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what are you using for K/Grade 1?

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
i am trying to come up with stuff on my own rather than buy a premade curriculum set. BUT having two at home and one on the way in a few months, i'm just so scattered at the moment. would you mind telling me what you plan to use/are using/used for kindergarten and/or grade 1? the only thing we are using right now is Teach your child to read in 100...and the basic workbooks you can buy at walmart type stores. i have what your kindy and first grader need to know books. beyond that, i'm feeling lost.
any tips you can offer are greatly appreciated!
post #2 of 35
I think there's a vast area of middle ground between buying a premade curriculum set and putting things together on your own. I'm pretty enthusiastic about using premade curriculum for some subjects and putting it together on my own for others.

I hadn't intended to do K this past year, but it sort of crept up on me anyway. Things we've used include:

Progressive Phonics (free online printable phonics readers)
Reading Eggs (onlline reading site)
The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading

Miquon Math
MEP math (free printable math curriculum)

Brainpop Junior (online site with videos about science and other topics)
post #3 of 35
My son will be in K this year, we will be doing FIAR, Singapore 1a, basic handwriting, and something for reading. I will also be doing a lot of read alouds from the Ambleside Online years 0,1, and 2.
post #4 of 35
My son will be 5 in September. We'll (hopefully) be doing RightStart Math A, Five in a Row for literature/social studies/science (supplemented with other things when desired), and something or other for phonics and handwriting. I'm not really sure yet on those.
post #5 of 35
I'm running a year round schedule Jan-Jan so still doing K and will move into 1st grade mid-year. I started K at age six intentionally. I felt academics were better delayed and even at this point I pick things that are high quality but don't take inordinate amounts of time so most of their day is play and listening to stories.

I'm happy to share what we're doing. I love to plan. But I figured out quickly that my discipline to do it day in and out was lacking. So for me planned is working better for most areas.


Phonics/reading/spelling/language arts: I wish I had a do-over on phonics! We started with Headsprout. My kids loved it. I wouldn't do it again if I had another child. It wasn't worth the expense and it's not as solid of a phonics basis as I want for them. If I had a do over I would possibly do Explode the Code for beginning Phonics.
I See Sam readers K and will continue. We love them!! I've got McGuffey readers as well for practice and I've used and will continue to use Progressive Phonics free books.
Recipe for Reading type lessons for phonograms along with story/song/DVD materials from http://funwithphonograms.com/ Fun With Phonograms to make learning the phonograms and spelling rules fun.
How to Spell workbooks 1 and 2.
I feel we're getting a really good phonics basis now. So I'll continue this through 1st grade.
Eventually I plan to move into Phonics Road as our complete language arts but I'm not sure financially if I'll hit that in 1st grade or not. I think for now I'm doing the equivalent for less money though having the program would be nice!

Math: RightStart A for K moving into B for 1st grade. It's the math instruction I wish I had received growing up. My kids are learning how to think about math. I'm adding in MEP math because it's free and high quality and gives a different (also good) take on things.

Handwriting: Handwriting without Tears and when we finish the K book we're in we'll move into copywork from McGuffey's readers I think. I don't think think we need the 1st grade and I need to save money so this is going to switch to do it ourselves.

Literature/History/Bible/Science/etc.: Heart of Dakota and Liberty Kids videos for history as well.

Also bible: I'm doing Karen Henley stuff (fun) and and we're starting Grapevine studies at some point.

