Deciding on a second grade curriculum? Learn the basic learning objectives for 2nd grade to help choose the right homeschool lessons for your family.
There is no school on earth as unique as your home school! Part of the glory of teaching your children at home is being able to determine what they learn and what they are not exposed to. The only exception to this are the basic objectives that all second graders are expected to learn. These objectives are very general, so you always have freedom to determine how they are taught and how fast your child moves through them.
It is important to look up the recommendations and rules for your state. Some states have very strict rules for homeschooling families, while others leave most decisions up to the parent. You have to first know what your state requires so you can then make changes and adjustments to fit your home school. Following is a quick run down of what most second graders will learn, regardless of state.
Second Grader Development
Curriculum objectives will be discussed. It is important that your child is developing at the right level by now. More advanced subjects and lessons are ahead, but a second grader should exhibit specific characteristics, such as:
- Motor skills: They should be able to skip, jump, gallop, and do other more complex locomotor movements. Also, they should have the ability to form their own locomotor patterns and even perform non-locomotor motions such as spinning, balancing, and twisting. Second graders should understand words associated with movement as well.
- Fitness: Many children come to dislike such activities by now. Try to make it fun to engage in physical exercise and help them understand that fitness is associated with muscular, cardiovascular and overall health and flexibility.
- Social: By second grade, social development is the most noticeable. You should see your child provide feedback to peers and respond to it in a positive way. By now, children often want to help others and play in team games. They will work with other children in making up games and movements and strive to solve problems in groups.
In many ways, their imaginations and movements should run wild. Let them have fun and learn all the while.
You will notice a newfound level of independence in a second grader. Some children advance quicker than others, but your child may be able to dress themselves, have breakfast or lunch on their own, or be able to feed the dog. Responsibilities are more accepted than before. More willing to meet expectations, they’re also able to grasp the consequences of not doing so.
So, when homeschooling, you can outline a few rules as a school teacher would as the year starts.
Addressing Transitional Needs
First graders are very much childlike. So are second graders, but they are quickly transitioning toward the traits of a young child in third and fourth grade. They’re more curious too. Offer as many explanations as you feel appropriate. An expanded vocabulary and longer attention span allows you to be more articulate with them.
Like most children, yours might not like being frustrated or criticized. Still, listen to their opinions and praise them for thinking on their own or speaking up. It’s a volatile development stage. You’ll be busy, but homeschooling a second grader is a rewarding experience. For a better idea here are a few curriculum objectives in homeschooling your child.
Second Grade Curriculum Objectives for Reading/Writing/Language Arts:
- Start reading independently (if not accomplished in first grade)
- Begin to read with more fluency (recognizing words without spelling out)
- Work with spelling lists for enhanced reading and writing skills
- Start to comprehend stories and simple nonfiction while reading independently
- Improve handwriting for neatness and spacing
- Enforce the use of simple punctuation (periods, commas, exclamation points, etc.)
- Write more detailed sentences and paragraphs
- Begin to write brief stories or personal narratives
- Write about material that is read
- Organize stories into a beginning, middle and end
- Knowing and identifying contractions, abbreviations, prefixes and suffixes on a page.
- Be able to find information in text to answer questions
Reading chapter books tends to give children a sense of accomplishment. In second grade, they typically respond most to books about kids like them. Don’t limit the experience to just reading. Continue to include writing in your curriculum and encourage it every day. Give more criticism on spelling, punctuation and capitalization while even introducing editing and revising to the process.
2nd Grade Curriculum Objectives for Mathematics:
- Count beyond 100, up into the thousands
- Start to grasp counting by 2’s and 5’s up to 100
- Expand knowledge of money to counting, making change, and using in real life
- Understand addition and subtraction of two and three digit numbers
- Introduce multiplication and division
- Start to use rulers and other measurement devices
- Understand probability and estimating
- Start to work through more story problems
- Values of numbers (greater than, smaller than, equal to)
- Solve simple problems involving fractions
- Understand how to tell time by the hour, half hour, quarter hour, etc.
