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Our Second Grade Homeschool Curriculum

Our Second Grade Homeschool Curriculum

I have been homeschooling my daughter for four years now. I started homeschool preschool with her when she was 2.5 years old. After two years of preschool work, she started kindergarten last September when she was 4.5 years old. She completed all her kindergarten level work in May, so I graduated her to first grade last June. She finished all her first grade level work the following March, so she began second grade in April. Because my daughter is ahead in many subjects, some of the materials that she and I use for second grade are marketed for third grade. If you are interested in any of the materials, easily find copies on Amazon via my affiliate links.

General

In addition to specific subjects, I included one general second grade workbook in my second grade curriculum.

I had initially read mixed reviews about The Visual Guide series, but my daughter loved the kindergarten and first grade workbooks, so I have included The Visual Guide to Second Grade in our second grade curriculum. The 192-page full-color workbook uses bold infographics to present fascinating facts about a variety of topics in language arts, math, social studies, and science. My daughter enjoys the change in style from conventional workbooks and textbooks to the picture-based learning. The infographics are easy to read but are packed full of information. The questions and other activities for each section help reinforce the information presented.

The Visual Guide to Second Grade

I additionally picked up a copy of Test Prep Workbook: Math/Language Arts (Second Grade) from the Dollar Tree that I used to introduce my children to standardized test format. The workbook provided additional practice in mathematics and language arts as well as practice in taking standardized tests.

Test Prep Workbook: Math/Language Arts (Second Grade)

Reading

My daughter completed the second level of the McGraw-Hill Reading series during first grade, so I moved her on to the third level (Book 1, Book 2) when she began her second grade work. Each lesson begins with a “Stories in Art” reading passage for the child to read and then a read-together section on the author and/or illustrator of the subsequent reading. At the end of the reading are questions for the child to answer and some additional language arts activities. The reading become a little more difficult with each lesson and book. I also purchased the accompanying practice book for additional practice on vocabulary, story comprehension, and other related language arts topics.

McGraw-Hill Reading Book 1 McGraw-Hill Reading Book 2 McGraw-Hill Reading Workbook
After completing the Grade 1 workbook during her first grade lessons, my daughter moved on to Reading Skills: Grade 2. The 128-page workbook contains six units, each of which focus on a specific reading skill such as facts, sequence, context, main idea, conclusion, and inference. Each lesson contains a reading passage followed by questions and activities that help students gain essential reading comprehension skills. Each unit ends with a writing roundup. My daughter enjoyed the different reading activities offered by the color workbook.

Reading Skills Grade 2

For additional reading comprehension practice, I included Reading Comprehension, Grade 2: Gold Star Edition (Home Workbooks) in our reading lessons. The 60-page workbook reinforces reading skills through short reading passages and a variety of questions and activities. My daughter likes the short practice activities, which she finds to be a nice break from her longer and more intensive reading work. The activities are different from the ones found in her other reading books, which adds variety to our reading curriculum.

Reading Comprehension, Grade 2 Gold Star Edition (Home Workbooks)

Although I do not necessarily specifically seek Common Core materials, I chose Common Core Connections Language Arts, Grade 2 as a supplement to our reading lessons. The 96-page workbook provides focused practice pages on language arts topics such as reading literature, reading informational text, writing, and other related topics and skills. I use the consumable workbook as a bridge between reading and writing lessons. I especially like the “I can” statements at the bottom of each page, which help the student reflect on the lesson learned. My daughter completed two pages at a time.

Common Core Connections Language Arts, Grade 2

Writing

To continue more formal writing lesson, I chose The Grammar & Writing Book: Grade 2. The 266-page grammar and writing book that expands on the information learned in the first grade edition includes grammar instruction and practice, writing craft and models, and writing and grammar test preparation. The 30 lessons cover a variety of grammar and writing topics appropriate for second grade students including sentences, word order, parts of speech, punctuation, and paragraphs. The consumable textbook includes plenty of practice activities to reinforce learning. I also purchased Grammar and Writing Practice Book: Grade 2 as a supplement to the textbook. The 183-page workbook provides additional writing and grammar practice similar to the lessons in the textbook. The additional worksheets allow my daughter to cement the writing concepts and grammar rules in her mind through extra practice activities.

