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Time Spent in Second Grade

Guest 4boys

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I am not quite sure how to word this or even how I should title this question. But here I go anyway...


My 7yo is in second grade and currently it takes about an hour a day for him to complete his school work. That is much much less time than many of the other second graders here (on this forum) and I know it's far less than the WTM recommends (ok, actually, I'm not completely sure since I lent my copy to a friend and still don't have it back!). Let me add that this hour doesn't include independent reading or our read-aloud time.


Even though we spend a relatively short time doing actual work, I am very pleased with his progress and where he is at. He is reading at a 3rd/4th grade level, he is getting his math no problem and is easily on pace to finish it by the end of the year (next June). He's flying through ETC 6 with no issues, has mastered printing and making all his letters correctly (this was previously an issue for him). We began WWE 2 this year and he is doing better than I expected him to with dictation and using complete sentences for narration. We are also doing science, history, piano lessons, Bible, music and HWT. The only area I can really think of "beefing" up is science. We are using R&S Patterns of Nature and in his words he knows it all already (I have ordered God's Design but it hasn't arrived yet).


I suppose what I am looking for is this: would you increase time spent on school work just for time's sake? If I am pleased with what he is doing (although I don't necessarily have anyone to really compare him with), does it matter that it only takes an hour? Can a good education in second grade really only take an hour?


I see so many of you doing so much more and then I begin to second guess myself. And then I think, if it ain't broke...


Sorry that this is so long! Thanks for any suggestions.

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If he's covering all his subjects, then I don't see a problem with it :)


I'm not really sure how you could extend the time, except to add more work. I mean, unless you just want him to sit at the table or his desk and count random things out the window ;)


Really, though, if he's staying on level (not falling behind) and getting it all done, why punish him? (Meaning, don't make him do more, just because he's fast).


Way to go :) Keep it up :) and all that :hurray:

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I'm not really sure how you could extend the time, except to add more work. I mean, unless you just want him to sit at the table or his desk and count random things out the window ;)


LOL, yeah, that's what I was thinking! I just wondered if I was missing something obvious.

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For my ds, we started with a ton of extra time, so I just doubled classes till we reached his level, iykwIm. But then, I was positive the superintendant was going to show up at my house and demand he return to ps if I let him knock off when we were actually done. Thankfully, now in 3rd grade I'm more relaxed. His work takes longer, but that's because I let him dawdle over subjects he really loves.

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I think it has more to do with him, than the time per say. Does he want to keep going? Is he bored?


If it were me, I would keep going with him until he wanted to stop-don't stop just because the day's lesson is over, let him accomplish more if he can but don't push to do the extra.

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Thanks for the responses. I think I need to beef up a few areas. I think I need to do something more with science because that is one area where he is not being challenged. I need to get him to read aloud to me daily instead of 3x weekly (we did daily last year but during summer cut it down; I need to increase it again). And I think maybe I need to separate his school time a little more from his 5yo brother's. There are times where Bailey wants to keep reading about something, like history, and I quit before he is ready because the 5yo can't take it anymore! So maybe that needs to change. I could also get him to do math games and more fun math-y stuff aside from just his regular math lessons. As far as ETC goes, he is going to finish book 8 this year and get into R&S English next year. I started ETC a little late with him, which is why he's not done with it yet.


As for how we get it all done in an hour, he is pretty motivated and doesn't dawdle much. We also don't do every subject every day, which I know some don't agree with. I don't know. I really expected everything to take us longer this year but it just doesn't. I haven't done any official timing either. Maybe I will do that next week and see if that helps me better evaluate what needs to change.


Thanks again. I think I have some good ideas from this.

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I am surprised he could study all of that in one hour. My son attends a cyber charter school and his schedule takes 3 to 5 hours a day. Usually about 4 hours with breaks to break it up;).


It looks like this:

Math daily 1 hour

Language Arts daily which includes reading, spelling, grammar, and writing 1-2 hours a day.

History 3 times a week for 1/2 to 1 hour which includes narration of what he has learned into a history journal.

Science 2 times a week about 1 hour

Foreign Language about 1/2 daily.

Art 2 times a week about 1 hour total.

Music 2 times a week about 1 hour total

Study Island about 10 to 20 minutes daily


We spread some of the work to 7 days a week and do block scheduling often with art and music:)


I hope this was helpful to give you an idea of cyber charter schedule:).

