I have taught second-grade to three of my children so far. Homeschooling second grade is a lot of fun. I can still remember some of the stories we read together in reading, the hands-on activities we did in science, and the shape poems we wrote in English. My daughters loved homeschooling, and so did I! Our homeschool curriculum played a huge part in creating a positive homeschool experience for my daughters. In this post, I’ve included tips to help you find the best second-grade homeschool curriculum for your family.
Second-grade Homeschool Curriculum Options
There are many second-grade homeschool curricula available. Your homeschooling style, your family’s makeup, your child’s learning style, and the individual needs of your child will be major factors when deciding on the best homeschool curriculum for your family. You will also have to consider your homeschool budget. Second-grade curricula vary widely in cost and in format. You can simply buy textbooks or you can purchase a full online course experience.
What to Look for in a Second-grade Homeschool Curriculum
1. A Biblical Worldview
If you are a Christian homeschooler, you will want to be attentive to the worldview a homeschool curriculum teaches. A worldview can be defined simply as “a set of basic beliefs, assumptions, and values that arise from a narrative about the world.” Everyone has a worldview. But some worldviews (like those built on evolutionary premises) are antithetical to biblical teaching. If we want to teach our children the ways of the Lord, we need a curriculum that will train our children to view the world as God does. We need a curriculum that is written from a biblical worldview.
2. Engaging Lessons
Second graders have a lot of school to look forward to accomplishing. We want them to enjoy it! You will want to look for a homeschool curriculum that encourages your child to love learning through hands-on, multisensory instruction. Ideas may include manipulatives during math class to illustrate new math concepts, doing experiments and other investigations in science, tracing letters and words in handwriting, and playing games in language arts.
3. Grade-appropriate Instruction
You will want to look for a homeschool curriculum that is “right-sized” for second graders—something that will challenge your child, but not frustrate him or her. You can often look at a publisher’s scope and sequence online to see what is being taught at each grade level. There should be a logical progression of information and skills from grade to grade with a gradual increase in difficulty.
4. Phonics-based Reading Instruction
Your child may already be a great reader. Or he or she may still struggle with reading. Readers of every skill level still need regular phonics instruction and practice to become good, confident readers.
You will want to look for a second-grade homeschool reading curriculum that consistently reviews phonics patterns and generalizations. This phonics instruction will help your child learn to decode (sound out) unfamiliar words, which is the first step to reading comprehension.
5. An Emphasis on Developing Critical Thinking Skills
We don’t want to just cram information into our child’s head. We want to teach our child how to use that information to solve problems and think for himself or herself. The development of these critical thinking skills—the skill of knowing how to use information to analyze, create, make applications, and evaluate—takes time. We need to start developing these skills when our children are young.
When looking for a second grade homeschool curriculum, you will want to find a curriculum that helps develop these skills through questioning, hands-on activities, real-life problems to solve, graphic organizers, and writing projects.
6. The Support You Need
The amount of support you need will depend on your own educational background, your family’s makeup, and your homeschooling experience. If you have other children in your home, you may need video options so that you can make maximum use of your time. If you are planning on teaching your second grader yourself, you may need a teacher edition that will walk you through every lesson. You will also want to look for features that will make your life as a homeschool parent easier- features like grading, reporting, and scheduling tools. Make sure that your second-grade curriculum has all the features you need to homeschool successfully.
Highlights of the BJU Press Second Grade Curriculum
BJU Press offers a robust and engaging second-grade homeschool curriculum that teaches every subject from a biblical worldview. Every piece of the curriculum has been carefully designed to teach and reinforce foundational concepts and skills so that your child can get a great academic start. Below are some of the things that your child will learn with the BJU Press second-grade curriculum.
Subjects for Second Graders
In second grade, your child will learn foundational math skills such as place value (hundreds, tens, and ones), addition and subtraction facts and strategies, units of measurement, charts and tables, and more. Your child will also be introduced to the concepts of multiplication and division. Math 2 uses fun manipulatives and stories to teach these concepts so your child can easily understand them.
In Science 2, your second grader will use science inquiry skills, complete STEM activities, and get hands-on experience testing and applying scientific knowledge. Throughout the year, your child will gain a deeper knowledge of matter and motion, earth and space, and living things.
Heritage Studies 2, Community and Government, focuses on developing a biblical worldview of citizenship, government, economics, geography, and culture. Your child will also start practicing social studies skills such as map-reading, reading timelines and charts, and distinguishing facts from opinions.
English 2 teaches how the correct use of language honors God. Your child will learn about nouns, verbs, capitalization rules, ending punctuation marks, and more. Your child will also learn how to apply the writing process to all kinds of simple writing projects.
Reading 2 gives your child a chance to review key phonics generalizations to interesting, illustrated stories, poems, and dramas. It will also develop your child’s reading comprehension skills by introducing them to new vocabulary and by using leveled questions to encourage your child to think deeply about what he or she has read.
Handwriting 2 will review the BJU Press PreCursive handwriting, a handwriting style based on the way that kids naturally write and will introduce your child to cursive. Throughout the course, your child will practice a correct pencil hold and letter formation so he or she can communicate clearly.
Spelling 2 reinforces phonetic patterns and vocabulary, teaches your child how to use a dictionary, and emphasizes the importance of clear communication.
A Complete Second Grade Homeschool Curriculum
Every homeschool is different, and BJU Press has created curriculum options to fit the needs of each family and every child. For each subject, BJU Press offers both a textbook-only option as well as a complete video course experience with lessons taught by experienced, engaging teachers. Both options provide you with plenty of support including access to BJU Press’s free online scheduling and grading tool, BJU Press Homeschool Hub.
Although you can purchase BJU Press materials individually, investing in the kit options will save you time and money—with savings up to 25%! All subject kits and full-grade kits come with everything you need to be successful. Additionally, purchasing a grade kit will give you the confidence that all your child’s educational materials are working together to teach a biblical worldview and provide your child with a consistent educational experience.
My family has used a lot of BJU Press’s homeschool curriculum, and my daughters have grown both academically and spiritually. If you have questions about BJU Press’s second-grade curriculum, I would encourage you to call BJU Press, use the chat feature on bjupresshomeschool.com to chat with a customer service representative, or reach out to your local HomeWorks consultant. They would love to answer your questions so that you can make the best curriculum decision for your family.