The Grammar & Writing Book Grade 2 Grammar and Writing Practice Book Grade 2
In addition to the writing and grammar textbook and workbook, I also included Grammar and Punctuation, Grade 2 in our writing lessons as supplement practice on important grammar and punctuation rules. The black-and-white workbook covers 25 grammatical and punctuation topics including sentences, parts of speech, contractions, punctuation, and possessives that build on the topics learned in the first grade edition. Each section includes four pages of instruction and activities for a total of 25 instructional pages and 75 practice pages. The variety of activities keep my second grader engaged. I use the workbook as extra practice for concepts covered in the Grammar and Writing textbook and workbook.

Grammar and Punctuation, Grade 2

I am also continuing lessons on handwriting within our writing lessons. My daughter continues to learn cursive writing using the second half of The Brainy Book of Handwriting as well as Cursive Writing (Practice Makes Perfect), Learning to Write Cursive, and Cursive Writing. I also created my own handwriting worksheets with the Startwrite program.

The Brainy Book of Handwriting Cursive Writing (Practice Makes Perfect) Learning to Write Cursive
Spelling

For spelling lessons, I have been using the printable spelling lists for Grade 3 from K12Reader. (My daughter previously completed grade 2 in first grade.) The third grade spelling words program covers 36 weeks with each week containing five different printable spelling worksheet activities. Each week introduces sixteen new words in some combination of sight words, rhyming words, pattern words, and academic vocabulary.

Math

For first grade math lessons, I have been using Singapore Math Level 2 (US Edition) including the Home Instructor’s Guide (2A, 2B). The two textbooks in Level 2 teach mathematical concepts, and the workbooks provide additional independent practice. The US Edition has been minimally modified from the original Singapore edition to teach American money and include American English spellings. The textbooks follow a unique pattern of moving from hands-on demonstrations to picture drawings (concrete examples with pictures) and finally to the abstract (numbers and symbols) in a natural, easy-to-understand progression. The program aims to teach children to learn to think mathematically rather than just being able to solve math problems.

Singapore Math Level 2 (US Edition)

Singapore Math Level 2 (US Edition) Home Instructor's Guide 2A Singapore Math Level 2 (US Edition) Home Instructor's Guide 2B
In addition to the Singapore Math textbooks and workbooks, I am using a few other workbooks to supplement math lessons, specifically within the areas of time and money.

My daughter began learning about time and money during her kindergarten lessons, so I have included Brainy Book of Time and Money in her second grade curriculum for continued practice on the topics. The 256-page full-color workbook contains practice pages, entertaining puzzles and games, and engaging word problems that help students sharpen math skills within the topics of time and money. My daughter completes a couple of pages within each section a few times a day to help her maintain and improve her time and money knowledge.

Brainy Book of Time and Money

To practice using money, I picked up Counting Money (Grade 2) from Spectrum in our second grade curriculum. The 95-page color workbook includes activities on counting coins and bills, skip-counting, adding and subtracting money, making change, and money word problems. The lessons and activities become progressively more difficult. My daughter completed a page or two at a time. I appreciate the answer key in the back of the workbook.

Counting Money (Grade 2)

For more practical practice, I included Time, Money, and Measurement as part of our second grade curriculum. Recommend for first and second grade, the 128-page black-and-white workbook includes over 100 high-interest well-paced activities gradually become more difficult as students progress. The workbook offers 34 time activities, 36 money activities, and 34 measurement activities. My daughter enjoyed keeping up with her practical math skills using the various pages. I appreciate the answer sheets in the back of the workbook.

Time, Money, and Measurement

Another book that I included in our second grade curriculum for extra practice on practical skills was Time, Money, & Fractions. Recommend for first and second grade, the 32-page full-color workbook offers detailed instructions and clear examples on time, money, and fractions. My daughter enjoy the different activities not available in her other workbooks, which helped break up the monotony of math lessons. I appreciate the answer sheets in the back of the workbook.

