Saturday, August 2, 2014

First Grade Classical Curriculum

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This post contains affiliate links to the curriculum I use and love!

Like I mentioned a bit ago, this year is going to be different for us because we are going to be a part of a Classical Conversations community.  I am excited for this change, and hope that it ends up being a good fit for us!  So, you will see that some of our curriculum choices are based on that, and others are separate.  This year I have a 6 yr old boy and a 4 yr old girl.  I will mostly focus on the 6 yr, but I'll also throw in what my 4 yr will be doing.

History - Classical Conversations

History is a big deal at Classical Conversations.  Each week we will memorize part of the timeline and also a sentence about a particular even in history (this year the focus will be American history).  My son loves to read and he also retains what he reads very well, so for history we are not going to be adding anything except reading books having to do with the week's sentence.  Some I will read aloud and others he will read independently.  My daughter will enjoy the read alouds and work on memorizing the history sentences.  Here are some of the books we will be enjoying (focusing on the first few weeks because I haven't planned the whole year out yet =)  Ooo!  Also American history related books from Heritage History.

Math - Saxon and Ray's Arithmetic

This will be a continuation of what we were doing the second half of last year.  We will move onto Saxon 1 and keep moving along in our Ray's Arithmetic (with workbook). I love how Ray's Arithmetic provides such a great base of understanding numbers, and I love Saxon because it covers everything else so I know I'm not missing anything (measuring, time, patterns, etc.)  Last year I kept my kids together in Saxon K even thought it was very simple for my son.  He needed to build some confidence at that point, but I think he is ready to move more quickly again.  I'm not sure if I will do their math lessons separately, or do it together but have him work on the later worksheets.

In Classical Conversations, we will be learning skip counting, so we will be playing a lot of SPEED! and doing some skip counting worksheets for practice.

By the way, if you are interested in Ray's Arithmetic, you can enter to win it this week as a part of my Homeschool For Free giveaway!


I am also really happy with what we have been doing for ELA.  We use Primary Language Lessons for a gentle intro to language arts, the McGuffey Readers (primer for my 4yr and 2nd reader for my 6yr old) as reading/comprehension/narration practice, and we recently started using Easy Grammar (grade 2), which I am loving because it provides exactly the right kind of practice that my son needs.

Of course, I am also in love with copywork, so we will be doing selections from Patriotic Songs and Sayings, Poetry for Kids, and McGuffey Primer copywork packs.


I am thrilled to be moving on to Song School Latin 2 for the new year!  My kids love Song School Latin 1, and are excited to learn new songs and color new pictures =)  Book 2 is really big compared to book 1, and it starts covering grammar as opposed to just vocab.  I have no idea what I'm getting into, but I trust that Classical Academic Press will gently guide us all through the process!

Also, in Classical Conversations we will be memorizing John 1:1-7 in both English and Latin.  I have it on my list to make copywork for Latin Bible verses, so maybe I'll get to that and we will do some Latin copywork as well!

Science - Anatomy & Chemistry

Like with history, I am going to be letting Classical Conversations take the lead on this one.  Each week we will memorize a piece of information and also do an experiment at CC.  My plan is to go to the library and get books related to the topic studied that week.  Once I learned that anatomy was going to be a part of CC science this year, I stopped what we had been doing with Elemental Science.  I was planning on finishing that up during the summer, but we were right in the middle of anatomy, so instead I'm saving it to use once we start CC.  We will finish filling out the notebook and use the rest of the curriculum for other ideas if my kids are interested in learning more about the topic for the week.

Fine Arts

Honestly I'm not sure how this one will pan out.  I plan on listening to lots of classical music this year, looking at great pieces of art, and practicing whatever we learn that week in CC.  We will also pick selections from Draw Write Now to complement our history studies.

I'm sure we will also still use Harmony Fine Arts because my kids and I both really enjoy what we have been doing with that.

My daughter is really musical, so I'm thinking of finding a class of some sort for her.  She got a violin for her birthday last year, so we have been (slowly) going through The Violin Book.  My son is doing awesome learning to play the piano, so he will continue in that.

So there you have it!  What do you think?  Are you using any of the same material?  I'd love to hear what you'll be using this year!  Also, check out what hundreds of other homeschool moms are using this year at the 6th Annual Not Back to School blog hop hosted by the iHomeschool Network! (Starts Monday, August 4th)

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  1. It looks great. I hope that you enjoy CC. My son still talks about it and asked me if they have it in England.

    1. Thanks! I'm glad your son had a good experience! I know CC is international, nothing in England, though?

  2. Looks like it will be a great year!

  3. We will be doing Song School Spanish this year. It looks like it will be a great program! I'm considering Song School Latin for when we begin Latin studies.

    I'm trying to decide what memory work to pair with Story of the World Vol. 1 (which is ancient history) for my 1st grader. Does CC do any memory work with ancient history?

    1. That is great that you are doing Song School Spanish. I'm sure you will love it!

      CC does have ancient history memory work. You would find it in their cycle 1 stuff (resource cd, audio cd, flash cards, etc.) or in the foundations guide itself.

      Or you can just make stuff up yourself =) I started out making stuff up for a few years, but I appreciate having pre-done memory work from CC this year!

    2. Thanks Amy. I figured I would just make up my own cards for memory work (which I am doing for grammar). But I do like the idea of pre-done memory work! I checked out the link you gave and there are some great resources there. I see there are Classical Acts and Facts History cards, a pdf of Cycle 1 memory work, a memory work resource CD, etc. Any recommendations? I thought it might be neat to have the Classical Acts and Facts History Timeline Songs. I'm assuming that it's for all of history and not just ancient history.

    3. The Classical Acts and Facts do not have the actual memory work on them, but they are great to show the kids as they recite/sing the timeline song. Plus there's lots of great info on the back. Yes, the timeline song is the ENTIRE timeline, not just ancient history. The memory work CD is nice because it has a lot of the memory work in song form. The resource CD is nice if you want to look at the info on the computer. I don't have it, but I believe it is more like a powerpoint of all the info including all the memory work and songs. If all you want is the simple memory work, the PDF is probably the easiest and cheapest =) Personally this year we are making our whole history curriculum out of the timeline cards, memory work, and reading living books that go along with the topic. I know people have match-ups for Story of the World and CC, if that interests you.

    4. Thanks for all the info. Amy! I would be very interested in match-ups for Story of the World and CC. Right now, I'm trying to decide what memory work to match up with SOTW Volume 1 which is ancient history. First Language Lessons includes poems to be memorized and we'll be doing memory work for the parts of speech as they come up in the book as well. So I think that's where some of the CC resources could potentially come in handy. :)

    5. Does this help? I've never used SOTW, so I can't verify the accuracy, but it looks good.

  4. Sweet! Thank you so much for this post! I read your post for 1st grade grammar/phonic/spelling tips. I am already using the McGuffy Readers. Your curriculum looks excellent.


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