Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Our Homeschool: 1st Grade

James & Tyler started their 1st Grade journey on August 8, 2016 - and truly when I tell you all of the stress I had over it was really for no reason at all. Something clicked with these two over the summer, and this year has been going relatively well. We've had some blips, but overall -- I feel like we are really making good progress this year!

We started off the year with our new curriculum, and a plan -- and I couldn't be more pleased with how we are staying on track!

We chose to use LIFEPAC by Alpha Omega as our curriculum, which is the same as we used last year for Kindergarten. (if you're interested -- you can look in the box at the bottom of that link and there are sample pages for each of the subjects and teacher guides) Most likely we will use the same for our 2nd Grade Year, and then we will change to the online Monarch Program (by the same publisher) for 3rd grade on.

We are doing all 5 subjects: Bible, Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies everyday. I worried about this while I was planning, thinking that it would be too much for them each day, but we're doing about 2 pages of each subject each day -- with the Unit Tests being on their own day -- I try to keep it manageable for the boys though -- so I only do 1 page of math if it's heavy on the actual math problems -- but it's just trial and error, knowing when your kids will start to push back.

About 30 school days ago, I added a couple of extra skill building things starting with this book Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. To make sure that they are both learning this information - I sit with them individually at the beginning of our school day to work through 1 lesson a day on this. I can really feel like it's catching on more than when I tried it last year, and I'm so glad I pulled this back out!

I've also added in the Reading Eggs/Math Seeds program, which is for kids ages 3 to 13. They seem to be responding better to this than they did with ABCMouse -- I liked ABCMouse, but they complained every time I asked them to work on it. It's got a similar set up, in that they are working on a learning map -- so I have them work through 1 section of the map in both subjects each day. There is an assessment test that the kids can work through to get them to the correct level. Tyler is farther ahead in math and reading than James is -- but they have both raised their estimated reading age by a whole year -- and hopefully by the end of the school year they'll be on level or ahead of the game.

In addition to this:

  •  I try to get them outside or doing something active everyday for 30 minutes
  • We have co-op twice a month with varying themes of lesson topics
  • We hope to be starting a homeschool Boy Scout and Girl Scout troop soon
  • We do a few field trips as well
  • Once we finish the 100 Reading Lessons -- we will start working heavily on our handwriting -- which needs a lot of work!

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