I have actually written many back posts, including ones that focus on such diverse areas as handwork and science and examples of main lesson book work within the second grade curriculum. My favorite back post about second grade is this one.
I think now that I have been through second grade twice, I have a few more things I would like to say regarding second grade.
Second grade is still a continuation of the rhythmical foundations of the year. It is important to make margins of space and time in your schedule for the doing associated with festivals. Festivals, crafting around the festivals, baking and cooking are all still necessary. These activities help build gross and fine motor skills that are important for later academic success.
The Gross Motor Skills second graders are still developing include:
- Overall strength, flexibility, stamina and endurance. LOOK at your child. If your child is constantly tired, cannot walk long distances, has a floppy sitting posture or still wants to sit in a “W” position, has poor ability to sit still, tends to lean their head on the desk whilst they are trying to write – all of these things point toward needing more gross motor strengthening and strengthening of the lower foundational four senses. It may or may not also point to retained reflexes that could use further evaluation.
- Developing the sensory system. I have quite a few back posts on this topic.
- Agility, balance, spatial awareness. Eurythmy is so wonderful and it is too bad there are not more resources for more homeschoolers. You can try Cynthia Hoven’s website here.
- The Sense of Hearing – listening to directions, following directions.
- Accurate ball throwing and catching, walking (watch the arms and the legs during walking), running, galloping, side-galloping, jumping rope, skipping, high jumping, long jumping, leap frog, hopscotch, rhythmic games. We are also looking for dominance of hand, foot and eye.
- There is a full assessment for second grade movement from a Waldorf prospective at the Movement for Childhood website. Here is a link to the PDF. http://www.movementforchildhood.com/uploads/2/1/6/7/21671438/dutch_manual.pdf
- Here is a great article about “Movement and Child’s Play” “Movement and Child’s Play”
- And this one with goals for Movement/Gym for Grades 1-8 by grade.
Other areas we are working on in second grade:
- A social consciousness. According to the “The Waldorf School Curriculum” Chart published by AWNSA, part of second grade is “the “social being” of the class must be carefully nurtured”. Since we are in the homeschooling environment, I ask you to meditate and ponder how to nurture the life of your family and your family culture. Can the movement that is so inherent in the small child be a means to this social nurturing in the home?
In Part Two, I will be delving into other points regarding second grade in the home environment.
Carrie, your recent posts have been so right on for where I am with life, parenting, and planning. Thank you! I have much to read and still much to plan, but heading in the right direction. Warmly, Nicola
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Hi Carrie! I was revisiting this article and was left thinking about this part:
“(…)Overall strength, flexibility, stamina and endurance. LOOK at your child. If your child is constantly tired, cannot walk long distances, has a floppy sitting posture or still wants to sit in a “W” position, has poor ability to sit still, tends to lean their head on the desk whilst they are trying to write – all of these things point toward needing more gross motor strengthening and strengthening of the lower foundational four senses. It may or may not also point to retained reflexes that could use further evaluation.(…)”
Sorry for the long quote.Could you direct me where in your blog (or elsewhere) could I read more on the lower foundational four senses? I see some of this things in my 8yo, who is just beginning 2nd grade.
Thank you! Your blog is always so helpful to me. Hugs!
Yes, I think there are quite a few posts on that…Maybe here https://theparentingpassageway.com/2015/05/18/first-grade-planning-by-subject-the-physical-body-and-movement/ and there are several links embedded in that…and here is a wonderful PDF: http://www.movementforchildhood.com/uploads/2/1/6/7/21671438/12senses.pdf
Also, the Christopherus Book “Joyful Movement” has many ideas to address the senses, as well as the book “The Extra Lesson”, and there was a series on Lisa Boisvert Mackenzie’s Celebrate the Rhythm of Life blog that I think talked about the lower four senses in particular. Also, you can try my Pinterest boards on Healing Education, Pediatric Physical Therapy. And certainly don’t be afraid to mention these things to your child’s health care team as well. What does your child do for physical activity and strengthening, what areas do you think physically need to be strengthened, do you think there are retained reflexes? Don’t forget all the chapter by chapter book reviews I did on “The Well-Balanced Child”, which talked a lot about retained primitive reflexes and how this can come out in subtle ways in school aged children and other topics around the senses. https://theparentingpassageway.com/category/book-reviews/the-well-balanced-child/
Hope that helps! Hugs and love,