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Our Curriculum Choices for the 2015/2016 School Year

March 28, 2015

I know it seems early to be deciding on curriculum for first grade but I want to order everything this summer so I can make sure the kids are where they need to be when we begin in the fall.  So after a lot of researching, reading, thinking about things and discussing decisions with my husband, this is our line up so far.  I will add things as we add them throughout the year.

After piecing things together myself this year and not having much of a curriculum per se, I was both excited and overwhelmed with the amount of offerings out there in some subjects and how to decide what to use.

Math- Saxon Math for 1st grade  This is a freebie of sorts because I taught this curriculum and already own the teacher’s manual and manipulatives.  All I will have to buy is the student workbooks. Because of this I am really considering doing another math program also but have not completely decided yet.  I am hoping to go to a home school conference or something this summer to look at curriculums.

PhonicsSaxon Phonics for 1st Grade I am really enjoying the phonics program this year. Rett is doing extremely well with it and I love the way it explains the rules and coding of the words.  This seems to really speak to him as a phonetic reader.  I’m excited to see how the 1st grade version serves him.

Reading- Lightning Literature and Composition Grade 1  I was looking for reviews on reading curriculum and was seriously considering going with ABEKA because of the strong writing component to it. However, I felt led to this curriculum because it uses quality literature, some I already own and I felt that this would serve our family better.  This is just a guide and you buy the books or get them from the library separately.  You can read more about this program here.

LiteratureClassic Literature Volume 1 We will be doing these as read alouds in the morning after calendar time. One of my favorite bloggers put these together and I’m really excited to see how it works into our comprehension and beginning to work with larger chunks of quality literature.

VocabWordly Wise I saw this on a blog and they are super cheap so we’re going to try them out and see how they work for us. Evie is a crazy word person. She picks up a lot of new vocabulary from our books and immediately starts trying them out at home so I’m excited to see how she reacts to direct vocabulary teaching.

History The Story of the World This is not a secular history curriculum. I was hoping for a secular science and history but from reviews, people are generally impressed and happy with using this. I will also be purchasing the work book to go along with this.

Art Science Arts- Discovering Science through Art and Primary Art, its the process not the produce I dislike crafts. I want art that children really create not something I have to do half the work.  These books are easy to follow, simple and fun. And they are actually art.  I am hoping we can make our way through these. She has lots of other books also that I’m looking forward to.  Hoping to find something to start introduce art and artists but that may have to wait till next year.

Music Going to try to teach them either piano since I bought the keyboard or I might do recorder next year.  We will do the music class that we’ve been doing this year also and they get basic music theory in there.

Handwriting Draw Write Now  This book is actually in my possession already and I have not yet started using it.  Its a copy from book not something you need to buy more than one of. I’m open to other handwriting curriculums but this one seemed fun, I would love to find an overhead projector that I could use for handwriting.  I guess I’ll be on the hunt for that.

Science After looking at quite a few options, in the end I found nothing that seemed to be what I was looking for.  I am thinking we may do science for a week, history for a week or geography, etc depending on our literature and what it leans towards. I want to get back into unit studies. Kindergarten was difficult because we were just reading Biscuit books over and over and over but next year this will be an option.

So that’s what I have lined up for us!  Whew! Along with Kumon books I’m sure.  I’m so excited for first grade!

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