homeschooling :: second grade

Here we are, just a couple days shy from ending her second grade year and knocking (quite enthusiastically) on summer's door.  She asked me recently which I liked more- the school year, or summer break.  Well of course at this point in the year my answer was easily "summer break!" - working as I do for an after school art program, summer break means not only a break from the more scheduled and routine aspects of our homeschooling, but also time off from work (part time farm work and in-home garden and art camps aside).  I did mention that by the time summer is coming to a close it is nice to be getting back into the swing of routine and such with school and work, but now, at the very end of May........ well, I'm ready for long easy days and sunshine on my shoulders.

Second grade has been good.  We studied Europe (and while we have worked diligently on studying individual countries since the start of the year we will be leaving several unexplored for the time being), we've worked through all sorts of division and rounding and multiplication and clock-reading, she has done quite a bit of creative writing and gotten deeper and deeper into her love of reading.  We went to several theater performances and when the weather and schedules allowed we met regularly with friends for a weekly 'forest day'.  There was a good bit of nature study and animal classification/biology work,  she discovered she loves looking words up in the dictionary and thesaurus, and she continues to enjoy things like spelling tests and worksheets that seem novel to her, I'm sure, as a homeschooled kid.

All in all, I feel like we have really settled into a sweet rhythm this year.

This year we volunteered regularly with a local nonprofit that hosts several weekly produce distribution markets and community advocacy/education workshops.  She continues with horseback riding lessons and has gotten pretty excited about piano (though she will occasionally still pick up the ukulele).  She has a tendency to pick songs out herself and memorize them, chords and all, so that has been fun to watch.  We read a book about Elizabeth Cotten recently and after I played a video of Elizabeth singing 'Freight Train', she figured out the melody and at her next lesson they worked out the chords together and voila! another song under her belt.  It seems to all make such sense to her, in a way that it never has for me.  So, in a way, my 8 year old is inspiring me to learn to become more musical, which I'll count as a plus.  (summer goal?)  With the memorizing, it is hard to get her to spend much time at all actually reading the music, but I suppose that will come as she attempts to learn more difficult pieces, when and if she wants to.

Her preferred ways to spend downtime continue to be listening to audiobooks, drawing, knitting, and playing outside in her 'kitchen', a wonderfully witchy little setup that she has filled with all sorts of bottles and scoops and bowls and herbs strung up and such (wonder where she gets that?).

When someone finds out that we homeschool, one of the most common things I am asked is how long I intend to homeschool her.  The answer, really, is that I don't know.  "As long as it works for us", is generally what I'll say.  And for now, it is working well.  This week she spent several hours taking her (state required) end-of-grade tests online.  Again, the tests are quite novel for her, so she found it pretty exciting.

I find myself already looking forward to planning out things for her upcoming third grade year, but for now, I am happy to exhale into summer very shortly.


  1. i love reading about the things that you are doing with her. what a beautiful experience for both of you! i am ready for summer myself. ready for the freedom that no schedule brings, ready for some heat and sun, late nights and late mornings... oh yes... so ready. also, becoming more musical is my summer goal as well. my actual goal is to learn ONE song on my guitar. more is better but at least ONE. :)

    1. I like the way you set goals- that seems doable! (I think I shall try to approach new things like you do.....) xo

  2. Your curriculum is majorly impressive! You are a super mama! I knew that already bbut tnwith each blog post I am just wowed!!!

    1. thank you~ I found myself nervous at first (at the beginning of 1st grade), wondering if I'd piece things together in a way that made sense and would cover all the bases that needed covering- especially as I don't use a pre-made curriculum. But I've found it really all comes together quite nicely. Mostly, I follow her lead and jump on things as she shows interest and somehow, magically, it all ties in together.

      A super mama, I am not- but I have my moments ;)


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