I’m revisiting what worked for Big Sister our first year and changing up some things I’ve found since for 1st grade with the girls.
I follow their lead, what they’re interested in, and allow for lots of breaks, outside time, play time, exploring, field trips.
My youngest child went along with his sisters from birth, so he did things whenever he felt ready.
Tot school, preschool, and Kindergarten were just natural progressions as they wanted to know more, learn more, do more.
I don’t want to rush academics. I don’t want everything to be so educational.
I feel almost sad this last time I am teaching 1st grade.
I highly recommend the books by Louise Bates Ames. A good guide to follow is What Your First Grader Needs to Know: Fundamentals of a Good First-Grade Education by E.D. Hirsch, Jr.
We focus on reading and writing.
We ease into science and math and all the humanities with Tapestry of Grace.
We make sure there is plenty of free time for play and helping with daily chores.
First Grade Curriculum
- Journey Through the Bible and/or Studying God’s Word books A/B
- All About Reading
- Literature read alouds
- Year One in our history cycle – Ancient Times.
- Singapore Math 1 and Life of Fred
- Christian Liberty Nature Readers
- Apologia Science – Astronomy and/or Human Anatomy and/or Land Animals
Starting to do some more formal math with the girls…Today, we started the textbook Singapore Math 1B (This is leftover from Big Sister and I haven’t gotten around to even buying workbooks yet.)…
We worked through almost half the book and got into place value. I brought out the cute little pipe cleaner bead strands I made a while back (they were totally unimpressed then!). I used shiny silver pipe cleaners and 10 blue plastic beads for each strand. I scrunched the ends of the pipe cleaners to hold the strands together.
I stopped at page 33. I got tired. My throat was sore!
So, here’s the funny story. The equation was 15-3=? and I laid out 1 tens bead strand and 5 ones beads. I grabbed three beads and asked them what was left. Katie hollered out, “12!” I thought that was pretty amazing that they really were getting this. I asked her how she knew that, expecting her to explain how she got the answer using the beads or something…
With her head cocked to the side, she replied, condescendingly, “Mom, I just thinked it.”
Of course you did, Honey. How silly of Mama to underestimate you. Obviously, we need to move on to grammar and subject-verb agreement now.
We studied the phases of the moon this week for astronomy. They had charts and matching pages.
Check out my astronomy Pinterest board for fun learning ideas.
Tori working on her space workbook.
Eating purple grits! that Big Sister made one morning.
She’s been playing with food coloring lately. We have a different color of lemonade every day too.
Penmanship, calendars, word families…
I found some fun free pages and I plan to incorporate that idea into our morning work now since the girls loved it so much. The calendar notebooks weren’t working out so well. I’ve since updated our calendar yet again and done away with the notebooks altogether.
We’re now working through our word families. We’ve done –an, –and, and –ad so far.
Our calendar board is two sided. I use the Calendar Connections for our monthly themes.
On the other side, I just re-created all the focus points. I have our quarterly poet, composer, and artist at the top. I have our Bible verse and character trait and pledges and the Lord’s Prayer.
I have a poem, song, and hymn on the bottom. The blue background has our word family, a French word, and a German word.
I haven’t quite worked out what to put in that fourth quadrant yet. The blank space on the bottom will probably have our animal of the week to go with science. Always a work in progress!
We do Bible and calendar time during or right after breakfast in the little living room right by the kitchen and dining area. Then, the girls and I do other school activities in the basement.
Here are the girls’ shelves with Montessori works and the word wall above. In the shelves, I have a moveable alphabet with Lauri letters and silent E worksheets, a red basket full of Unifix cubes that they love to do patterns, some paper weaving seahorses, flower arranging, hot dots short and long vowels, some file folder games, a sentence dice activity, and an animal book with an animal fact learning wheel.
Word families are in the blue pocket chart. The red chart holds Easter words and will have a theme each week or month or whenever we change.
Katie’s green box holds her notebooks and personal school items. Tori has a blue box in the picture above, under the easel and beside her table. This has worked well for us the past few weeks. We used to use workboxes, but now we have evolved into work folders, kept in the colored boxes.
Our read alouds:
We’re finishing Tapestry of Grace Year 1 Unit 4.
We’re reading through Beatrix Potter and loving it. Dad even hopes he’s around for those readings – he’s a Peter Rabbit fan!
We focus on classics and fairy tales.
History is fun and simple and they love a coloring book with it!
We worked through First Language Lessons 1 for grammar and writing with the girls.
We’ll take off a couple weeks in July when we have friends and family visit.