Jump to content

Menu

1st Grade Plan- Feedback Needed


Recommended Posts

My daughter's finishing up her Kindergarten year soon and I'd like some feedback for what I have planned. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

 

 

Language Arts

Phonics: Continuing The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading 

Handwriting: Draw Write Now (not because I think it's needed, but because I think my daughter would love it)

The Wand for some phonics, spelling, and grammar

Jot it Down for fun writing projects

 

I go back and forth as to whether this is too much, or just not enough of what's needed. I'm planning on starting her on a formal spelling program either in 2nd or when she's done with OPGTR. 

 

Math

MM Grade 1B (Grade 2 when finished) and Life of Fred

 

History, Bible, Art, Literature

Tapestry of Grace- Year One

 

Science

Elemental Science, Biology w/ lapbooks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have no helpful advice (as we're newly homeschooling and just doing bare bones basics right now) but I was just curious how your dd is doing with the MM for kinder math? My ds just turned five ans I'm looking at some things for him for kinder. He's not had any math before. We use MM with my 6.5 year old (light blue series) though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's been great! We're almost finished with 1A and we've decided to take a Life of Fred break before starting 1B, because it just looks too challenging for her at this time. If I had to go back and do it again though, I would still start her on it in Kindergarten, but I would go through it at a slower pace and add more games than I did. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My daughter's finishing up her Kindergarten year soon and I'd like some feedback for what I have planned. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

 

 

Language Arts

Phonics: Continuing The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading 

Handwriting: Draw Write Now (not because I think it's needed, but because I think my daughter would love it) <--This isn't a handwriting program.

The Wand for some phonics, spelling, and grammar

Jot it Down for fun writing projects

I go back and forth as to whether this is too much, or just not enough of what's needed. I'm planning on starting her on a formal spelling program either in 2nd or when she's done with OPGTR.

 

The only way to know if its too much or just enough is to give it a 2-4 week trial and evaluate as you go along. Can your daughter already write? Draw Write Now isn't a handwriting curriculum, but a drawing and writing curriculum (gives you drawing instruction and writing prompts, things to write. I think this is more 'copywork' than handwriting) Can your girl form her letters and does she have the writing stamina to physically do that much writing in one sitting? I don't know anything about The Wand or Jot it Down, so I can't speak to them, one way or the other. But can she write 2-3 pages in a day? Using DWN, The Wand and Jot it Down will probably have her doing an awful lot of writing, combined with her math work, and TOG, that might add up to more than she can comfortably manage, so you may want to schedule it out and give it a trial, having 2 medium, and 2 high-level writing days a week.

 

 

Math

MM Grade 1B (Grade 2 when finished) and Life of Fred

That sounds fine, if she's managing it, then where is the seed of doubt coming from? Don't second guess and double-doubt every little thing. If your daughter is doing well with MM and enjoying LoF, then use MM and let her enjoy LoF. MM is a well-written and thorough math program. I like it a lot and have been perusing it heavily since I got.

 

History, Bible, Art, Literature

Tapestry of Grace- Year One

Heard of it, never investigated it because it isn't secular. How much writing is involved with this? Have you factored all of this in with the LA stuff you have above? Have you drafted a mock-schedule to get a feel about how this would pan-out in practice?

 

Science

Elemental Science, Biology w/ lapbooks

Not familiar with this at all. How writing intensive is this?

