These elements are often called the alkaline-earth metals. The term alkaline reflects the fact that many compounds of these metals are basic or alkaline. The term earth was historically used to describe the fact that many of these compounds are insoluble in water. Three points should be kept in mind, however. The alkaline-earth metals react with nonmetals to give the products expected from the electron configurations of the elements.
Alkaline earth metals
High School Chemistry/Families on the Periodic Table - Wikibooks, open books for an open world
2.3: Families and Periods of the Periodic Table
The elements in the group include beryllium Be , magnesium Mg , calcium Ca , strontium Sr , barium Ba , and radium Ra. Group 2 contains soft, silver metals that are less metallic in character than the Group 1 elements. Although many characteristics are common throughout the group, the heavier metals such as Ca, Sr, Ba, and Ra are almost as reactive as the Group 1 Alkali Metals. This enables the metals to easily lose electrons, which increases their stability and allows them to form compounds via ionic bonds.
The chemical behavior of atoms is controlled by their electron configuration. Since the families of elements were organized by their chemical behavior, it is predictable that the individual members of each chemical family will have similar electron configurations. Remember that Mendeleev arranged the periodic table so that elements with the most similar properties were placed in the same group.