Friday, July 27, 2018

1st Grade Curriculum Choices 2018-2019 | Homeschool

Well, I've been meaning to make a video about my curriculum choices for this coming year, but haven't gotten around to it and we are starting school soon! 
I decided to start early August this year. It gets SO hot here in August that we don't even want to be outside usually, and the fall here is so beautiful. So I'm planning to get a head start early, and then take off a few weeks in September or October when the weather is perfect and we want to be outside!  
I will be schooling 2 daughters both at a first grade level this year. We will do school at home 4 days a week and they will join other homeschoolers at a local school 1 day per week for classes.
After a ton of thought and research last spring, here is what we have settled on for our 2018-2019 school year!!
Language Arts

For LA this year, I decided on The Good and The Beautiful Level 1. I've been hearing about it everywhere and think it will be a good fit for us this year. I really loved what we used last year, but we were ready to slow down the pace on all of the rules a little bit and really dig into reading, spelling, and exploring literature together. I am really excited about this curriculum. 
We are going to try something a little different this year, and my girls will do this separately. 
My younger daughter is a bit ahead of my older in a lot of LA areas and I think it will work out better. TGATB has them work on spelling, sight words, and reading daily, and it doesn't make sense to do those things together since they might not be at the same place with all of those. So my plan is to work with one girl at a time, while the other does some independent work (reading, spelling sentences, and handwriting, which I'll talk about more below). I will work with the other one on their course book, phonics cards and sight words at the same time, then we'll switch. I hope this works out, but if not we can adjust! It will be good practice for them learning to start doing some work independently, too. 

I am going to supplement handwriting with a book I found on Amazon. I'll just make copies each week and have them copy the silly sentences (they don't need to practice tracing, so we'll just skip that). Hopefully this will help them enjoy handwriting practice a little more! 
Math

We are continuing on this year with Math Lessons for a Living Education Level 2. We used level 1 for the last few months of kindergarten and it work out really well for the girls, so we went ahead with level 2. I like the story approach to teaching math skills and my girls have enjoyed it a lot more than Math U See. The explanations are simple, instead of complicated like so much of math is these days. I think having something to the point has made math a lot more clear for my daughters, and has made it a lot easier for me to teach. Hopefully this level is just as good!
Science

Science was a really hard choice this year. I purchased a curriculum, got it and decided it was NOT for us. It looked super boring and sooooo much reading (from me to them from a textbook, blah). So I searched and searched. I ended up stumbling upon 106 Days of Creation when reading in a homeschooling forum, and I'm so glad I did. It is such a relaxed approach to science. It's really more of a guideline than curriculum, written by a homeschooling mom who was just looking for a good approach to science. It covers the 7 days of creation as "units" and each one has a varying number of lessons within it. There is a ton of freedom to make it work for you. There are field trips, lots of nature study, tons of living books, videos and more. A lot of hands on stuff that I think will really help my kids to enjoy science and makes me excited to dig in with them! I have a science binder for each of them to collect all of their work and take with us when we go on nature studies, or field trips, and I will also use some great Usborne books to supplement and research further. I'm planning to really let the kids dig in, and if they're really into something, we will go with it and come up with different activities and ways to learn more about it. 
I also purchased the Nature Notebook PDF from The Good & The Beautiful, and have printed out some of the fall pages for that, which we will throw in there when we want to do them. That should be really fun, too.
Social Studies

I was really stumped on social studies, as well. I didn't want to pay hundreds of dollars for a boring curriculum, I didn't want to fully dig into a history curriculum yet, but I wanted to do something. I ended up just piecing things together and creating my own units for this year. Here are the units we ended up with, which will hopefully take us through the year: 
  • Me on the map
  • Past, present and future
  • Christmas around the world
  • Black history
  • Map skills
  • Landforms 
Most of the activities I am using came from somewhere on Pinterest, or Teachers Pay Teachers. I think this will be another really fun, exploratory subject for this year. Tons of books, exploring and just digging into what interests them within these units. 

Bible

I went back and forth on Bible curriculum for this year and decided if it ain't broke, don't fix it! We are using Bible Study Guide again this year. Even though my girls are ready for the level 1-2 books, I decided to use the 3-K again this year (unit 2). We all really liked how it was laid out last year and they retained so much from it.

So that's it for this year! I am getting anxious to get started and see how everything works out for us. I think it's going to be a really great year! 
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