Sunday, August 1, 2010

Second Grade Curriculum Choices

Not Back to School Blog Hop

What we're sticking with:

RightStart Math (we'll be in Book C this year)

This is the only one math curriculum we've used, so I have nothing to compare it to, but we both absolutely LOVE this curriculum. It is FULL of manipulatives, games, and mental work. I feel like this curriculum sets an extremely firm foundation on how/why math works; it is not a memorize-and-then-spit-it-back-out curriculum. I love that it attacks math through so many different angles. It is EXACTLY what I wanted and I can certainly see me using this for all three of my boys. It is definitely worth the price tag.

Getty Dubay Italics (Book C this year)

" Letter shapes remain the same from basic italic to cursive italic, eliminating the abrupt leap from "ball and stick" to looped cursive seen in other programs."

If you are not familiar with cursive italics, here is a sample page of children's handwriting.

What we're adding/changing:

History/Geography; Language Arts/Spelling/Phonics

At the end of 1st grade, Will's confidence in his reading skills was low. He could read, he just didn't think he could and because of that I decided that we needed to focus a lot more on reading in 2nd grade. Focusing on reading led me to Sonlight.

The further I looked into their program, the more I liked it. I like that the Language Arts works around the books they are reading, so they are familiar with the material and it's not something else that is totally new. I like that the History and Geography are also intertwined and that the weekly spelling words share the same phonics rules. I also like that there are lots of wonderful books from which we'll be reading and learning; it's not just memorization. I couldn't have hand-selected these books any better myself. And I especially like that all of the lesson planning is done for me! ;)

The price tag was a little steep, so I bought everything used through the Sonlighter's Club Forum.


The subject for 2nd grade science came from Will's request. (Actually, it came down to Space or Dinosaurs. :) ) I have heard many great things about Apologia and now that I have their book and notebook in hand, I can see why! These books are written on the child's level, but still gives all the details that crave. The notebook is going to be a wonderful tool with copy work from the Bible that goes along with the lesson, places for illustrations and notes, and vocabulary crossword puzzles.

I'm excited about the different projects, too! It's more than "just create a replica of the solar system with balloons" (although that is in there!), but there are more ideas like:

  • Make a model of Stonehenge out of clay
  • Make craters in a bowl of flour
  • Learn how radar is used
  • Make a telescope
  • Track the phases of the moon
  • Make clouds
I'm hoping to have lots of pictures for our science projects this year!

We will also take at least one field trip to the Space & Rocket Center! Science is going to be so much FUN this year! :)


Will's reader for the first 24 weeks of Sonlight's curriculum is The Beginner's Bible and we will use this as a review of Bible stories. In addition, we will also be working through the two books of A Child's Book of Character Building.

Other Activities

Typer Island - Typing Instruction for Kids. Will used this a little bit towards the end of 1st grade. We're going to try to continue it a little further in 2nd grade at least once a week.

Music - I'd like to teach Will how to play a recorder. I played one "many moons ago" and really enjoyed it. He has expressed some interest in learning piano as well, but that's going to have to wait. :(

PE - Now that Will has recovered from the tendon lengthening surgery, he should be able to ride a bike and jump some rope! This year I think we're just going to focus on some of the "little things" that he physically couldn't do before. :) We're also going to look into Spring soccer.

Cub Scouts - Will is now a Wolf Cub! Since we're moving, this will be a completely new pack for us. I hope it will be a fun-filled year with lots of great, new friends! :)

Homeschool Co-op - We will continue meeting at least twice a month with our co-op group. He will join in the 4H group again as well.

State of Alabama- Easing into studying the state of Alabama, we'll be using the posters I from Legacy and begin with the environment, state bird, flower, etc.

Hopefully I'll find some time to review our 1st grade year as I just realized I haven't done that yet. Oh, and our 1st day of school will be August 3, 2010. We will begin with 4-day school weeks and then after we move, we'll transition to 5-day weeks (I hope).

I'm so ready for school to start. The chicken pox and heat have kept us cooped up in the house for far too long with*nothing* to do. I look forward to some routine in our days again. I think the kids are, too!

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Milk and Honey Mommy said...