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A couple of things. In my opinion Ordinary Parents is not enough for 1st grade but since she is 5 and just bumping up mid-year, I say complete it and then go to 1st grade phonics. ES Biology has a good deal of writing and without it, IMO, the program lacks....sure, you can write for her but she would be missing an important componant of that particular curriculum. I am not familiar enough with your other choices to comment with any authority. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The only way to know if its too much or just enough is to give it a 2-4 week trial and evaluate as you go along. Can your daughter already write? Draw Write Now isn't a handwriting curriculum, but a drawing and writing curriculum (gives you drawing instruction and writing prompts, things to write. I think this is more 'copywork' than handwriting) Can your girl form her letters and does she have the writing stamina to physically do that much writing in one sitting? I don't know anything about The Wand or Jot it Down, so I can't speak to them, one way or the other. But can she write 2-3 pages in a day? Using DWN, The Wand and Jot it Down will probably have her doing an awful lot of writing, combined with her math work, and TOG, that might add up to more than she can comfortably manage, so you may want to schedule it out and give it a trial, having 2 medium, and 2 high-level writing days a week.

 

That's definitely something for me to consider. Jot It Down isn't going to be a priority for us, it's going to be something that we use for breaks (it's 10 separate writing projects for 5-8 year olds, I don't mind if we only do a few projects a year). On a daily basis I will be trying to balance OPGTR and The Wand, I'm not sure how that's going to work. This is one of the biggest things I keep going back and forth on. The OPGTR is working for us, but it's not fun at all. The Wand looks like a funner, more hands on approach to language arts, but I'm not sure how well it would go with the OPGTR (which again, is working wonderfully). As for DWN, I'll look at the samples again. Thanks for your input!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My 1st grader has been doing Jot It Down. Keep in mind that it is not something meant to be completed in one year's time. It's for ages 5-8. So feel free to choose those elements that are useful to you now and do it again in more depth next time. There isn't a lot of writing beyond simple copywork in Jot It Down. And as the name implies if you're familiar with Bravewriter, you the parent are writing down oral narrations or helping with the projects. 

 

My ds has worked on the fairy tale projects and that has changed into doing the same with Aesop and other stories. He does the oral memory work and art/music appreciation. He gets copywork and narration work in WWE (and some in FLL). 

 

I'm not familiar with The Wand although I have considered it for my dd when she's ready. I'd love to know how you like it. I've heard that it's something you would want to do with another phonics program. I think it could go with OPGTR. I'm using OPGTR (I can't wrap my brain around WRTR--although I want to) and to make it more fun I transcribe all of the lessons out of the book, try to make a game of them. Sitting and reading from that book is not fun at all. 

 

Why Peace Hill Press makes those products so heavily scripted and boring is beyond me. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A couple of things. In my opinion Ordinary Parents is not enough for 1st grade but since she is 5 and just bumping up mid-year, I say complete it and then go to 1st grade phonics. ES Biology has a good deal of writing and without it, IMO, the program lacks....sure, you can write for her but she would be missing an important componant of that particular curriculum. I am not familiar enough with your other choices to comment with any authority. 

 

She's going to be 6 when she starts, if that makes a difference. I started her kindergarten year after she turned 5 and plan on continuing that way. I think she would be able to do the ES writing. She would be doing history and science in the afternoon, separate from her math and language arts work, so I don't feel that the writing would overwhelm her. If I were to cut down on writing, it's good to know that it shouldn't be from ES.

 

My 1st grader has been doing Jot It Down. Keep in mind that it is not something meant to be completed in one year's time. It's for ages 5-8. So feel free to choose those elements that are useful to you now and do it again in more depth next time. There isn't a lot of writing beyond simple copywork in Jot It Down. And as the name implies if you're familiar with Bravewriter, you the parent are writing down oral narrations or helping with the projects. 

 

My ds has worked on the fairy tale projects and that has changed into doing the same with Aesop and other stories. He does the oral memory work and art/music appreciation. He gets copywork and narration work in WWE (and some in FLL). 

 

I'm not familiar with The Wand although I have considered it for my dd when she's ready. I'd love to know how you like it. I've heard that it's something you would want to do with another phonics program. I think it could go with OPGTR. I'm using OPGTR (I can't wrap my brain around WRTR--although I want to) and to make it more fun I transcribe all of the lessons out of the book, try to make a game of them. Sitting and reading from that book is not fun at all. 

 

Why Peace Hill Press makes those products so heavily scripted and boring is beyond me. 

