A friend of mine recently asked about our choices for First Grade curriculum. I didn’t have a chance to go through the list with her yet, so I thought I’d gather all my thoughts and links here and share them with you, too!
DISCLAIMER: From one curriculum-junkie to another-possible-curriculum junkie: if you are happy with your curriculum choices, you may not double-guess yourself or change your mind! Just move fearlessly into the future! I simply offer this list to those who are still looking for a few good suggestions. I’ve greatly benefited from other bloggers’ suggestions, and want to return the favor.
So, here’s what we have on our docket:
BIBLE: Because I’m using Ann Ward’s classic Learning at Home with Lia this year, we’ll be learning the Bible lessons all together and singing related hymns and songs (from Wee Sing Bible Songs as well as our local church’s weekly songs). This is also the first year in which Vivienne will begin her own personal devotional time; I’m hoping to encourage her in the daily enjoyment of reading from the Bible and praying.
LIFE SKILLS + ART: Again, Ann Ward offers such fantastic suggestions that we’ll be learning these sections together: kitchen skills, stewardship, and community service are just a few of the activities that Ward covers. She also includes seasonal and simple art suggestions.
MATH: Saxon 2. We just love us some Saxon. It’s simple, straight-forward, and has plenty of opportunity for review. Viv loves the logic questions that show up regularly (in patterns, word problems, etc.). I love the manipulatives. And my dear math-whiz of a friend highly approves of the teaching approach, which is all I need to know.
P.E.: Since she was three, Vivienne has loved taking dance lessons with a local Worship Dance studio. She’ll continue in the Fall. Also, we’ll be following Ann Ward’s P.E. suggestions and checking out CrossFit Kids for ideas. (To get this mamma back in shape!)
HISTORY: Here we go! This year, we embark on our adventure through Susan Wise Bauer’s The Story of the World. I keep staring at the spines of Volume 1: Ancient Times and the Activity Book, which are just waiting to be loved and read. I’m really hoping to bring you along on our journey and offer lots of suggestions and feedback about the curriculum.
SPELLING: I just ordered Level 1 from All About Spelling. I’ve heard way too many good things to pass this one up…
WRITING: I AM SO EXCITED to begin Susan Wise Bauer’s Writing With Ease curriculum; it’s full of beautiful selections for copy-work and simple building blocks so that someday we can all enjoy a glimpse of Vivienne’s fantastic imagination and interesting thoughts. 😉
SCIENCE: Again, we’ll be piggy-backing off of the science topics in Learning at Home, to explore astronomy and biology in more depth throughout the school year. I’ve written before about our natural interests in science, so we’ll just be using our good questions, the local library, and the Internet to explore and learn.
READING: Reading is another very natural subject around here. I feel pretty confident pulling resources from the likes of Sonlight Curriculum, etc. I’ll also have Viv read aloud to me from the Rod and Staff Pathway readers. (Note: Viv completed the first grade Veritas Press Phonics Museum last year, so she’s reading pretty confidently. If she were coming into the Fall on a first grade reading level, I’d definitely do the Phonics Museum. It was aggressive, thorough, and interesting! AND, from what I can tell, the curriculum put her in a fantastic place to begin All About Spelling with confidence. I’ll let ya know…)
MUSIC: Vivienne will happily take her second year of piano lessons with “The Best Piano Teacher in the WORLD” who uses a beautiful series called Keys for the Kingdom.