Grade 2&3 Homeschool Choices

homeschool-choicesIt’s surreal that they are in these grades. I vividly recall these grades and things I learned – like how to spell “chocolate” in second grade.

I don’t think my boys know how to spell chocolate, and I am thinking we should have a household rule that only the people who know how to spell the food item correctly get to eat the food item. {Kidding.}

But my memory of learning to spell “chocolate” in second grade is directly connected to the humiliation I felt over not spelling it correctly.
I also recall the mortification of my teacher over my poor readings skills. I had switched schools from a sight-reading teaching method to a phonics-reading teaching method and my reading skills were almost non existent. By the end of second grade I was excelling in those subjects.
Those memories are powerful examples to me of the position I hold as teacher in my children’s life – to strengthen their weaknesses, but to do so gently and lovingly.

It’s crazy to realize that I can’t choose the memories that they will take with them – what an encouragement to me as a mother to be transparent and authentic in all areas, and not try to foster some false image that my children wouldn’t recognize. They know better than anyone that I cannot do it all, and they love me with passion and grace. I am so thankful for them.

homeschool-bookshelfI wanted to share some of our homeschool choices for the year – there are so many excellent options out there and it can get overwhelming deciding what one should use.

This list is simply meant to share our choices and I am happy to answer any questions about any of the things we are doing.

Our goal is to foster a life long love for learning in our children by giving them tidbits of information for their minds to explore, and building pegboards for depth in the future.

Charlotte Mason said; “The question is not, ‘how much does the youth know?’ when he has finished his education––but how much does he care?

And about how many orders of things does he care? In fact, how large is the room in which he finds his feet set?”

So with that, our choices for our year are meant to “enlarge their territory” and to point them to Christ.

First day of school - a special breakfast, verse, and tool - to represent our vision to equip them to be lifelong learners.
First day of school – a special breakfast, verse, and tool – to represent our vision to equip them to be lifelong learners.

For clarification for those who do not know my children – Judah is the eldest and in third grade. Wesley is in second grade. Unless otherwise stated, they will be doing the same work.

Our morning rhythm covers Bible, hymn, prayer, memory work, journaling, read alouds, and skills.


Our history cycle for this year is early modern world history, however I am changing things up a little bit. We will be listening through volume three of Story to the World, as we have done each year, but rather than follow up with activities and further reading our actual history study is going to be from Beautiful Feet and their early America course study. It is a gentle, literature rich approach to history and I know the boys will love it!


Two years ago we used Apologia, but the notebooking aspect was a bit intense for the boys so we took a break last year. I decided to go back to Apologia this year because I love their depth and their godly perspective. We will be doing Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day – which is the perfect excuse to finally make a field trip to the aquarium!


This will be our third year using First Language Lessons for the Well Trained Mind. For the past two years I have had Wesley sit in on Judah’s lessons and I know he has soaked up so much, but the third grade book is a lot more intense. Wesley will be repeating the second grade book with me – hopeful bolstering his confidence and mastery, and Judah will move forward in the third grade book.


We are continuing with our model of not introducing formal math in the form of a text book yet. We will focus on mastering multiplication times tables, and several other steps I have laid out for us to focus on and master without the aid of a text book.


This was the year I was debating starting formal spelling lessons, but after much reading and talking with older and wiser homeschool mama’s – I am putting formal spelling off for another year. Copy work is done daily, which goes a long way in helping develop good spellers and the rules of spelling are discussed in conversations.

Poet study work sheetComposer/Art/Poetry/Nature

These have been planned out based on materials I had on hand and interests the boys have shown. There will be 6 of each, one per term, throughout the year. {profile sheets available here}


More in depth thoughts on these habits will follow later, but there will be one per term. The 6 I have chosen for our focus this year are: Order, Regularity, Reading for Instruction, Thinking, Accuracy, and Alertness to Seize Opportunity. In the past we have done one per month, so I am not sure how this will work refocusing it into terms, but we will give it a go!


Each term we will be focusing on a handicraft, term 1 being drawing.

Geography will be casually covered through books and maps. Miroslav Sasek’s This Is – is a beautiful series we will be reading through and mapping, along with other picture books.

We have a large amount of books to read through for read-alouds – but not a planned out stack. Our walls are literally lined with books. I try to keep one or two books going with the boys for reading aloud, and keep a mix of genres going. Paul keeps a read-aloud going with the boys, too. homeschool-shelvesI so admire those that can make a plan of read-alouds and stick to it. I lack that skill, and so meander through our read alouds based on what we feel like upon the conclusion of one and the start of the next.

Happy schooling!

 Our homeschool choices for k and grade 1

Free Kindle reads for grade 1 and 2

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2 Replies to “Grade 2&3 Homeschool Choices

  1. Thanks so much for sharing! While I wish I was a homeschooler, that isn’t a possibility for us right now but I do like to do extra stuff with my kids outside of their public school studies and I have pulled more than a few ideas from you blog in the past. My oldest is in grade five this year but my boys are going into grade 1 and grade 2. We have spent the summer doing a lot of reading with the boys to brush up some skills there using materials that seem to be growing their love of reading. For my daughter we have been going back to basics with math and just solidifying the math basics and speeding up her recall – multiplication tables are our current focus. When school starts in September we will probably switch our focus to some fun history for a while and pick some life skills that we want to master this year (an idea I picked up here a long time ago).and do some nature study by getting in some hiking as the summer heat passes.

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