Monday, August 19, 2013

First Grade Plans

Hello dearly missed blog friends!

We are still in the thick of packing and moving into our new home, and I haven't had nearly the time I would like in order to dig deep and ponder CM education. I've been relying on prayer, grace, friends, family, and much coffee to see me through. My Type-A self has had quite the time staying calm with all the chaos swirling about me. And now we are t-minus 2 weeks until my sweet girl begins 1st grade! Here is an overview of what we have least our school desk is moved and set up:)

We are following very closely Ambleside's plans for Year 1, with just a few changes, as noted.

Poetry - Robert Louis Stevenson, A.A. Milne, Favorite Poems Old and New. This is also the basis of our memory work. I created a small binder based on the SCM scripture memory system which we use to memorize new poems and keep fresh the ones we already know. It works swimmingly!

Geography - Paddle to the Sea, weekly mapwork, C.C. Long's Home Geography for the Primary Grades.

Literature - Lang's The Blue Fairy Book, Nesbit's Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare, Winter's The Aesop for Children, Kipling's Just So Stories. We are not using Parables from Nature or Trial and Triumph, but are substituting both with Steedman's Our Island Saints.

Free reads: From the AO list, and any other wonderful list I can get my hands on! I plan to do some of them as read alouds, and some as independent reading.

Nature Study - James Herriot's Treasury for Children, The Burgess Bird Book for Children, weekly nature outing with Celeste and her sweeties, journaling

History - Our Island Story, Fifty Famous Stories Retold, Viking Tales, D'Aulaire biographies, weekly timeline work

Grammar/Spelling- I have a set of McGuffey readers, and we will use them each day to practice reading aloud, spelling, and noticing how sentences work. I also gave in to my need to cover bases and ordered SCM's Delightful Reading. I'm planning to use it for my little guy (he's in the beginning stages of reading...more about him later), as well as to reinforce grammar and spelling with my 1st grader.

Copywork - I will print out lined writing sheets and have her copy selections from the McGuffey primer. I keep all of this in a notebook so we can see how much progress we are making on perfect handwriting!

Math - We are happily working through Right Start Level B.

French: French for Children, doing a new lesson each week. Also, Un Deux Trois: First French Rhymes, French Bingo, French Flashcards, and I'm also planning some Christmas songs in French as well.

Religion - We will follow along with AO's suggestions for which Bible stories to cover, and plan to read them from Knecht's Child's Bible History. Amy Steedman's Our Island Saints crosses over to this category, and we will also read Mother Mary Loyola's King of the Golden City. Though my daughter made her First Holy Communion this spring, and this is typically a FHC prep book, I don't want to miss it.

Physical Education - Weekly ballet/tap class, as well as weekly horseback riding lessons. And outside time in the pool and running around with her brother.

Artist Study - Following AO's suggestions and already have them nicely bound and ready to go.

Music Study - AO list again, and I have YouTube lists set up for each term with the folk songs being studied. We'll also learn some hymns we hear frequently at Mass and a few new Christmas carols.

Composer Study- AO's wonderful list partnered with YouTube.

Handcrafts - Sigh. I am not crafty. Meaning, I don't really enjoy crafting. I do think all humans are creative though. I have lots of wonderful papers, paints, markers, pencils, sewing kits and books. We'll see where The Girl wants to go. I'm inclined to let her take the lead here...she's a natural artist in ways I am not.

Habits- Again, using SCM. We are starting with Laying Down the Rails for Children, and I'm using this for both of my kiddos. I'm working my own habits as well, and I'm trying to marry my work and theirs...more later.

As a side note, I'm using a couple of SCM books this year, but I did hesitate about those purchases. In general, my experience has been that they are "CM lite" and I want the real deal. But I'm pleased so far with what I've seen of the Delightful Reading and Laying Down the Rails for Children. I'll keep you posted;)

Next time, I'll flesh out each of these categories, and talk about schedule. Yay for fall. I'm ready for school!


  1. Love your list! I'm doing AO Year 1 with my son too. Where did you find your french program? I've been looking at a lot and can't choose!

  2. Hi Robyn, I found that French program just by looking around Amazon and reading reviews. It is simple, fairly inexpensive, and gives a lot of vocab, which was my main goal. It isn't long, and we'll be done with it by the end of Term 2, so I'll need something more after that:)