Homeschool moms fall into one of two categories. You can tell which one you are by asking your children a simple question: ” What grade are you in?”
Many homeschool students don’t have any clue what grade they are in. That’s totally easier that saying, “Well I am in third grade math, second grade spelling, and 4th grade reading!” No one actually cares to hear that, and you don’t want to give that overly skeptical, “When are you putting them in “real” school” family member any ammunition. Therefore, we teach our children the grade that they would be in based on their ages, regardless of what level of school work they are doing.
These are our favorite homeschool curriculum’s for the student who is at a “first grade” level (whether they are 5 or 22 years old! 😉 )
*WARNING! Most of these curriculum options may cause children to tell random grocery store workers (or skeptical family members) that they did NOT do any school this week. (What on earth do you think we have done all day child!?) This is a sufferance I am willing to endure for having fun while learning. 😉
This curriculum is drool worthy! Comes with an instructors guide that walks you through exactly what to do each day of the week, with flexible scheduling options. Includes Bible, History, and Literature in their core packages, with Math, Science, and Language Arts being add-on programs. We started Core A (I believe they are calling them levels now!) when my oldest was in first grade, and my middle was in Pre-K/Kindergarten.
Sonlight is an open and go curriculum, which can be started the day you receive your order. Ordering directly from the company has its perks, but it is pricey. You can update your instructors guide every time there is a new edition released if purchasing from them. Really for all the books you receive, the cost is minimal.
However, if you are on a tight budget, EBay is the place to look! I have found entire cores on there for less than $100 (1/8th of the brand new cost!). If there are any books missing, Amazon is usually the cheapest place to buy the rest if you don’t mind using books that have already been used.
My children LOVE doing Sonlight. We snuggle on the couch and read really amazing books. My children beg me to read them over and over or decide to read them on their own. The stories open up entire new worlds in a child’s mind. and spill out into their imaginative play. During our first year, my children were Vikings, dolphin rescuers, and the Boxcar children. They also created this pretty epic Roman horse carriage using an Ikea bag and a box.
If you have read about Sonlight and are on the fence, check out their 27 Reasons to buy, and 12 reasons not to buy Sonlight (although I feel compelled to do everything in the guide, and I believe in classical education – so technically we shouldn’t love it if we are going strictly by this list 😉 ).
This is another curriculum that I was skeptical about before we tried it. I wasn’t sure if the cost was worth what we would get out of the program. I am so glad we took the leap to try it!
If you aren’t familiar with Classical Conversations (CC), it is a classical education curriculum that you use at home, and meet one day a week. It focuses on teaching the child they way that they best learn based on the trivium of classical education. My children are in the “grammar” stage where they love to know bits of information. They ask questions, and LOVE repeating the answers when it will get them some attention (read: the grandmas! 😉 )
Sing, Spell, Read, Write
We start this curriculum during our pre-k studies. When a child is ready to hold a pencil, learn to identify letters and learn to sing to some fun songs they are ready to begin this. We finish the first book during this time and move on to The Raceway Book. It covers phonics, spelling, reading, and writing sentences by themselves.
It is an easy, simple, preplanned way to completely cover Language Arts for this age group. The songs help to make this thorough study fun!
Science is my thing yo. I am a scientist by nature so this subject SHOULD be super easy and always doable. However, apart from a few cool experiments involving food coloring, celery, frozen water, and paper towels – I never felt like we had the ingredients necessary or the time available to complete any science other than what we read about in a book or watched on youtube. Nothing was very hands on for a kinesthetic learner.
CC helps us get in a hands-on experiment or real life science demonstration/project per week. The planning is done for you, the director has purchased your supplies, and the mess stays away from your home (can I get an outmatched mama AMEN!). But my kids wanted more.
My little scientists want science as much as possible and will do subjects they don’t appreciate as much without complaining if they know science is coming. When I found Apologia’s Young Explorer Series, I was blown away! We learn science through reading the book, then reinforcing each lesson by doing a hands-on experiment and by filling out the fun Junior Notebooking Journal.
Draw Write Now
Handwriting is the dreaded subject in our house for one loud, reluctant, writer whose identity shall remain anonymous. This child would rather chew a pencil into a nub, hide, fall out of a chair repeatedly, or develop random illnesses that coincide with writing time but vanish when anything else is offered. This.Makes.A mama who is already outmatched, CRAZY!
If you give that same reluctant writer a fun picture with step by step drawing instructions, suddenly (GASP!) words appear on the paper underneath! Draw Write Now is an amazing handwriting and drawing curriculum in one. They can learn to draw fun images (like a duck!) and they write factual sentences underneath. It is a fun way to write for sure! Copying sentences helps them learn sentence structure with ease.
What homeschool curriculum do you use for your 1st graders? 🙂
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