It is mid-way through my son’s kindergarten year, and I don’t know if I’m being super productive or just a little wrestles, but I am all about grade 1 planning right now.
We’re coming at grade 1 from an eclectic style. We’ve used a little ABeka, a little Explode the Code, Scholastic readers, topical library books and a whole lot of Pinterest pintables & ideas.
What did we use in Kindergarten?
Language and Grammar:
· ABeka K5 Letters and Sounds
· ABeka K5 Writing with Phonics
· Bob Books Stage 1: Starting to Read set
· SpellingYouSee A (Started in December)
· ABeka K5 Number Skills
· Topical Studies (using library resources and my own creativity) ;)
*This also included our Art, read alouds, Geography, etc
(Find out all of what we kicked off our K year with here)
Moving forward from where we are leaving off once Kindergarten is complete; I plan on continuing with ABeka Math and Writing. I would love to continue our same style of Science and Social for the early grades that we have done as well. However, I am COMPLETELY undecided on Language Arts/Grammar!
I’m looking at L.A. programs from ABeka, Master Books, Explode the Code, and SpellingYouSee.
I want to know
· Are we entering into next year at the right skill level?
· Will the curriculum suit my child’s way of learning?
· Where will this curriculum take us by the end of the next year?
(Skip the reading and checkout my Grade 1 Grammar Hunt video on YouTube)
ABeka – Grade 1
I’m looking into ABeka but still avoiding the purchase of their huge set. My creativity and skill set doesn’t have enough room in the box of learning they pack grade 1 into. This curriculum is a natural choice, because we have done their K5 Letters and Sounds book and I know we’ll be moving into their grade 1 at the right level...but I'm just not sure they "fit" us anymore.
- Letters & Sounds 1 starts with vowel sounds and goes into suffixes (ie: “-ing”). By the end your child is through many rule-breaking English words and into more difficult suffixes like “-edge”
- Language 1 starts off with 2-4 letter words using long and short vowel sounds and exploring words that make the same sound but are spelled differently. By the end they’re filling in sentences and doing a larger amount of copy work with 6-letter + words.
- Writing with Phonics is a lot of copywork, just like K5, just staying in line with the difficulty of the Letters and Language books above.
Master Books - Grade 1
- Basic Language Skills also assumes you’ve got a basic foundation of letter sounds and starts with soft vowel sounds and 3-4 letter words, getting into 2 vowel words and is much more simple in their format. At the end of the book you’ve gone through words that have “ie” and “ei” and phonics teaching on “gh” etc. This Book has Charlotte Mason flair, so it expects you to add in reading as well and purchase the 3 books that compliment it in their package. **I’m liking this!.**
Explode the Code - (Grade 1-4)
- Explode the Code (1, 2 & 3) was the curriculum with the lowest expectations and the most simple design. It starts with book 1 being focussed solely on short vowel sounds and book 3 ends with knowing long vowels and basic blends. It does not enter into more complicated blends like the first 2 curriculums I mentioned. This one might be a great choice for someone who hasn't focused on academics much yet with their 6-year-old, however, I think we are passed these skills already.
SpellingYouSee - first levels
- SpellingYouSee A starts out as more of a letter book than a spelling book, but if you appreciate the SpellingYouSee philosophy, you are assuming your child will be learning spelling through using words more naturally in their writing. It starts with 3-letter words and works to 5-letter words by the end. They are short lessons focussed on pencil grip, correct writing and relating sound-to-letter. Though often started in grade 1, this could easily be used for Kindergarten.
- SpellingYouSee B is extremely similar to A as far as style goes, but it will incorporate more copy work and a larger variety of words. This curriculum avoids drilling lists of words to memorize completely.
So here’s where I’m at right now
for MY homeschool planning: I love to get creative and not have EVERYTHING mapped out for me...so Master Books’ Basic Language Skills is looking pretty good. The curriculum goes far enough (in my opinion) for the skills I want to teach in grade 1 and leaves a lot of room for me to do my own thing a bit, unlike ABeka. Even though I’ve loved Explode the Code books, I just think that it won’t move us as far as I want to go within 3 whole books worth of work.
I love the idea of spelling you see, though I’m a little unsure of totally omitting the traditional spelling lists to memorize...but I think grade 1 might be the perfect year to give it a go and test it. I can always switch things up for grade 2 if we don’t see results.
Thanks for reading today’s log and I hope this info was helpful to more homeschool parents out there!
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