2016-2017 Homeschool Plans: 1st

This week we are officially “closing out” our 2015-2016 homeschool year and preparing to take a short break before all three Agents move up a grade. Year-round schooling works well for us, and after a few weeks without our comfortable routine, we’ll all be ready to get back into the swing of things. {I wrote about what that will look like for my 3rd and 5th graders here.}

My youngest student, Agent A, will be leaving kindergarten behind and heading into 1st grade. Following is a general outline of what we plan to do. It’s more detailed than what I would likely plan if we were not in a state that had such particular requirements for homeschooling early elementary, but it is what it is.


Primary focus areas for math will include the following:

  • addition and subtraction
  • number sense and place value
  • greater than/less than
  • time and calendar
  • skip counting
  • word problems

Legos and Cheerios are great for illustrating early math concepts. For written work we like the workbooks published by Workman, SchoolZone, and Bendon.

Language Arts

Our 1st grade language arts will be broken down into four main areas:
  • reading {non-fiction, fiction, poetry, fables, folk tales, fairy tales, mythology}
  • comprehension {understanding what is read, being able to discuss it, using context clues}
  • introduction to mechanics {grammar, spelling, punctuation, capitalization, vocabulary, sentence structure}
  • handwriting practice
Mostly Agent A’s language arts “curriculum” will simply involve reading a lot. He learned to read simple texts just before his 5th birthday {so, October-ish last year} and has progressed to early chapter books. {Honestly, he’s capable of more—probably Magic Tree House level stuff with some help—but we’re still in the but it’s so long with so many words! phase.} Primary sources of written work will include Workman Publishing {1st grade reading and writing} and Brighter Child {handwriting, language arts grade 1}.


I’ve decided to have Agent A participate while his older sisters study Spanish, so he will be following along with their Berlitz CDs and books. I’m sure he will want to incorporate our Little Pim DVDs, books, and vocab cards as well. Definitely going for exposure not mastery at this stage, and unlike my 3rd and 5th graders I will not have him do any written work just yet.


I’m still undecided on this, but I think what I will do for geography with Agent A is simply have him study the same topics that my 3rd and 5th graders are working on, just at a different level with age-appropriate books. So our focus areas for the year will be climate and weather, ecosystems, and human geography. I also purchased this very cool First Encyclopedia to use as a spine, mostly for geography and history {an overview of people and cultures} although it also includes some science, art, and music. 

American History

For our spine this year we will be using the United States Encyclopedia, in part because the simple layout and state-by-state organization means I can easily work on this subject with all three Agents together. We will probably enjoy a re-watching of Liberty’s Kids as well, and hopefully Agent A will show more interest this time through. {I think they all get a little more out of it each time we view it.} For 1st grade, I do not plan to teach world history or world religions as separate subjects as I do with my older students.


I intend to include Agent A in our mythology studies this year. I think he will enjoy the stories, and so we will read together from the Treasury of Greek Mythology each week. {We plan to read one story a week and supplement with additional books from the library.}


Unlike geography and history, I will probably not simply follow along with what the girls are doing for science, with the exception of our mammals study. Instead I plan to offer more of an overview of general science terms and topics, including reading about the various science topics outlined in the aforementioned First Encyclopedia. We will also make use of the Read and Find Out Science series (levels 1 and 2) that the girls enjoyed at that age, as well as the book Creature Report: Sunlight, Twilight, and Midnight Zone Ocean Animals {aka, the Octonauts' guide to sea animals}.

Health and Physical Education

Our state guidelines require that at every grade level we teach "alcohol, drug and tobacco misuse; highway safety and traffic regulations, bicycle safety; and fire and arson prevention” but they do not specify much past that. So, we will include these topics, as well as a more general overview of self care, nutrition, and safety at home and in the community. I do not have any particular spine books lined up for these topics. As far as physical activity, let’s just say that’s not an issue when you have a jumpy five-year-old who lives for the outdoors.

Art and Music

For art we will look at select famous artists and styles of art, as well as an introduction to art history. Of course we will also incorporate tons of creative art play {i.e., mess making}. For music we will have a similar agenda: select famous composers, musical instruments, an overview of music history, and listening to a variety of musical pieces. I do not plan to use spine books here either, although I may try to “follow along” a bit with what the girls are doing, just at a different level.

As with my 5th and 3rd graders, we’ll work on math, language arts, and Spanish every morning, and the other subjects in the afternoon a few days each week. I’m not exactly sure how that is going to come together logistically, as this year most of Agent A’s kindergarten work was pretty free range and random, so this will be my first year with an “schedule” for all three kids. It will be a work in progress—like everything else—but this will give us a good starting point.


  1. Sounds like a great plan! I'm sure they are all excited about moving up a grade. #hiphomeschoolmomsbloghop

    1. Thanks, Erin. They are . . . especially the youngest. :-)