The Ultimate Guide To Homeschooling First Grade (2021)

Homeschooling first grade was so much fun for us, especially because there are so many awesome resources available for this age and level.

I want to start by saying that we are curriculum dabblers so we will more than likely use none of these from start to finish exactly as they are laid out.

We will do what suits us as it suits us, we prefer to deep dive and follow interests so I try to make sure I have great resources to allow that to happen.

Homeschool Curriculum Choices for First Grade

Please keep in mind that we will be dabbling in these resources and not necessarily completing all of them in their entirety.

Language Arts For First Grade

For language arts we mostly used The Good and The Beautiful Level 1, as our main language arts curriculum. We also incorporated Explode the Code 3 as an independent work.

First Grade Curriculum

Emily also kept a writing journal throughout her first grade year. On the first day of school, she decorated her composition book however she liked with markers and stickers. Then, all of her writing throughout the year was in one place.

I got these wonderful roll-a-story printables to help make writing fun too.

We also used Hands on Grammar for some fun ways to practice grammar.

For handwriting and a bit of art we love the Draw Write Now books. (I do not plan to do them in order we will jump around based on what she is the most interested in.)

Homeschool Math For First Grade

First Grade Curriculum

For math in first grade, we used and loved Life of Fred. (I have the entire elementary series but I have no real plans of how many we will or will not get through.)

We just go at Emily’s pace and read as fast as she wants.

We also used Math Made Fun by The Moffatt Girls for some hands on math practice in a fun way.

Unit Studies For Homeschooling Multiple Subjects At Once

We use a unit studies based approach for science, history, and geography.

Passport to Adventures was created by me for Emily because she requested “Jack and Annie” school, so I made it for her.

In first grade, we read The Magic Tree House books and turned each book into a week long unit study using Passport to Adventures.

These interest led unit studies are based on Mary Pope Osborne’s Magic Treehouse book series. Each week long unit study includes a buffet of learning resources and activities to choose from including art tutorials, games, videos, book suggestions, and printables to follow each of the first 29 books. 

For nature, I am so excited about Exploring Nature with Children!

We also have an annual pass to the Florida State Parks so we vists as many as possible and complete the Junior Ranger program.

Art is Emily’s favorite thing in the world, and I am sure she would say there can never be enough of it in our days.

The first and main thing we will use is our You are an Artist Clubhouse Membership I love this because I can sit down and do art with her and let Nana teach her instead of me.

I also have Usborne’s Art Treasury on hand as well as The Good and The Beautiful Arts & Crafts Projects.

For health and safety, we have Discover My Plate (which is a free curriculum) and The Good and The Beautiful Safety.

Spanish is something I would love to be fluent in but I am not even close, in fact my husband laughs that Spanish and country twang do not mix, so maybe I will never be able to speak Spanish well.

But I would love for Emily to have a general idea of the language.

I grabbed the Spanish workbook and puzzles from the Target dollar spot and the Spanish flashcards from Kindergarten Toolkit.

We always incorporate strewing, morning baskets, and reading as many books as we can get our hands on as core components of our homeschool.

First Grade Books to Read Aloud & Independently

Our homeschool is largely comprised of books and games. Reading aloud plays a very crucial role in our homeschool. In fact, most of our days begin and end with me reading aloud to Emily.

This is a list of books we enjoyed during first grade. I will be specifically sharing the chapter books we enjoyed throughout the year. But, we did also make a personal goal of reading as many of the Caldecott Medal Winners as possible too.

Read Alouds

very large portion of what we read was book series. We tend to get invested when the story keeps going and we were more excited to race through a book knowing there was another one waiting.

It seems like there is a mourning period (at least for us) when a book ends. So maybe we just like series because there is less mourning that way.

 Usborne Fairy Unicorns Collection Magic Tree House Books The Last Firehawk Series, Sink or Swim: Exploring Zoey and Sassafras Books The Secret of the Unicorn Princesses 1: Sunbeam’s Rosie Revere and the

 Fortunately, the Milk The Wild Robot (The The Wild Robot Escapes The Trumpet of the The Last of the The Penderwicks: A Summer

Classic Starts

 Classic Starts®: Alice in Classic Starts®: The Voyages The Story of King The Secret Garden (Classic Classic Starts®: Treasure Island The Adventures of Tom The Swiss Family Robinson Classic Starts®: Black Beauty Classic Starts®: A Little The Wind in the

Independent Reads

Emily loves to read. her favorite spot in the whole house is her little book nook corner. She loves when her cat Nala comes and curls up with her for story time.

