2nd Grade

My 8 year old son and my 6 year daughter will be doing much of the same work for second grade. They have completely different personalities when it comes to school.

My son can pick things up really quick, but is easily distracted and rarely motivated. I've had to figure out exactly what it is that distracts him and how to prevent it. He just needs more one on one time with me because when he's sitting with his sister, he has someone to entertain and distract.

He's finally discovering how much fun reading can be. He's been reading 2 pages a day of The Spiderwick Chronicles. He needed the challenge of reading a book that's higher level, but that he's interested in. He gets most of the words on his own and I help him with the bigger ones. He's seen the movie and so along the way, he's able to compare the book with the movie.

My daughter loves learning. She's highly motivated, loves to read, color, enjoys completing workbooks, but is a perfectionist. She's very hard on herself when she encounters too much challenge and will shut down. This creates a need to go with the ebb and flow of her schooling. That is, at least until she's a little older and can handle it better.

I always start with her because she's quicker and usually up earlier.
Fun Warm-up - Building Thinking Skills  - Critical Thinking Co. - as a warmup
Spelling - Evan-Moor Spelling with Spelling City
Individual Reading - 2 pages a day until I can start adding more pages
Math - Arithmetic Village and Math Mammoth 1A/B- she loves playing with the Arithmetic Village. It's low pressure and healthy play. Math was the subject besides reading where her perfectionist tendencies would shut her down. She does not like getting answers wrong.

I dismiss Hermione to play while I work with JJ. It's pretty much the same as above. I add in extra phonics practice.
Fun Warm-up - Building Thinking Skills - Critical Thinking Co.
Phonics - Explode the Code Books - finish up 4 (we skipped the syllable content until now) and then work through 6 & 7.
Spelling - Evan-Moor Spelling with Spelling City
Individual Reading - minimum 2 pages a day
Math - Math Mammoth 2A/2B

Fun Warm-up - Brainpop - Free Video of the Day
Science - Evan-Moor Daily Science with loads of additional activities. I like EMDS because it makes sure we cover the basics, plus Hermione loves to color the pictures. This frees up time to do fun science projects on the side as much or as little as our schedule allows.
Grammar - Grammaropolis - Check HSBC for a forever passport - grammar will also be covered when reading books for history and writing. Evan-Moor Language Fundamentals is a meaty grammar book that covers everything and has them editing sentences that correspond to the lesson. JJ loves the editing pages. He compares them to the game, "What's Wrong With This Picture?"
History - Story of the World Vol. 2: The Middle Ages and Activity Book
Writing - Writing With Ease - Instructor's Text - Last year I used WWE1 and it was really easy to get done every day. This year, since I wanted to add so much to history, I thought I would give the Instructor Text a try. The plan is to use passages from our reading for WWE-style lessons.

  • First you read the passage, then ask questions about it (reading comprehension). 
  • Then you have them summarize what was read. They always have to respond in complete sentences. 
  • Next you have them copy a sentence from the passage. This gives them a picture of what a complete sentence looks like with proper grammar. I plan to vary the sentences to go over the different parts of a sentence. 
  • After a few months of this routine, you add in dictation and copywork. This is where one day they dictate to you a sentence or two that summarizes the passage and the next day they use their sentence with proper punctuation and grammar as copywork. 
It's a step-by-step process that doesn't make them feel like they are doing a lot of writing. It teaches them to hold thoughts in their head and then write them down. It also teaches grammar and sentence structure from literary works they are familiar with.

Some of you may be worried they are not writing paragraphs daily in comparison to their public school peers. Remember, this is a completely different writing program. It slowly develops their skills to write; eventually leading to a stronger writer. The older students that have gone through this curriculum can write more effectively because they are able to understand the process that comes between thought and paper. By the time they are in middle school, they are writing daily.

Geography and Cultures - My oldest has to take World Geography and Cultures and Health/Nutrition for high school credit this year. I'm combining them by adding a cooking element. We will be cooking food from all over the world, finding nutritious recipes along the way. He's a huge Alton Brown/Good Eats fan, so we'll be using a lot of his recipes. The kids will also have their own recipes to prepare. The Story of the World Activity Book has many cooking projects that go along with the period in history they are covering. We'll also be hitting all of the food and heritage festivals this year. Making it a fun year.

And that's my mornings and sometimes late afternoons with the second graders. I check in on my oldest periodically or he checks-in with me. After lunch, we work on his Critical Thinking, History and Algebra I together.

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I have been homeschooling since 2009, but have been reading about it since 2003. Homeschooling is rapidly growing. Whether you are a veteran or new to homeschooling, I hope to filter some of the vast amounts of information for you


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