There are very few more hands-on approaches to science than teaching about weather. Most kids in second grade are very curious about the world around them, and this kind of a practical aspect to science is really appealing to them. Weather is something they can see, hear, and feel…it’s REAL!
There are some great ideas for projects involving measurement of rain with a rain gauge, or atmospheric pressure with a barometer, or even humidity with a hygrometer. Weather isn’t all about temperature, after all. You can teach about wind patterns, like how the jet stream influences the weather in North America, and even about how ocean currents affect our weather. Kids always enjoy learning about big storms like hurricanes and tornadoes too, and talking about some of the big storms the world has seen is a great way to throw a little geography into the mix, as well.
Measurement of weather is a great opportunity for practicing those graphing skills, and weather is a topic that lends itself well to science experiments too. Let the kids predict the forecast based on what they’ve learned, and then check the actual weather conditions to see if they’re right!
Different school distrcits may advocate different writing styles, for many different reasons. One of the perks of homeschooling is that you don’t have to go with what the public school wants, but you can determine what works best for your individual child. Two of the major handwriting styles are Zaner-Bloser, which is a traditional block printing style, and D‘Nealian, which is a more recently developed curvy style of writing meant to make the transition to learning cursive a bit easier.
By second grade, most children have mastered basic handwriting. But remember, practice makes perfect! If your child is struggling, there are several handwriting programs designed to help. A program called Handwriting Without Tears seems to be especially popular with public schools in this country, and it works very well to help kids learn proper letter formation. There are other programs too, so be sure to research the subject if your child needs a little extra help that simple repetition isn’t providing.
There are also special pencil grips to make it easier for struggling kids to attain a correct pencil grip. These are usually plastic or rubber, and slide onto a pencil to make it easier to hold. They’re inexpensive and definitely worth a try. There’s also something called a “heavyweight pencil” that can help kids to focus their attention on letter formation. It’s a mechanical pencil that is actually weighted to help kids learn better writing control.
If all else fails, an evaluation by an Occupational Therapist may be in order. They can check your child’s motor skills and eye-hand coordination much better than you can at home, and often recommend helpful strategies to solve the problem.