We use and also love RightStart Mathematics. I've used nothing else, but knew that it was the program for us when I found it. I love the approach too and will be starting my three year old using the abacus (for counting) this school year.

Heidi said...

Looks great! We've really liked RightStart Math. Oh, and boys rule my life, too. :) I have 3 boys (K4, 1st, and 3rd) with a baby (GIRL) due the beginning of Oct. It's going to be an interesting year for us...

I've loved Sonlight's literature selections. I hope you enjoy using their program this year!!

Tara B. said...

Looks like you all will have a great year! I am interested in the Character Building book,going to look it up right now!

Lora @ my blessed life said...

You have a great year planned! We also use the Getty-Dubay handwriting program and LOVE it. We are using Apologia for the first time this year and are also starting with astronomy. It looks great~I'm excited about it!

Kysha said...

Chicken pox are no fun! Hope all are well! We loves Apologia's Astronomy a few years ago. I hope you have an excellent year and healthy one as well.

My Family My Forever said...

Boys rule my life too--I also have 3 boys (and one ten-year-old daughter)!

I have looked at Right Start Math for the last year. I will have to read all that you think/do with it in your homeschool.

We use Apologia too and love it!

You have a very full, fun year planned! I enjoyed reading about it.

Liz @ Sugarplum Creations said...

It sounds like a wonderful year ahead of you! I have been longing to use Sonlight, some friends of ours can't say enough great things about it.

The Real Me! said...

I've always eyeballed Sonlight stuff but haven't actually used it yet.
And I hear you on the heat thing. And this is our hottest month with no end in site so I'm ready to get started as well.
Have a great day!

Jessica S. said...

We are doing Apologia Science: Astronomy for my 4th grader and General Science for my 7th grader! Have fun this year and thanks for sharing! Happy Homeschooling! :)

Daddy's Chick's said...

Oh NO . . chicken pox. Wishing you a blessed school year & thanks for sharing (not the chicken pox).

Sheri said...

Love SL...and I like how it is laid out for the mom-removes a lot of planning stress. We are still working thru the Apologia Astronomy book-but it goes slower cuz I use the lapbooking components to go with it too....we have used G-D Italic HW from the beginning of our HS career and love it. Sounds like a fun year ahead...blessings-

Robin E. said...

Oooo, another Sonlight mama! I'm doing Core 1 with my little ones (2nd and K) this year with Core 6 with my big ones (8th and 6th) and some Core P3/4 thrown in for my littlest one (preschooler). Busy, but oh, so rewarding.

Thank you for sharing on the blog hop!

Jacquelin said...

We are Sonlight and Apologia users here too. We are using Astronomy this year too and my girls are very excited too. Sounds like you have a great plan ahead of you, enjoy your year!

Elaine said...

Hey! Boys rule my life too!!! I have 3 (8 yr. old twins, and a 5 - almost 6 year old). Looks like you have a great year planned out. I hope it goes well! By the way, I am in Alabama, also. I'm a Roll Tider here! Hope your not for "that other Alabama team!" haha! Have a great year!

Nichole said...

I’d never heard of RightStart math before! We aren’t doing any “official” math program this year – my daughter is starting kindergarten – but I’m always on the lookout for next year’s materials. J

Connie Jean said...

It all looks wonderful! Thanks for sharing with us. Also want to say I love love that quote you have in your header. So very true!

Denise said...

I am now following your blog~ I have 3 boys so I totally understand your blog name & description! lol

Tina Hollenbeck said...

Hi, Becky. I'm stopping over from the blog hop. I have girls, but I think your blog title is too funny...and surely true. :^) We use Typing Island, too, and love it. I hope you might stop by my place during the hope: :^)

Our Village is a Little Different said...

Hi from another mom of boys. I'm stopping by from the blog hop! We love RS math,too. Finally, my guys "get" math! we're using Apologia Astronomy, too. I hope you have a wonderful school year!

Hannah said...

Sounds like you have a great plan for the year. This will be our first year using Sonlight, so I am excited to see so many other moms using it as well. Thanks for sharing your ideas with us all. :)

Hannah (# 196)