I’ve been meaning to get this post up for over a month. Life, ya know? The school year is well on it’s way, but I still wanted to share the resources and curriculums we are using with our first grader this year. She’s my free spirit, creative, independent little lady and I love her personality so very much. She was slower than her older brother to take to reading and math concepts, but I’m learning along this journey of homeschooling that each child is going to learn differently and at their own pace. And you know what? That’s perfectly fine! Let’s get into it.
We are using lots of various things for her language arts components this year. Some things (like handwriting and some of her phonics) she can do independently, but other things I sit down and do with her on a daily or every other day basis. For her core reading curriculum, we are continuing to use All About Reading (pictured below). She finished Level 1 from last year over a month ago now, and has been moving right along in Level 2. I used this curriculum with my oldest and it continues to be such an amazing tool for me and my children because it is so OPEN AND GO. The lessons are short, and to the point, keep her engaged, active in the learning process, and they are fun! She learns a new concept one day (with new words and fun activities) and then reads a story utilizing the new concept the next day. The stories are always engaging, silly, and just plain fun to read! We cover about one lesson per day. We have the original B&W version, but they now have a colored version of the curriculum.
We are also still using our Dash Into Learning reader sets 1 through 3 this year (pictured above). We also have the activity packs that are available to go along with each of the books. Since we are not using this as our core reading curriculum, we use these as “fun” reading and for her to practice her newly learned concepts. I just love the illustrations and the beautiful stories that Amelia has created. I also love supporting other homeschooling mamas in their endeavors!
We are using The Good and the Beautiful Handwriting Level 2 (pictured above) with my first grader this year. She flew threw the kindergarten and Level 1 books last year! She does one page a day and I make sure that she really focuses on doing her best work while finishing the page. I like that she can do this pretty independently and she always looks forward to the coloring or drawing portion.
This is my first time using All About Spelling. We are using Level 1 (pictured above). I was told that the first level really needs to be done with Level 2 of All About Reading. It worked out that she was ready to start both around the same time. We have only just started using the spelling curriculum as of a couple weeks ago. So far it’s very easy for her, but I’m sure that it will build and she will be ready to move on to Level 2 soon. I can give a more accurate “review” of our experience with it once I’ve gone through the whole book.
We just started to incorporate First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind (pictured below) two weeks ago when we started spelling. I used this with my oldest when he was in first grade as well. It really focuses on repetition, memorization, and narration. I feel that it is a very gentle introduction to grammar concepts. It usually takes us about 5 minutes (or less sometimes) to complete one lesson. She memorized the first poem very quickly, and my son still remembers it from two years ago!
We have been using Explode the Code (pictured below) since my oldest was in kindergarten. He has moved past the need for them (pretty much after the 4th book I think), but he still begs me to get books 5 through 8 just because he loved going through them so much. My first grader loves them just as much. I also buy the teacher books because I like to teach the concepts before she does the independent work. These are more for reinforcing everything she is learning in reading and spelling, and serve as extra practice that she can just pick up and do on her own (yay!). They also have 1/2 books (i.e. Book 1 1/2, Book 2 1/2) that offer even more practice on whatever they learned in Books 1, 2, 3, etc. They even have a preschool set that we are using with our four year old. She really enjoys using them too!
It seems like a lot, but most of the language arts things we are covering are really quick lessons. I would say from start to finish we can do all of the Language Arts pieces in under an hour.
This is our second child to use Math-U-See. We used the Primer and Alpha levels with our oldest before he moved on to Teaching Textbooks Math 3. He just wasn’t being challenged enough with Math-U-See at the time. He was ready to move on to something that progressed a little quicker through concepts. For my daughter though, it has been perfect. She needs a longer time to master the concepts she is being taught. She finished the Primer book in the middle of her kindergarten year because we started it before she officially started school. She is now about to start (at the posting of this) Lesson 23 of 30 of Alpha and when she and I both think she is ready, we will move onto Beta. I think she will need more review over the concepts she’s already learned before she has them really solidified. She watches the short video lesson on Mondays and then begins working her way through the worksheets. I sit with her if she needs more support, but otherwise she is able to complete them mostly on her own by utilizing her reading skills and the manipulatives. She spends about 20 minutes or so working on her math.
That’s it for our first grader’s individual subjects for this school year! Next up will be my first and third grader’s combined subjects for this school year.
Any questions? Are you using any of the same things? I would love to hear (below) how they are working out for you this school year!
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