I spent about 15 minutes a day several times a week doing some kind of sticker book like My Giant Sticker Activity Book. We went through it in order. This helps develop just small bits of discipline and helps a child develop a willingness to work through each page to get to the next one he's most anticipating. It's also super-fun and allows kids who don't have well-developed fine motor skills to complete a page without getting frustrated.
- Saxon 1 with associated manipulatives
- Veritas Press Phonics Museum, K-1 Combo (We got as far through this as we could... about 2/3 or 3/4 of the way through first grade)
- Random science reading and learning, including watching caterpillars grow into butterflies and tadpoles grow into frogs.
- Catechism and scripture memory program we started at Clifton Baptist Church in Louisville
- We'll finish up the 1st grade phonics curriculum in July before we get into the school year full-swing.
- Art: Drawing with Children by Mona Brookes; Discovering Great Artists: Hands-On Art for Children in the Styles of the Great Masters
- Bible: Big Picture Bible Timeline; the catechism and scripture memory program; and scripture reading.
- Geography: Legends and Leagues by Ned Bustard; Geography Songs CD
- Grammar: Shurley English Level 1
- History: Mystery of History, Volume 1 primarily, and The Story of the World, Volume 1 where it fits; Kingfisher History Encyclopedia; The Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia of World History
- Literature: Veritas Press First Favorites 1 and 2 with Comprehension Guides. He'll also read books from the library to support history learning depending on what we're interested in reading more about. I'll use the resource lists in The Well-Trained Mind as a springboard.
- Math: Saxon 2 with associated manipulatives
- Music: We may start piano lessons. In the fall, Ladan will be taking a class called Music in Motion at our homeschool co-op (if he gets his first choice for that hour). A mom will be teaching the children about music and will incorporate physical activities into their music learning. FUN!
- Physical Education: Probably soccer in the fall, and he'll likely take swimming lessons in the winter and spring. We'll see what our options are when we get there. This will also be included in the music class mentioned above.
- Science: Apologia Exploring Creation with Astronomy. If he gets his first choice, he'll also be taking a co-op class where they'll do astronomy experiments and projects as a class based on this curriculum. It will be fun for him to see the results that other kids get, so I love the idea of him doing this with a group of kids.
- Fun extras: Lyrical Life Science; The Farewell Symphony; Bach's Goldberg Variations
There are TONS of really GOOD choices. These are the things that excite us and seem reasonable for us to use. Some families do a lot more of their own curriculum development, which is great. I don't feel like I have time for that right now. Some families are more or less structured than our family.
The key is to find out what the law requires in your state, decide what's going to work for you and at least meet the legal standard. To learn what the laws are in your state, you can go to the Homeschool Legal Defense Association web page: http://www.hslda.org/. We are choosing to do MUCH more than the law requires at this point. We're not even required to school the kids until they're 7. My reasoning for that is the simple fact that kids are sponges at this age, and the better foundation I can give them in a wide variety of subjects, the more they'll have to build on as they get older. Learning is loads of fun for them right now, so it's not like I'm having to act as a slave driver all day long. The great thing is that, while we're incorporating a lot more content hours in a day than public schools do, Ladan gets a LOT more free play time than kids in school do. It's like the best of both worlds. Since we're part of the homeschool co-op on Thursday mornings, he gets a class once a week and gets to hang out with friends then. Nice!
As for scheduling the school year, we'll organize ourselves very similarly to what is described in this blog entry. Obviously, since it's just first grade, there will be LOTS of guidance from me and LOTS of redirection when things get off course... but this is the general idea. Every year, I'll hand over a little bit more of the scheduling responsibility to the kids so that by the time they're in junior high or high school, I'll have some sort of syllabus with due dates, and they'll be dividing up their lessons and determining the best way to get their learning goals accomplished.
So, for those of you who are interested, this is what we're doing for now. Hope it helps!