Reading the newspaper

By second grade, most kids can read fairly well, and more importantly, they’re eager to learn more.  Practice makes perfect, although finding them suitable material to read can sometimes be a challenge.  The library is great, of course, but have you ever thought of introducing your child to newspapers.

The layout of a newspaper is a good place to start.  Talk about the front page and how the day’s biggest headlines are found there.  The front page also contains the name of the newspaper, the date, the price, and usually a directory of what other sections are included in that day’s paper.  You can explain what classified are, and that they include both job listings as well as things to buy and sell.  There are also some legal announcements and such in that section of the paper.Other sections will often vary by which paper you’re reading, but may include state or local news too.

Newspapers are great for current events, which could be part of your second grade social studies plans for homeschooling.  Have your child choose an article to summarize in writing, or give an oral summary of it.  With today’s world transitioning to more and more news online and less in print, a short introduction to a newspaper could serve your child well.

Should 2nd graders begin learning a foreign langauge?

Not everyone is lucky enough to speak a second language at home, or to have close relatives and friends who do.  How about the rest of us who want our young children to learn a foreign language, and in particular, the homeschooling families who don’t have public school resources to utilize?

There are several options for parents seeking to teach their homeschooled kids a foreign language, but they do require some research first to find the best fit for your family.  The best way to develop fluency in a foreign language is for the child to speak and hear the language daily, but that isn’t always possible.  If relatives of yours speak Spanish, then obviously this is an easier choice to teach your child over French, which the child would never have a chance to practice.

Along those same lines, speaking the language with another person is much preferable over speaking it into a computer.  Many of the available computer programs are excellent, but reciting vocabulary words to yourself or the computer just doesn’t give the same quality of feedback as if you were speaking them to another person.

Learning a foreign language can be a difficult process, so look at the long-term benefits and the advantages your child will gain by speaking another language.  And remember, with learning a foreign language, persistence is key.