Do you plan to homeschool your second grader? Do you have questions about where to start and how to begin? One of my favorite benefits of homeschooling is the ability to customize the curriculum to the child. Every child is different, so every educational experience must be different too. I have generally used the same materials for all my kiddos. However, I have made a few changes over the years as I found some materials did not work so well and discovered newer materials along the way. I use a variety of workbooks and other resources for my second grade homeschool curriculum. The following are the materials that I am using with my third and fourth children. If you are interested in any of the materials, easily find copies on Amazon via my affiliate links.
I begin homeschooling my children around the age of 3 with homeschool preschool. After two years of preschool work, my kiddos move on to kindergarten level work around age 5. After mastering the kindergarten materials, my children graduate to first grade age the age of 6. We then start working on second grade around age 7 upon completing all the first grade materials. My two oldest children have already completed their second grade work. My third and fourth kiddos will use the following materials for grade 2 homeschool around the age of 7. We move on to third grade after finishing second grade.
Originally published on September 16, 2018. Updated on August 6, 2023.
My children complete the first level of the McGraw-Hill Reading series in first grade, so we move on to the second level (Book 1, Book 2) in second grade. 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. We use the reading comprehension and study skills pages.
After completing the Grade 1 workbook during first grade lessons, we move on to Reading Skills: Grade 2 for additional reading practice. The 128-page color 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.
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. We like the short practice activities, which offer a nice break from the longer and more intensive reading work. The activities are different from the ones found in our other reading books, which adds variety to our reading curriculum.
I also used Read and Understand Poetry, Grades 2-3 to focus on reading and understanding poetry. The workbook contains 27 poems with activity pages. The first follow-up activity for each poem emulates the format on standardized language arts tests. Other activities cover skills such as literal comprehension, sequence, word meaning, context clues and inferences, and main idea and details.
Because of the many errors and problems in the grammar books for second grade currently available, I wrote my own second grade grammar workbook for my second and third children. A Form-Function English Grammar: Level 2 is the second workbook in the elementary series that builds up to AA Form-Function Description of the Grammar of the Modern English Language, a textbook and workbook that provides a descriptive grammar that strives to provide an objective description of English as used without value judgements.
The goal of Level 2 is to reinforce the word classes (parts of speech, grammatical forms) of English taught in Level 1. Level 2 includes nouns, determiners, pronouns, verbs, modal verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, coordinating conjunctions, correlative conjunctions, and interjections. Level 2 introduces additional determiners and pronouns. Level 2 also reinforces noun phrases, subjects, and predicates. Level 2 also introduces the progressive aspect of verbs, prepositional phrases, verb phrases, negation, and the do-operator.
Level 2 is recommended for ages 6 to 7 in first grade through second grade.
The answers to all the activities are located at the end of the workbook.
To continue more formal writing lesson, I use portions of 266-page The Grammar & Writing Book: Grade 2 and the accompanying 183-page Grammar and Writing Practice Book: Grade 2 workbook. 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. However, as with the first grade level of the series, I primarily use only the writing and punctuation sections and activities because of the many errors in the grammar portions.
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. I use the workbook as extra practice for concepts covered in the Grammar and Writing textbook and workbook. I again use only the writing and punctuation portions because of errors in the grammar sections.
I also included Weekly Real-World Writing, Grades 1-2 to help my children explore real-world purposes for writing with activities that demonstrate thoughtful and effective writing strategies starting with my second child. Activities include letters, journal entries, product opinions, advertisements, directions, and interviews.
I additionally included the Writing Prompts Journal from Lakeshore Learning to encourage my children to begin writing on their own. The journal includes 29 engaging prompts that cover narrative, opinion and argument, and informative writing along with helpful tips, checklists for self-editing, and graphic organizers.
I also continue lessons on handwriting within our writing lessons. We continue using the Complete Book of Handwriting from Carson Dellosa. Recommended for kindergarten through third grade, the first part of the book focuses on printing letters and then words, and the second half focuses on cursive. Once print handwriting is neat, I introduce cursive writing. Learning cursive offers cognitive benefits. Learning to read cursive is also important for reading older documents and for signing your name.
Rather than using word lists for spelling, I continued with word study using Structured Word Inquiry in second grade. For my main resource, I use the InSight Words (Volume 1, Volume 2, Supplement, and Inflections) decks from Linguist-Educator Exchange.
For my second child, I created the Teach a Student to Spell: Level 2 workbook for spelling lessons as a follow up to Teach a Student to Read. Teach a Student to Spell: Level 2 is the second follow-up workbook to the Teach a Student to Read reading program, which strives to teach students accurate and complete information about the English spelling system. Level 2 consists of 36 spelling lists of 16 words each. The spelling lists are based on the most common words in English and various sight word lists. The first goal of Level 2 is to teach more spellings of the most common English words and common English bases. Each list reinforces the graphemes taught in Teach a Student to Read. Some complex words are also introduced. Related words are noted. The second goal of Level 2 is to teach common English suffixes and spelling rules. Words from Level 1 sometimes appear in Level 2 to reinforce spelling rules with suffixes. Level 2 introduces word sums.
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.
For additional math practice, I include the Marvel Math Made Easy Second Grade workbook from DK. The 80-page workbook features Marvel characters, which find a huge fanbase in our house, in activities that cover topics such as multiplication tables, addition, subtraction, symmetry, fractions, and money.
Time and Money
Time and money are practical math topics, so I have included Brainy Book of Time and Money in our 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 second grader completes a couple of pages within each section a few times a day to help maintain and improve time and money knowledge. Because the recommended grades are first and second, we start the workbook in first grade and continue in second grade.
To practice using money, I include 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 second grader completes 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 again 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 second graders enjoy the different activities not available in the other workbooks, which helped break up the monotony of math lessons. I appreciate the answer sheets in the back of the workbook.
For science lessons, I use the textbook Harcourt Science: Grade 2 and the accompanying workbook. 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 second grader 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.
For an additional science workbook that incorporates extra reading practice, I include Exploring Animals from American Education Publishing by Carson Dellosa. The 256-page full-color workbook introduces early science concepts by exploring animals from every continent. Each page focuses on a different animal and includes comprehensive questions. The workbook also includes a few longer pull-out animal stories.
After finishing the grade 1 social studies textbook and workbook, we move 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 accompanying 72-page workbook is essential for reinforcing the lessons in the textbook and covers vocabulary, writing, and other activities.
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.
After completing the Ancient Civilizations activity book during first grade lessons, we move on to History Pockets: Native Americans, Grades 1-3 in second grade. 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.
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.
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 a variety of engaging activities, teacher directions for lessons, and reproducible resource pages. This activity book recommended for first through third is a perfect addition to our health curriculum.
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, trips to art museums, and other resources to learn more about various artists, artworks, and art styles.