My second year homeschooling had its challenges but I would rate it a success overall. Following is a summary of what we accomplished.
Bible - Read from a children’s bible daily and Tanner copied a sentence or two in a notebook. This was good handwriting practice.
Verses - Tanner worked on a verse for 2 weeks. This seemed a good time frame for him to get it down really well as well as repeat all the verses that he learned previously.
Catechism - We worked on two catechism bullets every week. This worked out well but towards the end of the year they were getting harder. May want to simplify the answers.
Pledge of Allegiance - Tanner recited weekly
Daily Misc - Learned address, phone number, how to use phone, 911 instructions, days of week, months of the year.
Phonics - Complete Explode the Code books 1, 2 and 3.
Math - Completed First Grade Singapore Math books - there were two. Also learned how to count by 2’s, 5’s, and 10’s, how to tell time, and how to count money (basic).
Reading - We went to the library every month and Tanner picked out his own books. At the beginning of the year, it would take us about a week to complete a book like Cat in the Hat and I would read every other page. By the last quarter of the year Tanner would read for 25 minutes per day and he would read the whole book. He can now read Cat in the Hat in about 15 to 20 minutes with very little assistance. 25 minutes per day seemed to work well.
Grammer - We used a journal and would write a sentence or two daily. Tanner learned to capitalize names and the first letter of the word at the beginning of a sentence. He also learned about periods and question marks. He had trouble with creativity so we found that using a mind map to conceive the story idea helped.
Spelling - I used the Dolche noun and 300 word common list. Tanner would get about 13 words per week and would have a spelling test weekly. This really helped his grammer skills as he grew confidence in his spelling skills. He rarely missed more than two words on his weekly tests.
Points - Tanner earned points daily for his work. 1 point for it being done well, 1 point for it being done timely, 1 point for no whining. He could earn up to 3 points per page. 75 points earned him an afternoon of Xbox. This usually worked out to about once a week.
What did not work OR what I would change…
Bible - Worked well. Wouldn’t change it.
Verses and Catechism - Okay other then simplification
Phonics - Would repeat this.
Math - Would repeat books but I am kicking myself for not making him learn his math facts early enough. Next time around, math facts need to be a priority early on. Maybe I would schedule time frames for certain math facts seperately (ie - week 1 and 2 work on 1’s). He would need to recite them with flashcard as visual, without flashcard, AND written. I found that he is memorizing the way the flash card looks and remembers the answer but then has trouble applying it to his lesson later. Also, the challenge book was too hard. Wouldn’t do that in first grade again.
Reading - Worked well. I think I would start the 25 minutes of reading right from the start next year though I would still help more the first half of the year.
Spelling - I am kicking myself that I didn’t start this at the beginning of the year. Next time I need to plan ahead for spelling. I think using these lists are great though for first grade.
Grammer - Need to write more stories in the last half of the year.
Vocabulary - I used Wordly Wise but I didn’t end up thinking it was a good use of time for the first grade. I would rather wait until 4rth to start this. 1st through 3rd takes so much time already and the children are super co-dependent. Better to concentrate on reading, writing, and math in these grades I think.
History - Because we are doing HOW’s History order and 1st Grade was Ancient History - we used Bible for our ancient history time. Wasn’t enough time to work in history lessons and the HOW units didn’t really work for me for first grade though I do intend to use it for fifth grade when we repeat the four year cycle. We did talk about culture and people groups and pyramids and cuniform though and made a sugar pyramid and clay tablets.
Science - Did very little science due to time. Will need to think about this one next time round. We did do some experiments though and Tanner enjoyed that.