How to Homeschool Second Grade

by Kimberley McGee
How to Homeschool second grade.
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Our 50 States - Elementary U.S. Geography Curriculum

Are you ready for all that will happen this year for your second grader?! A solid homeschool second-grade plan involves adding in more math, folding in more about friendships and community and putting more focus on reading and writing. You can build on what worked in first grade or explore entirely new curriculum sets. Homeschooling multiple grades in a household is actually really easy. For instance, a kindergarten homeschooler will often dip into the older sibling’s curriculum and, if it works for that child’s learning style, you can hold onto it for the future.  Older siblings can help younger ones and often kids will share curriculum if they are close in age. 

Friends who are still in the public school or who are just starting out have asked what we used each year by age and grade. I always say, it depends on how you style your homeschool.

You can homeschool second grade kiddos easily, affordably and with confidence. I’ve put together a healthy list of the curriculum we’ve tried and loved when the twins were little for each grade so far. We’re going into homeschooling fifth grade but we’ve incorporated curriculum through 7th grade and high school. I love that about homeschooling!

I’ll add 1st grade – 5th grade this week. Each Tuesday I update or add a new blog post for homeschooling tweens and teens. I’ll share those on the Vegas Kids Zone Facebook page as well. I have discounts on curriculum and local play places for all ages in the weekly newsletter!

The best thing about homeschool is that it’s about the child, their learning style and what works best for the family. What works for us may not work for you. We found that cherry-picking from different reviews helped us when we were first starting out. Find what works best for your kinder kiddo and use this as a guide to keep you focused on most of the basics they need.

Assessment Tip – In Nevada, you don’t have to take standardized tests or have your child assessed if you homeschool. However, I am one of those and I like to know where we are, strengths and weaknesses. My kids are weird and actually like tests, so again, this is something that works for our homeschool. There are a few places to get free assessments online, such as Kolbe Academy.

Requirements to Homeschool Second Grade

Each state is different in its requirements to homeschool. In Nevada, the education requirements are:

  • English (reading, writing, and composition)
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social Studies (history, geography, economics, and government)

You don’t have to send in a Notice of Intent to homeschool until your child is aged 7 or has previously been enrolled in a Nevada public school. A sample education plan is needed with the NOI.

What We Found Helpful

Busy baskets can still be a great way to start the day, particularly if you work from home. For second grade, subjects include but are not limited to:

Mathematics – The math gets a little more involved, with thinking and reasoning coming into play and using math to solve problems and pegging down those math facts until they are fluent.

We did a lot of board games for second grade that involved math. Monopoly brings in adding and subtracting as they buy property, collect rent and make change. There are some really good games out there for second grade math that will help them really grasp those slippery math facts. The added benefit is it gets them reading! And if you get a few kids together, you have a minute to yourself while they play! Don’t overthink it. I have some math games I created with dice. Send me an email and I’ll send ‘em to you!

Language Arts – Kids will read with greater fluency, comprehension and be able to read a story out loud with ease and emotion. Writing assignments include copying information down from another source, writing recollections, stories and non-fiction information.

For language arts, get creative. We practiced our reading skills, and made quite a few memories, by taking our talents to furry friends. We read to dogs at a local veterinarian’s boarding place. Animal shelters and even pet stores will allow parents to bring their kids to read to the animals.

Science – By observing and recording what they see and think about what they expect to happen compared to what did happen helps with so many important skills at this age. From critical thinking, to predicting outcomes and using tools and instruments, science is a fun skill-building subject at this age. The dollar store is your best friend here. Baking soda, vinegar, food dye, oil and a few tubs and containers will build a great science base for all the science experiments you’ll find on Pinterest. A local mom and science teacher has a YouTube channel that will inform and inspire kids.

Social Studies – Kids are naturally interested in the real world. At this age, they begin to get more interested in history and how it is connected to the present. Bring in curriculum that helps them to understand their role in the community and how to be helpful in the home and in their neighborhood. This is a great time to introduce chore lists as a way that the family helps each other.

The library is a great place to start. We still use it for learning Spanish, Latin, exploring history and geography. Read books about the months of the year, days of the week, state birds or whatever floats your boat. Get the basics in, and go with whatever new idea has grabbed their attention. We built on our kid’s passions, weather and building books, which tend to include math and critical thinking as well.

Every child is different, every learning style requires a different kind of approach and not every concept will be checked off the list for most kids. They’ll get it eventually with patience and tailoring the curriculum you use to the way that they best learn information. Scholastic has a truly thorough list for second grade.

Our 50 States - Elementary U.S. Geography Curriculum

Books, Boxes and Best Practices

Here’s what you’ve been really looking for. Forget that big list above and just concentrate on what you and your child enjoy doing, in my opinion. I have a twin who hates reading, but loves being read to snuggled in and sleepy. Her twin brother prefers to do the reading and has to look at the book as it’s being read to make sure you don’t miss any juicy parts. Bend to your kid’s preference, not a checklist of what they should be learning and how.

You can buy a full years’ worth of curriculum, which we did when we first started homeschooling in 3rd grade. It’s definitely less work and has all you and your child need to succeed in that age or grade. However, for our learners, I found that pulling together a curriculum based on each child’s learning style and interests made the school day go by without tears or nudges from mom or dad to get it done.

Also, look around for free worksheets you can download and print. They are great in a pinch. We used treats and coins to add and subtract, group numbers or show less and greater than. This helped them to visualize the concept.

WriteShop For the Win

WriteShop Primary

Writing has not been easy for either kids. They didn’t take to it easily or willingly. I loved handwriting since I can remember and found myself creating beautiful letters basically by myself at the table while they toddled away, bored. I turned to help with online color pages and prodded them into writing a few words about what they were coloring until I finally found Write Shop.

I was frustrated because it seemed like such an easy thing for me to teach. The full curriculum for writing got the kids writing and talking about the prompts, games, crafts and other info in the step-by-step process WriteShop provides. We continued to use this through age 10. I liked that I knew what our writing curriculum would be and didn’t have to worry about finding new workbooks each year.

Evan-Moor is Easy, Affordable and Worthwhile

I reached out to a fellow twin mama and homeschool veteran about where we should start when we first started homeschooling. I thought she’d have a list of expensive curricula, just to start. When she said to stock up on Evan-Moor, I was surprised.

We’d been using Evan-Moor for fun in our house since the kiddos were Pre-K. The puzzles, games, easily understood directions and large areas to write or work out math problems made it a favorite of the kids. I liked it because I could rip out the pages easily, copy a set and only had to buy one book for both kids.

The teacher’s guide is helpful and provided more ways to introduce key math and reading concepts to kids when they were struggling with the work inside the book. We also used these extras for areas where the kids wanted to know more about a subject or concept. It’s affordable and covers everything from science to geography and grammar for little ones. They go on sale quite often.

My Teaching Library

A teacher friend turned me onto this when the kids were about 2. It continues to be a great resource through elementary school. We turn to My Teaching Library when we need specific subjects to supplement our homeschool, such as Earth and Life sciences, growth mindset activities, grammar, art, social studies and all the other areas, including math, reading and language arts. My Teaching Library has worksheets and activities for all holidays, seasons and family events, like birthdays, that are affordable and fun for kids and parents for kids through high school.

I get bored easily so I need something that is going to keep me excited as we go through our day, particularly when the kids were little. Arts and crafts is my jam! So I thought I’d be all over all the fun science and art projects. Nope. Be patient, don’t expect it to go fast and let the kids take their time if they get off track and find something interesting within the detailed projects My Teaching Library offers.

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