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What would be "The Basics" for a 1st grader?


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One without an older sibling. So, there's no history/science/music/art "by absorption", or "when they feel like sitting in."

 

I want to simplify for next year, before I purchase much. But, everything is so worthwhile. Even Ambleside has a lot to it, by the time you do foreign language, picture study, hymn study, folk song study, classical music study, etc......

 

I have SOTW 1 + AG and it looks like fun. So does science. And art. And music. And Spanish. etc. etc. etc. But, we just don't have time for all that. Plus grammar. Plus writing. Plus 2 math programs. Plus my youngest child.....

 

How do you include other "stuff" without getting overwhelmed?

 

And I need to do this "stuff" during the school day. Our family life just doesn't revolve around classical music concerts or historical re-inactments.

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Some basic arithmetic, emphasis on phonics/reading, some penmanship.
And lots of read aloud.
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I'd make sure that you do reading, writing, and math but that can be done with in an hour. I would add in some history and science for fun. Classical music appreciation can be as simple as the cd's from classical kids (I think?)"Mr. Beethoven Lives Upstairs" etc. I put on a cd once every few weeks. It has a story line and music that familiarizes the student with the major works of a composer.

 

If you have time and are looking for something to do then I'd check out the local library for foreign language cd's if it interests you.

 

So long as they finish grade one knowing how to read do basic math and write a few sentences, then you've done well.

 

HTH

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And he wants me to stay, AT LEAST, on level. To always be prepared for a "what if we have to put them in school because I'm deathly ill" type situation. He would not, in any way, go for delaying math.

 

He really requires very little, so that's the least I can do.

 

We are using RightStart A as one of our resources this year and I'm looking into Living Math as one of my resources for next year. So, I don't think we're using inappropriate curriculum. But, when I start trying to put it all in a schedule......we would be doing school 3 hours a day. Which isn't what I want for my young kiddos.

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I may need to do a new thread on that.

 

But:

1. math

2. finish OPGTR

3. WWE

4. reading literature to cover: various lists of good books, SOTW, science, math literature, artists, composers, holidays, etc....

 

5. The occasional science experiment or SOTW activity as we are able

6. Homeschool choir and occasional classical CD's

 

 

Would something like THAT be appropriate?

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I feel like we're pared down to the basics right now, and here's what we're doing:

 

--Handwriting Without Tears: Just finishing up the Letters and Numbers for Me (K level) book and will start My Printing Book (1st grade level). She gets some basic writing practice just through everyday living (writing cards, labeling her pictures, copying the scroll at the end of the I Spy Treasure Hunt game, etc.)

 

--Right Start Math: She loves this, and I can see her making progress through it. I highly recommend it.

 

--Suppose the Wolf Were an Octopus? (literature study): This basically consists of reading a picture book (e.g., right now we're doing The Three Billy Goats Gruff) and using a few of the discussion questions afterward. I read each book twice a week. The first time, I pick a few questions from the first three levels, and the second time I pick from the next three levels. The only reason I personally consider this a basic is because she's already reading at a second or third grade level, so we have no need to work on phonics or reading skills. Instead I'm focusing on comprehension. Plus, it's really easy and fun--she likes to talk about the books afterward. I highly recommend this book too.

 

--Reading good readalouds. This is easy and fun too, of course :001_smile: And this is how I'm sneaking in the other "subjects."

 

I have high hopes for the other subjects listed in my sig line, and we have started some of them and liked them, but until January, we're forced to cover just the basics I listed here. She enjoys them all (she says, "Yay! School!" when I tell her it's time), so it makes them easy to cover :D

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I think your plan sounds good. As far as WWE replacing penmanship goes....I would do this if your dd knew how to form the letters already. The one thing I have become more relaxed on is penmanship. I was a little too critical of my dd#1 and it made it a little harder than it needed to be. My second dd is more spontaneous in her writing as I'm not correcting her as much but letting practice and maturity do their work.

