Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Homeschool: Grade 1, Term 3 (2017-2018)

As mentioned in this post, these are the subjects we cover in a term:

Natural History
Physical Education
Music Appreciation
Art Appreciation

We use the scheduling cards from A Delectable Education to schedule each of these subjects into our week, some being just once a week, and some being every day, some being 10 minutes, and some being 20.

Here are my other 1st Grade Posts:

Here is what we feasted on in Term 3:

Bible: We read from the actual Bible text, and we are reading through Genesis and Matthew in Grade 1 (Form 1B). We covered Genesis 31-50 and Matthew 13-21. We read roughly 10-20 verses a day, seeking to cover one whole "episode" but not an entire chapter in a day. We alternate days between Genesis and Matthew. 

Poetry: We choose one poet to focus on each term, and for term three, we focused on Eugene Field. We used Poems of Childhood, which is an excellent collection of his works. I chose him because Sophie already really loved several of his poems that we had read in Fujikawa's anthology (she loves The DuelWynken Blynken and Nod, and The Sugar Plum Tree). We read poetry every day, so we read poems by Eugene Field 2-3 times a week, and on the other days, we read from A Child’s Book of Poems by Gyo Fujikawa.

Math: We used Charlotte Mason Elementary Arithmetic to cover numbers 60-100. This is a new math book that will be part of a series with plans for the rest to come out in the next couple years. The second book should be out anytime now. I am so excited about this math series! It is completely based off of Charlotte Mason’s method, and it is different from other programs available (mainly, that problems are mostly done orally which is so gentle for these young ones!). It goes along with the bundle that I used first term (the bundle is more like a teacher’s guide and includes the entire scope & sequence for 1-12 grade).                

Reading: We just use this time for Sophie to get more practice with reading – 10 minutes a day. We read some of Treadwell’s First Reader as well as different readers like Frog and Toad and other short books I find that are well written and that I think she will enjoy. 

Copywork: For copywork, Sophie typically copies a line or two of poetry. Occasionally we do a verse instead or a line from a hymn. The goal is to visualize each word before writing it so that she can write the whole word from memory. This helps her learn to not only be a good writer but also a good speller!

History: This year, we studied the early exploration period of American history. For term three, we returned to our spine of Alice Dalgliesh's American Begins, which we finished by the end of the term. This book is so, so perfect for first grade, but if you click on the link to amazon, you'll have a heart attack at the price. Yes, sadly, it is out of print and hard to find. Thankfully, our library carries it. If you don't have this option, I would recommend Evan's America First. We supplemented by reading biographies of a few of the explorers and explorations, such as Ponce de Leon by Blassingame and The Carving on the Tree by Campbell. I'd recommend both of these books.

Geography: We have two days that we do geography. One day is more for learning about physical geography and the general workings of the world (this is like "pre-map" work, because a child needs to understand these things before grasping a map or globe). The other day is for reading and learning about children of other cultures and countries. Here is what we used:
Day 1 BookElementary Geography by Charlotte Mason
Day 2 BookThe Little Indian Weaver by Madeline Brandeis (Charlotte Mason actually used this slot to help her children learn about children from other cultures - roughly 5-6 a term, so just a brief overview. This helped children to understand that there was a bigger world out there in the best way they could grasp- through the lives of other children, who were like them, yet different. In the future, we will use something more like this- perhaps the I See the Sun books, though I am not certain. Sophie did love this book though.)

*Note: We do still pull a map out during subjects like history and Bible and even sometimes geography, so Sophie does have experience with them; they simply aren't our main focus in geography for this year.

Natural History: For Natural History, I choose two books that we will spend the whole term using, and then we have a special studies topic for the term (and sometimes two special studies), and I choose several books to cover that topic.
Book 1: By Pond and River by Arabella Buckley
Book 2: African Critters by Robert Haas (*SO good!)
Special Studies Books: First Look at Insects by Millicent Selsam (*these First Look books are out of print but are excellent. Check your library for availability)
Backyard Insects by Millicent Selsam
Birds Make Nests by Michael Garland

