1st Grade Curriculum Choices for 2020-21

This is my 6th year homeschooling, but only the second year that my younger child has been of compulsive school age. I have never homeschooled first grade before because my older child was in public school though 4th grade.

MAIN CURRICULUM: We will be using Torchlight level 1 as the foundation for the year. We have been very happy with the PreK and K levels of Torchlight and are excited to start the next level. Level 1 will cover ancient history and mythology for our required social studies. It also happens that my older child chose ancient history for his social studies topic, so at some points 1st grade and 10th grade will find some common ground this year.!

The Torchlight curriculum also includes literature and poetry to be part of our English curriculum (for more see below). There are also some writing projects, like vocabulary and short stories. I’ll have to see if my daughter is up to those tasks yet. Science, including some topics I can count as health are also covered (for more see below). Art projects are included on a weekly basis.

ENGLISH: Since Torchlight does not cover reading and phonics, we are continuing with Logic of English Foundations C and D. I am still planning on taking two days to complete each lesson. Some of the lessons have more content than the lessons in B had, but 2 days still look to be enough at least for the lessons in C.

SCIENCE: I bought REAL Science Odyssey Life because I thought it was scheduled in Torchlight, but it is only a suggested extension. I will use it at least through the body system units because I am required to teach health, so that will give me some solid activities for that subject. After those units, I will see how frequently we continue with it. There is a good chance we will stretch the RSO Life into the summer or next school year. Torchlight does have some Be Naturally Curious units scheduled in, so we are also doing those. 

MATH: We will be finishing up Singapore Standards level 1b and then we will move onto level 2a and b. I have been using the home instructor’s guide, textbook, workbook, and extra practice. Usually, we do one set of problems per day. For example, we do the introduction activity to the topic from the HIG and the lesson in the textbook one day, and then the workbook the next day, followed by the extra practice on the third day. At that rate, we are going rather slowly, but I try to keep in mind that we are still more than half a year of where she “should” be.

MUSIC: We will continue with a weekly half hour piano lesson and daily practice. The Skype lessons we have been doing since the spring are not quite the same as in-person lessons, but it’s the best we can do right now.

PE: This subject is still up in the air due to the pandemic. We may have to do some homespun units of yoga, tennis, and golf. My kid does not want to continue doing gymnastics, though they do have a solid-sounding pandemic plan in place. We used dance classes as PE last year, in addition to gymnastics. However, I don’t think I want to continue with Zoom dance lessons as we had in the spring. The dance school had social distancing plans for in-person summer classes, so we will see how things are looking in September.

GERMAN: I had a tough time finding curriculum this year, especially since out trip to Germany got cancelled. It would have been helpful if I could have flipped through curriculum in a German bookstore to find what I was looking for. The main issue is that German children do not learn the basic reading and writing (think: tracing letters and beginning sounds of words) until first grade. So, my child is already beyond that in both English and German. Without being able to hold the books in my hand, I could not assess if a 2nd grade German book would be beyond her skills, though.

I do have a bunch of assorted workbooks and other resources where I can piece things together. But I would rather have a nice coherent curriculum!