Favorite Homeschool Curriculum Choices for 2nd Grade

Favorite Homeschool Curriculum Choices for 2nd Grade

Homeschooling 7- and 8-year-olds is such an enjoyable time. By this age – typically second grade – many children are used to doing formal lessons and have settled into the rhythm of homeschooling. When my older children were in this stage, it was like we turned a corner and homeschooling became more rhythmic and enjoyable, because they had developed the attention span for longer read alouds and more thorough lessons.

At this age, narration skills have also developed quite a bit since beginning formal lessons at age 6. They are curious and hungry to learn from everyday experiences and enjoy hands-on activities like baking, projects, and experiments. It is so fun to see them grow.

Although we homeschool year-round, each summer we take a few weeks off in July or August to make space for a fresh, new start date for fall. During this period, I like to review how the previous year went and decide if we will make any changes for the upcoming year. If I am making any big curriculum shifts, I implement any changes or new curriculum at this time.

Related: Benefits of Year-Round Homeschooling and Homeschool Planning 101

This blog post lists some of my favorite curriculum choices for the second grade that I have used and loved over the years. Because my family enjoys family-style learning, you may notice the overlap between this grade and others. I believe there are so many benefits in learning together and adapting each study for different grades and interests. If this list overwhelms you, keep in mind I didn’t use all of these resources at the same time. This is simply a list of various resources I have enjoyed over many years when my children were around ages 7-8.

In this blog post:

  • Our homeschool style
  • Second grade homeschool schedule
  • Second grade homeschool curriculum choices

Our homeschool style

charlotte mason homeschool style

Family-style learning 

As you may know, in my homeschool we do not emphasize labeling grade levels. This is because we do much of our schoolwork “family-style.” Family-style learning means we use the same curricula for my children at different ages, tailoring the material to their levels. This way, my children learn together, despite being at various ages. While my children also have work they do independently that is tailored to their levels, the majority of our curricula can be tailored to use with all of my children, together. Lesson planning is streamlined and fosters sibling bonding as we do lessons together. 

Respectful learning

Rather than forcing my children into specific grade levels, I allow my children to progress at their own pace. Sometimes this means they are above “grade level” according to curriculum labels or state standards. Sometimes this means they are “behind.” My goal as a homeschooling parent is simple: To see that my children are continually growing in understanding, in skills, and in the desire to learn. I want them to enjoy their education, while also being challenged at just the right level. 

Charlotte Mason-style

While I do not subscribe to one specific method of education, I do lean toward Charlotte Mason principles. I value learning through living books, life experiences, and educating the whole child (not only the mind). We also utilize narration as a cornerstone of our education. Take this Homeschool Style Quiz to see what learning styles fit your family best.

Related: Homeschool Style Quiz

Second grade homeschool schedule

In my homeschool, a child in second grade does formal lessons about four hours a day, four days each week. We usually do school lessons on Monday through Thursday, and spend Fridays outdoors with our homeschool nature group.

Here’s a breakdown of what a day may look like:

  • Family devotions: 30 minutes
  • Morning Time (art, poetry, nature, literature): 1 hour
  • Core subjects (math, writing, reading): 1 hour
  • Read aloud & social studies: 1 hour
  • Enrichment subjects: 30 minutes

Second grade homeschool curriculum choices

In my homeschool, we start the day with a family devotional over breakfast. When we are ready to begin our school day, we do Morning Time, where we go through our family-style curriculum together. After, we work through core subjects like language arts, math, and social studies.

Family devotionals

best homeschool bible curriculum

My husband leads this time over breakfast. We have used various resources over the years, but my favorites are Rooted Family Bible Curriculum, Our 24 Family Ways, and Hero Tales

Rooted Family Bible Curriculum 

Rooted incorporates Bible readings, discussion, scripture memorization, prayer, hymns, art study, poetry, and simple hands-on connections. I designed it to incorporate beauty subjects with Bible study. The curriculum is centered on declarations about identity in Christ and their choices to live a life devoted to God.

Related: Introducing Rooted Family Bible Curriculum and How Do I Explain the Gospel to My Children?

