What homeschool curriculum are you using for 1st grade? This is a question I’ve gotten asked a lot since we completed a successful and enjoyable kindergarten year. And I’m happy to share what we’ve found works in hopes that maybe some will be a blessing for your family too!
For first grade homeschool curriculum, our top picks are All About Reading, All About Spelling, Addition Facts That Stick, Subtraction Facts That Stick, Classical Conversations, First Language Lessons, and Zaner-Bloser Handwriting. Our subjects of focus will be reading, math, writing, Bible study, language, spelling, history, timeline, geography, science, fine arts, presenting, and life skills, of course!
UPDATE! We’re halfway through our 1st grade year and we’ve made a couple of changes, which I’ll note below.
1st Grade Math: Addition Facts that Stick
We’ve tried The Good and the Beautiful Math and Rightstart Math. However, we found we needed to narrow the focus for our daughter. She understand numbers, shapes, time, measurements, and money. However, addition was not making sense, and jumping from topic to topic was bringing out tears of frustration.
So, I decided to narrow our focus to just addition and tried Kate Snow’s Addition Facts that Stick: Help Your Child Master the Addition Facts for Good in Just Six Weeks. It’s inexpensive, doesn’t require much prep or extra tools, and it worked well for us!
Each week, you teach a lesson, play a game, and complete worksheets for practice and review.
We were going to use Rightstart Math Level B (and still may later on), but after the addition book worked so well, I decided to stick with this method and bought all the other books in the series. We’re about halfway through Subtraction Facts that Stick and we’re both happy with the decision.
Related Math Books by Kate Snow:
- Addition Facts that Stick
- Subtraction Facts that Stick
- Multiplication Facts that Stick
- Division Facts that Stick
1st Grade Math Curriculum: Rightstart Math Level B
If you don’t want to focus on just addition facts, a more comprehensive curriculum for 1st grade math is RightStart Level B.
RightStart vs The Good and Beautiful Math (Level K)
The main differences I found are rather than focusing on counting, RightStart focuses on:
- understanding what numbers mean, like eleven, twelve, and thirteen
- visualizing quantities
- using card games for mastering math concepts
|Level B Book Bundle, Second Edition
By Joan Cotter PhD.
|Math Set, Second Edition Manipulatives Set|
|RightStart Mathematics Level A Book Bundle, 2nd Edition|
1st Grade Reading Curriculum: All About Reading Level 2
UPDATE: We completed All About Reading Level 2 for 1st grade reading before Christmas break, and my daughter loved it! She has become such a strong reader and devours chapter books during every spare minute.
It’s incredible to hear your child read chapter books on her own! 📚🥰
There is prep work with this curriculum, such as cutting activity sheets. I took time in the summer to prep all the activities and put them in page protectors in a 3-ring binder.
🤑 This curriculum has incredible resale value! I’ve been in a resale group for months, and levels consistently sell for $100+ within minutes. I kept missing out, so I finally purchased a new kit with plans to sell it in the future. So if you keep it in good condition, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to sell it and make money back.
1st Grade Readers: Pathway Reading Series
UPDATE: Our daughter read all of the Grade 1 and Grade 2 readers last summer before we officially started the school year. They’re great!
A friend recommended Pathway Reading Books as simple, wholesome, character-building readers that all three of her children enjoyed. Our daughter just finished the first book in the series today reading aloud while we ran errands. She loves it! I only expected one chapter, but she just kept wanting to read more! (Music to a homeschool mom’s ears, right?!)
These books are great for practicing reading as an alternative to sit-down curriculum lessons.
1st Grade Reading Workbook: Explode the Code 3
Explode the Code workbooks have a systematic approach to phonics. These workbooks are effective for reading and phonics review. We’ll be using Explode the Code Workbook 3 on days we need a lighter workload. You can purchase Explode the Code workbooks on Amazon or often for a lower price on Christianbook.
|Explode the Code, Book 3 (2nd Edition; Homeschool Edition)|
1st Grade Spelling Curriculum: All About Spelling Level 1
UPDATE: We are almost done with Level 1. I’ve definitely learned spelling rules I never knew before, and it’s nice that it uses the same tiles as All About Reading.
We started using and really like All About Spelling Level 1 for our first-grade spelling curriculum. Our kids love using the letter tiles on a magnetic whiteboard. I love that it’s open-and-go, comprehensive, sequential, and goes well with our reading curriculum.
To use this curriculum, you’ll need All About Spelling Level 1 Teacher’s Manual, Student Packet, and the All About Spelling Basic Interactive Kit.
|All About Spelling Level 1 (Teacher’s Manual & Student Packet)|
|All About Spelling Basic Interactive Kit|
* If you already have the All About Reading Interactive Kit, the only spelling components not included are the Spelling Divider Cards and the Spelling Review Box. You can purchase these separately or make your own. Learn more here.
