This is a follow up to my post Our 2nd Grade Homeschool Schedule and Curriculum that I wrote at the beginning of the year. In that post, I wrote about my plans for this year. In this post, I’ll tell you how it all went. You’ll see some of this is a repeat of Nearing the End of 5th Grade because my second grader tags along with his older brother in many subjects.
Reading – At the beginning of the year, I said we were going to pick up 100 Easy Lessons again, and we did for awhile, but then my son and I got bored with it. (I still recommend it, but having done it with my elder son, I was ready for something new.) We were reading out of easy readers for awhile, but then a friend of mine loaned me her set of Usborne Very First Reading books. I love these books! It’s a set of 15 books, and they start off easy, but each one builds on the material from the previous books. I have taken my time with them, letting him read each book several times (once per day), do one puzzle at the back of the book, and I also printed out the available worksheet that they have on their website for each book. We begin each book by going over the sounds it introduces. He’s almost finished with this set, and I’m really pleased with how much he likes them.
We have also been working in the 2nd grade Reading Star Wars workbook. In general I don’t use a lot of workbooks, but both my boys enjoyed these since they are Star Wars fans.
Literature – My second grader has listened to many books this year, including Blood on the River: James Town, 1607, The Porcupine Year, The Odyssey, and D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths. All of those he listened to with his brother. He and I have also read several Magic Tree House books together, Stuart Little, and The High-Skies Adventures of Blue Jay the Pirate.
Math – We switched to Life of Fred books this year, and no joke, we’ve sped through the first six books already! He loves them and always wants to do math first. Also, they were easy for him because I started him in these books at a later age than his brother, and he had already done a lot of math with his previous curriculum, Singapore. But we like Life of Fred much better. He also raced through the 2nd grade Star Wars Math workbook too. He seems to like math even though he won’t admit that!
History – My youngest son has joined his older brother in learning about history, though I don’t worry as much about what he retains because I know we’ll go over all this stuff again at some point. We’ve covered these topics over the past year and a half: prehistory, Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt, the Hebrews, Ancient India, Ancient China, and Ancient Greece. Our huge history timeline is filling up with interesting points of history!
Science – This is one subject that I didn’t do anything too formal with this year, but we’ve done a lot of science in the past, so maybe that’s okay. We did watch plenty of science and nature documentaries, raised monarch butterflies, expanded our garden, and continued to learn about birds. My 2nd grader is all about birds. We started making bird journals together too!
Foreign Language – At the beginning of the year, we began Spanish lessons, and mid-year I also started Chinese lessons. It’s been much harder for the 2nd grader and I retain to our foreign language lessons than the 5th grader, so I’ve been trying to think of ideas to help us remember our vocabulary. I will write more detailed posts when I feel like I have more to say about it.
You can read about my search to find the perfect Spanish curriculum in the Winter 2018 issue of home/school/life magazine. We have been using Risas y Sonrisas, and I love it. We’re trying out Better Chinese for Chinese.
Art – We’ve had some fun with art this year, especially before we visited the Art Institute of Chicago in November. Leading up to this trip, I spent a few weeks teaching the boys about the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist artists as well as a few other artists whose works were featured in that museum. During our Biloxi trip, we visited the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art and the Mobile Museum of Art.
For our art history lessons, I have found the artist bios on ducksters.com to be a great starting off point as well as Art With Mati and Dada, other YouTube videos, and, of course, library books. I ordered several Chicago Institute of Art books from our state-wide inter-library loan system.
Music – At the beginning of the year, I told you that my 2nd grader decided to try cello lessons, and I’m happy to report that he’s still taking them and enjoys them! I wrote about his cello practice here. It’s been a great experience, and I’m very proud of how far he’s come with it!
So that’s our 2nd grade curriculum. We’ll continue through the summer and start 3rd grade in September! I can’t believe how fast time is going by.
How is homeschooling going for you?