Here we are, beginning another school year. Philomena is in second grade, and we are so excited to dive in.
I primarily use the classical Catholic curriculum Mother of Divine Grace School (MODG). It is a very beautiful, gentle curriculum with incredibly age-appropriate expectations. The entire program is wonderfully suited to growing families as well, with lots of wiggle room built in to give time for field trips, special projects, and being able to easily work in Liturgical Living as a primary focus in the home as well.
While a family can do whatever works for them, the school year is designed to be done Monday-Thursday, leaving Fridays available for further studies, catch up, field trips etc. We use our extra day a week to participate in a homeschool co-op at our parish that lets the girls do Catechism with Father, as well as classes like art, PE, memorization, science etc. with other kids. Field trips and feast day celebrations happen there as well!
All of the MODG books can be found here in their bookstore. The three areas we are supplementing again are math, phonics, and adding in a different Latin program. I will link to those books where we got them.
Here is a quick rundown of everything. As noted in previous years’ posts, not everything is done every day. When I post everything at once, it always looks overwhelming to me, but the simple Syllabus breaks down the year easily, and some subjects are just done 1 – 3 times a week such as art, handwriting, history, and science.
You can find what we did for other years at the end of the post.
The 2nd Grade Syllabus is the same as previous years – a simple book with goals for the year, basic instructions for the curriculum, a weekly lesson plan for all 32 weeks, and then supplemental materials in the back like suggested reading lists to correspond with that grade level, as well as the Liturgical Year.
We very simply put a little check mark in pencil next to every subject when it is completed. I erase them at the end of the year so it can be used for the next child.
The religion text this year is the pink Saint Joseph Baltimore Catechism.
Philomena received her First Holy Communion this summer, and so she has fully memorized and learned the material from the little First Communion Catechism from the same publisher, although it will also be reviewed some this year.
In addition to the Catechism lessons, the Faith is learned through the reading of saint biographies, hymns, going through her Mass Missal, reading about Eucharistic miracles, and our family’s prayer life.
Math this year is the Level B math book from Modern Curriculum Press.
I like the MCP Math books because they’re very logically set up to build from one skill to the next in a very non-rushed pace. My girls love the little illustrations on lots of the pages, and the steps to learn a new skill are broken down in a way that helps them visualize the concept easily.
This year the music curriculum has several parts. First is learning about some major composers and listening to their works with the VOX Introduction to the Classics CDs, as well as a beginners music book that teaches how to read music.
MODG recommends using the Let’s Learn Music book with a…. recorder. Ethan and I have decided to skip the recorder and go to a piano instead.
We will also continue learning hymns from the hymn books as well.
Philomena absolutely loved the MCP Phonics book from last year, and it had her reading within a few weeks of starting school. This year she is using the Level B book.
Philomena really enjoys all of the illustrations and easy-to-follow lessons.
The MODG 2nd Grade Science is similar to previous years’ books – nature walks, basic experiments, a look at the four seasons, etc.
There is a lot of focus on American History this year, so the curriculum came with quite a few books about early Americans of note, like Paul Revere, Sacagawea, etc.
We have some great fairy tale and Winnie the Pooh books I purchased through Hillsdale College. We are also working on reading through the Chronicals of Narnia series, and the Little House on the Prairie series, getting through the first 2 and 5 books of those last year, respectively.
Continuing on in The Harp and the Laurel Wreath book, there are 6 poems Philomena will memorize this year, in addition to reviewing last year’s.
Ethan used to be a teacher at a small, private Catholic school, and he loved using this program, Song School Latin with his students, so we added it in this year.
This program is really engaging. (Ethan did Lesson 1 with the girls and they were so in love!) It comes with a CD that has a fun song to learn that goes with each lesson. The lessons themselves use lots of illustrations to bring home what they learned with the song that week.
I love MODG’s Catholic handwriting books. They logically move in order of similar letter formations, and this year there are actually two books, with cursive being introduced halfway through the year.
Art this year consists of another beautiful art book, full of gorgeous, full color photos of famous pieces of art to appreciate and notice details regarding color, light, etc. together.
We also do various crafts throughout the year. Ethan used to teach art camps and classes at his old school, and he does neat projects with the girls that are very creative and fun, using various mediums.
This year there is a lot of emphasis on American geography which we will learn about in this Map Skills book…
…. As well as in this great US State coloring book that includes lots of state facts like it’s bird, motto, capital etc.
So there is 2nd grade! We are ready to dive in to another year together, and are praying for everyone else starting their school years!
If you want to see what we did in previous years, you can find those here: