Here I am teaching 2nd grade for the second time to my eight-year-old.
I consider second grade part of those “early elementary” years where children should have more time to play and explore than do sit-down academic work. But my youngest son has a little more structure and academic lessons than his brother did at this age because he has an older brother who is doing more structured, academic work. And I feel there are some lessons, such as history and Spanish, that he can join us for. But he still has a lot of time to play, so it works out well.
As for his schedule, he practices cello for about twenty minutes and, as I mentioned above, sometimes joins his brother and me for lessons in the morning, but otherwise, he gets to play by himself in the mornings. Then I do his main lessons (reading, math etc.) after lunch for about an hour while his older brother practices piano. He sometimes practices cello again after dinner, but this is negotiable. He and his brother have a lot of time to play together in the late afternoons.
Reading — We picked up Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons again, and we’ll be finishing it this year. I still have him work on Starfall.com quite a bit, and after we finish 100 Easy Lessons, I’ll start the Star Wars Reading workbook. He likes these workbooks.
Literature — This is something he joins me and his brother for in the mornings. Right now we’re reading Blood on the River: James Town, 1607, which is a young adult novel about the first permanent English settlement in North America. It’s a great history lesson, and although it is a book for “middle school,” he’s enjoying it as much as his brother. During his one-on-one lesson time with me after lunch, we’ve been reading Stuart Little. In the evenings, I’m reading the Magic Treehouse Books to him, and he won’t let me read anything else! He LOVES them.
Note: See my page Book Reviews to learn about some of the books we’re reading.
Math — I ditched Singapore Math. I still think Singapore is a good curriculum, but I got so tired of having to read ahead and plan the activities and gather the materials when it’s SO EASY to just open up Life of Fred and read the next chapter! And I knew he’d love Life of Fred like his older brother does, so what was I doing not using it? We will be sailing through the first few books because they are quite easy for him, but I think it’s important for him to get the whole story. We are also using the Star Wars Math workbook right now because he wants to do it!
History — This is another subject that he’ll join his brother for in the mornings, but I’ll tell you a secret: I don’t always expect him to listen. Some of our history lessons are a little hard for him to understand, but I can tell he’s getting something out of it because he asks questions. He’s learning about the different cultures of our world, our timeline, and he enjoys the history documentaries we watch. Whatever he absorbs at this point, I’m happy with because we’ll be going over this stuff again in the future. I’ve written about the history books we purchased in Diving into Human History, and I’m recording the progress in our history lessons on this blog. Click here for that or see the main menu.
Science — We watch a lot of science documentaries, and he takes nature and science classes at the nature center and botanical garden. I am also reading several elementary science books to him that we have in our home library, mostly Let’s Read and Find Out Science books and a few Magic School Bus books too. He’ll also join his brother and me when we read The Usbourne Science Encyclopedia, which is a cool book because it has over 180 QR links that I can scan with my phone and then we can watch videos related to the material we’re reading. (In general, we do a lot of science studies in this house. See my science page for links.)
Spanish — This is something that he joins his brother for too, and mostly, he likes it. Although it does require a lot of prep time on my part, the boys are enjoying the games and activities I have found using the Risas y Sonrisas curriculum (one of the reasons why I wanted to stop using Singapore math). I’ll be writing a review on this curriculum soon for home/school/life.
Art — I am not doing formal lessons this year like I did in the past, but we do have fun making art sometimes, and my husband and I take the boys to an art museum once or twice a year. The eight-year-old still enjoys drawing sometimes too. 🙂
Music — The eight-year-old decided he wanted to try the cello! So he’s taking lessons and doing quite well with it. We give him a lot of freedom as to whether or not he wants to practice each day while also making sure he practices enough. Does that make sense? I hope so.
By coincidence, my post “Homeschooling 2nd Grade for the Second Time” is on the home/school/life blog today. In it I talk about how homeschooling for the second time around is both different and similar. I hope you’ll check it out too.