 The Bad Guys Box Lily: Tiana’s Helpful Kitten Billie B. Brown Collection Pet Vet Complete Collection Mercy Watson Boxed Set: Tales of Buttercup Grove Katie Woo Collection Elephant & Piggie Series

Keeping Track Of What We Read

If you are looking for a way to easily keep track of the books you read in your homeschool, I highly suggest the GoodReads app. GoodReads let you have as many “shelves” as you’d like. I have one for every homeschool year so far. You can scan the books and add them to your shelves with ease.

Games For Your First Grade Homeschool

To say we play a lot of games in our homeschool would be an understatement.

We are what you would call gameschoolers for sure. I make it a point to incorporate games into our days as much as possible. One way I do that is to use them in place of busy work.

Instead of learning about something Emily is uninterested in out of a boring textbook we can do something like play a fun hands-on game while we learn more about one of her favorite things: cats. Plus while we play we’d be connecting too.

Because I know we’re not alone, and many of you would love to add games to your days as well, I have put together a list of our most played games during our first grade year.

The Top 15 Games for First Grade

UKloo – uKloo Riddle Edition Treasure Hunt is an engaging seek-and-find literacy game that combines thinking skills with physically active fun, designed for children ages 7 and up. To play the Riddle Edition, parents lay riddle cards around the house to create a trail leading to a surprise. An enclosed hints booklet can be accessed if the child gets stuck. If the child is really stuck and needs the answer they must reflect upon it – in a mirror!

My First Bananagrams – My First BANANAGRAMS uses lowercase letters and combo-letter tiles to help nurture your child’s love for wordplay and word games. With multiple activities and mini games, they’ll enjoy a play-progression towards our original BANANAGRAMS experience!

Spelligator – An exciting word building game that teaches phonemic awareness, letter patterns and positioning. It covers different letter combinations, including: consonants, vowels, digraphs, and blends.

   

 

Even Stevens Odd – Flip a card to reveal the challenge. Then everyone races to roll their dice to complete the challenge. Be the 1st to grab Steven first wins that card.

Race to Planet X – Have fun practicing addition and subtraction 1-20. Multiple game variations within the game, including an option for younger players to focus on adding and subtracting 1-10.

Sums in Space – Deep in space, your team is on the hunt for the shiniest space crystals around. All of the sudden, a black hole has formed on the horizon and is breaking apart the planet. It’s time to use your math skills to escape this planet and head back home. Use the dice to improve your math skills by adding and subtracting 0-9 and get back to the ship as fast as you can.

   

 

Ocean Raiders – Ocean Raiders is an engaging math board game. Kids raid the ocean, brave storms and play with sea creatures while mastering addition. They also ace subtraction facts along the way back. The fun elements of chutes and ladders are combined with solid math so kids love playing it over and over.

Cloud Hoppers – Cloud Hoppers is an action packed math board game. Kids ride spaceships and go an outer space adventure while mastering addition and subtraction. They also ace number sequencing and backward counting along the way.

Rack-O – Each player is dealt 10 cards. Place cards in your rack in order, slot 50 down to 5. Turn over top card from the stockpile. Continue taking cards in turn, exchanging for cards in your rack.

   

 

Ticket to Ride First Journey – First Journey offers unique rules designed for a younger audience that retain the strategy, charm, and fun of the original Ticket to Ride. The whole family will enjoy claiming routes and completing Tickets!

Moose in the House – Eeek! There’s a moose loose in the kitchen… and another in the bathroom! In this silly matching card game, the goal is to keep moose out of your house, while at the same time give them to your opponents. Use a door to close off empty rooms or if you’re lucky, plant a moose trap to keep those loveable but uninvited visitors away! 

Chomp – Plunge into a fast-paced undersea world where life is survival of the quickest. Identify the lowest creature in the food chain then slap it before other players scarf it down. Big fish chomp little fish and everyone chomps plankton. Watch out for the ink-squirting octopus and if you spot an electric eel, get ready for an all-out feeding frenzy! 

   

 

Wilcraft – Wildcraft! is a beautifully illustrated, nature-based, cooperative game created in the tradition of the classic board games.

Laurence King Bingo Games – Laurence King Publishing has many beautifully illustrated nature based bingo games to chooase from such as bird, bug, cat, dog, monkey, ocean and more.

Laurence King Matching Games – Laurence King Publishing has many beautifully illustrated nature based memory matching games to chooase from such as animal tracks, butterflies, flowers, cats, dogs, and more.

      

 

Yes, You Can Homeschool First Grade!

The reality is that I questioned myself all the time during our first grade year. Most homeschooling moms do!

But, I want you to know that homeschooling first grade is not only an educational option, it’s a wonderful approach to you child’s education.

Watch the first grade homeschool playlist to see a indepth look at how our first grade homeschool year went.


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