I think it's time for me to share our second grade plans--we're already halfway through our first term here! We all really enjoyed the summer break, but I'm happy to be back on a schoolish routine with my two older kids, who are now in second grade. I also have two "preschoolers" (4 and 3) and two "babies" (almost-2 and almost-1) this school year.
Once again, we're relying heavily on Ambleside Online's schedule--we'll be doing their Year 2 this year. I switched out a couple books, scheduled a few extras, and then added plans for art, music, foreign language, math, religion, and so on.
Here's what our year looks like at a glance. My own changes/additions in blue; the rest is straight off the AO site! (And these are posted with permission from AmblesideOnline.)
|Bible||Old Testament - Benson's Old Testament Rhymes (25 rhymes - one per week)|
New Testament - Knecht's Child's Bible History (39 chapters - about one per week)
Weekly reading of the Gospel from their own missals
|Religion||Saints' Lives - Heroes of God's Church (25 chapters - about one per week with longer tales split in two)|
Stories - Catholic Tales for Boys and Girls (12 chapters - Term 1), First Communion Tales (12 chapters - Term 2), More Catholic Tales for Boys and Girls (12 chapters - Term 3) *not narrated
Mass - Come to Mass by Fr. Francis (31 pages - about one per week)
Catechism - Mother Loyola's First Communion (one half chapter a week) and monthly review of the New St. Joseph's FHC Catechism
|History||World - Our Island Story and A Child's History of the World|
National - This Country of Ours
Catholic - Chapter 1 (St. Brendan) and Chapter 2 (The Discovery of the Americas) from The Catholic Faith Comes to the Americas
Stories - Yonge's Little Duke (Terms 1 and 2), Stanley's Joan of Arc (Term 3)
|Natural History||The Burgess Book of Animals (1-2 stories per week)|
Holling's Tree in the Trail (Term 1 and 2) and Seabird (Term 2 and 3)
|Geography||The Kirbys' The World at Home (2 chapters per week)|
Highroads of Geography (1 chapter per week) *not narrated
Henty's Brighty of the Grand Canyon (scheduled rather than free read, 36 chapters - 1 per week) *not narratedMap drills - Santa Fe trail, US states, countries of Western Europe
|Literature||Lambs' Tales from Shakespeare (two plays per term)|
Understood Betsy (Term 1), The Wind in the Willows (Term 2), Robin Hood (Term 3)
Pilgrim's Progress (using the 72-week schedule)
Tanglewood Tales and The Wonderbook (10 pages per week) *not narrated
|Poetry||Walter de la Mare (Term 1), Eugene Field Whitcomb (Term 2), Christina Rossetti (Term 3)|
|Music Study||The First Book of the Orchestra (one section per week)|
Haydn (Term 1), Mozart (Term 2), Beethoven (Term 3) - using Classics for Kids, two lessons per month
|Art Study||Manet (Term 1), Monet (Term 2), TBD (Term 3)|
|Art||Weekly drawing lesson using Mona Brooks' Drawing with Children|
Weekly art project
|Music||Weekly piano lesson, daily practice (we actually won't start lessons until spring)|
|Nature Study||Weekly nature study outing|
Weekly nature journal entry
Natural Science Through the Seasons: 100 Teaching Units (weekly activity with nature study group)
|Italian||Daily work, one unit every other week, including lesson, songs, games, rhymes and review|
|Handicrafts||Gianna - Sewing, beading|
Vincent - Woodworking, leather stamping
|Copywork||Printing and starting cursive (five minutes per day)|
|Memory Work||Daily memorization of one hymn, one folk song, one poem, one psalm/parable|
Daily review of prior selections
|Math||RightStart Level D/E for Gianna (four lessons per week)|
RightStart Level E for Vincent (four lessons per week)
A few notes:
:: Scheduling. I'm using my weekly list format from last year--it's still working wonderfully. My goal is four days of daily work (which means math, memory work, italian, copywork, read aloud) in addition to our weekly assignments. At this point, my children are reading everything on their own except Our Island Story, This Country of Ours, Shakespeare, Pilgrim's Progress, and Mother Loyola's First Communion. I may hand over the history readings soon; they definitely could read those independently, but I enjoy working through them together. I plan to keep the other three as read alouds since we discuss them as we go.
