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Today I’m sharing my homeschool curriculum choices for the 2019-2020 school year for my 2nd grader, along with why I made these choices for this particular child. Of all of my kids, these are the choices that were the most difficult for me to make because my beautiful blue-eyed boy really hates working one-on-one, but he’s not quite ready to work independently. So sometimes it’s a Struggle. But I’ve got my fingers crossed!
Before jumping into our curriculum choices, though, please remember that you and I may be working toward different requirements for homeschooling, depending on where you live. So please inform yourself about your local homeschool laws! (I talk more about the importance of that here.)
Ok, on to our particular choices…
(Our general weekly schedule is toward the end.)
2019-2020 Homeschool Curriculum Choices for 2nd Grade
In years past, I tried to save time in our days by doing history and science as a group. This worked pretty well for our first few years of homeschooling, but became more difficult as the boys grew older and their personalities and learning preferences became more apparent.
Last year, after defining what I know of their Learning Preferences so far, I realized that a group environment was not an ideal way for any of my boys to learn. So I let go of the group paradigm for the most part. For now, we still do our memory work (religious studies, poetry memorization) and read-alouds together.
Morning Work for us is a binder that includes calendaring activities and any other work that either can be done quickly or doesn’t really fit in anywhere else.
For now, all I have in his Morning Work binder is a set of calendar pages that I’ve created for him in order to get accustomed to the way a calendar works. He also writes out the date in order to sneak in some spelling practice for days of the week and months. Besides, writing out the date is something that he needs to learn how to do.
Later on this year I plan to add some copywork/tracing of geography terms and maybe some history vocabulary.
My second grader reads one devotion from 365 Devotions for Kids each day independently. I chose this book because he loved The Beginner’s Bible, my absolute favorite Bible storybook. He loved The Beginner’s Bible last year so much that choosing 365 Devotions for Kids seemed like a no-brainer.
Math-U-See has been a staple in our homeschool from the start, but my second grader decided that he didn’t like using the math blocks that are integral to the program. So I went on the hunt for something different for him.
I landed on Horizons Math, which is new to us. I chose this curriculum because it’s colorful and provides a variety of activities each day, which I thought would appeal to my second grader. It’s a spiral approach to teaching math, which is not my preference, but at this point the best math curriculum is the one that gets done while causing the least amount of drama in my house. 😜 We’re still getting acclimated to it, so not sure yet if it will meet my drama-free objective. 🤞
If you do choose this curriculum for yourself, you may want to pick up the worksheet packet, too, so that you don’t have to make copies of the many worksheets at the back of the book.
When my second grader completed the second grade level of Hooked on Phonics last year, we started reading through this I Wonder reader and will complete it this fall. I chose it because it has character-building stories, and was not disappointed because it has sparked productive conversations about behavior, habits, and heart matters. I also like that it includes both short stories and poems.
After completing this reader, my second grader will switch to a reading list that I’ve put together for him. The reading list is comprised of books that my oldest read when he was at this reading level, so we have most of them in our home library already.
This is another new-to-us curriculum. I chose Evan-Moor’s Grammar & Punctuation for Grade 2 because it addresses one grammar concept at a time and then provides several days of varied practice for that concept before moving on to something else.
This is my biggest fingers-crossed moment right here! We’ve used All About Spelling since we began homeschooling, but my independent second grader hated all of the one-on-one work it required, even after I customized the way we use it. I chose Spelling Power because it looked like I could customize it to cut out most of the one-on-one work and allow him to work independently. And bonus: it’s supposed to be the only spelling curriculum I will ever need!
After receiving the book and reading through the lengthy introduction, I saw that they highly discourage customization of the program. Honestly, that kind of made me chuckle and kind of made me roll my eyes because no curriculum is perfect for every single student as-written. But I gave their method a go, just to see.
I’ve realized that no, my instincts were right, I need to customize. So we’re still in the process of finding just the right way to use Spelling Power that will allow my son to progress in his spelling skills without loads of angst and frustration.
My second grader loves stories and fun pictures, so I chose Usborne’s My First Story Writing Book for him to give him an introduction into writing. I chose it because it covers the basics of story writing, like characters and setting, in a fun and interactive way.
I really didn’t have it in me to do a lot of science experiments this year, so I wanted a science curriculum that didn’t have science experiments as an integral part of the program.
I chose the Carson Dellosa Interactive Science Notebooks because they are a fun, hands-on way to learn and organize new science concepts, they make suggestions for simple “experiment” types of activities that I can handle in this season of life, and they provide a way for my student to process what he’s learned in his own way.
For history, I chose BJU Press’ Heritage Studies distance learning curriculum for my independent second grader. I’ve taken a unit study approach to history in the past, but really wanted a basic textbook curriculum this year to give myself a break. I like Heritage Studies because it approaches American History from a Christian worldview and has a colorful activity manual.
I initially purchased just the textbook and activity manual without the distance learning option, but quickly decided to add on the online portion since my son really hates receiving instruction one-on-one. He very much enjoys having the instructor on-screen rather than in his face. 🙄
Art / Handwriting
There are only so many hours in the day, so the subject of art has low priority in our homeschool. And my second grader, who struggles with perfectionism, refused to draw anything. It’s cool with me if art isn’t his thing (it’s not my thing, either), but drawing and sketching went from a mere Dislike to a Difficulty and stumbling block in his other studies.
So I chose Draw Write Now to get him started on drawing since I used it with my oldest in the past and it worked well for him. Sometimes you just have to go with what’s worked before and hope for the best. My oldest also hated drawing to the point that it became a problem, but after working on drawings in this book once a week, he got over it and doesn’t hesitate to make his own little sketches. I’m hoping and praying for similar results with my second grader.
We’re using these Draw Write Now printables from 1+1+1=1, which include the handwriting portion of this art/handwriting curriculum.
Cub Scouts – My second grader will be continuing with Cub Scouts this year. I was somehow surprised by how much learning happens in Cub Scouts. The many shared experiences are a great way to make friends, and it’s also good bonding time with Daddy since my husband deals with all the Cub Scouts stuff.
Homeschool Co-op – We recently joined a local low-stress homeschool co-op that focuses on social activities like park days with some educational opportunities thrown in. Just another way I’m trying to socialize my kid. 😜
Those are our homeschool curriculum choices … for now. I usually evaluate how things are going in December – adding, subtracting, and/or changing as needed.