Wednesday, July 18, 2012

2nd Grade

Well, here are my plans for 2nd grade.

Math - For math we are using the A Beka Arithmetic 2 with the Tests and Speed Drills workbook. I really liked their Arithmetic 1 book. It was colorful, varied and challenging even though it was quite long. By the end of first grade she was adding and subtracting triple digits, adding money coins of various amounts, comparing measurements and even beginning multiplication. A Beka is not Catholic; it is Protestant, but there has been nothing to concern me in their math or phonics books

Phonics - For phonics we are using the A Beka Letters and Sounds 2 with Tests. Cecilia enjoyed the grade 1 book so much she finished it months ago.

Spelling - For spelling we are using Spelling 2 For Young Catholics by Seton. Last year we used A Beka's Spelling book and it didn't go well. The way it was organized just didn't work well for us and by the end we both just wanted to get through with it. I'm hopeful that this book will work better for us. I've always stunk at spelling but hopefully Cecilia will be better at it than I am.

English - For English we are using English 2 for Young Catholics by Seton. We used their book for first grade and I was very impressed with it. It was wonderfully thorough for 1st grade and Cecilia will benefit from practice and advancement of their grade 2 book.

Poetry - For Poetry I have selected 10 poems from The Harp and Laurel Wreath and two passages from Scripture, specifically Psalm 100 and The Magnificat. Cecilia enjoys poetry and I think she will really enjoy this year's selections.

Latin - For Latin we will be continuing with out Prima Latina book but I will adding 6 prayers in Latin that she will learn throughout the year.

Science - For Science we will be using Science 2 for Young Catholics by Seton. I was really impressed with how advanced their grade 1 book was and am looking forward to how much more she will learn and be introduced to in the grade 2 book. In addition, I am adding one lab per chapter to put the knowledge of each chapter in a hands-on practical lesson. Cecilia is already asking when she can learn about the magnets I bought and how to read a sun dial and when she can use grandpa's telescope.

Handwriting - For Handwriting we will be using Handwriting 2 for Young Catholics by Seton. I confess we gave up on handwriting half way through 1st grade but I want to go back to it this year. Cecilia needs practice with her print and I am one of those stubborn people who does believe there are benefits to learning script.

Religion - For Religion we will be using the Faith & Life Grade 2 by Ignatius Press. I loved their grade 1 book. It is simple and yet very rich. I will be supplementing with the Baltimore First Holy Communion Catechism with the hope Cecilia will be able to receive her First Holy Communion next Spring (a saga my parish may yet turn into a post for another time). In addition, each month we will study one Saint. I've picked one Saint whose feast is that month and we will learn as much as humanly possible about them and pray to them and celebrate their feast day. Since I was trained last year in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Level I, I have also been slowly building our own home atrium and we will be having home atrium once a week as well. (I am planning a series of posts on the CGS atrium, but one post at a time.)

History - For History we are using the Story of the World Volume 2. Cecilia absolutely adored the first volume we used for grade 1. It actually made History her favorite subject. I know I have to schedule History first thing Monday morning or she will nag me to do history to no end. It is a great series and I'm looking forward to it.

Art - For Art, I am going out on a limb. I really wanted to move beyond the simple lets-do-a-craft-each-week. I mean, my girls love crafts and I'm sure we will still do them but I wanted to go a little deeper into Art this year. So I bought Teaching Art with Books Kids Love which goes through the basic elements of art, such as shape, line, texture, color, space, etc. and walks them through how to use the basic elements and recognize them in the illustrations of children books. For someone with little if any art background, this is a bit daring for me, but I don't think I will do worse than gluing macaroni on plates so I'm hoping she will learn something before the year is out. I'm also planning at least one trip to the National Gallery of Art, where I'm hoping to ask her to try to draw a couple of pictures.

Music - For Music we will be listening to the Music Masters set which includes background on life and works of 18 great composers as well as numerous excerpts of their amazing music. Cecilia will also be beginning piano lessons with Daddy. He is much more musically talented than I am, so he is going to jump in and help on this one.

Geography - For Geography I bought two small workbooks called Maps, Charts and Graphs by Modern Curriculum Press to help Cecilia improve her ability to read maps and charts. In addition, she will studying the continents, first by name, then by countries' names. We will also be studying in depth one country each month. Many months the country will correspond to the Saint for that month, but not always. We will be studying at least one country on each continent.

Reading - I have over an entire bookcase shelf of numerous picture books as well as chapter books. I couldn't list them all here, but there are over 80 of them with everything from fairy tales to classic literature to books on Saints to poetry to historical to the silly and the funny. I plan on letter her pick what she wants to read when but scheduling a certain amount of time per week that she will be required to be reading. Then I will document which books she reads as she reads them.

P.E. - I still find it a little, just a little, funny that the state requires this one. When my kids aren't doing school work or sitting playing quietly, sitting coloring or sleeping, they are running around and bouncing as though their limbs might fall off tomorrow and they want to get as much use out of them as possible first. They play outside almost every day even in 90-something degree temperatures and rain. They run, chase, swim, play tag and move most of the day. So, for now, P.E. is a little silly to document. BUT! I do ask the girls each season what activity they might like to do or try. Both Cecilia and Felicity have asked to do gymnastics again this fall. They both love it. So that will be their official P.E. class.

That is 15 subjects for 2nd grade and plenty in my opinion. Add in a new baby mid-year and it will be a very busy year but it should also be a good year.


  1. We are planning on homeschooling in the future and one thing that totally overwhelms me is teaching enough and how you go about scheduling that. You seem to be covering just about everything there is, which I'm really impressed by, but I would LOVE to know what a week looks like for you guys... which things are daily vs weekly, etc? How much time does schooling take per day?

  2. Hi Stacy. That is a good question. Generally we do school Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Generally we start at 8 and we are usually done by 11. We do a little bit of math and poetry each day and phonics is on Monday and Tuesday, but otherwise each subject is once a week. Most of the work is finished by lunch. A few subjects might be in the afternoon but it would depend. For example, their gymnastics is when the classes are. Art would depend on just how involved/messy that day is and if there is time before lunch or not. Atrium I am planning on doing in the afternoon only so I can devote all my attention to it while Teresa is napping.
    We always take Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays off. I hope that helps. :)

  3. Right now I have it scheduled this way:
    Monday - Math, Phonics, Poetry, History and Art (I like doing art the same day I do laundry :) )
    Tuesday - Math, Phonics, Poetry, Science, Religion, Reading*
    Wednesday - Math, Spelling, Poetry, Handwriting, Music, Atrium and P.E.**
    Thursday - Math, Latin, Poetry, Geography and Reading*
    *Reading is really when she wants to do it. It doesn't matter to me when; she reads very well on her own but I scheduled it in to make sure it is "on the agenda" and does get done.
    **The schedule for gymnastics hasn't been released yet, so I just put it on the most convenient day - aka the day daddy is home :)

    1. Thanks for answering! This is fascinating to me and just what I was looking for :).

  4. THANKS for your prayers...what a lovely family you have!

  5. Thanks to Stacy for asking the questions I had, and thanks, Katherine, for sharing this.

    Vince isn't old enough to HS, but the thought has crossed my mind. Being a teacher, I'm not concerned with being able to teach him what he needs to learn, but my ability to cover everything in a timely manner? Pfft... I have my doubts.

    This helped tremendously. You're a great resource, Katherine. Thank you.