We are in full swing with our First Grade year! I get asked often about what we’re using for different subjects, so I figured I would list it out here!
The spine of our curriculum is Ambleside Online Year 1. This curriculum covers many of our subjects, but some of them I substituted for alternatives.
Bible: AO has Bible readings listed out, but I substituted our own alternative of The Child’s Story Bible by Vos because we were in the middle of it last year and enjoyed it so much we decided to finish it! We are also making our way through New City Catechism, memorizing one question a week!
Citizenship: We are reading through Missionary Stories with the Millers. We have read from this book on and off the last few years but the stories are still fresh and wonderful!
History: We wanted to start our history with studying an overview of the United States and its history, so we’re using Beautiful Feet’s Early American History. We’re supplementing some of our study with books from Heritage Mom and from our library (for example: this book as we’re studying Christopher Columbus, to give a more robust picture of history from various perspectives) This curriculum we are spreading out over two years, and will also be studying the Vikings this year using resources from both Ambleside Online and Beautiful Feet!
Geography: We’re studying the Great Lakes and learning cardinal directions with our AO curriculum! For our family vacation this year we are going to Lake Michigan and we’re excited to see it in person!
Nature Study: for nature study we are taking most of the day on Fridays to get outside, observe the world, pick something and read about it in The Handbook of Nature Study. After that we log it with watercolors and labeling in our nature journal. We’re continuing to study birds with our birding resources and this Burgess book!
Math: This year we are again using Math-U-See and enjoying it so far. My son is flying through it but it still is challenging for him. I really like the hands-on portions of it with the math manipulatives.
Language Arts (reading and copywork): We’re working on phonics with our Dash into Reading books, working on oral narration, recitation and we’re working on copywork. Ambleside Online also has us reading many wonderful works of literature, classic chapter books and poetry as a part of our curriculum.
Foreign Language: Our foreign language this year is American Sign Language! We’re learning a letter and a few vocabulary words each week. We’re also learning more ASL at our co-op!
Hymn Study: we are continuing our hymn study, by singing a hymn daily and are using a visual hymn map, when it’s available from Paper x Promise.
Composer Study: I decided to focus on two composers and on learning the basics of the orchestra. We’re studying Bach and Franz Liszt. There are a lot of living picture books about Bach, so that’s why I chose him. And Liszt was one of the suggested composers from AO.
Artist Study: The artists I chose this year were artists that seemed relatable to my kids and ones that had picture books for kids. We’re studying Norman Rockwell, Edgar Degas and Vincent Van Gogh. We will be reading picture book biographies on each artist, watching youtube videos of their life/studio/etc.–anything that is relevant, along with doing our basic picture study.
Handcrafts: each week we are focusing on a different seasonal handcraft with our book from Rooted Childhood. We have cross stitched, baked, sewn, and so much already!
Solfa: Children of the Open Air on youtube has been an amazing resource for us to learn Solfa! My kids are really loving these lessons!
Folk Songs: We’re following the folk song list and schedule and we downloaded all of the folk songs to a playlist and we listen to, often!
Other: Swimming Lessons, chess class (via co-op), Bible Study Fellowship and church have been wonderful add-ons to our curriculum!
That’s it, I think! It feels full at times, but we are focusing on short lessons and making the most of our days. We have really loved Ambleside Online so far, and I promise to do a full review at the end of the year! Happy Homeschooling!