The first few years of schooling are my favorite to teach…how about you? Don’t you just love watching their faces light up when they get a new concept… it’s so worth it! So, we’ve been through first grade 5 times now… it’s an exciting year of learning with loads of interesting concepts and fun learning. Here is our first grade game plan!
We begin the year with a complete phonics breakdown, starting with a review of kindergarten and a complete understanding of sounds. We used a phonics based program that dealt with single phonemes and worked up to words through consonant digraphs and consonant vowel blends. We daily practiced blend ladders until we could fluently read those. Then moved on to the three letter sort vowel words. We used the upper level Bob Books and library books graded appropriately.
We began spelling in first grade, and used Vocabulary Spelling City to help. It is such a flexible tool, that you can use any type of list you wish from ABEKA spelling lists t0 Bob Jones lists to your very own customized lists.
I usually have her write her spelling words once a day, and count that toward handwriting practice. I also purchase a handwriting book and have her work through that daily. I taught cursive writing from the beginning, so our first grade includes cursive. There are some great free first grade printables for handwriting here if you aren’t doing cursive. This site offers a wide selection of free handwriting printables in various forms of writing from D’Nealian to Cursive.
We began with two digit addition and subtraction, yet moved quickly through place value, time, measurement, basic understanding of money, and even introductory graphs. We use math worksheets and printable math sheets from these two sites, along with whatever I decide to create along the way.
We really enjoy using Liberty’s Kids free Youtube videos for first grade history. It gives a pretty interesting yet concise history of the early days of America.
History and science are great areas to adopt the “eclectic homeschool” mantra. We like to do multiple grades at one time in both of these subjects. We’ve used various types of curriculum for first grade science over the years. One of our favorites for accompanying what I teach is the Science4Us site. I do watch what the kiddos do because it isn’t Christian based and it is CCSS aligned. However, it has some great resources with videos and songs that do support scientific concepts. Our all time favorite science curriculum is Apologia. Although, for first grade it is pretty much read by mom and then activities are done to support the concept. We enjoy making “books” to help us remember what we’ve learned.