1st Grade Curricula Choices

1st Grade Curricula Choices

If you read my post on our kindergarten curricula, then you will see a lot of similarities as we move into 1st grade this year. As you may know, we do Classical Conversations (CC). This will be our third year in the program, and I am trying to simplify what I add in and making sure everything relates to what we are learning with the CC Cycle 2. 

For 1st grade, I am really just moving up a level for our math, reading, and writing. One missing piece you may notice is a grammar book. I didn't want a full blown LA curriculum because we do a lot of reading with All About Reading. I just wanted something inexpensive to help with basic grammar, punctuation, parts of speech, etc. So, you won't see it pictured because I just ordered it this week, but I am going to try Spectrum First Grade Workbook. I have not used this yet, so I don't have any feedback on it yet. Hoping it works well because it has good reviews. 

So, let's jump into what we will be doing for the 2022-2023 school year:

Classical Conversations:
This will be our third year with Classical Conversations (CC), and if I have learned anything, it is that less is more. When I tried to add in all this extra stuff during our first year, it was just overwhelming and caused a lack of focus. Once I trusted the program and expanded on what the kids were already memorizing, it felt more cohesive. Therefore, CC cycle 2 will be our core curriculum that everything is structured around. CC covers history, geography, and science, so that is why you won't see additional history or science in my curriculum picks. 

If there are specific things I need to hit for our charter requirements, I add those lessons in as needed. CC is a 24-week program and the school year is 36 weeks, so I have 12 extra weeks to do additional things when needed. 

Math: Saxon Level 2
We will be continuing with Saxon this year and moving into level 2. I enjoyed the level of review and mastery that Saxon provides, so we will be sticking with it. It's working and is the recommended math program if you are in CC.

Sample - Saxon Math 2, Home Study Kit

Reading: All About Reading
We will be finishing level 1 of All About Reading (AAR) for the first 2 months of 1st grade, and then we will be moving into level 2 for the remainder of the year. I will probably be adding in their spelling book later in the year, too, once we finish AAR level 1. I have seen a HUGE improvement with my son's ability to read just over the summer from this program. It could be partly because of his age (6 1/2, almost 7), but it's clicking and he's reading so much better now! I can't say enough good things about this reading program.

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Writing: Learning Without Tears
To work on penmanship, we started using Learning Without Tears handwriting. I like the brief lessons that help with penmanship and writing basic sentences. I use the blank narration journal for history and science. After we do a science or history lesson, my son draws a picture of what we learned and then writes a sentence or two. 

With CC this year we will be learning about creation of the world, food chain, pollution, astronomy, energy, matter, law of motion, and more. I am so excited to be using a new resource from Learning with Friends. They have created a science workbook that explains every week's science sentence and provide hands on activities for each week. It comes with a teacher's guide and student book. Designed for students ages 7-12, but they also provide additional ideas for preschool age. Science is an area that isn't my strongest, but it's my son's absolute favorite subject. So, having this resource is going to help me be way more intentional with focusing on science this year! They have 29 lessons in this bundle, which means there are 5 extra lessons that don't correlate directly to the CC cycle info (Ecology lessons 9-12 and Physics lesson 12 are extras).

Ecology BundleAstronomy Bundle

Again, I use Classical Conversations as our core. This year we are learning about medieval to modern history. What used to be my least favorite subject in school has turned into my favorite to teach— partly because it's like I'm learning all over again! So excited for history this year. We focus on learning the history through songs, picture books, and YouTube videos. 

I also love Story of the World. This year I plan to pair up the history sentence we are learning about with the corresponding STOW chapter book. I recommend getting the 4 volume activity books with it because it has discussion questions, coloring, and hands on activities. On CC Connected you can find the Story of the World chapter match up list paired with each week's memory sentence.

See the source image

This is the one resource I am most excited to do with my kids! Many are not aware that CC has an optional Bible curriculum. It's not in the Foundations guide but is a PDF online. I turned each of those memory sentences into a detailed study guide called Foundations of the Bible. There is a teacher's guide and activity book to help provide the depth and context of the Bible sentences. I cannot wait to do this with my kids and continue learning alongside them. 


Animals in Time: 
Animals in Time (AIT) is a cute storybook I like to use as a way to introduce the new week's memory work. My kids love it, and it's created by another CC mom and her kids. I especially love the PDF activity book that pairs with it. If you don't want a story book, I would still check out the activity book. It has review of the history and science which is super helpful! Our community day is on a Thursday, so I introduce our memory work on Monday. By Thursday, it's just a review for my kids. It worked well last year, so I will continue the same format this year. 

Some extra things for our "Fun Fridays": 
I like to do fun Fridays with the kids. Every Friday starts off with a donut. It's been a tradition since my son was in private preschool 4 years ago. Literally, every Friday my husband buys donuts for the kids.

So, that kicks off their Fun Friday morning, and then we do our math and reading, but after that we do something that is of their interests. Last year we did a Dinosaur unit from Gather Round, and this year we will work through their Ocean unit. I planned on doing the ocean unit as a summer study, but then the kids and I were really enjoying our summer break and decided to wait for fall. 

I will also be trying to bake something each Friday. My daughter (4) loves to bake, and as a fun thing for her, I thought we could both work on our baking skills this school year. So that should be fun!

 Hope you found this helpful and that you have a great school year!


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