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1st Grade curriculum planning


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What basic subjects should I include in our first grade plans?


For Math, we are doing Singapore Math Primary 1a+b

Phonics and Grammar: BJU

Spelling: AAS1

Music: piano lessons

PE: we live on a farm where the kids run free, so exercise is not really a concern

Language: Greek (still deciding on the curriculum)

Geography: general map studies and map skills at this point with various resources I already have on hand.

History/Science: should I bother with actually purchasing history and science curricula for first grade? It seems like we can probably discover history and science stuff on our own without locking into a curriculum yet. I have tons of books and resources we could tap for this.

Am I missing anything important?

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If you don't want to purchase anything for history, you could use a free online book like http://www.kidspast.com/world-history/ . It should be fine for 1st grade. You have to read it online but the sections aren't too long. You can download a free Life Science textbook from http://www.eequalsmcq.com/. Of course, get books from the library as well. That should be more than enough science and history for the year.

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Right now, if DS stays on track he will be a young first so we will keep his core age appropriate and combined with his little sisters.... The plans now a


SL Core P4/5

CLP Math A

ETC 4-6 / BTC

D'Nealian A

some sort of logic

Nature study


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I just got done planning our 1st grade out - we start in a week. DD is a young 1st at 5yo, but some subjects she tests into 2nd so we're going 2nd for those. Here's what we're using:



Jan-July – finish up 1st grade work, start some 2nd grade work as needed



MCP math A

Climbing to Good English 1

Pathway readers grade 1 & 2

Behold & See 1

Inquisikids science dvds

Handwriting – CHC handwriting 1

R&S spelling 2

R&S Manners & Health 2

History undecided as of yet

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Your plan looks very good. I can't think of much to add, but here a few ideas.


I am not familiar with the BJU program, but I would add a little bit of writing if BJU doesn't have enough. If your child can read, you may want to do a simple type of writing program. If your child can't read, then a handwriting program and copywork may be good.


I like to have my kids read aloud about 10-15 minutes per day at a challenging reading level to help them advance to the next reading level. I teach them reading with expression and make sure they are pausing adequately at commas and periods. Perhaps your phonics program already does this...?


You could do a little art, but that is not necessary IMO.


Your science and history sound fine for first grade. If you are looking for a science program, I love BFSU for K-2 grades.

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A young first who isn't reading yet....

History: Elemental History and reading slowly through CHOW and history reading alouds

Science: Mr. Q Life Science

Language Arts: handwriting and some minor spelling work (C-V-C words), read alouds, some basic parts of speech (noun, verb, etc.)

Spanish: slow immersion/vocabulary

Math: Singapore 1a/1b (we may move up to 2a because she knows most of the content already in 1a and half of 1b)

Fine Arts: Usborne Art for Children and The Story of the Orchestra w/ CD

Religion: Children's Garden of Theotokos

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My ds will be in first grade next year. Here is the current plan:


Language arts:

continue AAS 1, probably start AAS 2


copywork and simple grammar with fairy tales

narration and drawing pictures from Bible stories

making sure to keep books around at his reading level



still deciding, we'll see how the rest of this year goes; maybe Miquon and Singapore



read aloud American history biographies



nature studies


Religion: various sources

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I've only given 1st grade minimal thought at this point.


Here's a tentative plan. It's pretty much the same stuff I used for the older kids.


Math: Singapore Math SE 1a + 1b

Phonics: K12 Advanced Phonics

Language Arts (Literature/Grammar): K12 LA 1

History: SOTW 1

Religious Education: Catholic Mosaic read alouds, Bible stories, liturgical year observances, Faith and Life 1


Not sure if I'll bother with formal science. We might just continue with nature study and the Read-And-Find-Out science books I have on my shelves.


He gets OT and speech therapy twice a week and feeding therapy once a week. He's a rink rat, at the ice center 4-5 days a week, since his older siblings skate so much. Between skating and OT, we've got PE covered.

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You don't mention reading, which is one of the main things I would work on with a 1st grader. Both learning to read and reading books both independently and together. Maybe some phonics work, like ETC? We also do some handwriting in 1st, which could be copy work for history & science.