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20- 30 minutes / math workbook of choice - rightstart or whatever

 

20 -30 minutes /reading aloud - living math, FIAR, SotW, nature books on various days - NOT all in one fell swoop!;)

 

5 - 10 minutes /penmanship of choice

10 - 20 minutes / phonics of choice (explode the code, alphaphonics whatever)

 

20 - 30 mintues / faith development - catechism, 5 Minute Devotions, bible stories

 

structured time "working" goal is approx 1.5 - 2 hours a day. Give or take a bit for times when a concept is a bit harder or more interesting.

 

lots of time outside: jars or old aquarium type cage to catch critters, a shoe box for less animated finds

 

Leggos, K'nex, lots of paper and art supllies to use as one is inspired. We don't do "art", we just get inspired and use them at will.

 

That's it.

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Oops, just saw these.

 

And he wants me to stay, AT LEAST, on level. To always be prepared for a "what if we have to put them in school because I'm deathly ill" type situation. He would not, in any way, go for delaying math.

 

I don't know anything about Living Math (if it's a curriculum, and not a philosophy), but we're using RS B this year. I aim for four days a week, and we can knock out a lesson at a time (unlike last year, when she only had the attention span for half a lesson at a time in level A). Each lesson takes us MAYBE a half hour, usually less. I would consider this on the level and fairly easy to accomplish. My DD's temperament for math at 5 was much different than it is now at 6, so you might consider that factor as well. She enjoyed it then too, but it was much slower going.

 

I may need to do a new thread on that.

 

But:

1. math

2. finish OPGTR

3. WWE

4. reading literature to cover: various lists of good books, SOTW, science, math literature, artists, composers, holidays, etc....

 

5. The occasional science experiment or SOTW activity as we are able

6. Homeschool choir and occasional classical CD's

 

 

Would something like THAT be appropriate?

 

I think your list sounds good. Here, the subject we try to cover most often is math, and even that's only 4 times a week. IMO, if you're still finishing OPGTR, you shouldn't need to do WWE concurrently. You could start that when OPG is done. As for reading literature cover to cover, our main reading session is at bedtime, and that's when we read our "heavy" stuff. Right now we're reading The Secret Garden, mostly at bedtime because DD3 makes trouble when she's not into what I'm reading. I may read 2-3 picture books on different subjects to both of them throughout the day, but that's just part of our day, and doesn't take long. If we don't get to those, our bedtime reading covers it. And yeah, for the science, maybe you could get a copy of Mudpies to Magnets or More Mudpies to Magnets, and you can do those when you have time for a bit of schooly fun :lol:

 

Frankly, I'd be surprised if we spend more than an hour a day on what I consider the basics right now, including reading.

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One without an older sibling. So, there's no history/science/music/art "by absorption", or "when they feel like sitting in."

 

I want to simplify for next year, before I purchase much. But, everything is so worthwhile. Even Ambleside has a lot to it, by the time you do foreign language, picture study, hymn study, folk song study, classical music study, etc......

 

I have SOTW 1 + AG and it looks like fun. So does science. And art. And music. And Spanish. etc. etc. etc. But, we just don't have time for all that. Plus grammar. Plus writing. Plus 2 math programs. Plus my youngest child.....

 

How do you include other "stuff" without getting overwhelmed?

 

And I need to do this "stuff" during the school day. Our family life just doesn't revolve around classical music concerts or historical re-inactments.

 

My first grader dd does the following:

Math

Reading/Phonics

ETC

handwriting

WWE/FLL

poetry

*She sits in on history, science, music, geography and spanish

It may look like a lot, but she only takes about 1.5 hours at the most. Sometimes her phonics study is just games with a Bob reader. I also cut back her handwriting if she has copywork on that day for writing.

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Some basic arithmetic, emphasis on phonics/reading, some penmanship.

 

Of course, if you read this article, you'll see that emphasis on literacy skills and delayed aritmetic instruction has great advantages.

 

Well, that was an interesting read and why, I suppose that unschooling actually works! I've read that unschoolers can take up higher math without ever formerly studied math but wow, this is a difficult thing for me to wrap my head around!

 

I am trying to figure out first grade myself. It will probably consist of WWE, RS B, OPG, science, SOTW plus activity guide.

