Planning for Next Year: 2013-2014 First Grade Curriculum

I mentioned two weeks ago that I have loved embracing unschooling this summer. Almost as soon as I said that, I started craving schedule and boxes to check mark as finished. But I know I don’t really want that! I still want to let me my son’s summer be as it is … and I want to embrace unschooling much more this school year!

That said, I’m ready to look forward to the next year. Here are some of the resources we’ll be using for Raisin’s first grade year. It’s hard to believe that if we were going to send him to public school he’d only now be going into kindergarten! With that in mind, I’m not in a hurry to “finish” curriculum. We’ll just go at his pace.

2013 2014 curriculum

Here are the things we will probably be using as our school “spine,” in the midst of our more playful learning.

Language Arts

  • Spelling. We will be redoing parts of Logic of English Foundations B and then focus on Foundations C and D. This is mainly to practice spelling and handwriting, as Raisin is a fluent reader already.
  • Writing. I am teaching a Six Traits Writing Workshop (I’m calling it “Literary Elements Workshop”) at my local co-op once a week, and I’m super excited about incorporating casual writing into the rest of our homeschool week. My class is going to be a lot of fun. I also got Bravewriter’s The Writer’s Jungle. I haven’t read it yet, but I’m looking forward to encouraging writing and creativity in our homeschool. In addition, we will be following Writing with Ease level 1, which incorporates copywork and dictation. I believe it will be a good fit for us.
  • Grammar. In addition to grammar discussion in my co-op class, Raisin and I will probably also read Grammar-Land to enjoy learning about the parts of speech. Librivox has an audio reording by Kara Shallenberg, and she is one of my favorite Librivox readers.
  • Reading. I will continue to encourage Raisin to read whatever he wants. I’m going to try to do a read aloud at all times too, but lately Raisin prefers to read to himself, so I’m not going to force the matter.
  • Typing and Handwriting. I will incorporate handwriting practice in to other subjects this year, like the copywork in WWE1. Raisin will also practice Dance Mat Typing to learn where to place his hands on the computer, and Tux Typing when he’s ready to move on. (I anticipate I’ll add his spelling words to the lists for that!)
  • Strawberry and I will be reading lots of picture books for our 1000 books project.


  • Raisin is finishing Miquon Red Book. We will do Singapore Primary Mathematics 1B‘s text and workbook before we go on to the next Miquon book (Blue) and Singapore Primary Mathematics 2A. I liked doing that with Singapore 1A after we did Miquon Orange: it was reinforcement f the concepts, and my son enjoyed feeling like he was doing “easy” work.
  • Strawberry and I will be counting cheerios and playing with patterns and shapes.

History and Geography

  • Ancient History. We will begin Story of the World 1, with Activity Guide. I am looking forward to this. I have the audio book, so we will listen as we travel to various destinations. I don’t believe we’ll do too much extra with this, but it will be a nice and stress-free overview.
  • American History. Our kindergarten year of American history stalled with the American Revolution. Raisin will continue watching Liberty’s Kids, and I’ll slowly incorporate some overview of the Civil War and some other important people in to our learning. I’m pondering how best to do this. I don’t want to make it more Work, but I do want him to understand an overview of American History. Mainly, I am hoping for exposure. He is well on his way.
  • Geography. We’ll focus on the geography of what we are studying in Story of the World. We also will finish doing Stuck on the USA to learn about the various states (each state has at least a half a dozen stickers to place), and Stuck on the Presidents to learn about various Presidents (again, stickers make learning fun!).
  • Strawberry will be watching the world as we drive and live, and she will be learning that way.


  • Raisin is taking a Science course at the co-op about life sciences. Beyond that, I may do some Science “clubs” with some friends, where kids come and do experiments for an hour once a week or so. I don’t plan on forcing other homework or learning; science at this age will simply be for fun!
  • Strawberry will keep playing the “gravity” game at mealtimes and probably add some other new experiments every day as well!

Fine Arts

  • Music. Raisin will continue learning to play the piano this year. We also received a recorder from a friend. If I can figure out how to play it, I’ll teach him that too! But we may wait another year before trying that.
  • Art. Raisin will do arts and crafts as desired. Once a month, we’ll also do a lesson from Art History for Little Ones, which I purchased a few months ago and I love the look of it!
  • Strawberry will color with crayons and paint with finger paints (if I ever feel daring enough to face the mess)! I believe she will be a creative one; already she shows an interest in coloring. Raisin never cared much for drawing.

Health and Fitness

  • Raisin will take a “swim and gym” class at the local park district. I may also sign him up for swimming lessons separately. I believe swimming is very important, and he has not made much progress in the past year at swim and gym.
  • Strawberry will run around and go swimming with us for fun sometimes. She loves water and always tries to dunk herself.

Foreign Language

  • Spanish. Raisin will continue to do Visual Link Spanish. We’ll read books in Spanish and practice speaking Spanish to each other. (Raisin loves saying “no” and then laughing because he’s speaking Spanish!)
  • Strawberry will continue to watch Signing Time.


  • We will continue to read a little bit of Gospel Principles each morning. In addition, we’ll follow along in the Old Testament Stories manual to correlate to our Story of the World reading.
  • Strawberry will learn to pray this year. (As I pondered what my goal for her would be, that was the thing that felt most important and special. Since she is learning to talk and finally learning to fold her arms during a prayer, learning to say the words would be a perfect goal for her between now and this time next year!)


I hope and pray we will get plenty of time for field trips and extra-curricular learning.  I know there is something I’m missing from this list, but let’s just assume that this is plenty for one school year! I know it is.

To support all teachers, whether you are homeschooling teachers, parents, public school teachers, or private instructors, I’ve created some attractive 2013-2014 calendars. Download them and keep them in a binder where you can plan head for your weekly themes, field trips, and so forth.


I’m linking up with Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers for the first time!


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  • Yep, Kirsten, we’ve done the same with Liberty’s Kids this week! My son is really sad there are no special features in the $10 version I got but he’ll deal with it….And I will have to try Sentence Family too!

  • Oh, I had something else to say that I forgot about. 🙂 If you like Grammarland, you would probably really like Sentence Family as well. We did sentence family first and loved it, and then did Grammarland (actually, we didn’t finish it…I should add that to my list for the fall). I found Grammarland to be a lot more “wordy” somehow, so I was actually glad we did sentence family first. It’s really cute.

    Kara Shallenberg is my favorite librivox reader too, but my kids prefer me reading to them over audiobooks these days.

  • We are doing something similar with LoE Foundations — reviewing parts of B and C and the doing D when the final version comes out. I think my 6 year old is mostly beyond it in terms of reading — he’s not fluent yet, but can already generally read the type books that are featured for reading in D (maybe with some help here and there).

    We got our Liberty’s Kids DVDs in the mail this week and picked up on watching the series again (we made it through the first 19 episodes earlier this school year before the kids got a bit tired of it), but just this week we’ve watched about six more episodes. A perfect thing to do on a really hot afternoon!

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