Are you trying to figure out how to homeschool your second grader when you’re stuck at home due to school cancellations?
I’m here to help!
Do you find yourself suddenly homeschooling?
Even though I’m a former teacher and now have a houseful of kids age 4-12, I never planned on homeschooling.
But here we are … homeschooling for at least two weeks, and probably longer.
As we seek to stop the spread, many of us find ourselves home with our kids without anywhere to go.
Here are some tips for teaching your second grader at home.
How to teach your second grader
If you have assigned work from the teacher …
If you already know what your child needs to do – and you just need to do it – here are some tips:
- Keep your regular waking up/going to bed routine.
- After your child has breakfast, move into “school time” as soon as possible.
- Start with the work that requires the most patience from you and your child. Get that out of the way while you’re both fresh.
- Recognize that homeschooling your second grader may take just 2-3 hours (max) a day, and that’s perfectly fine. You are not failing your child if your school day is fast. Remember that much of a second grade teacher’s day involves managing a large group (I speak from experience here).
If you don’t have a lot of guidance from the school (or want to supplement) …
Second graders are all over the map when it comes to reading ability, so you’ll want to ask your child’s teacher what s/he needs to work on. Let’s start with some phonics skills.
Review silent e words.
- Start with these games that help children hear long vowel sounds in words.
- Here are some fold and read cards.
- Try a silent e four in a row game.
- Need more? Here’s a giant post with over 50 free printables for teaching silent e words.
Move on to vowel teams.
Vowel teams include long vowel digraphs – such as ee and oa, as well as diphthongs oi, oy, aw, au.
- Most of what I have for these are in the membership, but here are the freebies from the main site.
Practice reading multi-syllable words.
- I have quite a few of these on the membership site but not much here on the free site. You might want to check out This Reading Mama.
Practice sight words.
- I would ask your child’s teacher for a list of sight words to practice. Then use my free editable sight word games to type in the words you want to practice. Remember to practice just a few at a time, and always mix in words your child already knows.
Schedule time for your child to read on his/her own.
All these phonics skills don’t do much good if we don’t give our learners chances to apply them as they read real books.
Of course the best place to get books for your child is the library – but your library may be closed indefinitely (as ours is).
If you are able to print books for your child to read, I HIGHLY recommend Reading A to Z. I have a subscription to this website so I can print books for my youngest readers (even though I don’t homeschool – or at least I don’t usually homeschool).
Great news! Reading A to Z is offering an extended FREE trial. Seriously. Get on over there and print some books for your child, or find some your child can read right on the computer. Not sure which books are for your child? Email me (anna(at)themeasuredmom(dot)com, and I’ll try to point you in the right direction.
Another great (usually for a cost, but currently FREE) resource for books to read online is Epic.
Focus on reading comprehension.
- After your child reads a book, ask about it. Use the words who, what, when, where, why, and how.
- Does your child struggle to remember what s/he reads? Check out these tips.
This isn’t a huge focus in second grade, but it will become a big one in third grade. It’s important to learn some basic concepts now.
While most of my grammar printables are in the membership site, here are some freebies from the main site.
- Learn about nouns. Here’s a free game.
- Identify verbs. Here’s a game.
- Recognize when to use capital letters. This game teaches capitalization rules.
This is something that can quickly fall apart without regular practice. It’s a good idea to have your child fill out a short handwriting page once or twice a week.
Creative writing is important, but I’ll be honest … teaching writing isn’t easy (even for experienced teachers). This is because writing isn’t easy. Teaching it isn’t supposed to be either.
Don’t give up, though!
If you’re looking at an extended homeschool situation (more than two weeks), I recommend writing with your child a few times a week; schedule 20-30 minutes each time.
- Make sure there’s an audience for the writing. Don’t have your child write just because you say so. Here are some ideas for audience:
- grandparents (share it on FaceTime or over the phone)
- another parent
- a sibling
- a friend or neighbor (email it)
- someone in a nursing home (mail it)
- Consider different genres of writing.
