Second Grade Curriculum Choices: 2015-2016

Friday, August 07, 2015

It's a new year, which means new curriculum choices.  Nothing has made me happier than to clear out the old to make way for the new!

Abby VBS 072015 bw

This year will be a mix of not only new items, but some tried and true favorites.  Here's what I have planned for Abby.

We will be going back to All About Reading and All About Spelling.  We first used these programs during Abby's Kindergarten year. And looking back, I took for granted how easy reading and spelling were to use then.  There was no major planning involved or sorting through charts and gathering I had to do was open and go, which is KEY to my life right now!  Plus, Abby seemed to like it (read: she didn't complain) and the letter tiles are perfect for her hands-on, take charge personality.  I will say she found the fluency sheets overwhelming. It became a struggle until I happened to read this post, suggesting stickers to visually mark a beginning and ending point for that particular lesson.  Genius!  I immediately put the advice into action using colorful star stickers to mark a reasonable reading portion for Abby.  I saw immediate results.  Soon it became a game and we didn't have anymore problems.  Like last time, I used the online placement tests to see what level to buy.  I found that Abby was wavering between two levels and wanted an expert opinion on what to do.  Their customer service was excellent, quickly responding to my questions.  She will be using All About Reading: Level 3 and All About Spelling: Level 2.


Bible continues to be one of her favorite times, mine too. We've been using Bible Study Guide for All Ages for a few years now.  Last year, we used the primary pages but switched mid-year to the beginner pages.  I found them to be a better fit for her and we will continue with them this year, as well.

For now, we will pick back up with Math-U-See: Alpha. We began Alpha the last few months of Kindergarten, breaking halfway through to begin Abeka: First Grade. I wanted Abby to give it another chance, this go around being more of a review. If it works out, we may move on to the next level. If not, I've got some other possibilities I'm curious to try with her. I'll share any changes that we make.

For the new programs, I discovered Simply Charlotte Mason several months ago and really fell in love. They have so many fabulous resources and samples ready for download.

One of my first purchases was a science curriculum, called Outdoor Secrets. I had planned to do it with Abby over the summer, but decided to hold off until the beginning of the school year. I wanted something cute, light, fun and interesting so that my younger kids could tag along if they wanted.

For history, we will be using Simply Charlotte Mason: Genesis through Deuteronomy & Ancient Egypt supplemented with Story of the World. History is one area I went back and forth on. I really wanted to like Mystery of History, but after borrowing it from the library I could see it wasn't going to work for us. We had sampled Story of the World and Abby was really engaged. I know many have some concerns with Story of the World and while we want Abby to have a strong biblical foundation, we also want her to be aware of other ideas and beliefs in the world. Our Ancient Egypt study will cover Bible, history and geography with the focus on Africa.
Simply Charlotte Mason also offers this free curriculum guide, to help develop your child's year. The website also offers sample schedules to see how it all fits together. Once I selected our history, I moved on to enrichment studies and chose from each category from the selections. While it looks like ALOT, many of these lessons are only taught 1-2 times a week for 10-15 minutes. It's a great introduction to the fine arts and other subjects without being overwhelming. You'll notice some topics like music study, picture study, personal development and handicrafts include either three composers, artists, habits or activities. These will be covered one per term. This is what I've chosen for Abby.

Poetry: Robert Louis Stevenson
Music Study: Bach, Beethoven and Chopin
Picture Study: Velazquez, Degas and Giotto
Foreign Language- Speaking Spanish with Miss Mason and Francois
Personal Development- Truthfulness, Obedience and Attention
Handicrafts--Baking, Folding Laundry and Dusting
Hymns, Bible Verses and Nature Study
Copywork- Print to Cursive Proverbs
Literature- Stuart Little, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, A Little Princess, etc.
Shakespeare- A Midsummer's Night Dream
It should be a fun year and I am *hoping* to document and blog about how we make it work for our family, so keep an eye out for that.

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