September 7, 2018

a peek at our 2nd grade homeschool plans...

our second grade homeschool plans |
We are three weeks into our homeschool year, and I wanted to make sure I made time to share our plans for curriculum and otherwise before too much time had passed. (Don't talk to me about how my baby is now nearly eight months old and I have yet to write her birth story. I have troubles.) Anyway, I'm always curious about what other homeschoolers are using with their children—especially because in this day and age there are approximately ten thousand different curriculum options—so hopefully someone out there finds this helpful or interesting or possibly weird because they think homeschooling is crazypants. (Friendly wave to the last group!)

If you're curious about what we did for Eisley's first grade year, here were the plans, and here is the post where I shared some reflections at the end of the school year. As for this fall, I had decided on most of what I wanted to do before summer even began (yes, I'm that mom who nerds out on planning curriculum way before the school year is even on the horizon). I was especially eager because I knew we'd be able to purchase many things we wouldn't normally be able to justify spending so much money on, as we had joined a charter school program for homeschoolers over the summer. 

The program is through a charter school called Valiant Prep and is open to homeschoolers in CA each summer. We were given $500 in funds to use on educational supplies, curriculum, field trips and classes. I kept it simple and spent just over $400 on curriculum, art supplies and other school supplies (glue sticks, pencils, etc.). This was a lot of money to spend, especially given I spent hardly anything on actual curriculum for Eisley's schooling up until this point. (I have relied heavily on the books we read, the library, and the huge number of free resources online.) Although the funds given were technically for continuing school throughout the summer, I knew anything I purchased would be used through the regular school year, as well, so I was sure to keep that in mind when I was selecting items to buy. I also wanted to stick to "consumable" items, because anything we couldn't write in or use up (for instance, a Kindle or regular books) would have to be returned when the summer program was over.

Throughout the summer, we had to do two check-ins via Skype with a teacher affiliated with the charter and give one sample of work for each meeting. (I ended up using Eisley's country study each month as one sample, and also had her write a few sentences about something she learned for a handwriting sample.) It was weirdly simple, and I kept wondering how it was possible to receive so much money in educational funds without needing to prove how we were using every little thing. At the risk of sounding trite, the whole thing was a huge blessing to us.

I've been hesitant to even consider using a charter for homeschooling (we are currently continuing to homeschool privately, which is an option that isn't available in all states within the US) but as the girls get older and we reach the point where we'd like to do more extracurricular activities or afford things like museum passes and such, then I feel it's something we would absolutely do. Our experience with this charter was just fantastic. We will take it year to year, but joining a charter is now an option I'm totally open to.

So, without further ado, here is an outline of our plans for Eisley's second grade year! (Prepare yourself for many words. I never promise to be brief.)

Language Arts
I'm absolutely giddy over two programs we were able to afford this year, thanks to funds from the charter school I mentioned earlier. I've wanted to purchase Brave Writer products before, but they're a little out of our price range. I purchased their Quiver of Arrows language arts program, which teaches lessons in all areas of language arts that go along with chapter book read-alouds that are assigned each month. It may be a little easy for Eisley (she's ahead in reading/writing skills) but I didn't want to get the more advanced program until next year. I also purchased Jot it Down, which is a creative writing course for the early elementary years. Both products are digital downloads, so I am having them printed through this website (the turnaround time is not the best, but I like supporting this company and you can't beat the pricing).

I have decided to not be overly ambitious with math during these early years. Call me crazy, but making my child a mathematical genius (to the detriment of our own sanity) isn't really my jam. As long as we are doing math daily and Eisley is consistency hitting the standards for her grade level, then I'm a happy mama. I do a lot of math practice with her throughout the day that happens pretty organically (having her help me bake, working out math problems that relate to something we are doing/reading, counting money, telling time, etc.) but for our daily scheduled math work I did purchase this workbook from Amazon. There are some wildly expensive math programs out there, and this year I didn't want that to be my focus. Next year, I'd like to invest in a math curriculum that includes manipulatives and other such goodness that I will use with the other girls later on, as well. But this year, we are simply committing to quick, daily lessons that will keep us on track and not overwhelmed.

Our big purchase (from our own pockets) this year was the My Father's World Adventures in U.S. History curriculum. This covers all the subjects listed above, and has a nice weekly schedule included. The schedule is set up for a 4-day school week with Fridays set aside for nature walks/study. This is the most we've ever spent on curriculum, but I can already tell it's absolutely worth it. We did get a nice discount, choosing the "basic" package, which didn't include the read-alouds (which we can get from the library), the art curriculum (which we purchased separately with charter funds), or the music appreciation curriculum (which we can do on our own). My mom recommended this curriculum to me because it was one of her favorite years of school with a younger sister of mine, and I'm so glad she pointed me in this direction!

Fine Arts/Music
We were able to get the I Can Do All Things art program with charter funds, and it has been a delight so far. Also, a family friend offered us a violin that we can use with Eisley for music lessons, so I'm toying with the idea of signing her up early next year—after the holidays, and after the rest of our homeschooling schedule is well established and I'm sure I can easily fit in something else.

Every morning, we spend 30-60 minutes (sometimes longer) doing Morning Time, which includes things like prayer, bible, poetry, memorization, read-alouds, daily Q&A, and other items. (I'll post more details about our routine later on!) For cursive, we are doing Handwriting Without Tears (and it's amazing how much she's learned even over the summer). As far as extracurriculars, we will continue with American Heritage Girls, which we adore. We lucked out in finding a large, well-established homeschool troop last year, and I can't speak highly enough of this scouting organization! I'm also signing Eisley up for a PE program for homeschoolers that introduces the kids to a variety of sports throughout the year, and I believe we will begin that in October.

We are taking a break from any sort of weekly homeschool co-op for a variety of reasons, but it's the best choice for us right now. I feel much calmer about many things this year, as opposed to years before. Having one "official" year of homeschooling under my belt is a huge relief—and I learned so much about keeping things simple and consistent. There are so many years ahead to fit in all we want to, dance classes, music lessons, art class, and other adventures. In this day and age, it's hard to remember that a seven year old is just a seven year old. My daughter doesn't have to do it all right now.

Interesting how I feel the same way about myself, and I'm thirty four. Ah, yes. It's a good reminder of us all, regardless of age and stage.

In any case, there you have it! My typically long-winded post on all things homeschooling. I'll be sharing more details about our routine and such later on, and aside from these posts I hope to find time to write more overall. If you have any questions about homeschooling, definitely ask away! My knowledge is (clearly) limited, but I'm more than happy to share what I've learned so far.

— Further reading: maybe I've always been a homeschool mom

Affiliate links included in this post; view my disclosure policy here. Thank you for your support!

1 comment :

  1. Some free online math resources include and if you want her to practice, don't mind some screen time, or want a little change. If there is any spelling words you want her to be able to practice, there is spellingcity but I can always make a list for her on my account if you want (it is limited bc i don't pay and only use the free activites, but you can print cursive practice, too). Sounds like you are doing awesome, Kerri.
    ALSO have you heard of and


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