My 7-year-old twin boys started 2nd grade this year! Wow, the time sure has flown and they are getting so big! While they are the same age, they do differ in their reading abilities so I’m always careful to take that into account when choosing curriculum and resources for them. They are also vastly different in their learning styles! We use unit studies for science, social studies, and general enrichment but I do use specific reading and math curriculums as I believe setting a firm foundation in both is essential. So here’s what we used for homeschooling 2nd grade this year!
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2nd Grade Langauge Arts/Reading
As the boys are on very different reading levels, I’ll list the resources we used separately for reading/language arts. Both of the boys use The Good and the Beautiful Level 2 Handwriting.
Twin A is my strong reader! He is doing excellent and easily completes his reading lessons. He is using The Good and the Beautiful Language Arts Level 2. I love this program and feel that is very thorough and complete. I also appreciate that you can download the curriculum for free, however, I do purchase the physical product as I find it easier and more efficient. I love that this is an open-and-go curriculum so there is little planning on my part.
Twin B is struggling a bit with his reading but he is working so hard and making progress! We use a few resources for him as he is a very kinetic learner and likes variety in his lessons.
I think the biggest game-changer we found this year was Snap Words! I was so excited to find sight word cards designed for a kinetic learner! Each card has a picture to illustrate the sight word on one side and the word without the picture is printed on the other side. Each card also contains a sentence using the word and a motion to help the child remember the word! He loves doing the motions as he practices his words. He went from having memorized very few sight words to nearly 40 sight words in the first month! If you have a kinetic learner, adding Snap Words is a must! There are a few levels to go through but we are working on mastering the first set!
We are also using Explode the Code workbooks for phonics instruction. Despite being a kinetic learner, he does well with basic black-and-white worksheets, and these workbooks are perfect for him.
He also reads Bob Books and other beginning readers for reading fluency. This mix-and-match approach may seem odd and threw me but I’m seeing quite a bit of improvement in his reading fluency as we progress through the year.
2nd Grade Math
I think this is the subject I dread the most! Although this year I’m not teaching middle school math as well (and googling how to do it as we go), math remains my least favorite subject to teach.
Both boys are using The Good and the Beautiful Simply Math Level 2. The lessons are short and the spiral approach gives them lots of practice on new and old concepts. It is again available as a free download, but I prefer to purchase the printed set (plus an extra workbook). I like that this is open-and-go and introduces the concepts gently without overwhelming the child.
2nd Grade Social Studies/History
We do unit studies each month and learn a lot about history, geography and so much more each time we do a new study. They are a fun and engaging way to introduce subjects the kids want to learn about. Our Pirate Unit Study covered quite a bit of history, as well as geography, and our Dinosaur Unit Study will cover some history for sure!
However, as we took the summer to travel around the United States I wanted to do a more formal study of US Geography. I chose Notgrass’s Our 50 States. There are two chapters for each state, including the District of Columbia. Over the Summer we did each state we stayed in at least one night! It was so fun for them to see the things they were studying!
For the school year, we are progressing through the book completing one state per week. It will probably take us a little over a traditional school year to complete but the twins enjoy the stories. My boys love helping me in the kitchen and I gathered iconic recipes for each state to go with our study! We also watch the show State Plate on Amazon Prime during documentary luncheon to learn more about the different states and foods that go along with them!
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2nd Grade Science
2nd-grade science is another subject that stumps me and I don’t know why. I just haven’t found the perfect curriculum or resource yet that motivates me to do science daily. Now that doesn’t mean I’m not covering science this year. I have a few things on hand that give us lots of science activities and ideas!
I grabbed the book Awesome Kitchen Science Experiments for Kids, and we’re loving it! Each experiment covers a scientific concept and is completely edible. I mean they’re boys and hungry so why not let them eat their science experiments, I kill two birds with one stone – science and snack time!
We also get a lot of science from our unit studies. For example, when we did our Pirate Unit Study I incorporated lessons on simple machines that could be found on pirate ships. Some of our unit studies are also much more science-focused like our Skeleton Unit Study, where we learned all about the human skeleton.
There’s a lot that goes into finding the right curriculum for homeschool and for each child. With different levels and different learning styles, each child’s curriculum is unique and specific to their particular needs and wants. Next year we’re looking into getting them a computer to share to work on their typing skills as well as learning to research things on their own. I’m using this guide to help me find the best computer for homeschooling!