My second grader loves hands-on projects – she is never still! Because I am homeschooling four children, I don’t have time (or energy) to do individual subjects with her AND fill her Do-All-the-Things bucket. My solution for this is to combine subjects whenever possible … geography with history, craft projects with science & reading, etc.
*Disclosure: I received a free Pathways book set for review purposes and am being compensated for my time. I am not required to give a positive review. As always, I am sharing my honest opinion with you.
I was so pleased to get the opportunity to work through two of the Pathways 2nd Grade Reading and Language Arts units. I loved the Stepping Stones Kindergarten Curriculum, also published by Kendall Hunt RPD, so I had high hopes that this new curriculum would help me teach several subjects together through quality literature and meaningful activities.
Each grade level has nine themed units. We chose Friends & Family and Living Things, and received the following: two Daily Lesson Guides, two hardback books (Galimoto and The Salamander Room), and a Writer’s Handbook. There is an expensive teacher manual listed on the website, but it is not neccessary for homeschool.
Because it was a little too cool for the lizards and frogs to begin surfacing in our Florida neighborhood, we decided to dive right into Galimoto. We learned all kinds of interesting things about the Malawi culture, and enjoyed looking at real pictures of toys that support the story in our book.
My daughter happily spent a couple of hours working on her own toy project. She constructed wire wheels to attach to a car that she made out of a milk carton rescued from the recycling bin. (I think that car has now morphed into a boat.)
Daily Lesson Guide
The Pathways Daily Lesson Guide is written for a classroom setting, but I found it very easy to use. The lessons and activity instructions are very clear. Each unit is scheduled to be completed in one month.
The units contain:
- Editing Practice
- Spelling Lists
- Book Suggestions
- Pre-Reading Skills
- Social Studies
The back of the guide is filled with lovely blackline masters: graphic organizers, poetry forms, handwriting, Bible verses, reading journal, planning pages
This curriculum gives me the freedom to pick and choose the activities we want without having to do all of the planning work, yet it does not have the feel of a Big Box school-at-home curriculum. It fits right in with our usual homeschool method of curling up on the couch, reading good books, and tying it all together with some fun projects.
The hidden gem of this curriculum is the little Writer’s Guide. I would recommend purchasing it even if you go with another curriculum. It is 122 pages of spelling, grammar, and writing rules written in a very basic way so that a second grader can easily follow & understand. Such a valuable tool!
Spring is arriving and the lizards are lounging, so we are jumping into The Salamander Room now. We look forward to learning about salamanders, frogs, and life cycles. (Too bad we don’t still have our pool full of tadpoles. Ack!)
Faith-based Reading and Language Arts
I love that this curriculum is woven together with the Bible. We get to talk about how God is a creator while reading a book about a little boy in Africa who makes his own toys. It is the heart of our homeschool, this mixing together ordinary and extraordinary. The Pathways curriculum was written for a Seventh Day Adventist school, but it is non-denominational. From what I’ve seen, the focus is only on scripture, building a relationship with God, and seeing His hand in the world around us.
Additional info on Pathways
From Kendall Hunt RPD:
Pathways is a comprehensive elementary reading program with integrated language arts. This approach allows students to follow a variety of avenues to become readers, writers, and learners. Organized around broad themes and a scope and sequence of skills, Pathways uses award-winning trade books that children want to read to deliver the skills that they need.
The program is based upon the belief that students should not only learn how to read, but also acquire the desire to read, write, and learn. Pathways provides all students with the opportunity to become passionate learners, readers, and writers and the curriculum includes components and activities that address ten key principles:
- Reading Instruction that fosters inquiry and a deeper student involvement in learning
- Spiritual Growth that helps students make good choices in life as well as in reading content
- Reading Motivation that helps students develop a lifelong passion for reading
- Writing and Expression that grows from reading and learning and helps create meaning for students
- Selective Topics that support and encourage writing practice for different purposes and audiences
- Reading Comprehension that grows from systematic instruction and learning strategies that students apply to literature and content subjects
- Phonics Skills that are developed through a sequential program of phonics that includes systematic, daily practice
- Spelling Instruction that is systematic, coordinated with phonics instruction, and addresses the specific developmental level of each student
- Assessment that not only provides teachers and parents with information and tools about student development, but helps students assess their own growth
- Classroom Management that includes whole-class, small group, and individual student activities.
You can purchase Pathways Reading and Language Arts through Kendall Hunt RPD.
Learn more about Pathways.
Connect with Kendall Hunt RPD