I’ve really put off planning this school year. I have not been too excited about going back to school. I’ve been procrastinating!
What about you? Did you finish all of your curriculum decisions in May or did you put it off?
I’m finally making my final decisions and my final purchases.
I’ll have a 1st grader for the 4th time this upcoming school year.
My plans for 1st grade have changed over the years. Basically, I’ve simplified each year. As my older kids take more of my time, I’ve cut back on the amount of work for my younger ones.
Bible Study Guide for All Ages – beginning level
We have group Bible time all together and my older kids use the intermediate level of Bible Study Guide for All Ages while my little ones listen in on the beginner level. Our time is a little bit chaotic with lots of interruptions, but it’s so sweet to be able to study the same Bible stories together. And I really appreciate the simple structure that this program provides for us.
I also want to spend some one-on-one time with my little one so we are going to learn about all the different names of God and what they mean. Even though we cover Bible as a group, I try to have short devotions or Bible stories individually with my kids.
My little 1st grader is not very strong in math. She’s going to be a great reader/language arts kiddo, but she has found math to be challenging. She started Level A in Kindergarten and made it about halfway through. At that point I realized that she wasn’t mastering the material, so we started back over at the beginning. So for 1st grade, we’ll complete Level A and hopefully start on Level B. I have no expectation of her finishing Level B in her 1st grade year, but she just might surprise me.
In addition to Right Start, I work on Math Mammoth pages with my kids. My 1st grader will do a worksheet (or half a worksheet) each day to practice doing some math more independently.
I’ve been using this program for several years and I like how easy it is to use and how short the lessons are. This will be our first year covering any formal grammar concepts.
In Kindergarten, my daughter nearly finished Level 1, so we’ll spend this year finishing up those very last few lessons and then jumping in to Level 2. This girl is a fairly eager reader and is picking up on reading skills very quickly. She’s always so proud to read the stories in the readers to me.
Once my 1st grader has finished All About Reading Level 1, we’ll begin working on All About Spelling. We might cover this level more than once if she needs the spelling practice. Spelling is not a huge focus of our 1st grade year, so it’s something that I’ll slowly introduce if I feel that she is ready. Instead, I choose to focus on learning how to read and gaining reading skills.
I start off my individual time with each student by reading poetry. It’s a wonderful gentle start to our homeschool time together. I try to choose a few poetry books for each grade level. I love my little poetry time!
We’ll continue to work on manuscript handwriting with these simple handwriting books. My kids enjoy the simple pictures and black and white pages.
Logic is another subject that helps us start out our individual school time together. My kids all love to work on logic books and logic grids. We started some simple logic books in kindergarten and we’ll move into a little more complex logic books. It’s a fun start to our school time.
Last year in Kindergarten, my daughter listened in on the Spanish time with her older siblings. She learned some of the songs and vocabulary from this program. However, we’re going to go through it again to help her master the concepts. My preschooler might even listen in for some of the songs.
I’ve decided to take a completely different approach to history this year. We’re doing a year of just American history. I’ll be using this program with my 1st grader as well as my 3rd and 4th graders. They’ll all be listening in together while I read aloud.
I think we’ll begin our first semester by reading this book aloud together. My 3rd and 4th grader will probably listen in as well. I’m hoping we’ll be able to do some simple experiments or nature walks to supplement our studies.
I’m still debating if we will do a level of Nancy Larson Science or if we’ll use another book from Real Science 4 Kids for the next semester. Science is the one subject that always leaves me feeling unsure. So, my plan is always a little tentative.
Last year all of my kids worked to learn how to draw the countries of Africa. This year we’re going to focus on learning to locate and draw all the states since we are studying American history. We’ll still review drawing Africa on occasion too. I hope to find some books and videos for each state to help enhance the learning.
I will admit that I often forget to get art done in our homeschool. However, I am sometimes successful when I use this program and do a drawing or project once a week. I keep trying to find time to fit art in to our day during our group school time.
I currently teach my daughter piano lessons and we’ll continue working through our Faber Piano Adventure books. I hope to be able to add in a little bit of composer study or listening to some classical music maybe as a group activity.
Of course, we’ll also have lots of wonderful read alouds too. My oldest child (6th grade) and the next oldest girl (3rd grade) take turns reading picture books or chapter books aloud to my 1st grader. She loves her sister time and snuggling on the couch with them while they read.
So, that’s my plan for 1st grade! Most of the language arts and math are done individually, but many of the other subjects are done as she tags along with her older siblings. It has simplified my day to try to combine some of our subjects and teach to several kids at the same time.