Tag Archive for curriculum

First Grade Plans

We are excited about our upcoming homeschool year! We will be starting in a few weeks and I wanted to share our curriculum plans.

Reading/Phonics/Spelling: Explode the Code 3 & 4; Hooked on Phonics

Grammar: First Language Lessons 1. I really don’t think grammar in 1st is necessary, but it’s required by my state. This program I chose is gentle, mostly oral with very little writing, so I feel OK about using it.

Math: RightStart Math Level B 2nd Edition

Handwriting: Zaner-Bloser 1; copywork

Art: Home Art Studio

Music: Piano lessons

P.E.: She may be going to the local school for this. If that doesn’t work out, we will figure out something. Ice skating, swimming, etc.

Build Your Library Grade 1, which includes:

Science: Nature Study using various resources as scheduled by Build Your Library.

Social Studies: Ancient History using various resources as scheduled by Build Your Library. I’m excited about this! Egyptians, Romans, Babylonians, oh my! There are so many cool projects you can do for this age group when studying the Ancients. A quick search on Pinterest or a search engine will turn up many fun activities! Happily, BYL has that all scheduled out for me.

Literature: Poetry and several fun read alouds are scheduled, including The Tale of Despereaux, 26 Fairmont Avenue, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlotte’s Web, and The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles. Squee!

I’m looking forward to a super fun year!

Our Pre-K / K4 Year

We made it through a year of at-home preschool! And as this is the time of year when homeschooling parents start to plan for the upcoming school year (Or, if you’re like me, you’re ALWAYS planning for the upcoming school year…) I thought I’d share my plans.


Curly will be 4 for the 2014-2015 school year, and I am not sure if I am going to label our year Pre-K or K4. I don’t know if there is even a difference, but I’m leaning towards K4 since we will be adding in a few things labeled Kindergarten level.

We will be continuing with:

Kumon workbooks for skills and pencil practice. We are currently using  My First Book Of Uppercase Letters,, My Book Of Numbers 1-30, and My First Book Of Cutting. We do these whenever Curly brings them up. Sometimes it’s several days a week, and we’ve also gone for weeks without looking at them. The cutting one is a favorite, as well the Kumon maze series. She seems to really love the little certificate you get at the end when you finish a whole workbook.

Building Thinking Skills Beginning for critical thinking. We started this last year, and we are about halfway through. It’s a big book! We only do this when Curly asks for it.

Art Lab for Little Kids for art ideas. We didn’t use this much this past year (mostly because I forgot I had it..whoops) so I’m hoping to do better this year.

-We have an iPad we let Curly use, and I’ve found some educational apps I really like for her. One is StartDOT Handwriting by TrishCO LLC, and another is Avokiddo ABC Ride by AVOKIDDO. StartDOT is an app that teaches letter formation (sounds boring but the app is really well done) and Avokiddo ABC is…an ABC app. 🙂 If you have an iPad I highly recommend these two!


iPad Screenshot 2iPhone Screenshot 2



Starfall.com is a fun ABC and learn to read site. You can do the ABC learning for free, and if you want to use their learn to read games you pay a monthly fee. I haven’t tried that part out yet, but it’s very popular. Curly asks to use this site at least once a week.

Educational TV is something I do my best to limit, but sometimes this mama needs quiet brain time. The shows I like include Leapfrog, Wild Kratts, and Magic School Bus.

Whew! When I type out all the things we do it looks like a lot. Rest assured we are pretty laid back around here, and the above things aren’t even the primary part of our homeschool! The primary part is ….drumroll...reading. No big surprise if you’ve read my blog before. We go to the library every Monday to get new books. We get both nonfiction and fiction titles, ABC books, poetry books, ethnic tales..it goes on and on. I want to raise a reader! Not only for the joy of reading, but for the world of knowledge that opens up when you enjoy reading. When you can read, you can learn about anything!

So, all of the above are things I will be continuing. Here a couple things I will be adding:

Mathematical Reasoning Beginning 2 from the Critical Thinking Company. This math workbook is from the same company as the critical thinking book I mentioned above. We spend most of our time focusing on ABCs so I wanted something to spend a little time on the 123s. It has good reviews on Amazon, so I’m hoping it’s a hit for us.

KinderBach Piano Lessons is something I’m really excited about! I linked you to the DVDs on Amazon, but we will be getting the monthly subscription from the website, at www.kinderbach.com. I was thinking about getting Curly piano lessons starting next year (and not looking forward to paying for them), until I found this site. It’s geared for ages 4-7, and it’s super affordable. Booyah!

Build Your Library K: Around the World is going to be the main focus of our year. This is basically a reading list and schedule, including some science books and art projects. We will going on an exciting ‘trip’ around the world, cooking food from different countries and learning about people and animals from those countries. Build Your Library information can be be found here : buildyourlibrary.com  I am really happy I found this for this year, as I wanted to do a ‘Continents’ based year anyway; this way it’s all put together for me!

Edited to add:

I don’t feel Curly is ready to read yet, but every few months I reevaluate. If I feel she’s ready, I will probably use this:

Let’s all have a great year! I would love to hear about your plans!