Monday, May 12, 2014

Homeschooling-Our 1st Grade Curriculum

We've decided to do a mostly year-round school schedule, taking a week off here and there this summer for VBS, day camp, and a family vacation, as well as a couple days off every few weeks for Field Trips or just to relax. Stinker pushed through her Kindergarten curriculum pretty quickly, so as we finish up with K work, we're moving straight into our 1st grade books. Here is what we've chosen for Stinker's 1st Grade Year!

Classical Conversations-We're going to continue in our Classical Conversations Community next year, but we're on break until September.

Bible-I was looking for a good Bible Curriculum that wasn't going to be overly legalistic, but still taught the basics of the Bible. I came across God's Great Covenant and so far (in week 5), we're really enjoying it. It gives a Biblical storyline, and most importantly, brings Jesus in as the center of each study, even in Genesis.

Reading-Last year we tried Explode the Code, and it just didn't work for us. My daughter's reading level was not where it should have been at the end of Kindergarten. So, we started Horizons Reading K. She's already reading better with this curriculum (which has more instruction and is better organized than ETC), just in the first month we've been using it. Once we're through with the Kindergarten curriculum (I'm guessing towards the end of summer or beginning of Fall), we may continue on with Horizons, or switch to another curriculum. We're also continuing our read-alouds. So far since January, we've read The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, The Boxcar Children (first 3 books), Imagination Station (books 1-4), and are currently reading The Wizard of Oz.

Handwriting-We went with A Reason For Handwriting A. I'm not sure if we'll continue this next year or not. Still too early to tell. I like that the handwriting lessons set a child up to learn cursive later on.

Spelling- We started All About Spelling (Level 1) a couple months ago and LOVE it. The spelling lessons are not list based, they're rules based. So your child actually learns how to spell instead of just memorizing their list.

Math-We used Saxon last year, but after breezing through it in 4 months, I decided we needed something a little more challenging. So, we're using Horizons Math 1. I wish it used more manipulatives, but since it's not common core based, Stinker is learning how to use the number line, carry for addition, and borrow for subtraction, which I like. Many people might think it has a lot of worksheets, but I firmly believe that in things like addition and subtraction facts, repetition helps the brain truly own the concept. 

Science-Stinker loves science experiments and "creating potions" as she likes to say. We're using A Reason for Science. I like that everything is included in the science experiment box, but I've found the instructions to be a little confusing, even for the teacher. This is a classroom set, so it says things like "compare with other teams" and "discuss with your group". 

History-Since Classical Conversations is on break, I wanted to start a History program with Stinker. I came across Mystery of History: Volume 1 and I love the concept. It's a full curriculum for Kindergarteners up to High Schoolers. All students hear the same lesson, then branch off to do different activities related to each lesson. The younger student activity could be "create a cuneiform tablet out of clay" while the older student activity may be "research the political background of these historical figures." We plan to continue using this curriculum.

Geography-Again, while CC is on break, I wanted to do a Geography curriculum. I purchased Road Trip USA from Confessions of a Homeschooler. I love how hands-on it is (ie. make a recipe from each state you "visit"), and it has great information. I don't love how much printing it required. (Several hundred pages).

Art-In addition to art projects I find on Pinterest, we're going to be starting Confessions of a Homeschooler's World's Greatest Artists Unit Study I. I love the information and the activities.

PE- Right now, Stinker is playing t-ball, and will be starting ice skating this summer as her PE time.

What's on your Curriculum List for Next Year?

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