Grade 2 Curriculum

Introduction to World History Year 2 of 2

We use Sonlight’s 5-day program book list to make our book list for the year more ‘full’, as we’ve dropped the main Usborne history books and the Hillyer book that Sonlight recommends.  For us, we’d rather focus less on a western perspective of history into our children’s foundations at this stage, and more on the story of people, nations and culture, and God’s redemptive plan for mankind.  We’re simply choosing to take a different focus for now and then look more in-depth at world history in a few years time.

A good friend has recently introduced me to a fantastic program by Winter Promise called “Children Around the World” from which we will pull in a couple of great books which complement our year’s program nicely.  I love the idea of widening my children’s worldview as to how children around the world live.

We pull the chronological order of history together with our Book of Time.  For us, memorising dates is not the most important element in our history studies for our family.  The story and the journey of people is where we find our enjoyment, and less so in the facts and dates.  But we do try and keep a sense of when and where as we go.

History and Geography

Additional history and geography:

We’ll be doing lapbooks/notebooks and unit studies on people of interest that span different times and places and that accompany the book list above (plus a bit of NZ history), including:

  • Queen Esther (Hadassah) – from the Book of Esther in the Old Testament
  • Eric the Red (950-1003) and Leif the Lucky (970-1020) – Iceland/Norway
  • Michelangelo (1475-1564) – Italy
  • Queen Elizabeth I and the Elizabethan era (1533-1603) – England
  • Peter the Great (1672-1725) – Russia
  • Chief Hongi Hika (c. 1780–1828) and Samuel Marsden (1764-1838) NZ
  • Gladys Alyward (1902-1970) – England/China
  • Nessie Morgan (1903-1991) – NZ (family history)
  1. Postcards – (some templates printed from Explore His Earth CD-Rom, and some homemade).  This is an activity to do in between main assignments where Rosie (7) can pretend she is writing from the country we read about.
  2. Travel Journal – to record places we visit in our literary travels.  There’s probably something beautifully created online to serve this purpose, but I’m sure we’ll be just fine using our simple homemade creation.
  3. Passport – another fun way to record where we visit on our literary travels.
  4. World Map and NZ Map to look up countries.
  5. We also have a markable world map – to mark places on map (writing and using landmark clipart etc).
  6. “Kids Of Courage” – 31 Bold Believers Activity Books (free downloads) – selected activities and readings from these great activity books.

Read-alouds (we’ll decide as we go what subjects we’d like to look into further)

Other (NZ)


English (Language Arts)

  1. Writing with Ease – level 2 (I’ll be downloading the student pages this time, and using with The Complete Writer).
  2. All About Spelling – level 2
  3. Handwriting Without TearsPrinting Power

Grade 2 Readers



  • Apologia Science – Zoology 1: Flying Creatures from the Fifth Day
  • NZ Nature Studies on native birds, the beach, native bush (using Andrew Crowe’s Life-size guides)
  • Nature Journal

Electives – Music and Art

  • How Artists See Feelings (Carroll)
  • How Artists See the Elements (Carroll)
  • Classical Kids Collection
  • Artistic Pursuits Grades K-3: Book 2
    This is a beautiful program combining art history with hands-on activities.  It’s a little on the pricey side, but I’ve found it’s well worth the investment for a  year’s worth of art projects for our little artsy student.  For this first book, we’ve had to purchase a few supplies including some soft pastels, watercolour paper, and self-hardening clay.  Read more about it on their website.

Music Appreciation

  • Look at a different composer each month and listen to their music (bio pages here and notebooking pages here) – visit Nadene’s site here.

Art Appreciation

WP 4 words


What makes us a Charlotte Mason ‘inspired’ homeschool? Have a read of this post on Our Charlotte Mason Homeschooland these are the principles we mostly follow. Note however, that we aren’t going to use all aspects of a method if they don’t work for us though, so we prefer take a flexible approach as well!

What makes us a Classical ‘leaning’ homechool? Some might say that because we aren’t following the trivuim exactly then we aren’t Classical. However, I like to think we can take the best out of a method and make it work for us. We’re a little Classical in that we’re moving through stage one of learning rules of grammar, spelling, and phonics, also stories of history and literature, and the building blocks of Maths, and so forth. This is setting us up for the next stage of learning, which is developing analytical thinking, and how things fit into a framework. The final stage we aren’t near yet, but is what is known as the ‘rhetoric’ stage. A Classical education is language-focused, and all knowledge is inter-related.

What makes us Eclectic? Quite simply, we are using the aspects of different methods that suit our family. Sometimes we do unit studies and lapbooks that aren’t on our official schedule, or take a delight-directed approach where the children have found something they enjoy learning and we find a way of tailoring our learning accordingly. We don’t plan to become a slave to any particular method or philosophy, as adding that sort of pressure doesn’t help anyone! The idea is, learning is supposed to be enjoyable, and we keep the overall end goal in mind, which is that our children have a rich education and childhood, and are also well-equipped for life in what they chose for themselves to do.

6 thoughts on “Grade 2 Curriculum

  1. layahpontiff

    I’ve heard about sonlight. I haven’t looked into it though.
    I’m thinking that the postcard could be useful for summarizing the lessons learned. Great idea!

    1. homemakingwithheart

      Great! We love Sonlight books, although we aren’t using the Instructor Guide’s this time around. We manage to have enough things like lapbooking and notebooking to keep history/geography learning more interesting.
      If you visit your local travel agent office, they might be able to give you a stack of brochures and magazines for free (for your postcards).
      All the best with it!

  2. Rachel Quigley

    Great to find you. We use Sonlight….have for 12 years. We love all the great literature. We are setting up the school room, getting it ready for this next year and we just keeping stopping and looking at a book and saying, “oh, this is a great one!” (Repeat) (repeat) 🙂

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!


Leave a Reply