Last year I spent months trying to figure out which curriculum I would use for each subject for my second grader. After a lot of trial and error, purchased curriculum that was a total failure, and workbooks that were thrown out, we finally finished our second grade year on a great note. Because of that, we are taking an easy approach for the third grade year that I
know am pretty sure will work for us!
- Math: Beast Academy
- Language Arts: The Good and the Beautiful
- Handwriting: The Good and the Beautiful
- Science: Science Journal
- Social Studies/History: 50 States Guidebook
- Art: Winging it!
We will be sticking with Beast Academy for the year! We started off second grade last year with The Good and the Beautiful math, and while I loved it, my daughter hated it. We found Beast Academy through some random ad and I am so glad we did! My daughter took to it and it has really worked so well. We only use the online portion in case you are looking and deciding between the workbooks or online. We used to use both and I may go back to that if I feel like she needs more practice with anything.
In addition to the Beast Academy lessons, I throw in some other things when I feel like she needs some additional work. For example, last year I made some addition and subtraction flashcards that I still pull out on occasion when she seems to be getting lazy. Over the summer, we will start using the multiplication cards and I’m sure I’ll be making division cards soon enough! We also throw in some extra practice with math facts on XtraMath (free!)
We will continue with The Good and the Beautiful Level 3 at least for now! I have found that I have had to add in extra work, primarily because we read our own book choices so we may switch to something else after we finish level 3 but that’s TBD for now. If you chose to use TGATB for Language Arts, take the assessment and remember that the PDFs are free! It is super easy to try a few lessons to make sure you like it before continuing – and then you can either continue the free PDF or purchase.
I don’t feel that The Good and the Beautiful provides enough writing instruction so I am also adding in this writing pack from Teachers Pay Teachers.
We are currently finishing up The Good and the Beautiful Level 2 and then we will be working on Level 3. We go slowly through these handwriting lessons. Probably too slowly, but my daughter doesn’t love them so we do them when we can, usually during read alouds.
Last year we used Elemental Science’s Sassafras Science Adventures. I had high hopes for this curriculum and it fell short. The chapter book, while a good story, only included minimal facts about the animals in less than a paragraph for each. Disappointing. We added in a lot of supplemental material which is not what I had wanted. We read extra books, watched movies, did YouTube searches and art projects to learn more. It quickly lost all of our attentions due to all the extra work I needed to add.
This year we aren’t going to focus on one curriculum. I have found that following her interests work much better for us. She recently read one of the books from the Zoe and Sassafras series and decided she wanted to make her own agar mixture to pour into petri dishes and test for bacteria around the house. Who am I to stop her (except for the fact I didn’t want any part of my house to show up as not clean enough)? We love using Home Science Tools to get things like this when we want them.
We also used The Good and the Beautiful‘s Marine Biology and Arthropods units which we loved. So if an interest lines up with one of their units, we will definitely look in to that!
I created a “Science Journal” that we will use depending on what we are doing that week or month. Maybe it is a zoo trip and we can write down extra facts and draw a picture about the animals we see. Or maybe she wants to do an experiment one week so we can talk about hypothesis and procedure.
SOCIAL STUDIES / HISTORY
I have a dream to rent an RV and travel around the country (thanks to @elementaryexplorers for giving me that dream!) before my kids get too old and don’t want to be cramped in a small space with their crazy parents anymore. We are going to tackle those 50 states somehow! We are going to study all the states this year – national parks, historic sites, cool places to visit – and map out everywhere we want to visit. We will be using our 50 states guidebook as we go through each state.
I am sure we will add more books from the library as we go through all the states. Some of the books we already have at home that we will use include:
We don’t do a planned an art curriculum. I would love to but having the preschooler running around doesn’t make many of the art projects easy or fun. I think maybe next year she will be ready to sit and listen a little better when it comes to art lessons. We will do what we did last year which seemed to really work for us. The kids have a dedicated “craft closet” which more supplies than you can imagine. My third grader on her own typically does one project a day – using a shoebox to build an LOL doll house or clay to make the play food for their grocery store. I like that she gets to freely think about things.
In addition to free activities, we try to add art projects to various activities throughout our studies. The Good and the Beautiful Language Arts contains art lessons and I may have her use her watercolors to draw out the butterfly life cycle or a volcano in a science study.
So that’s it! Well, I should say that’s it as far as planned curriculum. But we do so much more, like so many of you as well. We add things in all the time to our daily routine. Random field trips or vacations where there is always something to learn. We read books off various lists (currently using the Mensa for Kids list). Weekly journals and board games. So if you want to see everything that we do, follow along on Instagram (@lifewithpeanut).