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Our list seems long but the day isn't.

 

My 6yo works through

 

Math

Poetry- Read 1 poem per day

Speechwork-dailywork for his ongoing speech therapy- obviously specific for my family.

Nature Reader - For narration practice

FLL

WWE book 1

HWT on narration days with WWE

 

This part of our day is always well under an hour.....sometimes closer to 30 min depending on the math.

 

( take a 30 min break and listen to classical composer of the month while playing) I use this time to engage my preschooler in a project she can continue on her own like watercolors/playdoh,

 

ETC online

Geography/History - Paddle to the Sea read once per week with STOW the other 3 days.

Self designed reading practice

Literature reading Currently reading Aesop , Blue Fairy , and Meadow People but only 1 10-15min selection per day.

Projects/ Science/ Art. only 1 per day

 

This part of our day last around an hour or longer depending on how involved he gets with the project.

 

After lunch we try to spend a great long time outside playing with some nature study.

 

The only subject I haven't added yet is Spanish but will hopefully add it in there somewhere soon.

 

This is my first year to use WWE/FLL and STOW and have been amazed at the eased of using these products.

 

HTH

 

Wendy B.

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Some basic arithmetic, emphasis on phonics/reading, some penmanship.

 

Of course, if you read this article, you'll see that emphasis on literacy skills and delayed aritmetic instruction has great advantages.

 

Thanks for sharing that, it was fascinating. I've been pondering that school of thought for awhile and have read some similar articles:

 

http://www.triviumpursuit.com/articles/research_on_teaching_math.php

 

http://www.mountainlaurelsudbury.org/Rithmetic.asp

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Maths, reading, writing, listening to stories, exploring the world, exercise, availability of art materials. Those would be my basics.

 

The 'stories' could be history or science or both. The exercise could include nature walks.

 

Laura

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We do the following:

 

In the morning:

 

ZB 1 Handwriting, 4x a week: 10 min. max

Spelling Power: unorthodox, but about 5 min. by the timer

FLL, 3x a week: 5 - 10 min.

Discipleship: 5 min. to however long she wants to spend if it's a picture to color or something

MUS Alpha: 20 - 35 min. - our long one. I'm trying to figure out how to pare it down and yet include both drill and exercises.

 

In the afternoon:

Science (a la WTM) or SOTW I: 15 to 30 min.

Piano practice: 10 min.

Art or music: 30 min. (We're a musical family, so there's more music than there has to be . . .:)

 

We do about 1/2 an hour of read-aloud most evenings before she goes to bed.

 

This usually boils down to 1 1/2 or 2 hours a day (excluding the read-aloud). If I need to lighten it (and I often do) I can always leave out art or music in the afternoon, as well as juggle FLL and handwriting.

 

We do half of the morning (usually math) while my dd2 is in her rest-time. We also try to finish the afternoon before dd2 wakes up from her nap.

 

I know I (like everyone else, I think) struggle with the balance between "Is she really learning enough?" and "Surely this is way more than she really needs!" Being the family we are, and considering dd5's abilities and preferences, I feel the things we must get to on a regular basis are math, handwriting, discipleship, piano, and (just because I love it so much!) history on it's three days of the week. Because of the way our schedule is divided between morning and afternoon, I can miss either and, by rearranging things, still get most of my "must-haves" in during the day.

 

So far it's worked reasonably well. If I can only figure out math . . .

 

One thing that I found when we began 1st (compared to WTM schedules) was that a lot of subjects take much less time than you'd expect. And they really are often doable in waiting rooms, etc. After all, most of the subjects are simply asking for exposure - not mastery. Handwriting, Reading, Math, and Piano aren't that way . . .

 

HTH!

Mama Anna

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That would streamline things for us.

 

Religion is covered with Awana. I'm very happy with how that program covers things and I don't see the need to add on to it. I'm even thinking of doing copywork with the verses.

 

Exercies is covered--dance, gymnastics and she wants to start soccer. Luckily, each is only 1 timer per week.