 

OPGTR really is heavily scripted and boring, but I can't get over how well it works. Nine months ago my daughter only knew the letter sounds, now she's over halfway done with the book. Her progress amazes me, but I don't think it's done much to give her a love for reading. Phonics is her least favorite subject. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Looks fine to me. DWN has 4 sentences to copy, IIRC, but you don't have to use all of them. When we used it in first grade (DS1), I only made him copy one sentence.

 

OPGTR is plenty for first grade phonics/reading. It takes kids through 4th grade level of reading.

 

TOG is mostly reading aloud at that level. My current first grader is enjoying TOG Y4. He doesn't do any writing, except the occasional drawing a picture and maybe writing a few words to label it. I do the writing on his literature pages. I printed geography names on clear return address labels, so he can label his maps without writing.

 

ES would have been way too much writing for my oldest son at that age, but since much of it is narration, I see no problem with the child dictating to you while you write. Elementary science doesn't have to include writing in order for them to learn. ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A couple of things. In my opinion Ordinary Parents is not enough for 1st grade but since she is 5 and just bumping up mid-year, I say complete it and then go to 1st grade phonics. ES Biology has a good deal of writing and without it, IMO, the program lacks....sure, you can write for her but she would be missing an important componant of that particular curriculum. I am not familiar enough with your other choices to comment with any authority. 

 

Not enough?  How is it not enough?  :confused1:   It's a fairly standard phonics curriculum.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not enough?  How is it not enough?  :confused1:   It's a fairly standard phonics curriculum.  

 

Yeah I don't get that either---OPGTR goes to a 4th grade level of reading---so I'm not sure why it wouldn't be considered 1st grade reading?

 

Unless the poster means that the child would also need more hands on writing activities related to phonics, or to practice reading other things besides the OPGTR text, or to include games of some sort etc. In that sense I would agree that OPGTR all by itself alone would make me want to gouge my eyes out! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My 1st grader has been doing Jot It Down. Keep in mind that it is not something meant to be completed in one year's time. It's for ages 5-8. So feel free to choose those elements that are useful to you now and do it again in more depth next time. There isn't a lot of writing beyond simple copywork in Jot It Down. And as the name implies if you're familiar with Bravewriter, you the parent are writing down oral narrations or helping with the projects. 

 

My ds has worked on the fairy tale projects and that has changed into doing the same with Aesop and other stories. He does the oral memory work and art/music appreciation. He gets copywork and narration work in WWE (and some in FLL). 

 

I'm not familiar with The Wand although I have considered it for my dd when she's ready. I'd love to know how you like it. I've heard that it's something you would want to do with another phonics program. I think it could go with OPGTR. I'm using OPGTR (I can't wrap my brain around WRTR--although I want to) and to make it more fun I transcribe all of the lessons out of the book, try to make a game of them. Sitting and reading from that book is not fun at all. 

 

Why Peace Hill Press makes those products so heavily scripted and boring is beyond me. 

 

Question, do you also feel that WWE is scripted and boring? I want to do The Wand more for the copywork/dictation than for the phonics (although I would try to do it all) mostly because I've always been turned off by the thought of WWE. But on the other hand, The Wand is expensive.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Question, do you also feel that WWE is scripted and boring? I want to do The Wand more for the copywork/dictation than for the phonics (although I would try to do it all) mostly because I've always been turned off by the thought of WWE. But on the other hand, The Wand is expensive.

 

I think this depends on you, as to what it boring. It is scripted in that it tells you to explain this or that about capitalization in the copywork, and gives you review questions to ask after the reading for narration. All you do in WWE 1 is copywork twice a week, and narration twice a week based on a reading that coincides with the copywork. It seems to me that you have a ton of good copywork choices in your line-up already. But personally, I really like WWE and will stay with it for now. I would like to look into Bravewriter more, but the prices scare me.