Our 24 Family Ways: A Family Devotional Guide

The book’s premise is that you as a parent are creating a culture in your home of how your family thinks and acts. Based on the idea that Christians are called to “train up a child in the way he should go,” the author maps 24 ways to teach and instruct children. I loved this idea because I felt like it was articulating the character traits I want my children to have. 

Related: Family Devotional Review: Our 24 Family Ways

Hero Tales: A Family Treasury of True Stories from the Lives of Christian Heroes

Hero Tales is an illustrated storybook that presents the true-life stories of fifteen key Christian heroes. Each hero is profiled in a short biography and three educational yet exciting and thought-provoking anecdotes from his or her life.

Related: My Favorite Bibles and Devotionals

Morning Time

Our formal school time begins each day with Morning Time. During Morning Time, my children and I gather together around the table and connect with different subjects where we can all share and learn together. We may check in with the calendar, literature, nature study, and more. I love beginning the day together and using this time as a springboard for the rest of our studies.

Here is what I use in Morning Time for younger children, ages 7-8.

Calendar and weather charting

morning time bundle homeschool daily weather charting

We start by using the Morning Time Bundle, which includes a traceable calendar and weather chart. The kids love to trace the letters and numbers and look at the weather report to track the day’s weather.

Literature with other subject connections

best homeschool book club guide

Treehouse Book Club is great for Morning Time because it’s designed to be family-style and can engage children of multiple ages. Each month you read aloud great literature and then learn about various themes in the story. This could be watching videos that teach about the book’s historical elements, sketching a topic we read about in the story, or reading more picture books about ideas presented in the story. You document your learning through notebooking.

For a second grader, the focus is narrating or telling back the reading, learning how to research, and notebooking. There are also opportunities for hands-on activities like baking and projects in the guide.

Treehouse Book Club is also an excellent choice for families looking for ways to collaborate and interact with friends by implementing a format for book club, plus options for presentations and group activities.

LEARN MORE ABOUT TREEHOUSE BOOK CLUB

Nature study with music, art, and poetry

homeschool folk song curriculum

Treehouse Nature Study has been a staple of our Morning Time for years. It’s such a fun way to begin a day with fun family learning. Each week of Treehouse Nature Study covers a seasonal nature theme and includes songs, hand rhymes, poetry, art study, an extensive book list, and hands-on connections. The study is meant to be used year after year and includes so much that we will easily go deeper and wider this year than last with no problem. All of my children engage with elements of this, so it’s easy and fun to include them all.

Related: Six Core Values of Treehouse Nature Study, Poetry in Your Homeschool: Why and How?, and Picture Study in Your Homeschool: Why and How?

Core subjects for second grade

Second grade Language Arts: Grammar, Spelling, Handwriting, Composition

copywork books for homeschool cursive second grade

We approach language arts in a holistic way, meaning that so much of what children need to learn happens through narrations, copywork, notebooking, and organic writing opportunities like penpalling and list-making. While some homeschooling parents prefer to have separate curricula for each language arts “subject,” I prefer to use living books and curriculum and expand on it to offer language arts learning. 

If a child still needs help with letter formation at age 7-8 or is being introduced to cursive, I recommend handwriting books from Learning Without Tears alongside copywork.

If your child would benefit from phonics work, I love Explode the Code. Explode The Code offers 17 phonics workbooks, ranging from Primer levels (preschool) through Book 8 (somewhere between grades 2-4). This also includes the “half levels,” which are more practice of the main levels for children who may need more time to master a skill before moving on. 

Related: Curriculum Review: Explode the Code

If you would like to add a gentle grammar curriculum at this age, I recommend Language Lessons for Today. This curriculum from My Father’s World includes short lessons on English usage, punctuation, composition, and oral language skills. 

Related: Copywork in Your Homeschool: Why and How? and Notebooking in Your Homeschool: Why and How?

We will also read new books throughout the year with Treehouse Book Club. With Treehouse Book Club, each month we will read a new book together and do unique activities to enjoy the story. We will also explore topics related to the book like history, geography, science, and more.

We also practice Mail Monday where each of my children write a letter to anyone on Mondays. When we do this, I check for proper grammar and spelling.

