Before wrapping up our 2019-2020 school year (our fifth year homeschooling!), I dove into curriculum planning for next school year. It’s one of my favorite things. So today I’ll share with you our 1st grade homeschool curriculum choices.
You can find our 6th grade curriculum choices for 2019-2020 here.
You can find our 3rd grade curriculum choices for 2019-2020 here.
Factors That Affected Our Curriculum Choices
All of my kids are different from each other and every year I learning something new about each of them, so the first thing I do is update what I know about their Learning Preferences. My rising 1st grader is an independent learner but is still little enough that he likes to do things with Mommy, so I knew that I needed to focus on finding ways to allow him to work on his own while also finding curriculum and activities that I feel comfortable teaching and that possibly make it a little fun for us.
I also updated what I know about his Difficulties, Dislikes, and Delights. My youngest delights in being uniquely creative (drawing, not coloring) and struggles with following instructions, so I took those things into account.
I then considered the Three D’s from a family level. We’re in a season where I’ve time-blocked mornings for focusing on personal projects, so I decided that I would put a high priority on independent work for all of my kids this upcoming school year.
And, lastly, my philosophy is that it’s better to get effective learning done quickly than to have it take a lot of time while trying to make it “fun.” Work smart, not unnecessarily hard.
1st Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices
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For early elementary, I like to focus on calendaring activities. For this coming up year, I’ll create new calendar worksheets for my kids to use. You can get our August calendar for free!
I’ve been dabbling in mindfulness for the last several months, reflecting on the best part of each day and taking stock of my emotions. I’ve found it to be a helpful practice, so I’m incorporating mindfulness into my kids’ days with their Morning Work with worksheets that I’ll create to track their emotions and note the highlight of each day.
I like the idea of my kids starting off the day with fun(ish) brain exercises to get their mental juices flowing, so Scholastic Daily Word Ladders will be part of my youngest boy’s Morning Work binder.
We will continue with the early elementary New Testament portion of The Picture Smart Bible. Even though we only do a little each day, my son hasn’t loved coloring these pages. So after completing the New Testament pages, we’ll switch to the Old Testament pages and use them in conjunction with Old Testament Grapevine Studies for early elementary. The Grapevine studies are more about drawing than coloring, so I’m hoping that he enjoys them more.
For math, my littlest boy will continue with Math-U-See and move to the Alpha level this coming up year. In addition to that, he’ll go through Kumon’s My Book of Telling Time and My First Book of Money: Counting Coins.
Reading / Phonics
My youngest boy is over halfway through the 1st grade level of Hooked on Phonics (see my review of Hooked on Phonics here), so we’ll continue with that and then move on to the 2nd grade level. In addition, we will also continue to use a reading list of “real” books for shared reading.
Handwriting Without Tears has been working well for us (you can see one of my reviews of Handwriting Without Tears here), so this coming up year we’ll continue with the first grade level.
Since I’m focusing on independent learning for my students this coming up year, we’ll cover grammar using Evan-Moor’s Grammar & Punctuation for Grade 1. It will still require some one-on-one teaching about once a week, but I’m hoping that my first grader will be able to do the practice pages largely independently.
For first grade spelling, we’ll try Evan-Moor’s Building Spelling Skills. But I do plan to supplement with extra sentence writing, and maybe even more spelling worksheets for difficult words.
Workbooks work well for my little one, allowing him to work independently after some initial teaching, so for writing this year we’re going to try Evan-Moor’s Daily 6-Trait Writing.
We’re going to tackle history (somewhat) together with Story of the World Volume 2 – Middle Ages. We went through volume 1 (Ancient Times) a few years ago. It actually took us two years to get through that time period, but this time around I want to make it easy-breezy by simply listening to the audiobook during lunch and maybe doing one little project a week. I may also incorporate Project Passport: The Middle Ages and Homeschool in the Woods Lap-Pak: The Knights. We plan to study the Middle Ages as a group, but we’ll see how that goes.
For our United States studies, my youngest will do Knowledge Box Central’s U.S. Government Lapbook. It’ll be his first lapbook, so I hope it’s fun for him!
I’m excited to try Berean Builders’ Science in the Beginning with my two younger boys. My first grader will be doing some narration in little notebooks, which I hope will speak to his creative soul. In order to make things easier for me, I also purchased the lab kit from Rainbow Resources.
My first grader will start learning map skills this year with Evan-Moor’s Beginning Geography. It looks like a fun little workbook, so I think he’ll enjoy it.
Since my little one loves creativity, I’ve been trying to pull in different artistic resources for him to try. We’ve been enjoying the drawing tutorials on the YouTube channel Art for Kids Hub. We also have several Draw Write Now books. But really the best thing I can do is to keep a well-stocked craft room for him to use!
My husband (former middle school choir director) plans to get all of the boys started on piano lessons (and maybe voice lessons?) with him this coming up year. I’m not gonna lie – that sounds stressful to me. Better him than me. 😜
He chose this series of books for their piano lessons. Hoping for the best. 🤞