Oh, where do I even begin with this?
What curricula you use is influenced by so many factors– budget, time, religious perspective, educational model. The sheer number of choices in any given subject area can be overwhelming. In the end, you just have to pick something and go with it.
One of the nice things about home schooling is how much flexibility we have in this area: if, for instance, we use Elemental Science this year and we all hate it, or we think it’s not substantive enough, or whatever, then we can try Noeo or Academy of Science for Kids next year.
So. For the most part I am using suggestions given in The Well-Trained Mind. After spending some time reading the curriculum boards at the WTM Forums, I’ve added in a few things here and there. This is what we are planning for Colin this year, his first grade year:
- Bible: Telling God’s Story
- Math: Miquon Orange & Red, supplemented by Singapore Challenging Word Problems
- Spelling: Spelling Workout A & B
- Handwriting: Handwriting Without Tears‘ My Printing Book
- Writing: Writing With Ease (this includes copywork, dictation and memorization)
- Grammar: First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind
- History: The Story of the World, Vol. 1: Ancient Times
- Reading: many, many library books, many of them keyed to the ancient history cycle
- Science: Elemental Science Biology for the Grammar Stage
- Art & Music Appreciation: Harmony Fine Arts
- Physical Education: gymnastics, swimming and dance
- Latin: Song School Latin
- In addition to all this, I’m hoping we can take a field trip at least once a month to the National Mall to take advantage of some of the great children’s programs available at the Smithsonian Institutions.
- The Ordinary Parents’ Guide to Teaching Reading
- Miquon Orange
- Handwriting Without Tears’ Letters and Numbers for Me
- …and of course he’ll get to look on when we do Colin’s science experiments, etc.
- Monday through Friday mornings: Bible (in the mornings, as a family, before Peter goes to work), Math, Spelling, Reading, Writing, Latin
- Monday and Wednesday afternoons: Science
- Tuesday and Thursday afternoons: History
- Friday afternoons: Music & Art Appreciation
Heh. YES, it seems like a lot. It is a lot. Remember, though, that all the morning subjects probably won’t take more than half an hour each, and the afternoon subjects 45 minutes to an hour. So, not counting the reading we do just for fun, we’re talking about four hours a day.
In any case, if we do get overwhelmed, I’ll drop Latin. He doesn’t have to learn it in first grade! If we are still overwhelmed, I can dial back the intensity on music & art, or drop one of the phys ed commitments. Flexibility, remember?
That’s what I keep telling myself, anyhow.
Edited to add: No plan of battle survives first contact with the enemy, right? If you are a veteran home school mom cackling at my naivete and enthusiasm right now, please feel free to tell me in the comments. My feelings won’t be hurt. We’re learning as we go, here, and I welcome input.