Monday, September 21, 2009

1st Grade Curriculum Choices

Abiah started 1st grade this year and I am excited and nervous at the same time. We have decided to homeschool for many reasons. Since I get asked often I thought I'd list a few of the main reasons here.
  1. Because of Nathan's work schedule (swing shift) he would only see Abiah on the weekends.
  2. Because "we" hunt it gives us the flexibility to start school when it works best for our family.
  3. We want to protect Abiah from being exposed to "mature" information before it is time.
  4. I used to homeschool other people's children for a living and so I have lots of experience and very little reason not to.
Because of our recent hunting trip we started school this week. At the beginning of the week I felt like I was trying to find my footing. I was not as prepared as I hoped to be, but by the end of the week I felt more sure about my daily plan.

I get all my curriculum from Exodus Books (see link to the right). Aside from the fact that I know the owner, I like the variety and prices as well as the honesty and eagerness to help homeschooling families. Exodus Books also has a great website with helpful tips and tools. Check it out! (I am not getting paid to say this. I just like their store.) So, here's my choices for 1st grade curriculum.


Horizon's Math Book 1&2 Grade 1
I chose this math book for it's colorful pictures, repetitive content and easy teaching. I don't purchase the teacher's guide because of the skill level and because right now Abiah still needs me to sit with him and help him stay on task. So I am correcting as we go. We used this curriculum for his kindergarten math and it seemed to challenge him and keep his attention (as well as a five year old's attention span can be kept). I plan to use this math curriculum through third grade. At fourth grade we will switch to Saxon.


Grammar Practice
I am usually an Easy Grammar and Daily Grams kinda gal but they don't have books until 2nd grade. After looking through Grammar Practice I decided it is a book that is easy to use without a teacher's manual (and an answer key is in the back) and it should only take us about 10 minutes every day to work through a section. There are 22 lessons that contain 5 sections each. We can do one lesson a week and be right on track with our other school work. I feel like it will give Abiah a good exposure to grammar in preparation for the books I plan to use next year.


Bible Truth's: A Father's Care Grade 1 BJU
Abiah has been asking for more information about the Bible and his interest moved me to choose a Bible curriculum for our schooling. Although there are many activities available to go with this curriculum I am just using the basics. I did need the teacher's manual for this subject but because Exodus Books carries used books I was able to get one in good but used condition for a lower price. One of the drawing points for me was that it teaches the Catechism. Now, I wasn't raised in churches that taught the Catechism but I have always wanted to know it and I figured I can teach it to myself while I teach it to my kids.


Startwrite 5.0
I LOVE this program! Startwrite 5.0 is a computer software that allows you to create your own handwriting worksheets. You choose from multiple fonts, letter sizes, character guides and much more. I have used this program since last year to teach Abiah to write his name and alphabet. This year we are incorporating it with his Bible course. I created a worksheet for his weekly Bible memory verse and he uses it for handwriting practice and memorization.

Science 1 BJU
My America and My World A Beka Book

I enjoy both Bob Jones and A Beka for science and history curriculum. For this year we are just slowly reading through the books and I ask Abiah a few questions about what we have read. My goal is exposure to science and history without the weight of tests and experiments. This is not to say that we won't do any experiments but I am trying to keep our school time at the table to a minimum. So we talk about and included what we read about into our daily lives. Another plus for this choice is that I found used books in great condition for three and four dollars. At Exodus Books of course.


Spell to Write and Read BHI

I am a huge fan of Spell to Write and Read. The program can feel weighty and really involved but I think that every family that uses it can find what works for them and make it their own. I used this program when I was tutoring ESL students and I had great results. The repetition and flash cards make memorizing the rules for phonics easy and fun. We also read together every night and I am hoping that Abiah will be reading to me by the end of the year.

Well, that's it. Even with choosing to do 8 different subjects we are done with school in 2-3 hours. I love it! What are some of your favorite curriculum choices. And if you don't homeschool, what are some of your favorite books to read with your kids. I'm always looking for new ideas.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.