Time, Money, & Fractions

I additionally picked up two time and money workbooks from my local Dollar Tree. One features Disney princesses and the other includes many Disney characters. Both 32-page full-color workbooks provide my second grader with additional practice using time and money. Both also come with answer keys in the back.

Disney Time and Money

I picked up level A and level B of Coin Clues from my local school store to help my daughter practice her money skills. Each volume contains over 100 puzzles that reinforce coin values and strengthen math skills. Each activity book comes with cardboard coins that pop out of the back cover. My daughter completes a couple puzzles per week. I like that the activities engage both her math skills and her logic skills.

My daughter enjoys Disney movies, so I picked up a copy of Frozen Early Math Basic Geometry from the Dollar Tree to use during first grade lessons. The 32-page full-color workbook covers mathematical topics such as points and segments, basic shapes, and symmetry. My daughter completes a few pages a week. She started the book during the second part of first grade and will continue the geometry lessons during the first part of second grade.

Frozen Early Math Basic Geometry

Science

For science lessons, my daughter and I used the textbook Harcourt Science: Grade 2 and the accompanying workbook and lab manual. The 592-page textbook contains six units that cover the topics of plants and animals, environments, Earth science, weather and space, matter, and energy. Each unit is broken down into smaller chapters and lessons. I especially like the questions at the end of each lesson, which allow my daughter to reflect on the information learned. The 184-page consumable workbook reinforces the information from each lesson through vocabulary sheets, quick study guides, and writing practice. I also added the 136-page consumable lab manual to our science lessons to allow my daughter to work more on investigative scientific inquiry on her own.

Harcourt Science Grade 2 Harcourt Science Grade 2 Workbook Harcourt Science Grade 2 Lab Manual
In addition to the textbook and workbooks, I have also been using Common Core Science 4 Today, Grade 2: Daily Skill Practice to supplement our science lessons. The 96-page workbook provides standards-based activities for each day of the week on a variety of science topics. My second completes one week at a time as opposed to doing one smaller activity each day over an entire week. Each week fills up two pages. I used the weekly topic pages for supplemental review after studying the same topic in Harcourt Science: Grade 2.

Common Core Science 4 Today, Grade 2 Daily Skill Practice

I also check out many books from the library to supplement our science lessons.

Social Studies

After finishing the grade 1 social studies textbook and workbook, my daughter moved on to the Macmillan/McGraw-Hill We Live Together Grade 2 textbook and the accompanying workbook. The 295-page hardback book covers various social studies topics such as community, geography, citizenship, and history. The text is easy enough for my daughter to read on her own but engaging enough to keep her attention and provide adequate information on each topic. The accompanying 72-page workbook is essential for reinforcing the lessons in the textbook and covers vocabulary, writing, and other activities.

MacmillanMcGraw-Hill We Live Together Grade 2 Textbook MacmillanMcGraw-Hill We Live Together Grade 2 Workbook
In addition to the textbook and workbook, I also used the workbook DK Workbooks: Geography, Second Grade to supplement our social studies lessons. The 60-page workbook topics include map reading, compass directions, continents, countries and states, borders, bodies of water, and more. Although not important to me, the workbook supports the Common Core State Standards. The workbook builds on the skills learned with in the first grade level edition. My only complaint it that, like all DK Workbooks, the pages are glossy and difficult to write on. I thus ended up copying the glossy pages onto regular paper so that my daughter could use a pencil, marker, or crayon to complete the activities.

DK Workbooks Geography, Second Grade

After completing the Ancient Civilizations activity book during her first grade lessons, my daughter and I moved on to History Pockets: Native Americans, Grades 1-3. The activity book covers the Inuit of the Arctic, the Tlingit of the Northwest, the Nez Perce of the Plateau, the Maidu of California, the Sioux of the Plains, the Navajo of the Southwest, the Iroquois of the Northeast, and the Seminole of the Southeast. Each reproducible section contains three dictionary words and pictures, shelter stamps, information booklet complete with illustrations, arts and crafts projects, and writing activities. My daughter and I again completed each section over one or two days with a culminating portfolio to show her study of Native Americans.