- Recognize basic geometric shapes such as cubes, rectangles, spheres, cones and cylinders
- Start to do addition and subtraction by reading simple charts and graphs
- Learn how to measure using inches and feet
Some math lessons may incorporate fractions, two-digit addition/subtraction, graphing and other more advanced concepts covered in later grades. Word problems may come into the picture. You’ll have the opportunity to ask for an explanation on how your child got their answer.
Science Objectives for a Second Grade Curriculum:
- Understand how to make predictions and test those predictions
- Begin to understand the scientific process of observation, inquiry, investigation and problem solving
- Explore the natural resources and elements in the natural world
- Explore the states and physical properties of matter
- Understand how natural resources are used by people in the modern world
- Begin to understand life cycles and the food chain
- Identify the things that distinguish a living thing from one that is non-living
- Recognize what air pollution, water pollution and hazardous waste are
- Begin to grasp Earth science concepts such as rotation, surface features/changes, the moon, the sun and climate
Social Studies Objectives:
- Gain a deeper understanding of history versus present times
- Gain a deeper understanding of the community around them and their family
- Start to explore the concept of different people around the world having different cultures
- Build an understanding of how laws protect the community and keep people safe
- Examine current events and relate them to how people learn from the past
- Begin to see how goods and services are produced and consumed
- Explore our country’s role in history and how it’s affected by the past
- Learn to find locations and features on a map
Basic Tips for Teaching Second Graders:
- By the end of second grade, most children will be very fluent readers. They will be reading chapter books and comprehending the stories that they read.
- It is important to start introducing nonfiction texts in second grade, even though they can be more challenging for beginning readers to comprehend.
- Children who learned to read independently in first grade may be ready to start learning concepts of first, second and third point of view in stories. This can be explored through reading and writing their own stories in different point of views.
- In second grade, children are usually better at thinking than composing or spelling, so it’s hard for them to express themselves this way. Unless you are consistent in teaching the basics, they may start to dislike writing.
- While most children are introduced to multiplication and division in second grade, most will not fully understand it until third or even fourth grade. It should be introduced simply as exposure so they have an easier time at later grades. Use grouping of counting objects like dry noodles to work through story problems that will introduce the basic idea of these more advanced math concepts.
- Second graders still need a lot of interaction and guidance through their lessons, but should be able to do some tasks independently. Start allowing them to do some assignments alone, and then come together to discuss their work.
- Not only are second graders getting better at processing information. They’re able to connect information with what they already know. If they have a favorite animal or plant, your child can compare its anatomical features to those of other types. Include comparisons in your lessons and ask your second grader to make their own inferences.
Complete Curriculum Favorites for 2nd Grade:
Homeschool Complete – Created by a homeschooling mom of three with 27 years’ teaching experience in both public and private schools at all levels, you can find quality year-long curriculum, reading curriculum, and unit studies.
Alpha Omega Life Pacs – This mastery learning program is great for kids who love to master a topic before moving on to the next.
Sonlight Curriculum – Make it come to life in 2nd grade by trying Sonlight’s program that integrates history, reading and language arts into one great program.
Phonics and Reading Curriculum Favorite:
Horizons Phonics and Reading – This curriculum combines great classic stories and poems with fun new stories to help kids learn to love to read and read well!
Second Grade Curriculum Favorites for Science:
Apologia Science – Great for all ages of elementary students, these books are great for really engaging kids and teaching them to love science!
LifePac Science – Full of lots of hands-on projects and experiments, this is a great science curriculum to engage your 2nd grader.
Top 2nd Grade Homeschool Math Curriculum Choices:
Horizons Math – Does your child like colorful worksheets and a little challenge? This curriculum and its spiral learning method is excellent for gifted students or ones who rise to a challenge.
LifePac Math – LifePac utilizes the mastery learning method. This curriculum is best for those children who do best when they master a skill before moving on to a new concept.
MathUSee – A parent favorite, this program uses a lot of manipulatives to help kids understand and “see” how math works.
Since children at this age learn different subjects at different paces, you may have to experiment with multiple programs. Try mixing and matching if, for example, your child is slightly ahead in reading but behind in math. Your goal is to guide them along yet not take away their confidence so much they become resistant to learning. With the right materials and teaching methods, your second grader can excel and even outpace their classroom counterparts.