I don't think you necessarily have to purchase a curriculum for science or history at this point, especially science. We were reading The Story of the World at this point, but I think library books would do just as well.


I've been doing Classical Academic Press Greek with my K-er and he's enjoyed it very much. He's about to finish it and we're going to go right into their Song School Greek. My older 2 have been doing their Latin program and I think it's excellent.


Hope that helps!

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Thanks everyone for your input! All these ideas are really helpful as I consider what is important. My initial list was written at the beginning of a long, grueling day of online study on the subject of 1st grade curricula (while my children ran wild about the house and I forgot I might need to eat periodically through the day). My most recent plan is slightly more detailed, to say the least.


The only thing I'm really not happy with yet is the curriculum ideas for History. I will be evaluating other programs before I decide. I have some very definite ideas about what I want to accomplish in that course during my boys' elementary years. While I know of some sources where the approach and presentation of History are appealing to me as a teacher, I don't really agree with other aspects of their philosophy or world view. So I'm torn between killing myself to jazz up a boring curriculum that I trust or incessantly correct an exciting curriculum that doesn't support our worldview. I would love this to be a literature based history study rather than curriculum based, but I don't know if I can afford that or the time involved in putting such a thing together. Sigh. Or maybe I will just find the perfect curriculum someday soon.


Here is my updated plan as I labored over this ALL DAY Saturday and part of Sunday afternoon. Cost estimates are only for purchasing brand new items that I don't already have. Don't worry. I don't really plan to purchase them brand new. I just wanted to have a worst case scenario budget plan to put in front of my husband so he won't be shocked when the purchases are actually made. This is our first child and I am just not sure what he is expecting the bill to be.


2012-13 Curriculum Plans – 1st Grade


Bible – Bible Truths (BJU) catechisms, Bible Truths 1 student worktext (TE possibly not necessary if Bible is used as only text), Missionary Biographies for reading aloud: Adoniram Judson: God’s Man to Burma (BJU Press) and possibly either Pelts and Promises or A Question of Yams if we finish the first book too soon; ABC’s Bible Memory; and Daddy’s choice of a Bible study plan for family Bible time.

Cost estimate: $20 + $9 + $9 + $9 = $47


Phonics/Grammar/Reading - Climbing to Good English 1 (or possibly First Language Lessons of the Well Trained Mind level 1) and The Complete Writer: Writing With Ease (textbook only), Abeka first grade Readers, Little House on the Prairie for reading aloud

Cost estimate: $10 + $17 + $30 = $40


Books for DS to read himself: Little Bear ($4), A Fly Went By, A Big Ball of String, Put Me in the Zoo, The Bravest Dog Ever: The True Story of Balto ($4),

Cost Estimate: $8 if not in library


Extra Readers/Read alouds from the Sonlight curriculum booklist: Henry Huggins ($6), Mr Popper’s Penguins ($7), The Year of Miss Agnes ($6), Follow My Leader ($6), Gooney Bird Greene ($6), The Wheel on the School ($7), Homer Price ($7), Favorite Poems of Childhood ($2), Mountain Born ($9), Mrs. Piggle Wiggle ($6), Little Pear ($6), Greek Myths for Young Children ($8)

Cost estimate: $76


Math – Singapore Math: Primary Math 1A + B, 2A + B; supplementary review work created by myself with help from mommy bloggers

Cost estimate: $42


Art: Come Look With Me! Series; various and sundry drawing, painting, crafting, paper folding, etc. activities found online


History – Heritage Studies student text (BJU), student notebook, teacher textbook; further enrichment ideas: Trial and Triumph, Fifty Famous Stories Retold, Viking Tales, (all Ambleside Online freebies)

Cost estimate: $13 + $17 + $28 = $58


Science – Nature Studies schedule and online pdf, (Ambleside Online link freebie)


Music: piano lessons


Foreign Language: I was going to do Greek with him this year; but after consideration, I think that he needs to get a better handle on reading and handwriting first.


Spelling: Finish AAS Level 1, start Spelling Workout B

Cost estimate: $11

Edited by talk2ham.1
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