Related: Introducing Treehouse Book Club and Mail Monday: Language Arts through Penpalling

I do not use formal curriculum for spelling, Instead, I utilize the copywork opportunities through our other curriculum to check for spelling as we go.

Second grade math 

best second grade 2nd grade math curriculum

We have tried various math curricula over the years. Finding the right fit has a lot to do with the child’s learning style and parent’s preference. Some of my favorite math curricula that I recommend for second grade are Math-U-See, Simply Good and Beautiful, Math with Confidence, and Saxon Math.

  • Math-U-See is a solution for struggling math students with gaps in their foundational math skills set. The Accelerated Individualized Mastery (AIM) programs use strategies and manipulatives in combination with an accelerated approach to help students successfully master math facts.
  • Simply Good and Beautiful Math 2 is a balance of enjoyable learning plus the development of a strong math foundation. The Math 2 parent-led lessons are a great choice for this age because they contain fun games and activities, diversity, and connected learning. The course contains colorful manipulatives that bring hands-on learning and fun to the simple open-and-go lessons.
  • Math with Confidence lessons are short, engaging, and hands-on and help children develop a strong understanding of second grade math, one step at a time. Developmentally-appropriate lessons, games and pretend activities make math fun and easy to use. The books include clear directions and explanatory notes, plus weekly enrichment lessons, picture book recommendations, and real-life math extension activities.
  • Saxon Math has been around for decades and uses an incremental approach to instruction and assessment. I like it because it limits the amount of new math principles delivered to students and allows time for daily practice.

Related: Our Math Journey: Honest Curriculum Reviews

Second grade Social Studies: Geography and History

best homeschool curriculum geography social studies

There are many directions you can go in studying social studies in second grade. For my family, I like the choose a focus for the year and use literature-based curriculum to explore that theme. For example, some years we have studied an area of geography or a certain period in history.

Some of my favorite resources for social studies in the early elementary years are:

  • Adventures in U.S. History (My Father’s World) explores U.S. History and patriotic symbols from a Christian perspective. Learn through stories, hands-on activities, a timeline, and a student-created history notebook. The curriculum includes U.S. geography, Bible, science, art, music, and more.
  • U.S. Geography K-3 (Beautiful Feet Books) is a gentle, literature-based study that incorporates hilarious stories, discussion questions, hands-on activities, recipes, field-trip suggestions, video links, and more. Children will explore the world, story by story.
  • Exploring Countries and Cultures (My Father’s World) is a great choice for families that want to focus on world geography, cultural studies, and missionary studies. This curriculum explores the world country-by-country, as you prepare traditional food, make native crafts, and listen to ethnic music. It also has real-life math application experiences by spending play currency from each country in each country’s “market.” 
  • Around the World Studies K-4 (Beautiful Feet Books) are divided into Part 1: Africa, Asia, Australia, Antarctica and Part 2: Europe and South America. These are options for looking at geography through the lens of stories, picture books, and other engaging activities.

Related: Incorporating Geography and Cultures in Your Homeschool

Second grade enrichment activities

2nd grade extracurricular homeschool ideas

For second grade, we add enrichment activities throughout the year. Here are some of my favorites.

  • Piano: My children have loved taking piano lessons from Hoffman Academy this year. Each day they do a lesson and spend time practicing. We have family recitals for them to share what they are learning every couple of months!
  • Typing: We do a Keyboarding Without Tears lesson a couple of days each week for typing practice. 
  • Art and drawing: We do a lot of art and drawing in our notebooking by following online watercolor and sketching tutorials. We also have an Art For Kids Hub subscription, and my kids also like doing origami.
  • Holiday studies: This year we will use A Connected Christmas: Around the World to prepare for Christmas. This includes Bible readings about the nativity story and a look at how the Christmas season is celebrated in different countries throughout the world. We will also use An Expectant Easter to learn about the resurrection in the weeks leading up to Easter.
  • Practical skills and handcrafts: Many of our studies include crafts and baking projects. We will introduce them to many handcrafts and skills over the year such as woodworking, crocheting, cross stitching, leatherwork, and bread making.

Related: Best Handcrafts for Children (+ Tips to Teach Them)

Other curriculum recommendations from Treehouse Schoolhouse:

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