Eva Marina Homeschools

Sunday, May 20, 2012

1st Grade Curriculum

Ignacio will turn six this November.  According to our local school system he should be entering Kindergarten.  If you can believe it, he would have been in K4 this last year.  Their learning targets are so ridiculous, it’s a shame.  I treated this last year as if it were Kindergarten, although I think there is a lot of gray in this area.  We used Horizons K for math this year; I was very happy with it.  My mother works for our local public schools.  She was impressed with the work he was doing and explained that at her school that would be second grade math.  He loves the solar system and geography, and is very knowledgeable in both.  Again, these topics are not even introduced until second grade.  In any case, here are my plans for the coming year:

Explode the Code: Book 4 & Book 5. He really likes this series and tends to breeze through it. If he finishes them as quickly as the others we might also begin Book 6. He reads a lot. I should clarify that we don’t always complete every page of the lessons. We skip some and also do some out loud. He complained that some were too easy and sometimes felt like busy work. He really enjoys our new approach. When I ask him to do certain pages, he happily completes them. I think reading comprehension is very important and will be using Reading Response Bookmarks & Graphic Organizers by Kim Blaise. I will also use Building Dictionary Skills Grades 2-3 by if (Instructional Fair). He always reads out loud in the car and knows that he has to read a minimum of 15 minutes a day on our days off.

We will be finishing Grammar & Punctuation 1 by Evan Moor.  I love this series; we are about half way through the book now.  I think I’ll have him move right into Grammar & Punctuation 2 as soon as he is done.  Once I know he has a firm grasp on the rules, I plan on using Write a Super Sentence also by Evan Moor.  He also enjoys writing letters and fan fiction.  He is currently working on an Angry Birds in Space story.

As for the formal curriculum, we will use Horizons Math 1.  I really like it.  There are a lot of review problems, but I just pick and choose which ones I want him to complete.  We also cook together, play a lot of board games and read Mathstart books.

Social Studies:
I’ve decided to focus on Geography this year.  Ignacio really enjoys it and I would like to encourage him to follow his interests.  Also, I thought he would have an easier time understanding history if he first had a good grasp of the geographical world.  We started using Beginning Geography K-2 by Evan Moor earlier this year.  I plan on finishing the book and then moving on to Map Skills Grade 2 by if.  We have a lot of maps and globes.  We also have a variety of atlases and geography books.  I’m not sure when, but once I feel the time is right I will start introducing cultures, then history.  He has begun reading some simple biographies.


I’ve decided to use R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey: Earth & Space by Pandia Press.  Ignacio wants to be either a meteorologist or an astronaut when he gets older.  This science curriculum focuses on both weather and space, how perfect is that?  We also read a lot of books and go on a variety of field trips.


We began using the Teach them Spanish! Series this year and really liked it.  I’ll continue with the 1st grade book.  We also read along to bilingual audio books in the car and try to watch some cartoons in Spanish.  I’ve been speaking Spanish to him and he understands a lot more now.  His accent has also improved tremendously. 

He will continue taking the weekly art class our neighboring rec department offers homeschoolers.  We obviously do a lot of projects at home.  I am also really looking forward to using some Usborne books I recently ordered.

Ignacio takes a variety of classes at the Y.  He is currently taking a track & field class.  He will be continuing with his swim lessons also. 

He really wants to learn how to play the guitar, hopefully we can find a good deal on one for him.  We listen to a lot of music; his favorite band is They Might Be Giants.  We also have My First Classical Music Book by Genevieve Helsby and Jason Chapman.  Ignacio really likes it.

I would like to point out that I school year-round.  My school year runs July through June.  I try to take it easy July and August.  We plan more trips than we normally would the rest of the year.  There are also weeks where we might only school one or two days.  I just don’t like taking the entire summer off.  It makes too hard to get back into our routine.

I'm thinking of reviewing some of my favorite resources in upcoming posts.  If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.