In second grade, most children are beginning a move away from nursery rhymes and fairy tales, but are still appreciative of them in moderation. Teaching music to second graders can sometimes be as easy as singing “I’m a Little Teapot” or “Mary had a Little Lamb”, as long as you spice it up a bit. You could sing it in a round, for example, or combine an arts and crafts project with songs and music, or anything to make the lesson a bit more enticing. Sometimes singing just for fun is all children need to learn to appreciate rhythm, melody, and beat. That’s a lesson all by itself!
Kids this age are also beginning to appreciate the composer or the history of the music, because they see that all music has a story behind it. Whether it’s a biography of the composer, historical study of the era in which the piece was written, or the part of the world a particular type of music is from, second graders are beginning to be receptive to learning additional details about music. They often enjoy learning about different instruments, like the various instruments in an orchestra, for example, and they’re old enough to begin lessons in playing music themselves as well.
A big component of elementary math is memorization of the basic math facts. First grade involves a lot of addition, and even more memorization of the addition facts. There are several ways to do this, such as flashcards and having the students write tables of the math facts. Sometimes having them do oral drills is also helpful, and writing them on a chalkboard or dry erase board too. There is a multitude of online math games to reinforce the addition facts, and many kids find online flashcards much more fun than paper ones.
Now that subtraction facts also need to be memorized, many homeschooling families have already determined which methods work best for their children. This experience can help make the subtractions facts a bit less painful to memorize, although certainly some variation of the techniques never hurts. Multiplication is often introduced toward the end of second grade, and these facts will need to be memorized too.
Having the addition, subtraction, and multiplication tables committed to memory is extremely helpful and really a necessity before moving on to more complicated math. If you spend the time needed to master them, your student will excel in math because of it!