Today we started our next year of homeschooling! We began the day with taking some first day photos and going to get donuts (see those photos on my Instagram page @mackenziemakes). Our oldest is starting first grade and our youngest will be doing a little with letters and numbers. In this post I am sharing what curriculum we will be using for first grade this year.
For this year, we are switching up how we schedule our school day. I decided to sort our work into three baskets: Bible Basket, Core Basket, and Enrichment Basket. After breakfast we will start with our Bible Basket. Then move into the Core Basket. In the afternoons, we will cycle through different enrichment activities/readings from the Enrichment Basket.
Our Bible Basket contains our Bibles, Bible journals, Who Is God? books, and a book about hymns. For our Bible readings, we are using the One Big Story Bible and will be going through the Gospels and Acts this year. After each reading, we will copy down a Bible verse and/or write something we learned from the reading. My daughter and I each have our own composition notebook to journal in. Her notebook is the Primary version where there are lines on the bottom half and the top half is blank for drawing a picture. We will also work on memorizing verses throughout our Bible readings.
We are using Apologia’s Who Is God? books for a character/worldview study. The notebooking journal includes a suggested schedule that we will be following over the course of the year.
The last part of our Bible Basket is learning about hymns and focusing on one each month. I don’t have all the hymns planned out yet, but I’m excited to add this to our learning.
Our Core Basket includes our Math, Science, History, and Language Arts curriculum. For Math, we will be finishing up Math U See Alpha and moving on to Beta later in the year. My daughter really enjoys using the manipulative blocks during lessons (and even building with them after the lesson).
We will be using Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Botany for our Science study. This summer we planted a little garden in our backyard and it will be great to care for that as we learn through the book.
For History, we are using BookShark Reading with History Level 1, Intro to World History Year 1. We will be reading many books about different cultures. Included with the curriculum are read aloud books which connect with the area of study at times. With the level we used last year we got the Timeline book and we will be able to add to it year after year. Some geography is covered within the level, and we will add in some basics about maps during the year.
The BookShark Language Arts Level 1 is the bulk of our Language Arts curriculum. It includes Handwriting Without Tears and Explode the Code alongside the reading books and activity sheets. We have Spelling You See B for spelling work. For Vocabulary, we will be using Wordly Wise 3000 Book 1. I also got Brave Writer and First Language Lessons to use as supplements for writing instruction.
Our final basket, the Enrichment Basket, will hold (I’m still searching for the perfect basket) our books for artist, music, and nature studies, as well as some resources for handicrafts/art. My plan is for us to learn about three artists and three composers during the year. For nature studies, I’m thinking of having a different topic for each month (and probably following along with our Botany book for this year). Handicrafts and art lessons will include learning how to use different mediums and techniques, and incorporate some color theory work.
Rather than scheduling a certain day for a particular enrichment activity, we will cycle through the four areas as we go. On a regular week, we will do one area each day. For times when we have a shorter week and only get to two or three areas, we will just pick up where we left off in the cycle the following week.
Our homeschool is inspired by the Charlotte Mason method. Part of her teaching method included a variety of enrichment studies. For our Enrichment Basket, I only included four of her areas. Hymn studies and Scripture memorization are included in our Bible Basket, and poetry is already built in to our readings through BookShark. When it comes to Shakespeare and foreign language, we will add those to the mix in a few years.
We had a fun first day back to school and are excited for what this first grade year has in store! I share more of our day-to-day homeschool adventures on my Instagram page (@mackenziemakes), so if you want to see what we are up to, go check it out.