Monday, August 22, 2011

Curriculum: First Grade

I love books. Maybe you can home school without a love of books, but it sure adds to the fun if you like them! I get excited about new curricula and reading all the books.

Here's what we're up to this year...

We are using Primary Mathematics (it's the U.S. version of Singapore Math). Some places I have read recommend 1A & 1B for second grade, but after reviewing the books, I'm confident that Kate has a firm enough grasp of basic math to handle them this year. It is a pretty rigorous program, I've heard, but I haven't looked at other books to compare them, just read reviews. I also picked up a math drill card. I'm hoping that she will be able to learn her math facts this year without having to count each time.


This is our language arts curriculum. We have spelling from Evan Moor. I wasn't interested in anything in particular this year and this one seemed to fit the bill as an inexpensive program that had daily assignments.

I picked up Writing with Ease for, well, writing. You can get companion workbooks, but with this book you can teach 4 years of writing, if you are up for finding your own writing samples. I am using this 4 days a week and it is our writing and handwriting at the moment, as she has told me that she dislikes writing. So long as she uses her best penmanship for this, we'll skip the handwriting for handwriting's sake. I plan to have her copy verses from the Bible for the fifth day of the week.

Next up, for grammar, we are borrowing books from the library. In our library system we don't have the entire set (Words are Categorical), so I'm hoping to get the rest through inter-library loan to teach the parts of speech this year. I also plan to cover punctuation this year for grammar. This book is a hoot though (A Mink, a Fink, a Skating Rink). Even Gabby call tell you about nouns now.

Then we'll be reading...McGuffey, library books, books off our shelves, signs, where ever we can find words!


We'll be reading more from The Story of the World in history (we've done some activities already, like here). I also picked up Real Science 4 Kids Biology (Pre-Level 1) book. I'm planning to follow the basic idea from The Well Trained Mind for biology (studying animals of her choosing, anatomy, and botany), but I really wanted to also introduce the concepts of cells, habitats, and classification, since we won't cover biology again until 5th grade. This book will complement that study well.


For art and music, I picked up these based on recommendations that I read last year. She will also be able to participate in activities at the art museum here from time to time. We opted to teach some basic piano here to see if she enjoys it. If she likes it, she can continue it more formally later and if not, then she learned a touch of music theory that can be helpful in any instrument she might choose to study later.


These are some odds and ends that don't fit the most basic curriculum requirements, but are things we wanted our children to learn. The girls will both be completing the etiquette book (it is very feminine, so I won't be saving this one back for Nate). We also plan to teach logic, so we're starting with this basic thinking skills book for this year. The girls are both learning to memorize scripture verses this year. I got this little book to get us started.


This book is for Gabby. She has been asking to learn how to read. I taught Kate last year and while we got it, it wasn't an easy task! I thought this might be a good way to start, especially since Gabby is younger than Kate was. So far, so good. We're on lesson 5 and she seems to enjoy it, though she did leave before we finished the last lesson we were working on.

And this is my extremely high tech record system...

It is a bound book where I make notes of what I want to teach (I have stuff from k-12 in there all mixed up, sure to make many people cry) and I little notebook to record grades. I will likely set up an Excel program at some point, but I wanted a place to record on the spot as we do questions aloud and the like. I also have a calendar. I write our topics each day in the blocks, so I can look back and see what we did and when.

1 comment:

KentuckyGam said...

It looks like an interesting year. I hope you all enjoy learning this year!