Chasing Cheerios

Monday, April 21, 2014

2nd Grade Curriculum

I've had lots of questions about the curriculum we use over the last few months, and it's much quicker to just write a post for everyone to see rather than answer individually. So, I'm going to briefly tell you about the curriculum we have used for O(7)'s 2nd grade year along with links (when possible).   I hope this will help those of you who are making curriculum decision for the 2014-2015 school year.

English Language Arts

We used First Language Lessons for the Well Trained Mind (Volumes 1 and 2 combined).  We started this book during O's 1st grade year.  She liked it at first, but didn't like it towards the end.

First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind, Volume 3-  We started Volume 3 in February, and O LOVES it!  She said every lesson is like playing a game.  We have the teacher's edition and workbook.  The lessons are quick, easy, and fun.

Writing with Ease, Volume 2-  O was not enjoying this book by the end.  However she loves Volume 3 which we started in February.

We are reading the Little House on the Prairie chapter books together.  I read 2 pages, O reads 1, and we go back and forth.  She reads very well with these books, and she loves them, but she is intimidated by the length of the books.

O(7) reads books of her choice from the Reading A to Z library.

Both girls record their thoughts in calendar journals weekly.  These journals are calendars that have just enough room to write a sentence or two.  I'd like to write in them daily, but it usually only happens once or twice a week.  The girls tell me one thing about their day, and I record it in the journal for them.

Reading selections from Ambleside Online

Spelling-  O really doesn't like Sequential Spelling lessons, but she has made a lot of progress since starting.   I recently purchased the dvd, so that she can type her answers on the laptop.  Hopefully, she'll like it a little better since she'll be able to do it independently.


O(7) recently started a typing program,and she LOVES it!


Rightstart Math Level C.  We LOVE Rightstart Math!!!!!   O is learning math extremely effortlessly, and we are all having fun with it!

Challenging Word Problems-  O completes several word problems per week from this workbook.


O is learning cursive using Handwriting without Tears.  She is completing this workbook independently, and she is doing a great job.


Story of the World, Volume 2.  Both girls love SOTW.  We usually read one chapter per week and complete the mapwork from the workbook.  The girls occasionally color the pics from the workbook, but we rarely do the extra projects.  I doubt we'll order the workbook for 3rd grade.

American History-  We are studying American History through reading the American Girl books.  After we read the AG books, we read other books from the same time period.  We also complete craft and cooking projects from each time period.  This has been LOTS of fun, and we all love it.  I know that the girls are learning and loving history when I overhear them having conversations with each other about the Revolutionary War and Civil War.

reading selections from Ambleside Online


REAL Science Odyssey-  We are studying Earth Science this year.  I really liked this program last year, but we are going to try something different for 3rd grade.  It's just not flowing for us this year.  The projects are fun, and the kids are learning, but something about the format (and I'm not really even sure what) just doesn't work for me.

We have been studying pond/lake life through reading several books and studying our lake.  We all loved Among the Pond People and Pond.

weekly nature walks and nature journals


O takes weekly online piano lessons that my mom facilitates.

We listen to Maestro Classics daily.  We all LOVE Maestro classics.


Elementary Spanish classes via Discovery Streaming
Professor Pocket cds
Spanish books and other Spanish music cds


I have tons and tons (way too much) of random arts and crafts materials that are available to the girls at all times.  I am amazed on an almost daily basis by their creativity and levels of concentration and independence as they create with these materials (with no outside influence from me).

I have a 3 year subscription for Meet the Masters, but we haven't used this yet...maybe we'll start this summer.

We've studied several specific artists on Fridays with our group, and we read books about specific artist fairly frequently.  We also have several art memory and card games that we play periodically.


We love Song School Latin, but we don't get to it as often as I would like.

Geography and Culture

We are studying Russia, Ukraine, and Poland via our cultural exchange packages.  We also enjoy geomaps, google earth, our talking globe (the girls love dancing to the national anthems), and our wall map.  We love the Children Just Like Me books.

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I'm working on posts describing our upcoming summer school curriculum, O(7)'s upcoming 3rd grade curriculum, and E(4)'s upcoming 5K curriculum.


  1. I love the idea of a calendar journal with my 6 year old. can you recommend one?

  2. Thanks for sharing! Looking forward to seeing your 3rd grade picks!

  3. It's great to see what you use. Thanks for the Maestro Classics recommendations! I found a few on eMusic, so I'm going to use my subscription and download them from there. :)

  4. You mentioned Discovery Streaming. Can you explain more about how that works and what is offered. Do you like it? I browsed the website but didn't feel like I could get a sense of what was offered to homeschool families. It is costly for schools but I imagine a lower rate applies to homeschool. Thank you for your ideas and list of curriculum choices!