Our School Room

I am a firm believer that learning can happen anywhere. I don’t think you need a fancy classroom at home or color coordinated bins, or anything like that in order to learn. But I do think having a dedicated space, whether it is a room, a shelf or a nook in a corner somewhere, just for homeschool supplies, is so helpful for keeping organized and on track.

We have a spare room that works wells for a small classroom. We have a small card table, books shelves, and a white board. We have recently moved Kyri’s personal bookshelf and easel into the classroom, so that the space now doubles as the playroom. This works well for keeping Ender (our 2 year old) entertained while Kyri and I work on her studies.

I actually love doing our school work in the classroom because there are less distractions. But with two littles to keep up with (and four dogs) it often works out better for us to do our work at the dining room table.  However, having  a dedicated space to keep our books and supplies organized is absolutely essential to keeping our homeschool running smoothly. If we didn’t have the spare room, my shelves would be located in the dining room.


We have a smaller shelf dedicated to school supplies: basic supplies such as crayons, glue sticks, paper and binders, math manipulatives, a multitude of flash cards, science equipment such as magnets. My office supplies such as hole punch and laminator are also on this shelf. I have another shelf (not shown) with bins of craft supplies, in our classroom closet.

The second smaller shelf is full of Kyri’s personal books, Leapfrog items, and musical instruments (triangles, train whistles, rhythm sticks, etc).

Our tall bookshelf holds all of our homeschool curricula and materials. Here I have each year’s portfolio binder for Kyri. We are starting Before Five in a Row with Ender this year, so there is a smaller binder for his work as well. While we have a ton of games tucked away on a closet shelf, I keep our logic games on our school shelf since we play those more frequently (you can read about the games we play for our Logic and Critical Thinking here).

We have a nice collection of books that comprise our personal reference library. We have gone through a couple rounds of downsizing with our books, but I think it’s important to have a core set of reference books for the children. Children’s dictionary, various children’s encyclopedias, bug guides, nature guides, etc. round out our collection.

I separate the curricula we are not currently using (either we have finished with it or it is for the upcoming year) from this year’s material. I have an entire shelf with workbooks, books, and curriculum guides that we are working from this school year.


Finally, I have bins, one for each week day. I plan out the week, and then fill the bins with workbooks, books and printed pages. Each morning I can grab that day’s bin and have everything we need ready to go. This especially works well for working downstairs at the dining room table – I just take the bin to the table and have everything we need for the day without several trips back to the classroom.

For my school planning, I like to plan out 6 weeks at a time. I use hanging folders labelled for weeks 1 through 6 to hold printouts and materials. The Sunday before, I can then take all the material for the coming week and distribute to the daily bins. I also have a hanging folder for Math printouts. Because we use a Math Journal as a supplement, I try to collect printouts and activities from around the internet. I print pages off and keep in our Math folder. Kyri then has a selection of activities available to work on each week. I also have folders to hold printed materials that I compile for upcoming Five in a Row (FIAR) and Before Five in a Row (BFIAR) lessons. Completed schoolwork is placed in the “To File” folder for me to file into our portfolio binder at a later date.


This is our school room. Even though we spend more time doing school work at the dining room table, our classroom gives us a space to keep our school materials organized, and it gives Kyri a place to go when she wants to work ahead on her own.

Be sure to check out what what other homeschool rooms look like! Head over to the Not Back-to-School Hop at iHomeschool Network!




Second Grade Curriculum

While we homeschool year round, we typically shift gears a bit in summer and take a lighter approach to our studies. We then kick it into high gear for the start of the traditional school year in August.

Here is a complete list of all the curriculum content we are using this school year. This post contains affiliate links.




We are continuing with double digit addition and subtraction, 2D and 3D geometric shapes, time, money, measurement, place value, and starting simple multiplication.

Kumon Grade 2 Addition

Kumon Grade 2 Subtraction

Kumon Geometry & Measurement Grade 2

Kumon Word Problems Grade 2

Kumon My Book of Simple Multiplication


Language Arts

We are covering grammar, poetry memorization and recitation, spelling and vocabulary, reading comprehension, and print handwriting. Kyri is also very excited to start learning cursive!

First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind: Level 1

First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind: Level 2

Kumon Grade 2 Reading

Evan-Moor Building Spelling Skills, Grade 2

Evan-Moor Building Spelling Skills: Grade 3

Flash Kids Reading Skills: Grade 2

Print Writing: A Creepy-Crawly Alphabet

Flash Kids Cursive Writing Practice Book



Following the classical schedule, we will be learning about Earth Science and Astronomy this year.

Elemental Science: Earth Science and Astronomy for Grammar Stage



We will be learning about exploration and colonization of the “New World” through the Gold Rush of the 1840s.

The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child, Volume 3: Early Modern Times

The Story of the World Activity Book Three: Early Modern Times


Literature/Unit Studies

We are continuing with the literature selections of FIAR Volume 2. We will spend 2-3 weeks on each selection, and will be putting together a lap book for each row.

Five in a Row Volume 2


Foreign Language

We will continue working on basic Spanish – phrases, alphabet, vocabulary. We are also adding in Beginner Hebrew, which should be quite exciting!

Sarah And David Interactive Hebrew System

Brighter Child Spanish Grade 2

Brighter Child Spanish Grade 3


Nature Studies

Nature journaling using The Outdoor Hour as inspiration, and participating in monthly Growing Up Wild co-op will round out our Nature Studies. We are also using Herb Fairies, along with other resources, to learn about herbalism and natural health.

Growing Up Wild

Handbook of Nature Studies: Outdoor Hour

Herb Fairies


Art and Music Appreciation

We have really enjoyed Harmony Fine Arts. We will be completing Grade 1 this year and starting the Grade 2 material.

Harmony Fine Arts Grammar Stage Grade 1

Harmony Fine Arts Grammar Stage Grade 2


Critical Thinking

Kyri loves the various activities contained in Lollipop Logic. We will also play various games that strengthen critical thinking skills. I previously detailed our critical thinking lesson approach here.

Lollipop Logic Book 2



We will be participating in AWANA again this year – Kyri returns as a Spark. This is  a weekly club at a local church that teaches basic Christian principles through Bible verse memorization, games and activities.



Be sure to check out what what other homeschoolers have planned for this school year. Head over to the Not Back-to-School Hop at iHomeschool Network!



Junior Naturalists at San Antonio Botanical Garden

I love sharing about the educational opportunities available at San Antonio Botanical Gardens. In addition to their seasonal exhibits like Savage Gardens (which is going on through the rest of the year), the Garden has a wonderful selection of curriculum material on their website. Educational material can be found here and here.

We took full advantage of this resource this morning. The children and I met several other homeschool families from our local homeschool group at the Garden this morning. Together the children worked through the Junior Naturalist Program. Even with the hot and humid weather, the kids had a great time exploring the Garden and earning their Junior Naturalist Patch.

The Junior Naturalist booklet describe a junior naturalist as “someone ready to learn about plants and explore nature.” This program is designed to get children interested in learning about plants and exploring nature, so that they understand why plants are so important and worth protecting.

This booklet contains fourteen activities – some are game-type activites such as word unscrambles and decipher activities, and some are activities to be done while exploring the Garden.

To complete the Junior Naturalist program, children are expected to complete a certain amount of activities. For ages 3-5, children should complete 3 activies and one reflection question. For ages 6-8, children should complete 6 activities and two reflection questions. For ages 9-12, children should complete 9 activities and two reflection questions.

After working through the Junior Naturalist Program booklet, the children then receive a patch and are officially Junior Naturalists!





Illustrating her ice cream sundae containing ingredients found in the Tropical Room.
Showing off her Junior Naturalist badge!

Savage Gardens at San Antonio Botanical Garden

I love sharing about various events that take place at San Antonio Botanical Garden. We have had a family membership since we relocated to the Alamo City in 2011, and we have been so pleased with events, exhibits, classes available to adults as well as children, and educational material available on their website. We always try to make it for the opening events for exhibits because the Garden puts a lot of time and effort into planning activities and crafts to kick things off.

This weekend Savage Gardens opened here, and there were opening day activities scheduled Saturday 10:00 – 2:00. The exhibit itself includes several species of carnivorous plants, such as Venus Flytrap, Sundew and various types of Pitcher plants. There are several artistic structures erected throughout the Conservatory, where the exhibit is located. In addition, there are several education stations set up, covering the different insects that carnivorous plants consume, and the various methods in which they trap their prey.

For the opening event, there was a Monster Plant obstacle course set up for the children, which was a hit! There was a Venus Flytrap puppet craft, Carnivorous Plants mind puzzles,and an opportunity to plant a sundew to take home.

Chipotle was on hand providing free lunch, along with very nice plant activity guides for children. Admission included tickets for paletas as well, very welcome in the middle of the heat currently baking the city.

The family had an awesome time, and we went home with our potted sundew, as well as a Venus Flytrap we purchased from the gift shop. Kyri is quite enamored with her new “pet” Flytrap and is waiting anxiously for it to capture its first meal.

Even though the opening event is over, the Savage Gardens exhibit itself runs from June 29th through December 1st, 2013.