Homeschool: 2nd Grade Review


We are just days from finishing up 2nd gra
de homeschool with my daughter. Once we officially finish all 180 school days, we will celebrate at her choice of restaurant (usually Chuck E Cheese). That should happen in about 2 weeks.

I wanted to post a review of how the year wen
t and what materials we used.

It's been a rough year. My daughter has dislik
ed school more this year than ever before. I hate that and will be making some major changes in our homeschool approach for next year. Turning her off to school, learning and education is definitely NOT our goal! Her attitude has been poor, presenting more of a challenge to me as her mother and teacher.

On the up side, she has been a total bookwo
rm this year, reading up to 250 pages per day in whatever book series she is into (currently it is the Boxcar Children series). We have also read a lot of books outloud together (click here to see my posts about homeschooling, including my Children's Reading List posts about books we've read together this year).
For formal curriculum, we used Alpha Omega Lifepac for 2nd grade. Included were 10 workbooks for each subject: Science, Math, History/Geography, Language Arts and Bible. We found the Lifepacs to be rather simplistic, seeming too easy for a 2nd grade level. We breezed through all but the Math books in half the school year! I was committed to trying them for one year - because I had received the entire set of books for free and because it's difficult to transition to a new curriculum in the middle of the school year... but it was frustrating, as we were rather disappointed with them overall.

The Lifepac for Math has lasted the entire school year, as Math is where my daughter struggles the most. We have supplemented other materials for the other subjects in order to last through the 180 day school year. We used some materials from Christian Liberty Press for History and Spelling.

Partially because of my daughter's poor attitude and partially because of my personal conviction that something was missing, I added "Bible Study with Mom" to our day. At the end of the day, we sit together and work through a Bible Study program that focuses on Christian character development. We are using Polished Cornerstones, by Doorposts currently, focusing on a different aspect of a Christian woman's character each week. This is going ok. I enjoy it. My daughter enjoys it sometimes and other times is very distracted and wants to rush through it.

Off and on, we've used other materials for a short time. For example, I had a Spanish book that we worked through. It lasted only 10 weeks or so. We've also worked through supplemental books on Critical Thinking and Handwriting. For more than a year, my daughter has taken part in Child Evangelism Fellowship's Mailbox Club - receiving lessons in the mail, completing a work page and mailing it back in order to receive the next lesson. This year, I had her begin working on computer keyboarding skills also, using this fun teaching-typing site from the BBC.

It's hard to believe we're at the end of 2nd grade and that my "little girl" will be turning 8 this summer! This has been my 3rd year as a homeschool teacher! As with most everything, there are ups and downs, seasons of joy and triumph as well as seasons of difficulty and despair. Homeschooling is not easy, that is for certain. Yet, my conviction to homeschool remains strong.

I will post later on what our plans are for 3rd grade, as we're trying something new to see if we can reignite that love-to-learn spark in my daughter, as well as do more "school" that can incorporate my 3 1/2 year old son!

If you are so inclined, join us in praying for our homeschool:

  • For God's clear direction and vision for how to proceed
  • For my daughter's overall attitude towards school and learning
  • For my son as he begins learning basic concepts (ABCs and 123s)
  • For my strength and energy to meet each day's tasks; for a long-term perspective; for the life that I model for my children to be Christ-like
  • For our homeschool years to be sweet and pleasant for our family


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