Home First Grade: An Update

I shared a few weeks ago that we started first grade earlier than I anticipated per Agent E's request. The three main areas we decided to focus on for the next few months were the 50 states, weather, and Spanish. (This is in addition to basic math, reading, and writing, which are just such a part of our lives I find it hard to even categorize them as "school" . . . plus outside exploration time, computer time, and general life skills time.) 

For the states, we're using some very simple materials, including the giant state map already hanging in our playroom, two workbooks from the dollar section at Target, and some online resources. We're learning basic geography, state capitals, and a few fun facts, as well as peaking E's interest in traveling (again). 

My student
In keeping with our philosophy of E having significant input into our choice of subjects, weather is out and ocean life is in. We're exploring different sea creatures right now and working on a short list of unit studies. I don't know why she lost interest in wind, rain, and clouds and became fascinated instead with whales, anemones, and sea cucumbers, but this is how we roll, so we're going with it. (I don't think the Octonauts had anything to do with it, though . . . cough, cough.)

Having fun with the Spanish; mostly we're trying to learn some basic vocabulary (numbers, colors, animals, months) right now, as well as work on pronunciation. We have post-its up around the house with the Spanish words for common household items, and we're starting on conversational phrases. 

As much as I love child-led learning, and will continue to follow E's lead in what we study, I think we both need more structure to our days and our curriculum as far as the how. I'm fairly certain this is driven by the fact that Hubby is gone for the next couple of months and when he's not around we all need more of a routine to stay sane. So, we're trying some things like daily assignment checklists and a set time each day to review our work. And I'm working on being more proactive with planning and keeping my own notes. 


  1. Sounds like a great time! I love to be able to encourage my kids' interests.

  2. They always remember more when they're interested, don't they? Have a great year!

    You can peek at my plans for our 7 kids here: http://ourbusyhomeschool.blogspot.com/2012/08/curriculum-for-seven-kids-2012-2013.html

  3. Your year sounds like so much fun!! Child-led learning is the best!! You can peek our our curriculum choices here: http://www.fundayswithcuriouskids.com/2012-2013-homeschool-curriculum/

    God Bless you this school year!

  4. Love the hats your kids are wearing in the photos!
    We also try to do a balance of child led learnign with some structure.
    We also are in Florida (PCS'd to MacDill).
    Hope that you like life in the Sunshine State too!
    Popped by from the “Not-Back-to-School” Blog Hop: Curriculum Week!
    Hope that you have a happy homeschool year! Happy planning for 2012-2013!
    Hope that you will pop by to say hello over at my blog and my Pinterest boards too!
    Colleen a.k.a. Pinterest Mama
    Sunrise Learning Lab