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Homeschooling first grade- what should I plan?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

So my goals for the year are to get him reading, because as a Montessori kid in kindergarten, he never showed any interest.  I am also planning math basics:  addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, skip counting, grouping, etc.  Science will involve some of the Great Lessons from Montessori, Earth Science, weather, biology, animal research, and some physics.


History goes back to the Great Lessons, also- we will talk about the industrial revolution, agriculture, etc. 


Art, Music, and PE will be done outside the home with classes at the Park District or through private athletics (he plays hockey and swims).  


Does this sound like a good plan for the year?  Right now for reading, I am utilizing programs like Reading Eggs and ABC Mouse, which he is learning a lot from- he loves the computer and really enjoys this mode of learning.  

post #2 of 12

I'm so glad to hear that you are homeschooling your little one.  I am a homeschool graduate, current elementary special ed teacher, and future homeschool mommy. 


Let me tell you my basic plans for home-schooling my little ones in the future.  I don't plan to buy a curriculum in the early elementary years.  I will refer to my state's education standards on their department of education website.  This will help me make sure I didn't forget anything important.  For example, here are links to the documents the state of Michigan made, saying what a first grader should be learning.  I would use them as a general guide. Your state should have something similar, but it wouldn't be any problem to use Michigan's. :) 






http://www.michigan.gov/mde/0,4615,7-140-6530_30334_51042-232021--,00.html  (This is the link to get other grades etc...)


There is so much to learn out there, but don't overwhelm yourself or your son by trying to teach it all at once. Teach him the basic math and reading that he needs right now, but let the rest come naturally.  Make lots of trips to the library & read about everything!!

Regarding your child's education, the best thing you can do for him is give him a love for learning!!  Plant a garden, go to the zoo, set up a bird feeder and research/graph the birdies that pass through, examine the creatures in pond water, write a letter to grandma inviting her for a cupcake party, watch an insect crawl around on a world map and say "He's going north towards Canada or he turned east--he's heading to china." 


I've consistently believed that history is the hardest subject to get little one's interested in.  My plan is to expose my kids to historical events before they read about them in a textbook (when they're older.)  You can do this through giving them historical novels ("Dear America" and "My name is America.") having a grandparent talk about a historical event they lived through, visiting a special exhibit at a museum or watching a reinactment or a documentary.  A child is much more likely to show interest in something he has a bit of prior knowledge about that something completely new.  (We are the same way...we are way more likely to read an article in the newspaper about an earthquake in a country we just visited compared to a country we've barely heard of??)


Hope this helps a bit. 

post #3 of 12
It seems like a very intense plan. I'd suggest relaxing a bit. Find out what your local school would cover and try to incorporate that into your school year, but mostly enjoy learning. If your child feels pressured, then resistance to education can take root. That can be hard to change.

Read, a lot, to your child, all kinds of fun books, so that a desire to unlock the secret of the written language develops.

Lastly, make sure you don't put so much pressure on yourself that you burnout.

Good luck and enjoy this time with your child!
post #4 of 12

I am homeschooling a first grader as well and here is what I am doing.  I believe reading is the most important skill 1st graders need to tackle.  Like you, I am using Reading Eggs and we have been doing a lesson a day.  We have reached the middle of the younger age program -- so we are repeating each lesson twice at this point instead of just once to ensure mastery and we may decide to go back about ten lessons just so the incline is very gradual and not frustrating.  In addition, I do the TeachMe app on the Ipad.  We do first grade English and second grade math on the TeachMe apps.  This is it: Basic math and basic reading/writing.


However, we read a lot of books both fiction and non-fiction.  We also do bookflix from scholastics.  I am considering subscribing to Brainpop Junior sometime in the fall.  There is also the option of signing up with k5learning.com, should he look like he is pinning for more.  But for now, we are trying to keep it simple.  Basic reading and math, lots of free play, building with blocks and legos, art and music, maybe gymnastics and/or marshal arts.  I will also cap the time spent on actual, planned lessons to under 2 hours a day.  


Your plan looks good.  Like a pp said, looking up your state's academic standards for a first grader may help you figure out how much you want to do.  However, those standards can seem much more than they actually are.  I generally use the science and social studies standards as a guide for books we will choose to read but we don't sweat those too much.  I try to have an integrated approach so that it is not overwhelming for everyone involved.  I think, much later in the year (or even next summer) when I feel like reading and writing has been mastered at a good first grade level, we will go on to do other things in the area of science and social studies.  Hope this helps!

post #5 of 12

Seconding that this seems like A LOT for a newbie homeschooler 1st grader.


Coming from someone who has been doing this 3? 4 years? (I also have a 1st grader.) So many people try to do everything all at once at the beginning.


For my son, we really work on math. Math, math, math. He's picking up more and more reading on his own (his sister also taught herself to read at 7). We also do handwriting.

post #6 of 12

I think it all depends on what you mean by what you said.  It'd be overkill to extensively study biology, for example, in one year, in grade one.  But you can learn all sorts of things about it as you see it around you (and read interesting books and discuss how things relate to biology). 


I'm a bit of an over planner.  I'm excited to have a bunch of cirricula at my finger tips, and to try to use many of them to spur us on in learning and interests.  If I listed everything I have and that I plan to use I'd be embarassed.  BUT, I don't have it in order to do it all, but to give me ideas and a framework for ways to intentionally explore things with my kids (and I want to learn about history so I understand it - a big gap in my education). 


Personally, your plan sounds nebulous and I'd be more concrete in what you want to cover.  But if you prefer to figure it out as you go that is also fine and can work really well.  We sort of did that last year for K and I found that I want more planned because I could use that for me personally, not because the kids needed it.


With my 1st grader, we'll be doing ancient history, the science cirriculum Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding, a handwriting workbook, sonlight literature, Singapore Math, nature walks/study, memory work, and a smattering of other things.  It's all flexible and I'm willing to leave most things aside when we need to, but having those specific things (and more) as my plan help me to have ideas when the baby has had me up too many times the night before and I'm a zombie. :)



post #7 of 12
Originally Posted by Emaye View Post

We also do bookflix from scholastics.


Sorry to hijack the thread but just wondering if you use bookflix at home or not. I was told it was only available to schools and libraries. 

post #8 of 12
We use a Waldorf/Momtessori-inspired curriculum, which is literature-based and creative, experiential, and holistic. We learn math and history through stories that meet the child developmentally.

We love that as homeschoolers we are not limited to standardized curricula.
post #9 of 12
Originally Posted by ilovemygirl View Post

Sorry to hijack the thread but just wondering if you use bookflix at home or not. I was told it was only available to schools and libraries. 

Yes. You can not subscribe to it as an individual but your library or school district can give you a username and password to access from home. It is a great little find.
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks, everyone!  I am excited to start this new journey.  :)

post #11 of 12

We are starting official 1st grade and I am reporting to the state for the first time. We are required to touch on a lot of subjects, which is fine. I also have a very aggressive learner so it actually works to our benefit.


Honesty, I don't see anything "intense" about what you posted in your original post. Home schooling is flexible, you can easily add or take stuff out. Are you using any curriculum?

post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 

I am not, at this point, planning to use any curriculum.  I am, however, hiring a tutor for a couple of hours a week just to help us and keep us on track.  She also has experience with dyslexia, a Master's degree in education with extra hours in the subject of dyslexia, and I fear that my oldest son has it.  So I feel better by having her come in and help me to make sure we intervene early if that is the case.  

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