pages then. . Once she got up to ‘M’ books (which oddly is what level her teacher sent home as an example of her level, even though she has her written down as at ‘j’) that’s when she increased her careless mistakes. And I had her pick out one from level M of what she wanted to read and she was back down to less than one mistake per page. So the carelessness seems to be some combo of difficulty and interest. And usually she reads more difficult texts at home but she probably is stumbling with them more than is thought to be ideal. It’s never seemed to affect her interest or comprehension though so I never really thought to restrict her. But also now that I finally started looking up reading levels for books I’m not sure what’s going on that she’s grouped so low at school. She doesn’t even remotely struggle at that level or the next couple levels at home. I emailed her teacher and she thought maybe she just gets nervous when she’s tested but I can’t imagine she’s learning anything either.


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