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First grade planning help esp Lang Arts


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I’m planning and buying early this year for several reasons and am undecided on several things, mostly importantly Language Arts. 

Right now I’ve narrowed it down to MCT Island level, WWE1/FLL1/OPGTR, or LOE Foundations B. Or some combination of those three. I’d love to hear your opinions. 

We mostly have done Explode the Code and Bob books this year, but neither of us are loving it  


The rest of the first grade plan: 

Math: RightStart B

History: SOTW 1

Science: SCI 0

Latin: No clue?

Logic: Lollipop Logic

Thoughts?

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You are looking at programs which really cover very different aspects of LA. I would first look at what your goals are for first grade LA, then pick a program. Is your child reading? If not, you will need a phonics program. I would group the curriculums you are looking at into what subset of LA they teach.

Phonics/Learning to Read: LOE and OPGTR.

Grammar: MCT and FLL

Writing: WWE

Handwriting/Spelling: LOE

 

Depending on your child's reading level, you may or may not need something from each category. Until they can read simple readers, I wouldn't start anything in Grammar or Writing. MCT I wouldn't start at all unless they can read well. If you go for MCT, you might want something additional for spelling or writing/handwriting. If you go with WWE/FLL, and are also doing SOTW, that can end up being a lot of narration, so I wouldn't feel like you had to all of it from each curriculum. But really I think it's important to focus first on learning to read, and once that is down then move into grammar/writing/spelling curriculums.

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Well, we are using The Good and Beautiful and quite happy with it. My son is doing well we've used their Prek, Primer and Level K (Level K is more 1st grade in reading difficulty).

Before that I always used sing spell read and write readers, 100 easy lessons, and copy work. Its served my older 3 well!

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We are big fans of MCT but I would also say that there is no reason to do it in first grade.  For early grades, I'd work on phonics and reading until that is fluent, and I'd do some sort of handwriting.  We did Hooked on Phonics and Handwriting Without Tears - I'm not at all pushing those programs, just saying what we did in K/1 (I'm not sure exactly when we finished phonics, but it doesn't really matter - keep working on reading until it's solid, whether the student masters it at 4 or 7).  Then I'd move on to poetry, literature (whether read aloud or read by the student) and/or reading comprehension - you can just read from books or choose a workbook if you prefer.  I'd also work on writing sentences and spelling.  There are plenty of spelling programs to choose from based on your needs (we used to do words from phonics when we were still working on that, and then we used a variety of programs over the years).  For sentences, they're mostly working on having a capital letter at the start and punctuation at the end and making a complete sentence.  You can use a program or just write a sentence or two on your own.

I did different bits of grammar with my older in early elementary school but I waited to do it with my younger (who started MCT in 3rd grade).  There really isn't a lot to learn as far as elementary grammar goes, so despite starting early with one and later with the other, they were both able to dissect sentences MCT-style by the end of 3rd.   If you plan to use the MCT program all the way through, one concern with starting early is that the later books are quite challenging - reading passages from The Federalist Papers to learn to write essays is in level 3, but might be a bit much for many 3rd graders (we time it to be done in 5th/6th). 

 

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I am assuming when you mention MCT, you intend to use it for grammar, maybe vocab?  MCT is fantastic for a motivated kid/parent who can work with a flexible, unscripted program.  Agree with others that kids starting Island need to be solid readers with good comprehension skills and probably comfortable with writing.   

BUT, they now have two books in the Poodle series intended as a precursor to Island if you like the style but the kiddo is not quite ready.  They look like so much fun!

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We love LOE Foundations.   Love. Love. Love.   I used WWE1/FLL1/AAR/AAS with my older two many years ago, and switched my youngest over to LOE Foundations.  It is super fun.   