 History Pockets Native Americans, Grades 1-3

Health/Life Skills

For health lessons, I my daughter has continued using the textbook Harcourt Health & Fitness: Grade 2 and the accompanying workbook that she started at the end of her first level lessons. The 296-page hardback book covers health topics including your growing body, caring for your body, caring for your teeth, food for fitness, keeping fit and active, avoiding danger, staying safe, staying well, medicines and drugs, your feelings, your family, and caring for your neighborhood. The accompanying workbook provides practice that reinforces the information from each lesson. Most of the worksheet pages cover two or three lessons per page.

Harcourt Health & Fitness Grade 2 Textbook Harcourt Health & Fitness Grade 2 Workbook
In addition to the textbook and workbook, I also included the activity How Your Body Works, Grades 1-3 in our health lessons. The reproducible black-and-white workbook covers nine concepts: bodies change while growing older, the body has external and internal parts, the brain controls the body and is the center of thinking, the five senses, the body has lungs for breathing, the body digests food for energy, the heart pumps blood throughout the body, and bones support and help move the body, and muscles help the body move. Each section includes variety of engaging activities, teacher directions for lessons, and reproducible resource pages. My daughter is especially interested in learning about the body, so the activity book recommended for first through third is a perfect addition to our health curriculum.

How Your Body Works, Grades 1-3

Art

For art lessons, I continued using An Eye for Art: Focusing on Great Artists and Their Work. The 180-page full-color book introduces children to more than 50 great artists and their works, representing a wide array of artistic styles and techniques. Each chapter provides biographical and background information on a specific artist followed by fun activity ideas to expand on the lesson. The book is further categorized into themes ranging from studying nature and observing everyday life to breaking traditions and telling stories. My daughter enjoyed listening to the information and looking at the images of the artwork and then completing the activity for each artist. My three-year-old son also participated in the activities during his preschool lessons.

An Eye for Art Focusing on Great Artists and Their Work

Music

For general music lessons, I have continued using Music for Everyone! Recommended for preschool through second grade, the 64-page book provides music-related activities and reproducible pages. Both my daughter (second grade) and son (preschool) can participate in the activities together.

Music for Everyone!

I am also using Sing Along and Learn: A Complete Collection of More Than 80 Learning Songs with Activities for the Early Childhood Classroom for general music lessons. The 176-page book comes with five CDs with more than 80 songs for use in early childhood. While I have not used much of the book, I have used the musical CDs quite a bit. I have continued using the book and accompanying CDs from our first grade lessons.

Sing Along and Learn A Complete Collection of More Than 80 Learning Songs with Activities for the Early Childhood Classroom

I finally purchased the curriculum book and workbook of Music for Little Mozarts: Meet the Music Friends to introduce both my kids to more music theory. The curriculum book, which comes with a CD, contains five complete lesson plans for a lesson of approximately 45 to 60 minutes. The workbook reinforces each concept presented in the lesson and includes pages for children to color, rhythms to clap, and keyboard activities. Meet the Music Friends is the precursor for the Level 1 of the Music for Little Mozarts piano course. My daughter and I completed one lesson once a week or once every other week.

Music for Little Mozarts Meet the Music Friends Curriculum Book Music for Little Mozarts Meet the Music Friends Workbook
To introduce my daughter to more structured music lessons, I have continued using It’s Recorder Time to teach her about reading music and playing an instrument. The beginner book uses a basic method for building finger technique, intonation, and tonguing through the performance of folk, classical, and familiar songs.

It's Recorder Time

Spanish

My daughter continued Spanish classes through a homeschool co-op last fall. She also started using Rosetta Stone. To help her practice her second language skills, I incorporated The Complete Book of Spanish, Grades 1-3 into our first grade curriculum. Recommended for students in first through third grade, the 416-page full-color workbook covers topics such as numbers, letters, parts of speech, expressions, days of the week, months of the year, family terms, and community terms. My daughter worked on one or two pages a few times a week as supplement to her language class.

The Complete Book of Spanish, Grades 1-3

Image Credits

All images via Amazon

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