We made it through first grade and it was a great year! Tonchi did a great job and it was so much fun to see him grow and learn throughout the year! We worked hard and tried to stay on schedule, but there were some days we skipped school and had catch up days on Saturday or just skipped all together.
We did actually finish all that I felt was really important to complete. We will have some carry over into next year, but I’m really not worried about it. Since I posted what we were planning on doing, I wanted to come back and post what we did and how it worked out for us. So read on and hopefully you will find some of it helpful!
Tonchi: First Grade Curriculum
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Community Bible Study on Thursdays – We attended every week in which classes were held! With all the snow we had this year a few of the classes were cancelled, but most Thursdays we were there. Both of us learned a lot and grew spiritually and together memorized ___ verses. Now hopefully we will be diligent to review them and not forget them after all the hard work we did!
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Math U See: Alpha – I am still in love with this curriculum! I just love the way Mr Steve Demme teaches concepts instead of just memorizing facts. Tonchi has really done well with it and completed the entire book. He has even done division and multiplication based on the concepts he has learned.
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We read through all of the Hooked on Phonics easy readers set 1 and 2. We also read some other easy readers that were handed down to us and then started on some of the Cat in the Hat books. Go Dog Go is still one of his favorites! I think we are getting over the hump and he is starting to pick up simple things to read on his own.
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Explode the Code: Tonchi completed book 1 this year and it was easy for him, but re-enforced reading skills and also helped him realize he can read and he is able to spell. It was very empowering and encouraging to him.
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Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons – We didn’t use it at all and I don’t think we will use it for the other kids. I have another book that I think will be more effective. So I will probably look to sell this one in the coming year.
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Story of the World: Book 1: Ancient Times Civilizations – We LOVED this! We didn’t come near to completing all of the activities or extra reading, but it isn’t designed to be completed, just used as a resource. There were LOTS of fun activities and hands on learning ideas to go with each lesson and we had so much fun with them. We also enjoyed reading each chapter, which were only a few pages and perfect for short attention spans. There are 40 chapters and we only made it to chapter 25, so we will just start next school year where we left off.
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Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Zoology 1 – We completed this book as well and we also used the Junior Notebooking journal. I really liked the lesson planning and all the extra ideas of projects and experiments to do. I think this book would be better for a 2nd or 3rd grader as it had a lot of terminology over his head and A LOT of information… however, the exposure was good and I didn’t stress memorizing all the info. I hope to use it to continue learning more about insects and birds this summer as we see them in their habitat while we are out and about!
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Draw.Write.Now: Book 1: I do really like this book a lot. Tonchi used it a lot at the beginning of the year, but hasn’t done too much with it since. I hope to do a better job of having it scheduled out instead of just for fun. I like how it helped him learn to do simple drawings and also encouraged hime to write about what he drew.
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Write About Me/Write about My World – I still have this and am going to keep it but we didn’t use it at all. Since Tonchi was just learning to read this wasn’t a good fit for him. We will start working more on writing next year.
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Handwriting without Tears for 1st grade – We completed this books as well. It didn’t take us long to complete. I really like the way each letter is taught with a way to remember how to write each one. He did well with it and I think it helped him remember how to write each letter with conformity. The only thing I didn’t like about it, was the fact that each page only had one line of practice. I’m sure that has a lot to do with the “no tears” part of the title of this book, but we needed more room to practice. We still need practice!!!
We didn’t do anything with this really. I found some free online piano videos and we did one of them. He really liked it and still frequently plays what he learned, so maybe he is interested. I definitely want to keep music fun and enjoyable and not a chore, although I do feel it is important. I hope to do more with this in 2nd grade.
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Rosetta Stone – I didn’t purchase it and we didn’t do anything. Another subject I hope to pick up with in this coming year, but I’m not sure what I’m going to do. We don’t do much “screen time” as I don’t want the kids in front of the TV/computer/ipad, etc, but I know they also really enjoy it, so I want to use it to my advantage. I think a computer program for spanish may work well and they may be motivated to use it since they will be allowed to use the computer. I just have to figure out what I’m going to do!
Extracurriculars: I also planned in a field trip once a month and we also went to the library once a month to get new fun books to read and also to pick up some books that went with our history lessons. We also had a homeschool playgroup that met once a month and usually had something to do with a celebration that would occur during that month, like a Valentines Day party. All the kids really enjoyed these!
I tried to make time for people and relationships instead of hunkering down to all books and work. I think I did an OK job. We accomplished what I felt was necessary and we also had fun doing it. So there you have it! What we’ve done in the last year and how it worked for us!
I’d love to know what you’ve done and what you thought about it!