I have How to Teach Art to Children and Science Excursion if I ever get my act together to consistently do them. I'm also planning on a Spanish curriculum but, again, I've got to get it going consistently.
post #6 of 35
For 1st Grade:

McGuffey's First Reader with copywork
Spelling Workout A and B
Story of the World with lots of literature and nonfiction tie-ins
Singapore 1b and 2a
Song School Latin
Weekly full-day co-op that covers a variety of things
Possible two-hour weekly science co-op, if not, then science videos twice per week

What I learned this year, teaching K12 curriculum with a toddler and baby running around, is that too many subject per day was frustrating, and schooling at the kitchen table 5 days/week was a bit much for such a little kid. So we are doing seatwork 3 days/week, co-op 1 day/week, and calling it good.
post #7 of 35
I have a public schooled kindergartener who will be doing her first year of HSing next year for Gr.1. But, she didn't do well in kindergarten and is a bit behind so she's somewhere in between a kindergarten/Gr.1 level. We are doing:

Explode the Code 1, 1.5 & 2
Reading BOB Books
Canadian Handwriting A
Math U See Primer
REAL Science Odyssey - Life Unit
She will be sharing a Social Studies Bundle from Donnaward.net with her Gr.3 brother. I also may get Draw Write Now for both my kids to use.

I also have the FIAR series to use as a supplement, or it will be the basis and the other choices will be the supplement depending on what she prefers. She's also starting piano lessons as well.
post #8 of 35
We are doing K now/1st later:

Reading = Progressive Phonics, and graduating into I See Sam sets 5-8; we have ETC and she's worked up to book 3 but she doesn't like doing them so we've lagged behind her reading level. I suggest them now for practice writing and spelling.
Handwriting = Draw Write Now (HWT was a bust for us)
Language/Literacy = Games for Writing, listening to lit./poetry/etc.
Math = RightStart B

Science = we are slowly working through Building a Foundation of Scientific Understanding (which I love) roughly one chapter every other week and I hope to get us up to once a week
History/geography = Core Knowledge/What Your Kindergartner/1st Should Know

Art for now is consumed with drawing

I really like Ambleside's suggestion for using Handbook of Nature Study, too
post #9 of 35
Right now dd1 (4) just does workbooks as she likes. She finished Brainquest Kindergarten and is now working through the grade 1 book. She's been reading for awhile now and we don't really treat it as it's own subject. There's a lot of printing in the workbooks and she often writes letters to me and her dad.

In the fall, we are going to do;

Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding
A curriculum that I wrote using the free samples of History Odyssey as a guide.
Creativity Express
Yogakids

and I keep debating back and forth about the math. I don't really want to do math as it's own subject, I'd prefer to just let it come organically but I tempted to go with either Math U See or Rightstart Math. The big problem is that I can't decide between the two.
post #10 of 35
For K and 1st grade this year we did k12. Worked for us, but definitely not right for everyone. We need the structure and support doing that way gave us, and even though its going to be CRAZY next year for me probably, we'll be sticking with k12 until I finish college in about 3 years.
post #11 of 35
We are just finishing our 1st grade year.

For literature, we used Mother Goose (also for copy/memory work) and tons of fairy tales and house tales--about 3-4 classic short stories a week. Loved it! Primarily "World's Greatest Fairy Tales", "Mother Stories", "Tales of the Forest People" (I think) and "In Story Land" but you could get A LOT out of just the first book. Also we read some longer read-alouds like Through the Looking Glass and Peter Pan and a couple of the Harry Potter books.

For math, Miquon Red and Orange and Singapore 1a/b, loved them both! but definitely could've got by with just one or the other.

For reading I made up everything, using word lists from online and from Phonics Pathways (which I DID NOT like but used the word families just to get my money's worth out of the book), also we used Little Bear and Frog and Toad Collections along with the Treadwell "Reading-Literature" Primer and First Reader. I am a big advocate of REALLY reading just books with maybe a little study boost here and there when you notice the kid not getting a word family or whatever. I recommend "Teach a Child to Read Using Children's Books" from the library as a good starting point.

Science was nature study with some Singapore science worksheets and lots of field trips.

Social Studies . . . nonexistant. Well, not really. We used Montessori puzzle maps and read about children's lives all over the world. We didn't really focus in on any one stream of study for the Geography/History stuff. Lots of Greek and Roman mythology.

