I suppose this is probably a more often asked question than the schedule question…..especially for new homeschoolers. I know that it’s one of the first questions I ask a homeschooler I’ve just met for the first time, and I’m completely comfortable with everything I’ve already chosen, purchased, and begun using. Isn’t it fun though, to find out what moms are excited about? I always find it interesting, hearing about this curriculum or that method. Maybe I’m just nosey. So for those of you who are also nosey……..I mean…ahem…..curious, here’s what we’ll use this year, for 2nd grade.
We have switched to My Father’s World this year. The program we are using is called Exploring Countries and Cultures. For MFW, this is the first year of their 5-year history cycle. MFW begins with a year of geography, really getting to know the continents and countries on them, before beginning the in-depth study of all the history. ECC includes, of course, geography and also science in the form of learning the habitats of different countries. There is a strong foundation in the Bible, particularly the book of Matthew, as well as missionary stories, and art and music around the world. I think we’ll have a wonderful year learning about our world and it’s cultures.
The countries we’ll be studying in depth are:
North America: USA, Mexico, Canada
South America: Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador/Galapagos Islands (we are adding Argentina and Ecuador)
Europe: Norway, Germany, France
Africa: Kenya, South Africa (we are adding South Africa)
Asia: China, India, Japan, Russia, Saudi Arabia
Australia and Antarctica
For language arts, we will be using some new items as well. For English, it’s Language Lessons for the Very Young and Lessons in Manners for Copywork by Queen Homeschool. We’ll add in Worldy Wise 3000, book 2, Sequential Spelling, and Getty Dubay Italic Handwriting to round things out. For math, we are switching toSingapore math, and also using Calculadders for drill and Right Start’sMath Card Games.
We’ll also be adding in Spanish this year with The Easy Spanish, Jr. and The Fun Spanish. If you are looking for a Charlotte Masonish way to do foreign langauge, you’ll want to check out both of these.
Of course, I can never just do a curriculum exactly as it is designed, so I’m adding in a few things to go along with our world culture studies. The main thing we’ll be adding is study of the Animal Kingdom. I’ve ordered the God’s Design for Life: The Animal Kingdombook from Answers in Genesis. Since we’ll be looking at habitats it seemed natural to focus some on animal classification and maybe even some units on specific animals. Homeschool Share has several wonderful units on animals, so Ben and I looked through those and chose 2-3 animals (or classes of animals) to study for each continent. We are creating a lapbook/notebook for our animal studies as well. The animals we’ve chosen are:
North America: desert animals, ants, salmon
South America: butterflies, sea turtles
Europe: birds of prey, frogs
Africa: zebras, meerkats
Asia: pandas, camels, dolphins
Australia: marsupials, coral reef
Antarctica: polar animals
Then we deciced that if we’re going to study the fauna around the world, maybe we should at least hit on the flora too. So I also orderedGod’s Design for Life: The World of Plants, from Answers in Genesis. Both of the God’s Design books have about 15 lessons each, so it shouldn’t tax us much to complete them both this year. We decided to go ahead and do a seperate notebook for these 2 books as well. Both have lots of great activities that go along with the lessons. We’ll want to keep those, and a notebook is the perfect way to do that.
Ben will also be attending an enrichment program once a week, taking 4 classes: General Music, Choir/Drama, Science: Rocks and Minerals, and Art. We are also planning to get together with another family once a week to work on our Animal Study Notebooks. Add in scouting, fall soccer, spring basketball, and swimming lessons and we’re going to have another full and fun-filled year!
We’re already into week 4 and things are going well. We are easing into our year, so we have not started Spanish, Spelling, or Wordly Wise. We’ll begin those next week. Ben is really enjoying the animal studies and putting together the notebook. He also really likes the geography games we’re using. In just 3 weeks, he can already find almost every state and most of the countries of North America on an outline map. And as always, I’m learning a lot too! I had no idea how little I knew about the desert and the animals that live there!