 

 

I've skimmed, but I'm going to go back and read more closely. It seems like I'm on the right track.

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Last year my 6yo did the following:

Horizons Math 1

OPGTR - she almost finished the book

Explode the Code books 1-3

FLL 1 and some of 2

SOTW 1 - mostly just the book and some extra books with occasional activities from the AG

any crafts that interested her

choir at our church

 

Out of all of that the basics for me is learning to read and math. Now that she is reading so well all of that time spent on reading practice is really showing itself; she can read anything that interests her. HTH

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What worked very well for me at that stage was to start with an age-appropriate time per day (grade +1 = hours of formal "school") and compare my desires to that limit. It doesn't have to be perfect, and you don't have to shove something you love (say read alouds or whatever takes a lot of time in your house because your crazy into it), but I would trim the formal stuff and prune till it fits. It sort of helps you keep things in proportion and keep from trying to do too much.

 

There's really not that much LA a 1st grader has to do. 1st grade is still a continuation of K5. 2nd is where you get into writing and things. Just make sure they come out reading and really like it. Do handwriting faithfully. Read aloud something and TALK with them, doing oral narrations. Do math every day, leaving one day a week for games. Be faithful to fact drill. That's enough. Everything else is the gravy and fun stuff you or they like. Sure you can do spanish, but it has to fit in that 2 hours. It might be something you rotate. At that age I did a gravy subject each day. So one day it can be art, the next day science, next day math games, next day spanish, and so on. History is every day for us because dd likes it, but that's our house. Once or twice a week would be PLENTY for that age.

 

I really liked RS B and think the foundation it gave us was AMAZING, so I'd definitely recommend continuing your RS plus Horizons combo.

 

Looking back, 1st grade was still such a delightful year, much like K5. I wish I had enjoyed it more, savored it more, and worried less. Come 2nd you're going to get more formal and academic. Just let 1st be fun! :)

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Is your child interested in doing history and science? I think that is the key here.

 

My ds had no interest in doing any extras. I am glad that I didn't push him. Grade 1 for him consisted of math, reading, handwriting and read alouds. I didn't do grammar. Even for this year--Gr. 2-- grammar is informal.

 

He is much more interested in the extras this year so he is doing quite a bit more than last year but he is okay with it, which helps.

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We do 2 1/2 to 3 hours a day including a snack/play break, but it fits us. I would not recommend everything I do to all, but thought you might appreciate seeing an "upper limit". :tongue_smilie: Reading and occassionally reviewing MOTH (Managers of our Homes) helps me be realistic about what I, an "I-need-to-be-organized" person, can accomplish!

 

My ds does best when I stick to time limits, but I certainly flex lessons so we can spend extra time on something really catches his interest.

 

Getty-Dubay Italic Writing (3 days a week, 10 min)

OPGTR - (4 days a week, 20-15 min)

FLL (2-3 days a week, 15 minutes)

All About Spelling (10-15 min.) [NOTE: Even though it wasn't my original plan, I decided to start spelling before finishing OPGTR. My ds likes to write letters, notes and label his pictures and wants to do it "right". If he were NOT such a good reader and writer I would have held off until we completed Phonics. He enjoys AAS lessons!]

 

Bible Study (15 min. 3-4 days a week)

 

Math (5 days a week, 30 min. + games are fun)

 

SOTW (2 days a week, 30-45 minutes, I try to include a related art project once a week for my art loving brood!)

 

R.E.A.L. Science - (2 days a week, 30 minutes) - Curriculum is mostly labs where your child gets to observe and/or DO! Science days are also anticipated by my dd4.

 

Recorder lesson or pratice (4-5 days a week, 15 min.)

 

We also participate in a local coop which is a whole day once a week. His spends the mornings in "1st & 2nd Core" with a wonderful Homeschool mom & teacher (Charlotte Mason stlye learning) and gets Art, Music and PE in the afternoon with specialist teachers. This one day is probably a big reason I am able to accomplish so much the other 4 days. We both like the break and I get a day dedicated to my dd's.:)

 

Have fun with what you do choose to do!

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