Curriculum 2013-2014: 2nd Grade

Below are our goals and resources for second grade. The goals listed here are largely academic and do not fully encompass our long-term goals of homeschooling.

Language Arts:


1. to continue reading books and sounding out new and unfamiliar words.
2. recall incidents, characters, facts and details of text.
3. answer what, how, where, why, and what-f questions about readings
4. compare and contrast similarities and differences between books.
5. narrate stories back in his own words.
5. write brief stories, poems, letters, descriptions and reports.
6. with help, write compositions with a beginning, middle and end.
7. practice using paragraphs.
8. practice penmanship daily.
9. learn to correctly spell words containing spelling patterns we have learned.
10. learn some common contractions and abbreviations.
11. provide synonyms and antonyms for given words.
12. learn basic parts of speech
13. practice using capital letters, periods, question marks, etc.
14. hear and enjoy rich literature
15. hear Greek, Norse, and Roman, and Christian myths
16. hear and read more non-fiction
17. tell and write his own stories
18. to appreciate world literature and a multicultural perspective

What We're Using:

Sadlier Phonics Level C Student Book
Victory Drill Book: A Phonetic Approach to Reading with an Emphasis on Speed
Reading Comprehension Workbook: Reading for Comprehension, Level A 
Vocabulary Connections: Level A 
Easy Grammar: Daily Guided Teaching and Review for Grade 2 Student Workbook

Assorted picture books, chapter books, graphic novels and nonfiction texts.

Possible chapter book read-alouds:

The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan
The Story of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting
The Chocolate Touch by Patrick Skene Catling
Babe: The Gallant Pig by Dick King-Smith
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

I'm still undecided if we will row any FIAR titles this school year.

Memory Work:

Selected verses, poems, facts from Living Memory by Andrew A. Campbell.

History and Geography:


1. to learn fascinating stories and events from our past.
2. to have a basic understanding of prehistory and evolution.
3. to learn about early people and ancient civilizations (Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, China, Rome, and the Aztec empire, as well as others).
4. to become more comfortable with reading maps and map keys and finding places on the globe.
5. to continue learning about oceans, continents and political and physical boundaries
6. to explore, for himself, different theories and religious opinions of the beginning of life.

What We're Using:

The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child: Ancient Times: Tests and Answer Key (Vol. 1) 
 The Story of the World, Activity Book 1: Ancient Times - From the Earliest Nomad to the Last Roman Emperor
The Kingfisher History Encyclopedia
Mini Greek Myths for Young Children
Maps, Globes, Graphs: Level B
Classical House of Learning scheduling
Netflix/Hulu go-alongs
Books about Egypt, Greece, China, Rome, and the Aztec empire



1. continue conducting science experiments
2. take length, volume, mass and temperature measurements
3. practice describing hypotheses, experiments and conclusions more accurately
4. make models and drawings of things he investigates and write short descriptions of what he found
5. learn about life science topics such as: needs of living things, plant and their life cycles, interdependence of plants and animals, animals and their life cycles, food chains and webs, how plants and animals change the environment.
6. learn about earth and space science topics such as: Earth's surface, fossils, changes on earth, natural resources, how humans change the environment, weather, seasons, the sun, Earth and the moon, and planets and stars.
7. to learn about physical science topics such as: matter and its properties, states of matter, heat and changes of state, sound, light, forces and motion, simple machines, gravity, and magnets.
8. to learn about scientific inquiry, steps to an investigation, making and recording observations, using charts, finding patterns in data, making and using bar graphs, scientific tools, and science safety.
9. to continue learning about nature hands-on through regular hikes and walks through nature.

Specific study: Earth science and Astronomy

18 Weeks: Earth Science
18 Weeks: Astronomy

What We're Using:

Comprehensive Science Assessment (Grade Two)
Assorted nonfiction books (depending on topic) from the library
Netflix/Hulu go-alongs



1. to read, write, order, and compare numbers from 0-1,000
2. count forward and backward by twos, threes, fives, tens, fifties, and hundreds
3. use a number line
4. identify ordinal positions from 1st through 20th
5. identify even and odd numbers
6. identify place values in three-digit numerals
7. round numbers to the nearest ten
8. make and read simple charts and bar graphs
9. extend patterns that use numbers, symbols, etc.
10. recognize simple fractions
11. read and write money amounts
12. continue building proficiency in counting money
13. learn addition facts to 18 and corresponding subtraction problems
14. add and subtract two- and three-digit numbers
15. practice multiplying single-digit numbers by 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
16. solve daily word problems involving addition, subtraction, multiplication, graphs, time and calendars
17. to practice measuring and comparing objects by size, weight, capacity, and quantity
18. tell time to five-minute intervals
19. learn to write the date and find it on a calendar
20. learn more about the properties of basic shapes

What We're Using:

Saxon Math 2: An Incremental Development Part 1 & 2 (Workbook and Fact Cards-2 volume set)
Daily Word Problems, Grade 2
Daily calendar and time practice
Regular real world money practice- saving, making a purchase, etc. through a weekly allowance
Helping with recipes in the kitchen

Handwriting and Spelling:


1. to improve his penmanship
2. to be able to correctly spell dozens of words
3. to feel comfortable writing
4. to begin practicing cursive

What We're Using:

D'Nealian Handwriting Book 2
Regular spelling tests based on Victory Drills and Sadlier Phonics

Art and Music:


1. to observe, describe and appreciate fine art
2. to hear, describe and appreciate music
3. to experiment artistically
4. to learn about different instruments
5. to continue practicing his recorder
6. to visit art musuems
7. to enjoy making crafts

What We're Using:

Easy Peasy Art  following SOTW timeline
Weekly art classes on campus
Picture study once a week
CDs from library/YouTube/Pandora

Physical Education and Health:


1. to move his body every day through play, exercise or sports
2. to feel accomplished/healthy after movement
3. to equate movement with health and fun
4. to be able to discriminate between healthy and unhealthy choices
5. to continue to practice good independent hygiene
6. to identify whole foods and their basic nutritional properties
7. to try a variety of sports
8. to set and work on personal fitness goals
9. to continue helping in the kitchen and learning about different healthy foods

What We're Using:

P.E. class (weekly)
Outdoor play with friends (daily)
Exercise with parents (regularly)
Hikes (as often as possible)

Many of these goals were created with the assistance of William J. Bennett's The Educated Child: A Parents Guide From Preschool Through Eighth Grade and The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise.

We will also follow along with the Core Knowledge Sequence.


  1. I love your curriculum breakdown! Our chapter book reading list is nearly identical. We are also using SOTW for history as well as the Usborne book. If you don't mind me asking, what on Netflix matches SOTW? We have netflix but apart from Beakman's World, we don't use it much for education.

  2. Thank you for your sweet comments. Looks like I'll be following your blog to see what you guys do with SOTW. Here's a handy pdf cataloging SOTW topics, chapters, and Netflix videos, including if the videos are streaming or not:

  3. Also, we don't have Hulu, but there is a free series of videos about the ancients that we will use. You might like it, too:,p0,d0,f1

  4. This is fantastic! Thank you very much! For SOTW we do not have the activity book. Just the paperback and the test booklet which we use as a workbook. Do you recommend the activity guide? Is it worth the money?

  5. Last year we tried SOTW and teetered off, I think, because we did not have the go-to activities or test booklet. This year I am planning on buying the activity book, so I'll find out this year if its worth the money!

  6. This is exactly what happened to us. We started SOTW last year but ended up stopping during Ancient Egypt and spending a long time on that time period. We love SOTW but I'm thinking the activity book is a must.