For foreign langs, we started out doing Sign Language and Spanish and totally fizzled out--it just wasn't a good fit for us. Then we switched to Classic Languages (Greek and Latin) and have been ROCKING it. We just have a ton of resource books/cds for both langs. and are putting together a Main Lesson book, very slowly and gently.

I guess that's pretty much it. Sure felt like we were doing a lot!
post #12 of 35
whoops...double post
post #13 of 35
I have a K student coming up this fall and here's what we are using:

Singapore Math 1a/1b
Miquon and/or MEP Year 1(playing around with both this summer to see if we like them)
Challenging Word Problems 1

Sonlight Science K

Bible Stories and Coloring (Rod & Staff)

Some Kumon books for handwriting

Not sure about reading yet

Read Alouds
post #14 of 35
We're doing a bit of K now and continuing through next year. I am for about an hour a day five days a week, excluding nature study and the outside classes. We're doing:

MEP intake year

The Tanglewood phonics program and some reading of leveled readers etc

The Ambleside Online year 0 reading list

Bible stories and saint stories from a variety of books

Some biographies and Eyewittness history and science books from the library

Some nature study with dad (directions, tree and plant identification, and loits of exploring, canoeing, fishing.)

The Music for Young Children program with a local group

A bit of french (songs, letters, numbers, colours, etc)

A bit of handwriting, I am not using a program, just print outs from Jan Brett's colouring pages

Also probably ballet, and this summer some riding.

I am going to teach her to hook rugs.
post #15 of 35
subbing to come back and read alone

DS1 is 4.5 ith challanges. the plan is a pk4/5/ kindy for 2 years ...
post #16 of 35
Just got Horizons K Reading & Phonics and Math. DD is just 3.5 so we will keep working on Hooked On Phonics (old version) before starting the Horizons workbooks. I haven't had a chance to look at the Math yet to see if it's at her level or if we need to do other work. For nature/science etc.. we will be going to programs at the nearby nature center and working farm. Also just doing things as she's interested - last week it was flags.
post #17 of 35
We got the Calvert K curriculum very cheaply on Craigslist, so we will be using that. We also have the old school hooked on phonics that we will be using as well. I think some of the Calvert material may be too easy for my son, so I may need more challenging stuff to add to it! I am just now getting really excited about homeschooling.
post #18 of 35
I liked Lillian Jones' besthomeschooling.org pages about kindergarten ideas. great ideas! we have done some of them over a period of time.
http://besthomeschooling.org/article..._ps_kdgtn.html


My kids do starfall.com and enjoy it a lot. They mostly learn a lot from regular ole life :-) At this age, there is no pressure to be reading and writing on a certain time line, so I definitely take advantage of that freedom.

We bake and cook together (simple stuff like boiled eggs, mac n cheese, brownies etc). We have a pet fish, lizard and dog they help care for. They help me water our plants outdoors and we play games that have to do with herbs (one of my interests). Lots of board games (so much fun to learn this way!. They do a lot of math, but it's along the lines of their own questions I answer or just talking about what 100 looks like or what plus what equals what. Water play is popular and a great chance to experiment. Playing at park and with friends in the neighborhood. My boys are 7 and 5 and into technology since that is their Dad's line of work, so they use the computer and devices often. They like to build things, so we have hammer and nails and spare wood around. They have books, craft supplies and kids' musical instruments around to use when they choose. Oh, can't beat playdough either! {oh, yes, can't leave out Legos...we use loads of those little plastic bricks around here!}

I like to be out in nature with them at least weekly, do read aloud each day to them, have tea time every once in a while for fun, and I like to play various kinds of music on the cd player during the day. We all really enjoy this life (though there are ups and downs like any other family) and I am constantly surprised that they really are learning so much within our home without a boxed curriculum and a set "schedule". Our daily routine remains basically the same but each day looks different based on what everyone feels like doing.

