Grateful to Teach Second Grade

Homeschool Recap: Beyond Little Hearts Unit 1 & More!

It always feel good to get that first week under your belt and start working out the kinks. Thankfully, we didn’t have too many trouble spots in Week 1. In fact, I would summarize the week as having two great days, one “close to bad” day and two so-so days. I call that a homeschool winner. So without further rambling from me, here’s a look at our week:

We have a new checklist/planner system this year! As I write this, we are in the middle of week 3 and so far it is working very well. I got a simple checklist from and put it in a plastic sleeve. We used a dry erase marker to check off things each day and at the start of a new week I erase it. Loving it!! I did a video walk-through that shows the checklist, our routine and how we are using our whole house to homeschool instead of a dedicated space.

We do not include Bible snuggles as part of the school day. In an attempt to make it a daily habit for everyday (not just school days), I thought I’d try to keep it separate and special. It’s the only thing we snuggle up for on the couch :). We do that right after breakfast and then go upstairs to get ready for school time. The first thing my son does after getting ready is handwriting. Since that is pretty independent, I just make sure I have it out for him to do in case he gets downstairs before me. We are not using the suggested option for copywork or spelling in BLHFHG, but we are loving our choices for both so far. My little dude loves the option to draw pictures every couple of handwriting lessons and the BJU Distance Learning videos are proving to be a great fit at just 15 minutes each day.

And now, math. (Cue the scary music.) Actually, it’s going great! My son loves the activities scheduled for Singapore 2A/2B. BLHFHG schedules 1A/1B, so we had to get a copy of Bigger to go along with our levels. I just treat the Bigger guide as my math teacher’s edition and just pull it out when I pull out his workbook. I found that I have to stand directly in front of him, not beside him for things he is less enthused about. That would be math :). So making that change I think has also helped this year. So far, we’ve played lots of games with UNO cards, dice, linking cubes and even had some races. For math drill, I am using Math-U-See online drill and flashcards this year. What a sigh of relief from little dude. He smiled so big when I told him no more drills at

Since I am such a visual person when I review curriculum to use, I wanted a way to show you other mommas the kinds of things you can expect to do in HOD. So here is a look at the art and geography activities this week. (We also started the timeline, but I forgot to take pics. I’ll snap some for a future recap post.)

We are loving our find from Master Books, My Story 1! I did a walk through video describing how plan to use it this year with BLHFHG. This week, we talked about families and made a family tree. He asked me if we could just keep working on this project. Winner, winner!

Storytime, Emerging Readers and Poetry were somewhat of a miss this week. He would much rather have picture books still, so I am getting the Second Grade Read-Aloud suggestions from Memoria Press to have on hand in case it gets ugly. He really wanted to do BJU Press Reading 2 instead of the Emerging Readers, so I compromised and only having him do some of the ERs after several days of just doing BJU. I can’t really complain. It’s a solid program. I just really wanted simple. Sigh. And as far as poetry goes, I am hoping he’ll eventually warm up to it.

Rain gauge

And saving the best for last….science! It’s all about weather in week 1! We made a rain gauge talked all about the clouds and did a temperature lab. Real Science Odyssey has tons of book suggestions to go along with their program. A Gail Gibbons’ book was, not surprisingly, one of the favorites for week 1. The little cards you see in the pic below were something I made to tape to the Dollar Tree Clouds poster I bought. We also threw in a simple experiment from a book my son wanted from the library. We did several things from that book over the summer, but he really wanted to do the DIY lava lamp. It only kind of worked, but we could see what they were going for.


That’s week 1 (Unit 1) for us. Have you used/are using BLHFHG? Feel free to share your Unit 1 experiences/tips in the comments or leave me any questions. Please visit my YouTube channel for the videos I mentioned.

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This is my blog devoted to sharing lessons learned about thankful living. Along the way, you’ll see all sorts of bits of the life I’m so thankful to live.



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