:: Geography. I wanted to add a little extra to this subject, so I included a few books for us to work through. The children get a "letter" each week in our family mailbox from Highlands of Geography, and we're reading The World at Home together. And I thought Brighty of the Grand Canyon would be a good companion to Tree in the Trail as we do mapwork on the US states this year, so I made it a scheduled-but-not-narrated reading (since it's technically a free read, I'm not requiring narrations). Geography is one of my kids' favorite subjects. (You can read my thoughts on geography from a CM approach as well as other geography resources here.)
:: Slowing down. Hawthorne's Tanglewood Tales and The Wonder Book are on the free reading list for this year, but I thought they would be fun to go through slowly together to get us ready for Kingsley's Heroes Bulfinch's Age of Fable in the years soon to come. So we'll be reading them over the course of the year, about ten pages (in our versions) per week, read aloud by me (and again, not narrated). This is one of our very favorite readings so far this year! My kids beg for more and it is a delight to read aloud.
:: Free reading. I haven't included it here, but we have tons of free reading on our lists for this year that I have pulled from a variety of sources. My daughter in particular just sails through all her free reading books--in fact, they have both finished almost all of AO's suggestions already in just a couple weeks. So I always like to have a nice long list of other options ready to go. I'll be sharing from that list as we go through the year.
:: Math. Over the summer, I decided to split up my two for math, and I am so glad I did! Even though they're the same age and working at pretty much the same level, they are such different learners that it makes more sense for me to work with them one-on-one.
:: Copywork. My kids were clamoring to do cursive--in fact, they were starting to teach themselves just from my old lists and notes! So I decided we would slowly begin some cursive practice. I'm not entirely convinced that they're ready (in terms of their fine motor skills), but I'd rather have them learn properly from me than teach themselves improperly. So we'll see how that goes. We will continue copywork in printing as well.
:: Pilgrim's Progress. I went back and forth over using this very-Protestant text in our homeschool. Ultimately, I decided it was worth going through since it's a cultural touchstone. So we'll be doing this together. I'm only planning for us to do the first book, though, so we'll be using the 72-week cycle over on Ambleside Online. It's really just a few minutes of reading each week.
:: Religion. We read through the Old Testament in Child's Bible History and Knecht's Bible History last year. This year, we're tackling the New Testament, which the kids are obviously quite familiar with but haven't studied in any systematic way. We're also going through Msgr. Benson's Old Testament Rhymes, which is a fun way to recap last year's stories. We also have readings for "fun" (the Tales section), for our ongoing study of the Traditional Latin Mass, and for catechism: Mother Mary Loyola's First Communion. My two oldest actually made their First Communion last spring, but this book is too much of a treasure for them to miss it. So we're doing it "late" but all getting a lot out of it anyway!
:: Italian. I explained our plan for Italian lessons a couple weeks ago. It's still going wonderfully--I'm really pleased with our progress!
:: Nature Study. Once again, we'll be doing nature study with friends this year. Angela and I are planning to pull ideas from Partridge's Natural Science Through the Seasons to give a little structure to our outings.
:: Art. We're continuing our lessons using Drawing with Children from last year, melding that text with some other resources and the daily drills from Donna Young's site. Once we get through the first term's assignments, I'll try to remember to post more about how we're using this text.
:: Art and music. Once again, I'm going on my own instead of following the Ambleside Online rotation for these subjects. We'll have a chance to listen to Haydn live this year, so I definitely wanted to hit him first. I pulled the others from those available on the Classics for Kids website--they're subject to change if another live performance opportunity pops up. Same with artists--I really plan one term at a time. After two terms on Impressionists, I will probably add something with religious subject matter in Term 3. Or maybe we'll switch out Monet for someone else? We'll see.
So that's our second grade plans! Please let me know if any other details would be helpful to you--I'm happy to share.