 

Looking at your line-up, I thought it looked good, though I don't know what The Wand and Jot It Down is, and I haven't used ES. I had two thoughts: I would use DWN for the drawing practice, and use an actual handwriting book for handwriting. You have several other options for copywork. But it's up to you. Secondly, TOG is overkill for the lower grammar stage, just IMO. I would just use SOTW with whatever lit you want to add in. In fact, I started this year using BP (similar to TOG, but not as much stuff), and ended up dropping it to do just SOTW. Some of the TOG LG books that I read took around 20-25 minutes to read aloud, and there were too many words on the page for both my son and me! lol! I love TOG, but I think you should only commit to the cost on the LG level if you want to continue using it for the upper levels.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Secondly, TOG is overkill for the lower grammar stage, just IMO. I would just use SOTW with whatever lit you want to add in. In fact, I started this year using BP (similar to TOG, but not as much stuff), and ended up dropping it to do just SOTW. Some of the TOG LG books that I read took around 20-25 minutes to read aloud, and there were too many words on the page for both my son and me! lol! I love TOG, but I think you should only commit to the cost on the LG level if you want to continue using it for the upper levels.

 

Very true. This is one of the things I've been going back and forth about. Originally, I planned on using Story of the World, but then I realized that in 5th grade, I would end up doing ToG anyways. It seems expensive to use for the lower grammar stage, but I like the idea of continuity. Ahhh, I just can't make up my mind, it seems. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very true. This is one of the things I've been going back and forth about. Originally, I planned on using Story of the World, but then I realized that in 5th grade, I would end up doing ToG anyways. It seems expensive to use for the lower grammar stage, but I like the idea of continuity. Ahhh, I just can't make up my mind, it seems.

I've used TOG year 4 with a first grader the last few weeks, and I've used BP year 1 and SOTW 1 with a first grader. BP was too much, and SOTW made us make more connections because we were moving slower. I don't know how TOG year 1 compares, as part of the problem with BP was matching Bible to the pace of SOTW. Some weeks have so much Bible reading that we just couldn't keep up.

 

TOG year 4 hasn't been difficult at all. We have two nonfiction books to read, plus a literature book. You spread the history books out, and it's not that bad. There is also a family read-aloud, spread over multiple weeks. Though again, I don't know if year 1 is more reading. We'll do that next year.

 

If you plan to do TOG all the way through, it makes perfect sense to start early. Just make sure you don't try to do it all. You'll come back around to it in 4 years. So far, UG seems to be covering everything LG covers, plus some. So if you skip an in-depth book some weeks, you'll hit it again when the kid can read it themselves. ;) I haven't needed to skip books yet, but I'm only in week 3. :D

 

Did you get the free TOG unit? If so, try that when you get ready to start, and if it's too much or you don't like it, you can switch to SOTW without having lost money.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have to agree with others on Elemental Science -Biology. I will be doing it next year when my kids will be 2nd and 1st grade. It was too much writing for this year. We used Intro to Science for 1st grade and it was a good level for them.

 

That really is a lot of writing for a 6 year old....my kids couldn't do it. We are going to use Draw Write Now next year as well because my kids are very interested in learning to draw. They have already been through a handwriting program HWT and will just use it as copywork.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have to agree with others on Elemental Science -Biology. I will be doing it next year when my kids will be 2nd and 1st grade. It was too much writing for this year. We used Intro to Science for 1st grade and it was a good level for them.

 

That really is a lot of writing for a 6 year old....my kids couldn't do it. We are going to use Draw Write Now next year as well because my kids are very interested in learning to draw. They have already been through a handwriting program HWT and will just use it as copywork.

 

Hmmm...I wonder if Noeo involves less writing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OPGTR is definitely plenty of phonics.

 

I am not familiar with the Wand, but JID can definitely be used here or there and honestly, I scribe a lot of even that for my 1st grader. From what we have used of BW, I am sure the Wand is great.