It can be fun, or relaxed, or whatever you want to make! so enjoy the moments and the memories you are making together.
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post #19 of 35
DD is 5 and "finishing" K in the next few months. (Our school year runs Dec through Dec. or Dec through whenever we're "finished") I used a lot of different stuff, all of which was easy-to-find and cheap or even free.

Reading/Phonics: BOB Books, a couple of different brands of of Early Readers, starfall.com (including the free printable activities), The Clear and Simple Workbooks series, Reading Readiness workbooks and lots of reading aloud.

Literature: Classic Fairy Tales, The Peter Patter Book of Nursery Rhymes and most of this list.

Handwriting/Printing: Lots of copywork (both from myself and from storybooks), Usborne Ready for Writing, Kumon Write and Wipe cards and various Kumon workbooks.

Math: Usborne First Picture Math, Usborne Sticker Math "Numbers", Number Skills K-1, The Learning Line Math series and lots of Counting Bears.

Logic/Critical Thinking: The Learning Line "Beginning Sequencing" and "Think & Do", various matching games, mazes etc.

Social Studies: Read-aloud stories/fables/myths from around the world, "A Life Like Mine", a globe, Usborne Picture Atlas and People.

Science: Many, many Usborne Beginner's Nature books (They're internet-linked so lessons are super simple to plan), Usborne Complete First Book of Nature, Starting Point Science, trips to the science museum, nature dvds, tons of outside time.

Health: Amazing You!, The Human Body: How It Works

I know our list is rather book and workbook heavy, but my DD really, really enjoys them. She honestly seems to thrive at a desk. (I was not like that as a child. She's a mystery to me. ) We also did a million crafts, tons of art, lots of manipulative-based stuff like lacing, puzzles, building and cooking and a whole lot of playing outside.
post #20 of 35
We're finishing up K now. This past year, we were enrolled in a classical education private school where ds5 was in a classroom 2 days a week and homeschooling 3 days. Some of this stuff was required by the school; others were selected by me.

Math - Sadlier-Oxford Progress in Mathematics (hated it)
Phonics - Phonics Pathways; Words Their Way; Florida Center for Reading Research activities; Bob Books (and now just reading books)
Spelling - All About Spelling (this has been awesome!)
Handwriting - Handwriting Without Tears
Literature and Social Studies - Five in a Row (not my favorite); currently doing K12 Kindergarten History, which we will finish during summer; tons of literature all the time, using Core Knowledge suggestions, many other booklists and just following ds' interests
Science - This just happens all the time. For specific investigations, we've used Delta Science Kits and GEMS units. Tons of books, educational videos, field trips, and discussions.

For 1st grade, we'll be homeschooling independently. I'm considering:
Math - Math Mammoth and Singapore with some Right Start games
Phonics - He's reading well now, but I like the I See Sam books, so we might use those for continued practice.
Spelling - All About Spelling
Handwriting - Handwriting Without Tears
Social Studies - not sure. I may continue with the K12 program or follow the Core Knowledge scope and sequence using an encyclopedia type of book and a bunch of picture books. Lots of hands-on activities too.
Science - I have this idea that we will do a lot of space and earth science this year, since we've done soooo much life science. I thought we'd start with some matter investigations, then do some space science starting with the Big Bang, wind up on Earth and do some rocks and minerals, evolution and dinosaurs, Ice Age, climate and weather. Hmmm....
Literature - lots of folk tales and fairy tales; there are some booklists I'd like to try to get through
Language Arts - not sure, but I'm considering Jolly Grammar. Ds is ready for some light grammar and writing instruction.
I'd also like to do some art and music study, but we'll see...

This sounds like a ridiculous amount of work for such a little guy, so I don't really know how to explain that our homeschool day is actually pretty relaxed. We don't do a lot at a desk (although there is some), and we have plenty of time to play, hang out with friends, mess around in the garden, explore creeks, play with our animals, ride bikes and scooters, toss water balloons, and do aikido and swimming lessons.
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