Tag Archives: curriculum

What second grade looks like in our house

Poppy has been eager to start school since we got home from our vacation. I’ve been sick this week, though, so we haven’t started yet. No voice + no patience does not add up to a great first week of school, after all.

Poppy’s first-grade year is kind of bleeding over into second grade because we didn’t get all the way through some of her books last year. We’re going to be sticking with many of the same companies this year, though, so the transitions should be pretty smooth.


Story of the World

We didn’t get all the way through Volume One last year, so Poppy will be working on that for the first month of so of second grade. We’ll start Volume Two after that.

A History of US

I never found anything like “Story of the World” that covered U.S. history, but I did find this set of books. We started reading a few chapters a week last year, and the kids have really enjoyed it. You could compile your own crafts and supplemental materials to make this into a SOTW-esque program, but I don’t think I’m creative enough for that.


Trail Guide to U.S. Geography

We started this when Poppy was in kindergarten. She really enjoyed it, but I just sort of fizzled out on it for some reason. We’re going to pick it up again this year.


McRuffy Math” and Teaching Textbooks

Poppy got about two-thirds of the way through Teaching Textbooks 3 last year. We took a break from it toward the end of the year to focus on memorizing the multiplication tables, using worksheets, drills and games at Multiplication.com. We’ll be spending at least the first few weeks of second grade reviewing those before she picks up where she left off with Teaching Textbooks. Poppy will also be doing McRuffy’s second-grade math program, because she was pretty enthusiastic about it when I was looking at it for Pete. The full program is almost $70; I’m considering just getting the workbook for her.

Language Arts

SpellWell” and “Grammar Island

Poppy has a few lessons left in last year’s “A Reason for Spelling” book, so we’re going to finish those out before moving on. She was less than thrilled to see the next “A Reason for Spelling” book on my list for her second-grade curriculum. She liked the stories and the activities in “A Reason for Spelling,” but she really hated the tests. I told her there would be tests in pretty much any spelling program, but she still begged to do something different this year. SpellWell gets pretty good reviews, and it isn’t expensive. So we’re going to give it a try.

This will be our first experience with the Grammar Island series. I’ve read good things about it, though (Cathy Duffy’s review of Michael Clay Thompson Language Arts; “MCT and a Detailed Look into Grammar Island” at Satori Smiles). We probably won’t start it until January. I’ll let you know how it goes for us.


R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey: Life (level one)

We started this last year and didn’t get even halfway through. I need to make sure I have everything on hand for the lab activities. Otherwise we get out of the habit of doing them.


A Reason for Handwriting


Artistic Pursuits

Physical Education


Poppy was moved up to the next level in ballet this year. She’s very excited to get to wear the burgundy leotard.


This will be Poppy’s fourth season of soccer, I think. This was the first year that she had the option of being on either a co-ed or an all-girls team. She opted for the all-girls team.


Our YMCA offers a weekly kids yoga class. Poppy and Pete both love it!

Pete is going to be a kindergartner this year. You can read about the plans for his year at “What kindergarten looks like in our house. Version Pete.0.” And if you’re interested in even more homeschool plans, check out the link up at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

What kindergarten looks like in our house. Version Pete.0

Pete’s fifth birthday is in November. Which means: (1) my tiny sweet baby is almost 5 years old; and (2) he’d miss the cut-off date for kindergarten this year if he went to public school. I’m not sure he’s entirely ready for kindergarten at home, either, so we’re tentatively calling his year K4. He’s excited about starting; hopefully that excitement will last once we start doing some work!

Five in a Row
Pete’s primary curriculum will be “Five in a Row: Volume One.” It covers language arts, science, math, social studies and art, with projects based on a different book every week. We used it for Poppy’s kindergarten year, too. It’s a nice, gentle way to ease into homeschooling.

Pete will be doing some projects from “Five in a Row” as well as joining Poppy in her “Artistic Pursuits” lessons.

Physical education
This will be Pete’s first season of soccer! He’s very excited. He and Poppy are also going to do a weekly yoga class at the YMCA.

Pete’s a very hands-on kind of guy. His sister was thrilled to do math workbooks when she was in kindergarten, but I don’t think that’ll fly with him. So I looked around a bit and found McRuffy. It has lots of games and manipulatives, which ought to keep him interested for at least a few minutes.

Pete’s also going to join Poppy in a few subjects, such as history and science. You can read all about her second-grade plans at “What Second Grade Looks Like at Our House.” And if you’re interested in even more homeschool plans, check out the link up at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers.