Perhaps your second-grader enjoys math, or maybe working with numbers is still a bit of a struggle for him. In these early years, younger children often learn mathematical concepts better when working with actual objects. If the curriculum you are using doesn’t require the use of manipulatives to complete the lessons, consider using them anyway. You can purchase a set of counting bears, Cuisenaire rods, or linking cubes, or you may use what you have on hand. Counting pennies or buttons is a good way for students to “see” basic addition and subtraction problems. By practicing with real objects first, your child will have a clearer understanding of the concepts when he begins to memorize the addition and subtraction facts.
What mathematical concepts should your student learn in the second grade? As a general rule, by the end of the year, he should know how to:
- Count forward and backward to 1000 using 1s, 10s, and 100s
- Identify numbers that are 100 more or 100 less than a given number
- Count money up to $1.00
- Add and subtract money up to $1.00
- Identify odd and even numbers through 1000
- Understand place values through 1000
- Solve addition and subtraction problems using one- and two-digit numbers
- Know multiplication facts for 1s, 2s, 5s, and 10s
- Know addition and subtraction facts
- Solve word problems with addition and subtraction
There are a number of different curricula available to help the homeschooling parent stay on track. The instruction varies from hands-on activities to workbook exercises. Some of the curricula include:
Bob Jones University Press offers a Grade 2 math kit consisting of a student worktext, manipulatives set, teacher’s edition, tests, and the answer key.
Horizons Math 2 by Alpha Omega Publications includes two colorful student workbooks with tests, a teacher’s handbook, and a student workbook packet for further practice. Manipulatives are also available for grades 1-3.
Lifepac Math Grade 2, also by Alpha Omega Publications, offers ten student workbooks that provide instruction in numbers up to 1000, measurements, shapes, rounding, addition and subtraction. A teacher’s guide is also available for purchase.
Steck-Vaughn publishes Mastering Math Level B for second grade. Math concepts include telling time to the minute, fractions with denominators up to 10, addition and subtraction facts up to 20, and solving two-digit addition and subtraction problems.
Math Made Easy Grade 2 Workbook by Dorling Kindersley Publishing provides practice of all the second grade math concepts. Special emphasis is given to addition and subtraction of large numbers, and multiplication facts are introduced.
Math U See Beta uses manipulatives to help second graders learn math concepts. Students who use Math U See Beta should have finished Math U See Alpha or have mastered their addition and subtraction facts. Topics covered in Math U See Beta include place value to hundred thousands, estimation, rounding, multiple digit addition and subtraction, addition and subtraction with money, telling time, perimeter, and measurement.
Miquon Math by Key Curriculum Press offers a Second Year Program that includes the Blue and Green Books, covering concepts such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, place value, geometry and factoring.
Modern Curriculum Press Mathematics Level B emphasizes basic math and problem solving skills. This book may be used by itself or to supplement another curriculum. A teacher’s guide is also available.
Right Start Mathematics by Activities For Learning, Inc. uses the AL abacus when teaching mathematics. This curriculum is organized in levels rather than grades; a questionnaire is provided on the website to determine which level is right for your child. With Level B, your child will learn addition facts and adding numbers in the thousands. Subtraction practice is delayed until addition is fully understood. Geometry and money are also introduced.
Saxon Math 2 includes two student workbooks and fact cards, a teacher’s manual, and the student meeting book. Manipulatives are also required with this curriculum. The concepts covered include basic arithmetic, geometric shapes and simple fractions.
Shiller Math is a hands-on Montessori-based curriculum. The first kit covers concepts learned from Kindergarten through the third grade and includes lesson books, student workbooks, diagnostic tests and answers, manipulatives, and an audio CD.
The Singapore Math Primary Mathematics 2A and 2B for homeschoolers features two textbooks and two student workbooks. Homeschooling parents can also purchase the home educator’s guide.
Whatever method you use, be sure to supplement your second-grader’s math work with real life experience. Let him handle real money and purchase a snack from the store; play board games with dice where the dots have to be added together; practice counting by 1s, 2s, 5s, and 10s when jump roping or playing games like Hide and Seek. You’ll be reviewing the basic concepts he’s learning, and he won’t even realize that it’s schoolwork!
Guest Blogger: Samantha Bell
Photo from Dave Hogg