Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Homeschool First Grade

Painting by Jessie Willcox Smith

"You learn to speak by speaking, to study by studying, to run by running, to work by working; and just so, you learn to love by loving. All those who think to learn in any other way deceive themselves." 
~~ St. Francis of Assisi

**There are many resources listed. I have used all of these ideas, but never with just one child!**

School Plans/Reviews that include first grade: 2011-12 (change), 2011-12 (review), 2015-16


  • Faith and Life 1 along with paper activity book (optional) or use other crafts to go along with lesson.
  • Read daily from a kid'sd Bible. Two I like are the New Catholic Picture Bible and the Catholic Book of Bible Stories.
  • The biggest aim is to share the love of God, teach children to pray, and focus on character building.
  • Attend Mass and live out the liturgical year.


  • In the beginning, I used MCP Math for my kids.
  • When one struggled, I switched to Math-U-See with great success.
  • With the third child, I switched over to Horizons (except for my struggling child).


  • Reading is definitely at level - whatever interests them, gets them going into reading (if not already a strong reader). The items below are all things I have used, but not necessarily with each kid. I have had one child not reading at all until spring of his second grade year and another reading by the end of kindergarten. It is highly individual. I can't stress this enough!
  • Hooked on Phonics.
  • Little Stories for Little Folks (Catholic Heritage Curricula) - I like these better as a supplement than a stand-alone.
  • Audio Books - great for non-readers.
  • Read aloud using Seton's Faith and Freedom Readers (I love these books, and so do my children.)
  • Read to your children.
  • Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons (I hated this book with my first but it helped my struggling reader with blending.)
  • Independent Reading -- child's choice, my choice, and historical books to add to the history curriculum.
  • Reading Comprehension: Reading for Comprehension A (I read to the child; he or she answers orally.)

Language Arts

  • Printing handwriting practice. (My kids all seem to do better with Handwriting without Tears, no matter their inherent talent or struggle.)
  • Sometimes I have them dictate stories and odds-n-ends to dictate to me.
  • If reading ok (CVC blends going over well and a handful of helper words), I introduce spelling toward the end of the year: CHC My First Speller.
  • For second half of the year, I add story books (like these from Memoria Press) to use for reading and narration-type work.


Science is definitely a fun bonus for this age. Do as little or as much as your child is interested.

  • Exploring Creation with Zoology 1: Flying Creatures. (See science page for more detail.)
  • Exploring Creation with Zoology 2: Swimming Creatures. (See science page for more detail.)
  • Exploring Creation with Zoology 3: Land Animals. (See science page for more detail.)
  • Exploring Creation with Astronomy. (See science page for more detail.) **This is definitely my favorite!


I do history as a family, using Connecting with History. At this age, the child listens in on lessons, occasionally doing some kind of paperwork assignment or copywork. The best part is participating in time period activities. See history page for more detail).

Other Stuff

Naturally, plenty of other learning goes on - dance class, karate, homeschool group activities, faith extras, cooking, drawing and painting, how-to-draw books, etc. Specific blog posts below: 

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