I began homeschooling my oldest daughter in the fall of 2014. I started homeschool preschool with her when she was 2.5 years old. After two years of preschool work, she started kindergarten in September when she was 4.5 years old. She completed all her kindergarten level work in May, so I graduated her to first grade when she was 5.5 years old. When she had finished all her first grade work, I moved her onto second grade. If you are interested in any of the materials, easily find copies on Amazon via my affiliate links.
Originally published on September 16, 2018. Updated on July 21, 2020.
In addition to specific subjects, I included three general second grade workbooks 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.
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.
I also included another general second grade workbook in my second grade curriculum to provide my children with additional practice in language, math, and reading: Evan-Moor Daily Fundamentals, Grade 2.
My daughter completed the first level of the McGraw-Hill Reading series, so I moved her on to the second level (Book 1, Book 2). Each lesson begins with a poem 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 activities. The reading become a little more difficult with each lesson and book. I also purchased the accompanying practice book for additional practice.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Rather than using word lists for spelling, I continued with word study using Structured Word Inquiry in first grade. Each week my child and I chose a base word or two to study. I am also using the InSight Words (Volume 1, Volume 2, Supplement, and Inflections) from Linguist-Educator Exchange.
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.
I also used the 2nd Grade Math at Khan Academy. Khan Academy strives to provide a free education to all students throughout the world. I love that Khan Academy is free. My son enjoyed learning to use the computer while working on his math skills.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I also check out many books from the library to supplement our science lessons.
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.
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.
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.
For art lessons, I continued using the 13 Children Should Know series of books. For second grade, I used 13 American Artists Children Should Know, 13 British Artists Children Should Know, and 13 Modern Artists Children Should Know. We also used YouTube and Facebook Live to learn more about various artists, artworks, and art styles.
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.
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.
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.
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.
All images via Amazon