Wednesday, May 28, 2014

1st Grade Prep

Even though I just recapped kindergarten, we’ve already moved on to 1st grade over here. Actually, I’ve been up to my eyeballs in 1st grade for a couple of months now.

I know. I’m an overachiever.

Actually, I just don’t want to spend my entire summer working on school stuff. So I’m motivated.

The way the homeschool year works here, we can actually start in July. So we will be working a few days over the summer, mainly to keep things fresh.

We’re expanding a lot this year. Kindergarten only had four subjects, and this coming year we’ll have eight.

Please excuse me while I go breathe into a paper bag.

Yes, eight subjects. Reading, Writing, Math, and Bible have carried over from last year. We’ll be adding Spelling, Language Arts (Grammar), History, and Science.

Reading: We’ll use library books, and the reading lists from our other subjects will be our starting point. I will read aloud, we’ll read together, and he will read independently. There will be “school” reading, and “fun” reading, where he can choose whatever he likes. We also enjoy audio books, especially in the car. Hopefully we will expand from our Hank the Cowdog repertoire. (I love Hank. But we’re about to exhaust our library’s collection.)

Writing: We’re using Writing with Ease. I bought the hardback book and the workbook. The hardback book covers grades 1-4, and the workbook just covers 1st grade. I mainly chose the workbook because there is lots of copywork involved, and I didn’t want to have to write it all out beforehand. I like the concept behind this method, and it gives you the freedom to choose short or long passages depending on your child’s capabilities.

Math: We’re sticking with Saxon, moving up to Math 1. As opposed to last year, this year will have daily worksheets. Caedmon is already asking to start his new math, so I have a feeling we may be diving into this soon-ish.

Bible: We’re continuing with The Gospel Project for Kids, and we’ll keep the same general format we used last year.

Spelling: I decided to go with Spelling Workout from Modern Curriculum Press. We’re starting with level A. I hadn’t planned to purchase the Teacher’s Edition, but Husband found it at the used bookstore for $2.50. Score! I might be glad I have it – we’ll see! I think Caedmon will like the format – at least, I hope he will!

Language Arts: I chose First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind, Level 1. It’s scripted – so it tells me exactly what to say/do. Which is awesome. It will use copywork, narration, memorizing poetry, and picture study. I’m an English nerd, so I’m kind of excited about this one.

History: We will use The Story of the World, Volume 1. Caedmon is going to love it. Remember how he loves all the melee? I predict he will love all of the ancient warfare. I also purchased the audio version so we can listen in the car, and the Activity Book. The Activity Book comes with questions and narration cues for each chapter, as well as extra activity ideas and instructions, coloring pages, and maps. If I had to come up with all that stuff on my own, well…I wouldn’t. We’ll supplement with The Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia of World History and The Kingfisher History Encyclopedia.

Science: We will study “biology” this year – animals, people, and plants. We’ll be using the DK First Animal Encyclopedia and the DK First Human Body Encyclopedia. I haven’t decided what we’ll use for plants yet, but by the time we get to that part, it will be time to get going on our garden again, so there will be plenty of hands-on. We will study 20 weeks of animals, 10 weeks of the human body, and about 6 weeks of plants. I plan to let Caedmon choose a new topic each week, and explore from there. We may study reptiles one week and elephants the next, and that will be fine with me.

I purchased all of our stuff thru After scouring the internet, I found the best prices and availability there. Overall, I spent about half of what I thought I would. I know I could’ve waited until summer to buy more used resources, go to curriculum fairs, etc., but that just wasn’t going to work for me. There was no guarantee I’d find what I was looking for, and I didn’t find that most used prices were that much less than what I could purchase for on Amazon. Plus, I wanted it right now. A few of the resources will be used for multiple years, and we’ll (hope to) be using many things again when Honor follows in about three years.

So there it is…I’ll review all of these things at the end of next year, and let you know how it all worked for us. What are your favorite homeschool resources?

Pin It

1 comment:

  1. There are tons of resources on Teachers Pay Teachers. I don't homeschool, but I teach first grade and most of the things I do for science I get from there. Here's my store I also have a Facebook fan page ( and a blog ( If you ever need anything, just let me know. I used to go to SouthCrest with you guys. I saw your blog post pop up in my newsfeed :)