- a personal narrative (writing about his/her own life)
- writing a nonfiction piece about something he/she knows about, like a particular animal
- a how-to piece (how to make a sandwich, etc.)
- a letter
- a free-verse poem
- MODEL first. If you ask your child to write a letter, have him/her watch you do that first.
- Writing to a prompt is okay once in a while, but it’s best to have your child come up with his or her own topics. This post will help.
- As your child writes, sit down and do your own writing. Helps him realize you’re in this together, and reminds you that writing is challenging – gives you more empathy.
- Don’t insist that the work is perfect. Your child needs to spell his/her best. “Invented spelling (also called “developmental” spelling) is necessary for this age. Follow these tips for using it well.
- It’s also true that second graders are ready to spell quite a few words correctly, and we want them to spell the words they know without mistakes. It’s helpful to keep track of spellings using a personal spelling dictionary. Download a free spelling dictionary here.
- Share it! Read it to a parent or grandparent (use FaceTime or the phone if needed). Email it or snail mail it.
Help your child memorize addition and subtraction facts within 20.
- Free addition games
- Free subtraction games
- Pull out some flash cards, and play 15 in a Row. It works for both addition and subtraction.
Teach place value (hundreds, tens and ones) with 2 and 3-digit numbers.
- Free place value games
- Along with this, teach your child to mentally add and subtract 10 or 100 from a number.
Show your child how to add two-digit numbers (with and without regrouping).
- I have free resources for this inside the membership, but not on the free site.
Practice telling time to the nearest 5 minutes.
Practice counting money with quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies.
Teach basic fractions.
- I have nothing on the free site, but Life Over C’s has this free fraction pack.
Measure things around your house.
- I recommend doing this with nonstandard units at first. How many pennies long is your pencil? How many dominoes long is this piece of paper?
- It’s a good idea to estimate first. “How many pennies long do you think your shoe will be? Let’s check it and see if you were right!”)
- When your child is ready, pull out a ruler and measure in inches or centimeters.
Review the concept of 3-D shapes.
Go on a hunt around your house. Can you find examples of the common 3-D shapes? (cylinder, cone, cube, triangular prism, rectangular prism, and sphere)
Social Studies and Science
I don’t want to say these aren’t important, but for a second grader they are at the bottom of the list. Your child can learn social studies and science concepts through real life. Don’t stress about these.
Watch a few YouTube videos and have conversations with your child about the world. Seriously, your child will not get behind if you don’t focus on these in second grade.
How should you fill the rest of the day?
Those are the academic skills I recommend working on, but you have a whole day ahead of you. What else should you do?
- Read, read, read to your child. Do this as often as possible – for as long as both you and your child are enjoying it. Yes, even kids who can read on their own should be read to. Here are some book ideas for family read alouds.
- Get moving. If possible, send your child outside. As often as possible.
- Pull out things that will keep your child busy.
- Make homemade play dough, or buy it online.
- Do simple art projects. My favorite site for easy, fun crafts to do at home is I Heart Crafty Things. Have fun browsing her site! I also recommend creating small cards/crafts that you can mail to family and friends.
- If you can, FaceTime grandparents and other relatives.
- Cook together. Here are a bunch of fun ideas.
- Do simple science projects, like these.
- Find some free drawing tutorials on YouTube. We absolutely love Art for Kids Hub and use it all the time. Here’s a playlist of the easier drawing projects.
- Give them screen time. Yes, I said it. I recommend planning this for specific times in the day – as late in the day as possible so you save it for when you really need it. Here’s a list of free education sites for kids.
I hope this helps as you plan for several weeks at home. Please feel free to reach out to me through my email: anna(at)themeasuredmom(dot)com.
My inbox is bursting these days, but I do my best to answer every message.
Hugs to you!
Check out the full series here