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A Parent Asks: What do you suggest I begin planning our homeschooling journey for the second grade?

Question: Hi there, I'm a first-time homeschooling parent, and I have a second grader. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed with where to start. How do you suggest I begin planning our homeschooling journey for the second grade?

Welcome to the world of homeschooling! It's completely natural to feel overwhelmed in the beginning. The key is to start with a clear plan that suits your child's needs and your family's lifestyle. Begin by researching your state's homeschooling laws and requirements. You can find them here: Homeschool Laws By State (

Once you're familiar with those, take some time to understand your child's learning style and interests. This will help you tailor the curriculum and approach to best engage them. There are so many learning styles! You may be familiar with the three broad categories in which people learn: visual learning, auditory learning, and kinesthetic learning. But beyond these three categories, many theories of and approaches toward human learning potential have been established. Among them is the theory of multiple intelligences developed by Howard Gardner, Ph.D., John H. and Elisabeth A. Hobbs Research Professors of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education at Harvard University. Gardner’s early work in psychology and later in human cognition and human potential led to his development of the initial six intelligences.

Today there are nine intelligences, and the possibility of others may eventually expand the list.

Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences Summarized 1. Verbal-linguistic intelligence (well-developed verbal skills and sensitivity to the sounds, meanings and rhythms of words)

2. Logical-mathematical intelligence (ability to think conceptually and abstractly, and capacity to discern logical and numerical patterns)

3. Spatial-visual intelligence (capacity to think in images and pictures, to visualize accurately and abstractly)

4. Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence (ability to control one’s body movements and to handle objects skillfully)

5. Musical intelligences (ability to produce and appreciate rhythm, pitch and timber)

6. Intra-personal intelligence (capacity to detect and respond appropriately to the moods, motivations and desires of others)

7. Interpersonal (capacity to be self-aware and in tune with inner feelings, values, beliefs and thinking processes)

8. Naturalist intelligence (ability to recognize and categorize plants, animals and other objects in nature)

9. Existential intelligence (sensitivity and capacity to tackle deep questions about human existence such as, “What is the meaning of life? Why do we die? How did we get here?”

For a second grader, I would focus on fundamental subjects like Math, English Language Arts (ELA), Science, and Social Studies. You don't need to recreate a traditional classroom – flexibility is one of homeschooling's great strengths. You can choose from various curriculum options, such as textbooks, online resources, or even creating your own lesson plans. You can also follow a more relaxed style of homeschooling called Unschooling. This is what worked for my family and you can read more about our unschooling experience in an “Ask Amy” article below. If you want to know your state’s standards to ensure that your child is learning the expected things for each grade level, you can visit the Common Core State Standards Initiative (, as most states have adopted them for public schools.

PBS has an amazing resource for teachers that work really well for homeschooling families called PBS LearningMedia | Teaching Resources For Students And Teachers When you create a free account, you will be able to access over 30,000 lesson plans, media resources, and more which have been created and vetted by trusted PBS educators. These resources are aligned to your state’s standards and you can filter them by grade and subject. You can create folders and save resources to help you teach new concepts to your curious second grader! You might also find help and inspiration in the article How Homeschooling Parents Use PBS KIDS. Be sure to look into local homeschooling groups for support and resources, too.

Consistency is key when you first begin homeschooling.

Create a weekly schedule that includes designated learning times, breaks, and extracurricular activities.

Keep the atmosphere positive and adaptable.

Your child's progress might not always follow a strict timeline, and that's okay. As you become more comfortable, you can loosen or even lose “learning times”. Everyday life experiences, your child’s interests, and daily activities will provide an amazing amount of learning.

Make use of your local library, museums, parks, and other community resources for hands-on learning experiences.

Don't hesitate to adapt and tweak your plan as you see what works best for your child. Over time, you'll find a rhythm that suits your family, and you'll see how wonderfully homeschooling allows you to personalize your child's education.

Take a deep breath and enjoy the journey! It's an incredible opportunity to bond with your child and explore the world of learning together. You've got this!

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