Tag Archives: First Grade

Our Homeschool Curriculum

Our Homeschool Curriculum for First Grade @JessicaMWhite.com

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When we first considered homeschooling I was quickly overwhelmed with all of the different subjects, the different creators and everything else that goes along with it. I was familiar with some of them {my sister was homeschooled}, which helped, but I still felt way out of my comfort-zone. I began joining different facebook groups and reading blogs; asking what they were using, what their kids were like, what worked for them and what didn’t.

I ordered catalogs and compared curriculum and cost, how much prep time lessons would take me, and whether it sounded interesting. After all that, I placed my curriculum orders and STILL didn’t know if I was ordering the right things for us. Homeschooling really is a leap of faith, whether you’re a Christian family or not. It’s about taking a chance and praying {or hoping} that you’re getting it right. It’s also about humility and admitting when something just isn’t working for you.

I knew for us that we were going to be combining Kindergarten and First grade in certain subjects. I knew that I was going to have 4 other kids that demanded my attention during schooling. I knew that if Avelyn doesn’t like doing something she flat-out won’t do it, no matter how much you threaten or coerce. These were all things that I took into considering.

The majority of our curriculum is from Sonlight, which is what I was most familiar with from my sister and other homeschooling families. I liked how the lesson plans were all laid out for me. I could just sit down and do school without having to wonder if we were on track or covering everything we should or spend hours creating lesson plans.

What do we have?Our Homeschool Curriculum for First Grade @JessicaMWhite.com

Science A – Biology, Botany, and Physics
This is by far Ave’s favorite subject! She loves learning about animals and plants, how the world works, and why things are the way they are. If I let her, we’d do only science and never anything else. We love the primary text for this, Usborne’s Children’s Encyclopedia, the pictures are beautiful, the text is easy to read and understand. It’s just fun!

We also have some other materials that go along with the book: There’s an InquisiKid DVD, which Ave loves watching them do experiments {and I don’t have to deal with the mess}; there are also simple reader books, about different subjects, to supplement the lessons. It’s one of the most enjoyable parts of our school time.

Intro to World History (Year 1 of 2)
This has been a lot of fun too, but there are a lot of things to do in each days lesson. Honestly, most of our school time is spent doing world history, because there are so many things to read. There are actual fiction books we read together, textbook reading, and non-fiction readings.  Two of the texts that we use quite frequently, and make this all the more enjoyable are Usborne’s Time Traveller and The Usborne Book of World HistoryWhat is great about both of these books is that they’re just wonderful books to have in our family library! {We use a lot of Usborne books in our curriculum}.

Language Arts 1
Honestly, Language Arts is the bane of my existence. You would think as someone who has a BS in English, this would be fantastic for me, but it’s not. Mainly because I made a mistake. I didn’t realize that this Language Arts level assumes that your child can read already. Avelyn absolutely could read, if she wanted to.

She’s able to pick out words here and there, but gets easily frustrated with herself. We do the best we can with this right now. Right now, I’m actually considering putting the whole thing aside and starting her with Explode the Code. I’ve supplemented several other things of my own to help us with Language Arts, but more than likely we will be repeating this part of the curriculum once she can read fluently.

This is where we step out of Sonlight Core Curriculum.

This is Ave’s second favorite subject! I am not a math girl {the BS in English should’ve tipped you off}. When we were choosing a math curriculum I had asked several people what they used, what worked and what didn’t work for them. A lot of people suggested Saxon, others suggested Horizons, and still others suggested Math-u-See, which is what we went with.

I liked that it was hands on. I liked that it was a logic based. It looked as though it would be a good fit for us, and we were right. My biggest thing is that I wanted Ave to have a SOLID base for Math, so we went back to the beginning and went with their PrimerSo far she is still loving it! She likes building with the manipulatives {little blocks that represent units and place value}. We just discovered the DVD the other day {I don’t know why I didn’t pull it out sooner}.

Since it is the very basics of math, she has flown through the textbook, finishing almost half of it in just 10 weeks. She’s starting to slow down now.

This has been another struggle of our’s. Again, Avelyn doesn’t like things that make her work {like most people}. However, I am an absolute STICKLER about handwriting. We started with A Reason for Writing‘s Level A, but I quickly realized it was going to be an every day battle. As Avelyn doesn’t read she was not ready to be writing a full sentence every day {even though she is constantly writing words and sentences all day, on her own!}.

I quickly backtracked and ended up going with Level K, which focuses on one letter a day. Much more doable for us. She’s flying through it and that’s ok. When she’s done we will move on to the next level.

Overall I have really enjoyed the books and material we’ve covered. Ave doesn’t love everything, but none of us do. She at least doesn’t flat out refuse to do school every day, which was one of my biggest fears. I’ve loved the flexibility homeschooling gives us with our time, I love how if something isn’t working for us, we can change it! That’s the great thing about homeschooling.

If you homeschool what are your favorite curricula?
Next time I’ll share about how I manage homeschooling for myself.

You can find more of our homeschool materials in my amazon.com store.