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Help with a first grade plan

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My DD will be in first grade next year and so far I am planning on:







Apologia (astronomy or botany I haven't decided yet)

Bible study for all ages

Music will be piano lessons from Daddy



I am stuck on what to do for math and I am not sure if I should add in some vocabulary or not. I would also like to do an art program but I don't even know where to start there. I will be doing memory work that corresponds with the other subjects. I will be doing some HOP spanish at first and them adding something in when we are done with that.


Is this enough, too much, just right? This will be our first year homeschooling more than preschool learn through fun type stuff.

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Your plans look good! :) I'd put AAS aside, for now, until OPGTR is finished or no longer needed. Once the necessary learning to read phonics are no longer needed, a phonics based spelling takes it's place.


Apologia's astronomy is a better fit for that age, IMO. Botany is one of the tougher books in that series. If you want to do plants check out the one TWTM recommends for first grade. I've forgotten the name, but I remember my older kids loving it.


I would not add vocabulary at this stage of the game. Mine didn't start that until fourth grade or so.


Rod and Staff math is a good foundation for littles. It's gentle, but gets those basics solid.


My kids like Rod and Staff's Artpacs too. We also mingle artist studies throughout our history.

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Guest Cindie2dds

I have to agree about Apologia Astronomy. All of the "Exploring Creation..." series is meant for K-6, but Astronomy is the best for the youngest of children. Have fun! :)

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D will be in 1st grade next year, and much of your plan looks like mine. :) Here's what I currently plan on using with her next year:





(possibly some work in ETC workbooks--only because she adores workbooks)

K12 1st grade science (I think...not sure on this one yet)


Artistic Pursuits, K-3 book 1 (We're doing part of this this year. The last part of the book focuses on ancient art, so I was thinking that would go well with our SOTW study)

Math is still undecided. This year she's been using Singapore Earlybird (until she got stuck) and RightStart A. I was planning on continuing with Singapore and/or RS, but neither program seems to mesh well with the way she thinks. So I may end up switching to Math-U-See Alpha. (B used this with great success, and I have the blocks & teacher materials already, so thankfully not an expensive change!)


I also plan on reading aloud a Bible story book as well as a few lit selections for discussion (Fairy Tales & Folk tales). I may add in Song School Latin (which I have already) once she's reading very well, mostly because she's been asking to do her own Latin for a while now. :)

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Two thoughts:


A science curriculum for little ones that seems a bit more gentle, yet thorough, is God's Design For series. The Well-Trained Mind classical recommendation for science is to do Animals, Humans and Plants the first year. God's Design has a wonderful set for this. A whole year for astronomy may seem too long for a 1st grader. Maybe not. Hard to know until you try it. But mine have liked the variety of SWB's recommendation.


Second, we have liked Horizon's Math. It is colorful and uses a spiral approach, covering a topic and returning to it regularly, while continuing to introduce other topics.


Ok, a third thought. I would not do a separate spelling program for her. If you want to add in spelling at some point (once you really get school underway) then I would just get a notebook with lined paper and list some words from her reading curriculum to review. Start with five and have her learn those over a few days, depending on how easy it is for her, then do more at a time if you feel she is ready. You do not want to overwhelm with curriculum and "subjects" at this age. I can be tempted to this as well.


On math again, I have not used R&S math but I so appreciate their approach and how they do build a solid foundation in grammar. I second what someone else said and would look at theirs if you can.


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I have listed our next year plans below. I am currently using Saxon 1 for math, but it isn't a good fit so we are switching to Singapore for Gr.1. OPGTR will still be used daily since we are only around lesson 116 right now. I was considering vocabulary lessons too, but I don't think it will be beneficial for her right now so we are holding off. We have a lot on our plate anyway.:001_smile:


Language Arts



Spelling Workout B & C

Handwriting Without Tears 2



Singapore Math 1A

Singapore Math 1B

Evan Moor Skills Sharpener Math


History and Geography

Story of the World: Volume 1 Ancients

Evan Moor North America

Evan Moor South America



Elemental Science Biology for the Grammar Stage


Language Studies

Song School Latin

Nallenart French L'Art de DIRE


Music and Art

MusIQ Homeschool Piano

Composer Study I am putting together

Artistic Pursuits Book One

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I agree with the recommendations to wait on vocab and spelling. You have a lot of options for math. If you have a child that likes to use manipulatives, Right Start and Miquon are terrific. MEP is very good at encouraging mathematical thinking. MEP kind of makes Ariel's brain smoke though, so we are taking a break (we finished 1A) and doing R&S 1 worksheets because I already had the program, and working on things like counting to 100 by 1s, 2s, 5s, and 10s. She's discovered she likes the speed drills and it's a good review.


If you can afford it, I highly recommend Atelier for art. The lessons are very well done and Ariel really enjoys it. Art Adventures at Home is a good program that is less expensive. I added that in recently, to try to draw out Atelier a little longer without cutting art time.


We use and like La Clase Divertida for Spanish.

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This is what I did with my 2 very active little boys for first grade this year. It was plenty for us, especially since they are absolutely NOT independent learners yet and require a lot of my time and energy.


Math - A Beka

Phonics/Language - A Beka



Science - A Beka

Bible - CLP


One thing you need to remember teaching littles, is how much they require of YOU and how much you are able to give. My boys demand my constant attention during the whole time we are doing school and it gets to be a very intense morning. I had hoped to include art and/or music this year, but I'm glad I didn't because I'm just whipped by the time school is done.

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You are right where I am. I too am doing Apologia science. I'd go with the Astronomy also, as someone else noted. We are doing Math-U-See. I love it for the blocks and there is a video to teach you :) . Then you teach the child. Mine has liked it in K and is moving to first grade. He is already do some harder concepts but the presentation makes it so easy, even for me, to understand! Also, there are extra helps and worksheets you can print on-line, if your student needs more help. Mathusee.com

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I'm planning for first grade next fall as well. Just a thought about astronomy. I did that with a first grader one year. I don't recommend it for a young child for this reason: You really have to work to make it hands-on. I like doing a lot of concrete, experiential learning and the solar system is really abstract to little ones because they can't touch it or see it up close. My kids got weary of learning about "one more planet" in the book.


FWIW, I'm using MFW and what they recommend for science.





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