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Well..for one thing he is only 7. So I wouldn't try to load him up too much, you might burn out his evidently great work ethic!


On the other hand, I would look at not trying to keep the 5 year old "with" him. He should be able to read more History if he wants, even if the 5 year old is tired. Let the 5 year old go play! The younger child will hit the history again a couple of times in the cycle. It doesn't matter if he only gets bits and pieces this year. History is not an essential subject for the 5 year old. Let him listen in as much as he likes and drop it when he gets tired.


If he likes reading, get him a basket of books from the library, and have him do some free reading at least 30 minutes a day. If he likes writing, have him write letters to grandma, or a brief summary of his favorite books. I would look for ways to boost that one hour into two hours per day by adding the more pleasurable activities for him. Sounds like he is well on the way to enjoying reading, so I would focus on having lots of really good books available to him and encouraging that. If you can produce a child who loves reading, then you have won most of the battle!



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Something that I did when my youngest was 5 and I was combining him with the 8 year old for history and science. If he got tired with the reading, the 5 year old was welcome to wander off while I continued with the 8 year old. I am amazed how much he remembers when he wandered off so frequently, but I guess he was listening from where ever he was.


What I do with my now 2nd grader

Math- daily about 30 mins

Lang Arts (gram, spell, reading, writing, journal)- daily 1 hour

History- daily- by his choice- 30 mins

Science- daily- again by his choice- 30 mins

German- daily 20 mins

Art- once a week- 30 mins

Music- hit or miss

PE- daily 30 mins

Read alone time- daily 30 mins


So we do about 4 hours a day.


Granted, the history and science would be less if he didn't want it daily, and German and PE would not done at all if it wasn't for older siblings.


Even without those, it would be about 2- 2 1/2 hours.

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I know that my son also gets things done in an hour to hour and half (when he puts his mind to it.)

I did add some things so it was a little fuller.



They are in a Fine arts program from 10:30 to 3:00

(Art, theater, music dance)


Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday mornings:


Word of the day

(Wed & Th they pick the one vocabulary word they like and do a notebook page that includes: their summary of what the word means, synonym, antonym, draw a picture of the word. I write what they say on a note card, than they copy the information)




Read Aloud

ETC (because he loves this :))

Science Reading (older brother reads to younger sister) & Notebook page/activity


History Reading & Notebook page/Activity


Read to Mom


Outside time/nature awareness/free play


1 time a week:

Patterns Nature, My Father's World, Health & Manners, Composer



Tues: Gym and Swim

Wed: Cub Scouts (twice a month, Metropark program 1 month)

Thursday: Natural History Museum program 1x month, ride bikes in an indoor gym

Friday: Co-op


I do all the things in the morning in phases. I judge whether or not they need a break at the end of a phase. This just helps me feel like I am accomplishing something!


When we are done with our read aloud, the kids also do a book report (I designed one since I couldn't find one that included everything I liked)


My kids are really good at taking a lesson out of the classroom. When we were studying cave paintings, they went out and collected rocks, crushed them, mixed them with water and then drew pictures on their tree fort. They did this for a week!


I also try and see what they are interested in and add that as part of their learning. For example, my son developed his own spy language. So, we talked about the written languages beginnings and also talked about why spy languages are used.


Someone I talked with really encouraged me. She said why not let them have an easy year in school where they feel they are mastering things? There will be other years where it will be harder. Also, pick one area that you really think the child needs to work on and focus on that! For me, my son really needs to work on writing his lowercase letters. He has issues with his fine motor and hates to do that because it is hard work. So, I have him focus on that with his spelling. He has been doing well!


My guess is that you are doing fine and aren't taking into consideration all the learning that kids do on their own based on just being naturally curious!

Hope that helps :001_smile:

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Well, if he's doing all that in one hour a day, it sounds like you have it covered. How you are doing all that in one hour is the question.




That's what I was thinking. I mean, I cannot read history or science books any faster than I am. I will say, though, that I typically do both science and history daily OR I spend longer on one each day. History and science are the most enjoyable for the boys, so I make sure we are consistent about them.


But, it is true that one-on-one takes so much less time than in a traditional classroom.


Piano itself is 10-15 minutes a day for us.

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