Thursday, April 23, 2015

1st Grade Curriculum

When we decided to home school, I wrote down the things I wanted to cover for 1st grade.  We have gone well beyond this list and there were many things TR could already do but it was good to have a guide and while we move quickly over skills she has, I like to be certain that she has mastery of the skills.

I got much of my curriculum list from the book "The Educated Child."

Reading and Comprehension

Continue to sound out words
Accurately read single syllable and most two syllable words
Recall incidents, characters, facts ad details of texts
Answer what, how, why and what-if questions about readings
Discuss similarities in characters and events from different stories
Retell stories and explain what is learned from a text using their own words
Read 15 minutes a day.


Write brief stories, poems, letters, descriptions and reports 
With help, write compositions with a beginning, middle and end 
Practice using paragraphs
With help, revise work for clarity and edit for spelling and mechanics 
Practice writing neatly

Spelling and Vocabulary

Learn simple spelling ruled reflected in phonics (e.g. a- consonant - e makes the long
Correctly spell words containing spelling patterns studied
Learn and review spelling rules (e.g. The f sound is sometimes spelled ph) 
Begin using dictionary to check spelling and word meanings.
Learn some common contractions (e.g. Can't, I'm) and abbreviations (e.g, Mr., Mrs.)
Provide synonyms (e.g. Happy, glad) and antonyms (e.g. Hot, cold) for given words

Grammar and Usage

Identify subjects and predicates in simple sentences
Learn what nouns are; how to make singular nouns plural
Study correct usage of verbs; how to change from present to past tense
Learn what adjectives are; use adjectives to compare by adding er and est
Practice using capital letters, periods, question marks, exclamation points

Learn to use commas in dates and addresses


Read and listen to poems, stories, fables, fairy tales, legends, folk tales from around the world.

Solomon Gundy, The Purple Cow, Wynken, Blynken and Nod.

Jack and the Beanstalk, Hansel and Gretel, Puss in Boots, the pied piper ( then discuss why it is important to tell the truth), Beatrix Potter tales ( then composing own animal stories) 

Lon Po Po, One Inch Boy, Medio Pollito

Learn basic literary terms, ( e.g. character, hero, heroine)

Read and listen to non fiction prose ( history books, books about art)

Practice telling and writing own stories
Learn more basic literary terms
Tell and write their own stories

World History/Geography

Map keys, symbols and term (e.g. Peninsula, island)
Directions on a map: north, south, east, west 
Locations of major oceans
Locations of Canada, U.S, Mexico, Central Americs
More features of maps and globes

Early Civilizations

Ancient Egypt

History of World Religions

Modern Civilization

 American History and Geography 

Art and Music

    Primary colors mixed to make other colors
    Use of color in different worlds
     Basic shapes in nature and art
      Use of texture in different works
Different kinds of pictures - portraits and still life's
Art from ancient times
Basic element of music -  humming a melody; playing simple rhythms
What composers do; what an orchestra is
Different kinds of music and dance, such as jazz and ballet


  Patterns and classification
     Classify by size, shape, function, ERS
      Define a set by shared attributes of its members
       Identify items that belong or do not belong in a given set
      Recognize and extend simple patterns 

Numbers and number sense 
   Count forward and backward
    Identify ordinal positions- 1st through 10th
   Learn about place value ( ones, tens, hundreds)
   Practice usin "more" and "less" with numbers; count how many more or less
  Compare quantities using <, >, and =
   Learn what simple fractions represent 1/2, 1/3, 1/4
  Make and read simple picture graphs and bar graphs 

  Values, money signs, value of different combinations equaling same thun

   Addition and subtraction facts
   Study inverse relationship of addition and subtraction
   Add and subtract two digit numbers without regrouping
  Solve basic one step story and picture problems 

  Solve simple equations such as ___ - 2 = 7

TR has art and science classes, she does music with me.  I think we have had a very successful school year and has learned a lot.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Bed time stories

It is wonderful to relax on TR or QT's bed while they read bedtime stories.  QT keeps choosing Curious George 15+ page stories so it takes mommy commitment to stay awake.

The kids often fall asleep while we are reading to them, but I don't know if they would like it if I fell asleep while they read to me.

Reading and learning to read is such an amazing thing.  QT often encounters an unfamiliar word, says that word and then asks in amazement, "how did I know that word?!"

His teacher uses phonics and teaches sight words.  During bedtime we started reading and letting him say his sight words that appear in the story and now he reads the story and we help him with words or when he requests or if he says it wrong.

I have been reading Mrs. Frisby and the Rats Of Nimh each night.  Mr. A usually reads Aesop Fables, but my chapter book has slightly interrupted that.


   We use a curriculum called Grammar Island for TR.  It is a very full language program.  We also use a common core language workbook.  TR gets mad at the workbook because some of the sentences are incomplete.  I am not a grammarian, but it appears she is becoming one.


   I want to be better at my career, my businesses and as a professional.  I plan to embark on a course of self-study and aim towards my highest potential.  I tend to view myself as an underachiever because I know I can do much much more.  I used to work much harder but after years of doing pretty much the same thing, I work by rote.  I have to get better and not coast.


  I have rearranged the furniture and the kids love it.  I like it too!  Mr. A also likes it but he leaves decorating to me and I appreciate that. TR and QT try to have input in how to place furniture and how to decorate and when to do it.

Friday, April 3, 2015

break time

I am overjoyed to be on Easter Break. Getting QT to school, doing homework with him and maintaining a schedule that enables him to do well at school is work! We get a break to rebuild. QT took a month off of Karate and I am also happy about that. Taking activities out of the schedule and getting more rest, is a fabulous thing. TR still loves gymnastics. Her current goal is to move to level 4, and go to national testing in Texas. She also wants to visit NYC. Jessie on Disney inspired her to want to travel to that destination. Alvin Ailey is coming to the bay area,so we plan to see the performance. I look forward to it.

 Today we had a new gardner/landscaper start. The place looks beautiful. I need to take photos. Our last gardner kept trimming the rose bushes away. This team pruned the rose bushes and made things look great. The garden colors of spring are in bloom and now we can enjoy looking at them.

TR has been enjoying her homeschool play group and she is taking charge of, what she wants to learn as well as learning and implementing what we teach her.