How I Homeschool 2nd Grade Part 1: What Subjects We’re Covering & the Workspace
2nd grade is such a fun year. We’ve moved past some of the lackluster and repetious aspects that were the emphasis of 1st grade like learning how to read and phonics.
Although in 2nd we’re still learning more sophisticated rules .. its such a beautiful thing to see your child starting to read fluently and really loving and seeking out books they like! There is something just so magical to seeing my son’s face light up this year when he starts enjoying a book he wasn’t too excited about like, Robinson Crusoe; or picking and choosing his own interest books like a set of Minecraft easy readers.
Remember this Instagram Post?
Its been my experience that 1st grade is a really challenging year because there’s something about reading that can be intimidating or strange to some children. My kids were so upset that they couldn’t read eloquently right off the bat like their bed-time-story telling mom and dad. It took much love and patience explaining to them that reading was a process – and it takes plenty of practice for some people.
Now in 2nd my son is so proud to have accomplished that, and is much more enthusiastic in continuing to improve his language skills.
As a result, I continue to cover things like vocabulary which helps them become familiar with bigger words that they may encounter across the more rich texts we’re delving into, and also builds on the *parts of speech* we learned during 1st.
We also started using a Webster’s Dictionary to look up words we come across in text, and also the concept of researching what you don’t know.
As far as math goes.. my son covered an intro to the math multiplcation facts at the end of 1st grade (he showed an interest and readiness for it). This year he’s continuing to review them in a very relaxed way with a fun workbook and multiplication grid he can use as an aide during his independent time while I work with his sister. He’s mastered quite a few of them which he’s really excited about!
My 2 Big Areas for this Year
Each academic year I have a rhythm of setting 2 areas to emphasize on for the homeschool year. This really helps me stay focused on the areas we need to cover especially on days that we’re pressed for time or have a field trip, and cant cover all of our at-home subjects.
My 1st area is spelling. I’ll be introducing it *formally* for the first time this year. Before this the child does informal spelling excercises during Kindergarten and 1st, but not as a whole separate subject. I believe in really laying a strong phonics foundation before going into the nitty gritty of spelling and feel very content with waiting until 2nd to tackle this. So far my son has shown a readiness and preparedness for it which I’m very happy about after working through what he’s covered in his spelling curriculum.
My 2nd area of emphasis is in developing more solid writing skills, specifically structure and creative writing. Things like going over what a paragraph is and copying more lengthier *copy-work* passages that go along with our US History study (Charlotte Mason influenced).
To see what philosophies I currently like to incorporate/borrow concepts from – visit my about page.
Geography and History
Not an emphasis, but a continuation of the early geography studies we do in the elementary years – this year we’re incorporating a domestic study of geography. Last year we covered an age appropriate overview of Ancient history through a Bible study unit through My Father’s World’s 1st grade, Learning God’s Story curriculum. Studying the ancients dovetailed so nicely and I loved that the child was able to read through the bible throughout the year and learn all of the character and moral lessons in each story!
This year in My Father’s World 2nd Grade’s Adventures – we will be going over a survey of the United States, and learning about our home and neighboring states and how the 50 states came to be. Learning early american history in the context of this is such a fun and exciting way. My son loves that its an area close to home and he can directly relate to and visit some important landmarks nearby. It really brings the subjects to life.
I hope you enjoy this series. I plan on doing a revised post once I teach my imaginative, arts oriented daughter this curriculum next year. She has a right brained learing approach that I expect will call for some adjustments. My son is more of a left brained, kinesthetic, logical leaning, child. He’s very interested in inventions – so I’ve made it a point to emphasize the things in each study that may peak his interest, for instance – notable inventions and inventors of each state.
If you’re inspired to study the US for 2nd grade subcribe to my newsletter and Youtube channel below to get part 2 where I’ll be going over all of the resources I’m using!
Changes This Year / What Didn’t Work
So far the only curriculum change we’ve had this year was spelling. I also scaled back on a couple of geography resources, since I found it to be a bit too much and repetitive.
Check out today’s video below for an overview of *ALL* of the core subjects we’re covering during our formal learning time at home, and how I have my son’s workspace set up.
*Some of these books we’ll be finishing mid year or sooner, and then swapping out for others. Other books, we’ll work through the entire year or into the summer. We homeschool year round.*
I hope you enjoy today’s video and it inspires you begin to plan, revamp, or edit your homeschool child’s 2nd grade year. If you have any questions or enjoyed this video please leave me a comment below and share this with someone who may need it.