Our first grade looks like this:

Recitation:  MP 1st grade recitation

Math: Singapore 1B/2A

Reading/Grammar/Handwriting/ Spelling: LOE Foundations C & D (we did A & B last year)

Extra Reading Practice for fluency:   I See Sam books 

History:  SOTW 1 (Reading, Narration, Drawing, Maps)

Science:  Mix of RSO Biology and Mystery Science

Read Alouds:  Book list from Build Your Own Library.

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Just my two cents:  Save Latin and start it when you have finished learning how to read.   It can replace your "phonics" subject in your day whenever you have finished learning to read (.....whether it be in 2nd, 3rd, or 4th grade. ).    And I personally think those LollyPop logic books are not the best use of your time.   Go play!  Save Logic for the logic stage.   Critical thinking skills are naturally taught in a classical education through actual formal logic courses, translating languages, actual mathematic thinking (AOPS is great for this!), etc.  I would replace that time with more free play (non screen play) for this age personally.   Again, just my very humble opinion.  

Edited by TheAttachedMama
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My first graders did:
-First Language Lessons 1 if they were reading okay (In my experience grammar just doesn't make any sense to them until they're reading.)
-phonics *or* spelling, and spelling only if they're reading strong enough for the spelling book to take over the phonics instruction
-something for penmanship - If they were writing well enough they didn't need to work on letter formation they did simple copywork instead (like WWE)
-They read easy readers to me as they were able and I read high quality children's literature to them (Charlotte's Web, classic Winnie the Pooh, etc). 

And math, science, history of course. 

 

We really liked Song School Latin as a Latin intro, but it needs a kid comfortable with reading and spelling to keep it from being too hard and frustrating. IME 2nd-3rd is its sweet spot. 

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Personally, we focus on spelling and copywork when they're this little so I would do LOE for a year or two and then weave in MCT when it feels right. I believe MCT is inappropriate for most 1st graders. We do RLTL and copywork of my choice from K-2nd, then IEW.

The rest of the first grade plan: 

Math: RightStart B (I'd do A)

History: SOTW 1 (We did interest led, but check out the activity guide)

Science: SCI 0 (No idea what this is)

Latin: No clue? (Skip it. Either do Spanish which will be a great precursor, or just hold off until 4th-6th. Minimus if you insist, but I wouldn't bother.)

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We are in Foundations C with Logic of English and I think it's plenty for first grade. It has reading, handwriting, copywork, dictation and reading comprehension. At this point, "writing" is my son dictating to me as I write it and then he copies it in his blank book with pictures- I find his creativity is much better when he can concentrate on the story and not spelling, handwriting, etc.

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My current first grader is doing what my past first graders did for the most part:

Rod and Staff 1st grade reading and phonics- covers Bible and spelling and writing and copywork, everything L.A. all in one if you get the additional worksheets. I spread 1st grade materials over a year and a half, starting in K whenever they are ready for it.  Then when 1st grade is complete, in the past I dropped all of this except the 2nd grade phonics. We completed the 2nd grade phonics and picked up the 2nd grade R&S english, but dropped the reading and all of the worksheets.

Rod and Staff math- wherever they are. A couple of mine did the 1st grade math in K, one started it in 1st. They just move forward in this all the way through to Algebra. 

Story of the World vol. 1 with Activity Guide- reading book, the extra books from AG, coloring sheets, mapwork, extra activities as they fit in to our weeks, and occasional written narrations. 

Life Science ala WTM: animals, human body, and plants. But we really spend most of the time on animals and human body, because we garden and do a lot of plant stuff over the summers. This year I am using a Thinking Tree Nature journal with her animal study which dd6 loves. I have the human body resources from the 2nd or 3rd version of WTM which is what we will likely use after Christmas: The Usborne 1st Encyclopedia of Human Body, a Human Body coloring book, online links from the encyclopedia, and library books and videos. 

What Your First Grader Needs to Know to supplement everything. We generally read from it once a week or so doing a poem, a saying, a story, and some history that relates to other things we are learning about from SOTW or other places. I use it to supplement music. I have used the art and music sections in the past to completely design art and music for first grade, picking up library books and CDs and such to go along with each topic and doing projects. 