Literature: We spend most of our literature time this year reading fairy tales and fables. Here are stories we covered this first term:
Aesop’s FablesThe Old Lion and the Fox
Aesop’s FablesThe Shepherd Boy and the Wolf
Aesop’s FablesThe Lion and the Mouse
Aesop’s FablesThe Wolf in Sheep's Clothing 
Red Fairy BookThe Good Little Mouse
Red Fairy BookJack and the Beanstalk
The Complete Hans Christian Andersen Fairy TalesLittle Mermaid
The Complete Hans Christian Andersen Fairy TalesThe Ugly Duckling
The Complete Hans Christian Andersen Fairy TalesThe Nightingale
Blue Fairy BookJack, the Giant Killer

Physical Education (Drill/Dance/Play): This time should be used twice a week for actual free play. No rules, just let the child play. Other possibilities for the way we use this time (on the other days) are to learn jumping rope, fun dances together, and Swedish Drill. In this first term, we reviewed Swedish Drill movements and learned a fun drums song dance. We also skipped and marched to songs.
My two favorite resources for Charlotte Mason dance and drill: Swedish Drill and Dance/Moving to Songs

Music Appreciation: We studied Ludwig Beethoven this term. We covered Moonlight Sonatra5th SymphonyPathetiqueFur Elise, First Symphonyand Turkish MarchWe simply listened to the songs. We also read Ludwig Beethoven and the Chiming Tower Bells by Opal Wheeler.

Art Appreciation: We studied Sandro Botticelli. This term I decided to take the plunge and buy the artist packets from Simply Charlotte Mason... I definitely don't regret! I spent a little more than I did by printing on my own, but the picture quality is much superior, and I love that they come with information on the artist and each picture. We studied La PrimaveraMadonna of the Magnificat, Adoration of the Magi, Venus and Mars, Calumny, The Mystic Nativity, The Annunciationand Portrait of a Young Man. I read a little biography on him, but mostly, we just studied the pictures, and Sophie narrated what she saw.

Spanish: We use Cherrydale Press's Spanish Book (volume 1) as our spine for this subject. We use it 1-2 times a week. It is based on of Francois Gouin's research that showed it is easier to learn a language when you learn the action verbs (rather than just a noun). So, we learn a set of activities in English (acting them out); then once we have the English memorized, we learn the same set of activities in Spanish. We did Cherrydale lessons 9-12 this term. We also had flash cards and learned new words from those, and we used real objects, such as clothing, to learn new words. We also read Pio Peep poems.

Singing: We learned and sang the following songs over the term:
- Patriot Song: "This Land is Your Land"
- Folksongs/Nursery Rhymes: "O Where O Where Has My Doggy Gone," "Pease Porridge Hot"
- Hymns: "How Great Thou Art," "God is So Good"
- Spanish Songs: We started learning Jose-Luis Orozco's Spanish songs this term, and we love his stuff! We have his De Colores CD, but you can look up a lot of his songs on Youtube! We learned "Buenas Dias," "Diez Deditos," "Al Tambor," "Elephantes"

Recitation: We split our recitation time into three different days (we have a five day rotation for our subjects). The first day, we recite a hymn (rather than sing). The second day we recite a Bible verse. The third day we recite a poem. In a term, for the first grade year, the preference is to learn two hymns, two verses, and two poems. The purpose of recitation is not memorization (though, that often happens over the term!); the purpose is to be able to read something beautifully. Because Sophie is still a newer reader, she repeated lines after me rather than reading herself. This term, we did the following:
- Hymns: "Great is Thy Faithfulness"
- Verses: Matthew 13:44-46, Psalm 121
- Poems: Eugene's Fields "The Duel", "The Sugar Plum Tree"

Drawing: We used this time to do drawings from nature (we bring the object inside and she brush draws it – with a paint brush), from her imagination of stories we have read, and from her memory of animals she has seen. This is an area I am still learning to improve in.

Handicrafts/Work: We did origami (Sophie learned to make a bird and has probably made at least 200 origami birds since), sewing, cooking scrambled eggs. I definitely slacked in this subject this term and want to do better next school year, as Sophie truly loves handicrafts. 


  1. This is just fantastic! Thank you for documenting your homeschooling. My oldest daughter ( only daughter...the other two are boys ;) ) is going to be 4 this spring and we've got homeschool on the brain...I know she's not going to be doing this 1st grade material!!..but it's great to see how someone else is doing it and learn from you! Can't wait to check out the rest of your blog! Thanks a latte!

    1. Thank you for the comment, Em! I enjoy documenting our journey for my own reference, and I'm so happy to learn others finding it useful and helpful as well. Enjoy these early years with your young ones!