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Third grade/Second Grade Mix Doable? Advisable?

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    Third grade/Second Grade Mix Doable? Advisable?

    Hello, my son is working through MP for the first time this year. He's newly 8, nominally second grade but we have done STT/MSTT/TS I/NAC 1 this year along with Saxon 2 for math and Sonlight for enrichment and Bible. We're going to do a lot of the second grade literature this spring and he should have no problem finishing up NAC 1 soon. TS I is coming along but we will likely take the rest of the school year to finish it as it seems to work better if we do a "review week" every 6 weeks or so. Aside from spelling, I now realize we probably could have started with second grade stuff but I erred on the side of easing him in to avoid frustration and I wanted him to enjoy it and feel successful (which I believe he has!) But, he does like to tell me that "school is boring and way too easy."

    For next year, I have been thinking he could do:
    3rd grade lit
    States and Capitals
    Greek Myths
    Christian Studies I

    with these "second grade subjects:"
    Prima Latina
    TS II
    English Grammar Practice

    But, this seems like a big increase in effort from what we have done this year--basically adding four "meaty" subjects (Latin, Greek Myths, CS I, and Latin) at once.

    I am going to try and focus on handwriting/copywork and reading this spring, increasing his stamina with both. He is reading chapter books fluently but tends to tire after 20 minutes and start making errors (even if we sub easier reading?). With copywork he started actually at K level so it would match his sister's and I am going to move him along to at least first grade for the spring.

    Any suggestions for how to better prepare him for an increased workload next year over the spring and summer? Basically, my perception is that I way underestimated him but now he's accustomed to a fairly light workload.
    Any suggestions for subjects that it might be better to postpone another year or work up to more slowly?

    Thank you!


    Two stepsons in public school, junior and senior
    Son, age 8, MP 1/2
    Daughter, age 6 doing MP K and rocking it!

    If you are planning to use the regular 3rd grade schedule, Greek Myths, Christian Studies I, and States & Capitals are spread over 2 years (3rd and 4th grade). This slower approach is designed to provide a ramp up from the lighter workload of 2nd grade, and it has done that very well for all of my kids who have been through that sequence. You are planning to use Prima Latina, but I would suggest just following the 3rd grade plans and doing Latina Christiana, also scheduled at the 2-year pace. With each lesson spread over 2 weeks, it's not too much writing and covers the same material as Prima (i.e., you won't be missing any content if you skip Prima).

    I think the best preparation for jumping into 3rd grade approximately as written (subbing spelling) is to do the 2nd grade literature, as you are planning. Those selections provide a good progression in reading difficulty, moving from the picture books in STT/MSTT to early readers (Courage of Sarah Noble, Prairie School) and then to a full-size chapter book (Little House in the Big Woods). And they are all such wondeeful stories! Completing the study guides for the 2nd grade literature will also help increase writing stamina and skills, as they require significantly more writing than MSTT.

    One more thing. I would suggest explaining to your son that there will be an increase in workload next school year. You can use his own statement that school is too easy to begin the explanation. Tell him you agree that school is easy for him right now, that he has done so well with all the new material you have taught him this year, and that therefore you plan to give him several new subjects in the coming year, which will be exciting and fun to learn, but will also require him to spend more time and work hard. Let him see your enthusiasm about the subject matter, and also let him know there will be more for him to do.

    Fall 2022:
    DS 14 9th
    DD 12 7th
    DS 10 5th
    DD 7 2nd
    DS 5 K
    DS 2



      Amy has given you very good advice. I just wanted to add that third grade is a big leap for all students, and it takes a few weeks to adjust (even here at HLS), so you are anticipated what is a realistic jump in workload. But your son will be ready for it!

      The only other thing I would add is that it isn't unusual at all for your son to be fatigued after 20 minutes of reading. That is a lot of work for little guys! So I wouldn't push him beyond that at this time. As long as he is comprehending what he is reading and can talk about it with you, he sounds to me like he is on track.



        Here is what I would do if this were my child- do 2nd grade next year but with your 3rd grade math and sun in 3rd grade literature and add mammals instead of enrichment science. I’d consider starting States and Capitals and Christian Studies 1 going at the typical half pace that is in the 3rd grade plans, but don’t stress if it is too much. Then the next year, do 4th New Users as written. Any subjects you started (like States or Christian), you can slowly finish or redo at full pace like in the manual.
        Debbie- mom of 7, civil engineering grad, married to mechanical engineer
        DD, 27, BFA '17 graphic design and illustration
        DS, 25, BS '18 mechanical engineering
        DS, 23, BS '20 Chemsitry, pursuing phd at Wash U
        (DDIL married #3 in 2020, MPOA grad, BA '20 philosophy, pusrsing phd at SLU)
        DS, 21, Physics and math major
        DD, 18, dyslexic, 12th grade dual enrolled
        DS, 14, future engineer/scientist/ world conquerer 9th MPOA diploma student
        DD, 8 , 2nd Future astronaut, robot building space artist


          Thank you for those great ideas, and reassurance!


            Hi! I have a third grade boy (8) and we just started MP this week. We did a customized program through Cheryl of regular MP and Simply Classical. My guy is extremely intelligent so I didn't think he needed simply classical but he has ADHD so often his ability and his attention span don't add up well. Because of this he's behind what we know he's capable of, if that makes sense? This week we started with Math + Latin on Monday and I let him choose one elective. We have states and capitols, Greek myth, Christian studies, spelling, lit, Cursive. He chose Cursive. The Simply Classical lesson plans break things down and help with modifications so he handled all of that so well that I let him chose another elective (he chose Greek Mythology) Tuesday we had a sick day, then Weds we added in states and capitols. Greek Myth is 3 days a week, s+c is 1. Today we're going to add in the grammar skills book and the lit guide. I feel like he's handling everything really well and he typically has very low academic stamina. I have wrote for him a few times or modified in other small ways. Those are his pain points. I'm sure you know your kiddos pain points and can help him adjust accordingly! All that to say I have also underestimated my kiddo in the past but he's doing very well. I try to be aware of relationship first in our homeschool as I want to homeschool for the long haul and have a LOT on my plate. Meaning if there's frustration/overwhelm and we need a day to clean, snuggle on the couch and take it easy, go out with friends, etc I give myself that grace. We can school on Saturdays almost always bc my husband is in law enforcement and almost never around on the weekends.
            I hope this helps!



              I just wanted to say that I love that you have a pile of electives that you let your son choose between. What a great idea as you move toward increased daily work. He has some choice in the matter but is still being encouraged to work longer. Perfect!



                I agree that's a great idea, having core subjects that are done daily (math/LA/Bible/Latin) and then looping the additional subjects (Mammals, States and Capitals, Greek Myths) but letting him choose which elective or loop subject to do for the day.

                And, I think for us what will work best is doing the second grade curriculum but subbing in Third Grade Lit/S&C/Mammals.

                Love being able to come to this forum and sort things out!