1st Grade English Language: First Language Lessons Level 1
UPDATE: These lessons are simple and super short. Very gentle and easy way to start growing language knowledge and skills.
First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind Level 1 is the simple, scripted, open-and-go curriculum we’ll use for first grade language arts. You can purchase it on Amazon or on Christianbook.
1st Grade Writing Practice: Zaner Bloser
For handwriting or copy work, we alternate using a lined Kindergarten Handwriting Paper Notepad and the 2M Zaner-Bloser Handwriting workbook.
|Zaner-Bloser Handwriting Student Edition, Grade 2 (Manuscript; 2020 Copyright)|
We use the Kindergarten Handwriting Paper to practice writing things like names, our address, phone numbers, and scripture verses.
If you are a Classical Conversations Connected member, there are often printable copywork sheets that relate to weekly memory work too. This is an easy way to review memory while practicing writing.
1st Grade Bible Study: The Ology
The Ology is a beautifully illustrated beginner theology book for kids. It helps children (and adults) understand who God is and how we, as his children, relate to him. It addresses abstract concepts from the Bible and makes them easier for kids to understand through creative examples, illustrations, and analogies. The Ology is recommended for children ages 6-11 and it has a Christian worldview.
|The Ology: Ancient Truths Ever New|
1st Grade World History and Timeline Resources
We’ll use the Classical Conversations Foundations Curriculum as the foundation for our history curriculum. This year is Cycle 1, which focuses on Ancient World History. In addition to the Foundations Guide, we’ll use:
Classical Conversations Cycle 1 CD to review weekly memory work from Timeline and World History – available on Amazon (Christian worldview)
Animals in Time, Volume 1 Story Book: Historical Empires and Civilizations – aligns with Classical Conversations Cycle 1 memory work for history, science, geography – available on Amazon
Animals in Time, Volume 1 Activity Book: Historical Empires and Civilizations – aligns with Classical Conversations Cycle 1 memory work for history, science, geography – available on Amazon
Imagination Station chapter books – order on Amazon (Christian worldview)
Magic Tree House chapter books – order on Amazon
We also use the Classical Conversations Timeline Cards to read more about any historical events we’re curious about. I hang the 7 weekly cards with clothespins as a visual to go with the timeline facts we’re memorizing.
|Classical Acts and Facts History Cards: Ancient World|
|Classical Acts and Facts History Cards: Medieval World|
|Classical Acts and Facts History Cards: New World|
|Classical Acts and Facts History Cards: Modern World|
I do not have the Usborne books below (yet) but have seen them recommended as great resources to go along with CC Cycle 1 World History. Sharing to give you another resource idea (and so I remember which ones they are!)
Usborne Books Timelines of World History – order on Amazon
Usborne World History Encyclopedia (Internet Linked) – order on Amazon
1st Grade Geography
|Trivium at the Table Placemats Cycle 1 Set (4 Maps; 2nd Edition)|
Globe – We have the Scientific Smart Globe, which speaks fun facts about states, countries, and continents around the globe. It can play National Anthems, name capitals, and share history and prominent features. You can order it on Amazon
We’ll also begin Blob Mapping to learn more about our world. You can find great free resources about blob mapping here
1st Grade Science
CC Cycle 1 Science covers Biology and Earth Science. Below are a few of the resources we plan to use to explore science in first grade.
Classical Conversations Cycle 1 CD to review weekly memory work for science – order on Amazon (Christian worldview)
1st Grade Fine Arts
We will use local resources and Classical Conversations Foundations to guide our fine arts studies:
- study classical composers
- learn about great artists
- practice drawing and painting techniques
- learn how to play the tin whistle
- learn how to play the piano
- participate in Kid Art Nation online art class
- attend extracurricular dance classes and/or sports
Related Homeschool Posts
- Kindergarten Homeschool Resources for Beginners
- Fun Homeschooling Tips While Traveling
- Homeschool Freebies & Deals
Why Homeschooling on a Food Allergy Blog?
One of the main reasons I began considering homeschool was our daughter’s severe peanut allergy. She has had contact reactions, so the thought of hundreds of kids bringing snacks, lunches, and treats with peanuts around her daily made me extremely uncomfortable. Thankfully, I found some incredible moms in my area who homeschool, and they have been simply amazing for support and answering questions.
Since I decided to homeschool shortly before the Covid-19 pandemic began, many other moms found themselves considering homeschool for the first time. I had never considered the possibility that I would homeschool before, so I could completely relate to their questions and fears!
In so many ways homeschooling has been a huge blessing to our family, and it’s an honor to pass on recommendations of what’s working well for us to others looking for early elementary homeschool resources.
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