 

Draw Write Now-- if her letter formation is good and she doesn't need a "handwriting" curriculum...just use this as she can. Only do part of the copy work. You can easily make it fit your needs.

 

I used ES biology for my dd for 1st, I write her narrations for her. Not to much writing at all ;) she liked the color cut and paste. It was perfect for first.

 

TOG-- you won't get the most out of the program with a 1st grader, but that said if you plan to use it in the future, no reason not to. SOTW did not work for us. Especially for year one, I wanted more Bible integration. Just make TOG work for you and don't overwhelm yourself trying to do to much.

 

I think you have a fun lineup as long as you are flexible and make things work for you. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As far as the reading goes if your DD is halfway through OPGTR then I would make sure that she was reading books too by now - because this is what will increase a love of reading and I would put reading from books as a daily activity gradually increasing the level of the books as she moves through OPGTR. From what you wrote above it sounds like you plan to do this anyway.

 

The amount of writing is very easy to adjust for a first grader - just scribe for her if there is a lot of writing. You can gradually increase what you need her to write - so get her narrations from her first and then then tell her what she is going to write and you write the rest.

 

With my DD I have used the initial books of Life of Fred to teach aspects of writing - so I taught her to write the date and the chapter before starting the work and to rule neat lines and write the numbers in the margin - that way even though she knew the maths she was enjoying the story but still learning something from it. We started in blank books so that her handwriting could be bigger and less neat but on starting the next book I moved her to lined paper and expect far more neatness now. I find if you adapt curriculum to your child then almost any curriculum can work for them and can also be used to teach more than what the curriculum is there for.

 

I think your line up looks good for first grade.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Okay, thanks so much for all of your input. I've officially decided against The Wand. The OPGTR is enough for phonics and I could get so many books for my daughter to read for the price of The Wand. 

 

That makes sense. I love BW products, but I have yet to justify Jot It Down and The Wand, especially while using other things.

 

I love WWE. I think it's completely fine to start WWE1 in 2nd grade, but my ds wanted to do it since his older brother was...and he does well so far. It gets more difficult in WWE2, so if he struggles I'll likely take a break until 3rd. We'll see. 

 

It's not scripted the same way FLL and OPGTR is scripted. There are instructions to the parent, but it's not scripted out exactly what you should say to a child or what a child should say back. 

 

What I'm doing for 1st is in my sig. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've just started homeschooling. So here is my two cents: I really like WWE...it gets the job done. Don't know much about jot it down or the wand. We just finished OPGR two months ago. We waited to start a spelling program (AAS) but kind of wish we hadn't. The first level of AAS has been so so easy. I think if I had started it sooner, some of the phonics would have gone smoother. AAS is aesthetically pleasing which would have helped offset OPGR. Also not a lot of which helps with younger kids.

Elemental science - am doing intro to science this year. We like it alright. Not sure if we will do elemental again next year. But it does get done because it is pretty easy to follow.

Hope that gives you s'more more to think about.

Good luck.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've just started homeschooling. So here is my two cents: I really like WWE...it gets the job done. Don't know much about jot it down or the wand. We just finished OPGR two months ago. We waited to start a spelling program (AAS) but kind of wish we hadn't. The first level of AAS has been so so easy. I think if I had started it sooner, some of the phonics would have gone smoother. AAS is aesthetically pleasing which would have helped offset OPGR. Also not a lot of which helps with younger kids.

Elemental science - am doing intro to science this year. We like it alright. Not sure if we will do elemental again next year. But it does get done because it is pretty easy to follow.

Hope that gives you s'more more to think about.

Good luck.

 

Thanks, I'll look at the AAS samples. I've decided to try WWE (The text without the workbook) and to alternate it with Draw Write Now. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just a note on Elemental Science - Biology for the Grammar stage, the author suggests (at the front of the book) that the narrations & experiments are meant to be narrated orally by the child & written up by the parent, so I think you can adjust the amount of writing of that one to suit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...