Monday, September 29, 2014

Welcome to First Grade, and Our Curriculum Picks

I have two daughters who are almost 16 years apart.  That means I get to do senior year of college and first grade in the same year.  :-)  Yes, our family is spread out, but that keeps life interesting.  These two are peas in a pod.  Emma ADORES her older sister, and having her home from college during this past summer was a little slice of heaven.  Before Sissy left, they took a trip to the pet store and each bought a Beta fish.  Hannah got to drive cross country with hers nestled in a cup holder.  

Emma brought hers home, named it Rainbow, and set it up as our first grade mascot!

We made some changes to our homeschooling room this year.  I will probably share more about his space later on, because I absolutely love reading about other people's homeschool spaces.  Primarily, we put in new flooring and set up a new desk system from Ikea.  This space has evolved a lot through the years to meet our constantly changing needs.  It was VERY fun to make it first grade friendly!

I had a few treats waiting on the desk the first day of school.  We kicked off week one with a Seashore theme, so I bought a bag of Swedish Fish to give her.  However, they were eaten by teenage boys the night before!  ARGH!  Candy can't ever be hidden well enough in this house to be truly safe.  They were super lucky I happened to have an unopened package of goldfish cookies in the pantry to substitute!  :-)

I also ordered her some Smencils......scented pencils that sounded super fun.
Neither she nor I could stand the overpowering smell, so they were in the trash by the end of day two.  Ha!
Live and learn.

I have had this easel from Ikea for a year or two, unopened.  I finally created a space for it and set it up in the school room.  I think she will enjoy using it this coming year.

I sent her on a little scavenger hunt, leaving notes in all her books and little "stations" I had set up around the room.  As we worked our way through the hunt I introduced her to all the fun things we will be doing in the coming year.

The night before first grade we hit a major milestone....she lost an upper tooth!!!

Oh. My. Stars.  She looks so much older now.  *sniff, sniff*

My son's bird, Bella, came in for a visit on Day One.

We are big pet lovers and have no shortage of animal friends in our house.

With three older children, we have been out of the early elementary years in our homeschool for quite some time now.  It is a joy and a privilege to be diving into first grade one more time.  I absolutely LOVE the younger years!!!  For those who care to follow along on our journey, here is a brief listing and description of our curriculum choices...


FIVE IN A ROW - This is an exciting, literature based, multi-sensory approach to learning.  There are four volumes of Five In A Row, and this year we will work from Volumes 1 and 2.  "Rowing" a book means reading the same book five days in a row, using the story as a springboard for various areas of study (history, culture & geography, math, science, language arts, and fine arts).  Although the manual is the only necessary component for using FIAR (other than the literature books themselves), we like to add in lots of hands on projects, recipes, crafts, and some lap booking.  

Math - Horizons Math 1

Reading and Phonics - All About Reading, Levels 1 and 2

Bible - My Big Book of 5-Minute Devotions: Celebrating God's World
(First Semester)

Handwriting - Getty-Dubay Italic Book A

Science - Nancy Larson Science Level 1
Apologia Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day

Art Journal
We LOVE art, and will compile an art journal through-out the year.  We use various sources, including ideas from Pinterest, but these are my two favorite resources:

I also have two highschoolers in my homeschool this year.  My oldest son is a junior, and my youngest is a freshman.  This blog will primarily chronicle our adventures in first grade, but I will from time to time include updates about the boys.  For those who might be curious, here is a listing of our high school resources:


Worldview - Worldviews of the Western World by David Quinne
(This is a comprehensive humanities course, taken at a worldview co-op, that covers everything except math and science.  It is a four year program.)

Science - Apologia Biology

Math - Teaching Textbooks Geometry


American Government - Co-op class utilizing Sonlight resources

World Geography - Co-op class

Science - Apologia Chemistry

Math - Teaching Textbooks

American Sign Language - Master ASL

So, that is what will keep us all in the hustle and bustle this year.
Looking forward to another exciting and productive year of learning and growing together!!

1 comment:

  1. LOVE your schoolroom! We actually have the exact same desk and set of white drawers from IKEA! Wow, we think a lot alike! We also are both doing the flying creatures curriculum in Apologia this year! How neat! I like your blog a lot! :)