Drawing with Children for drawing instruction. One of my favorite books. 

This year for music I am using lesson from the 1st grade curriculum box from Schoolhouseteachers dot com. It is very basic, but put together with learning songs from What Your First Grader Needs to Know it is enough. 

My dd gets hand on science with her girl scout troop and at homeschool co-op on top of our nature-y studies and journaling and reading. 

She takes a PE class and a dance class. So I have never really planned a lot for that. 

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Welcome! I see by your post count you are new. There are a lot of "sub-topics" under the big heading of Language Arts, and frankly, the typical 1st grader only needs to focus on some of those sub-topics:

foundational:
- Read-Alouds (parent reads aloud/audio books, from quality books above student's reading level)
- Reading (learning to read = phonics, learn to read program; gaining fluency = readers / student reads aloud to parent)
- Phonics
- Handwriting

optional:
- Writing -- best to wait until the child has a good grasp of phonics & reading; formal writing program can wait until grade 3-4
- Grammar -- best to wait until the child has a good grasp of phonics & reading; formal writing program can wait until grade 3-5; if really desiring to do Grammar, perhaps do a lite/beginning grammar orally, aloud together
- Spelling -- best to wait until the child has a good grasp of phonics & reading; if desiring a formal program AND if child is ready, try working with words from the phonics and reading for Spelling
- Vocabulary -- always optional; if desiring a formal program, wait to start somewhere between grade 3-8


With that preface, I'd say go with whatever Phonics/Reading program looks like it will best fit your child's learning style AND your teaching style. Beyond that...

Reading/Phonics: make sure to do tons of read-alouds, have lots of beginning reader books and picture books and books with lots of illustrations for your child to enjoy flipping through to encourage a love of books. I'd suggest going with whichever of your 2 choices of reading/phonics programs (OPGTR or LOE) is most comprehensible for YOU to use.

Handwriting: it can be as simple as copying a short sentence of your choice. If a workbook works better for you both for handwriting, then go with that.

Grammar: If wanting to do grammar, I'd keep it oral/aloud/together -- FFL is pretty easy to do that way.

I personally would not worry about doing Writing or Spelling this year.

_______________

On 10/13/2020 at 8:54 AM, tovith said:

The rest of the first grade plan: 
Math: RightStart B
History: SOTW 1
Science: SCI 0
Latin: No clue?
Logic: Lollipop Logic

Thoughts?

Other than the foundational LA topics and Math, everything else is frosting on top, so if you're enjoying your list of subjects and programs for 1st grade -- super! 😄 

Latin: I personally would skip Latin. I'm reading more and more posts from BTDT moms on these boards that, for a number of reasons, they have better success waiting until the student is about 7th grade to start Latin.

Logic/Critical Thinking: just for fun, you could also do dot-to-dot puzzles, mazes, simple word searches, hidden picture puzzles, etc.

The only other things I might suggest:
- possibly art (or arts/crafts, if you child enjoys hands-on)
- include some fun educational games
- possibly schedule a weekly "tea & poetry" (chocolate milk + cookies and fun poetry, or art appreciation, or other arts-based together time)
- include regular time to explore and build great memories together -- imaginative play, board games, bake cookies, color in a coloring book together, build forts, make things out of clay, do hand crafts, go on nature walks, play games, read-aloud together... 

ENJOY your homeschooling journey together! Warmest regards, Lori D.

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Since LA has been taken care of by the above posters, I'll add my experience on some of your other options.

Latin: If you really want to have a Latin, I would suggest Song School Latin. We did that from a young age. However, like Lori D mentioned above, I've found that at 5th and 8th grade, my boys are DONE with it (and have been for a few years). I wish I'd waited until later to start.

Logic: I'd like to suggest hands on games for Logic/Critical Thinking. Mindware, Thinkfun and Smartgames.eu have some great ones. (See timberdoodle.com for tons of options). 

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