The first year of homeschooling can be intense, but one of the most delightful years you will remember.
Homeschooling your first grade student is a busy year so we’ve combined homecshool planning guide for grades 1 and 2. Your child won’t need a lot of time from you, but the time you do spend will be intensive. It’s helpful to have a plan to organize your homeschool resources and keep you on track.
Seeing your child go from blending sounds to becoming an independent reader is an exciting time for both you and him. This year, you can begin to add in some science and history. Continue character training to build a foundation not only for good study habits, but good relational habits as well. The investment of training your children to be obedient and considerate of others will go a long way in creating a harmonious family and learning environment. Take the time you need and it will make the job of teaching academics less time consuming and easier for everyone.
Dove-tailing subjects is an efficient way to get the most out of your homeschool day. The best resources we have for achieving this are Language Lessons from Australian History and Berean Builders Elementary Series. Using just these two programs alone will cover three (or four) subjects and cover two different histories (ancient and Australian). Add in some maths for a good solid core and then everything else is optional.
Continue reading aloud daily to your children and have them read aloud to you. Your read-aloud time can provide the opportunity to cover all kinds of subjects without much effort at all. Reading good, “living” books together, nurturing discussion and teaching narration is effective way for the family to learn together. If you make a written record of these times you will be surprised at how much you covered.
Once your child has learned the phonograms and is well on the way to reading, it’s time to begin grammar and spelling. Adding in copywork to whatever program you use can help reinforce both of these skills, and can provide a lot of incidental learning along the way. We’ve listed a few options for homecshool planning grades 1 and 2 below to help get you started.
English and History
Language Lessons from Australian History Book 1 uses many Charlotte Mason style elements as it teaches beginning grammar, poetry, copywork, narration and picture study all while studying Australian history.
The way history is taught in this program is very appealing to children as they listen to you read the stories from Our Australian Story and do the work set for them. This course teaches two subjects simultaneously.
Please read the product page for more information. Note: This program does not include spelling instruction; you will need a phonics and spelling program as well.
If you’re reading stories to your child, having a literature guide to extend into formal work and training in literature study is a great idea. It can provide a break from other formal English lessons. The Progeny Press literature guides feature:
Historical background; vocabulary exercises using words from the novel; literary techniques (dictionary work, character, paraphrase); moral lessons and character values; activities and writing assignments (maps, WWII, movie, field trip, timeline, Mystery Word activity page, cooking, writing, crafts, wordsearch). These guides come highly recommended.
Grade 1: We recommend New Syllabus Primary Maths for a full-orbed and up to date maths curriculum. This series is used in Singapore schools, is all metric and has the same money denominations as Australia.
To learn more, check our comparison of Singapore maths level 1 with the Australian Curriculum.
Grade 2: We recommend continuing with New Syllabus Primary Maths. You can also check our comparison of Singapore maths level 2 with the Australian Curriculum.
36 weekly lessons divided into easy-to-use daily plans. Lessons require little or NO preparation. Instructions and activities for phonics, reading skills, grammar, creative writing, and higher-order thinking skills taken from six delightful readers. Includes a quick review of first grade phonics and instruction in advanced phonics. This is a literature based program and utilises story books.
Enrichment activities, handwriting instruction, phonics facts, grammar and punctuation, games and lots more.
Reading stories to your young ones is a super enjoyable way to learn – I don’t know any child who doesn’t like being read to, especially picture books at this age. Beautiful Feet’s geography course, Around the World with Picture Books, teaches children about different cultures through literature.
It features geographical elements, maps and flags, plus children learn about the people, animals, food, etc of other countries. But it doesn’t stop there, it also includes nature study and art among other things.
There are two guides for this course, each covering different parts of the world. Choose the first one for grade 1 and the other for grade 2.
Maths manipulatives are a great tool to use for the primary grades and we have a kit that will see you right through those years for all your children.
Exploring God’s World with First Grade Science
The skill of observation is probably the most important science skill for young children. Nature study and keeping a nature journal can be a lot of fun for children in this age group. Catching bugs, keeping them in a jar and drawing them in a nature journal (and remember to let them go again) is a great way to train a child to observe the finer details of their creatures.
Don’t limit the drawings to the whole specimen – draw separate pictures of the different parts and its habitat. Date and time the catch and look it up in a field guide. Label it with both the Latin and common names.
Learn to identify the birds that commonly inhabit your backyard and what time of year they visit. Look for nests, draw the flowers of all the different native gums, wattles and exotic plants, go for walks along the river and note down all the different creatures you see. You get the idea. For more information on nature study read our article The Habit of Nature Study.
If you want to do something a little more formal then we’d recommend Science in the Beginning as our first choice for science as part of your homecshool planning for grades 1 and 2. It has been specifically written with home educating families in mind providing work for three different age groups/skill levels, which means you can easily take your child to a higher level or bring them back to the level that suits them.
The price for this book includes the Helps and Hints Book which makes teaching easier for you. Just the right amount of hands-on experiments that will satisfy your children and keep you sane.
Primary Science for grades 1-6
Another option for teaching science to little ones is Great Science Adventures. This curriculum, suitable for grades K-8, is hands-on project-based, and can also be included as art and craft due to the fantastic activities the children can do. Dovetailing is the best way to teach! There are 10 topics to choose from, so everyone’s interests can be catered for, and being available as ebooks means this is a very affordable curriculum. All your children can use the same book, learning together and having lots of fun at the same time.
Littlies all love music and forming a basis for appreciating all kinds of music needs to start young. SQUILT’s Musical Eras Sampler is perfect for this age level as it provides a variety of music to introduce your children to.
You can use it with all age groups, but the Draw What You Hear sheets are particularly helpful for younger children as well as the hands-on music maps activities, combining listening and tactile activity. Instructions are also included.
Music pieces studied are:
- Vivaldi: Spring from The Four Seasons
- Handel: Music from the Royal Fireworks
- Mozart: Variations on a French Nursery Theme
- Beethoven: Für Elise
- Chopin: Black Key Etude
- Strauss: Pizzicato Polka
- Joplin: Maple Leaf Rag
- Anderson: The Waltzing Cat