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Considering homeschool for 1st grader

Last post 06-05-2009 11:48 AM by rlbenson. 4 replies.
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  • 02-06-2008 10:15 AM

    Considering homeschool for 1st grader

    Hello, I am very new to homeschooling.  My son is in a private school for Kindergarten but my husband and I are considering homeschooling for the next school year ( public school is out of the question).  I am a little worried about pulling him away from the teaching enviroment he is used to, do you think it will hinder him in any way?  We love the school he is in but it is just getting too expensive.  What is the best curriculum to use?  Any suggestions and advise would be very much welome.  Thank you, Trisha

  • 02-06-2008 12:07 PM In reply to

    Re: Considering homeschool for 1st grader

    I wouldn't worry about changing the teaching environment. Kindergarten is a completely different environment than Grade 1 anyway, so he's going to experience change one way or another.

    What you should do is 1) connect with the parents of his best friends in Kindergarten and arrange regular play dates so he doesn't miss his buddies and 2) find a home school group or co-op in  your area. 

    Once your social calendar is filled, what you need to focus on for Grade 1 is basic math and reading. There are tons of great,inexpensive math workbooks, manipulatives and games out there. I'd suggest choosing one main math curriculum (like Singapore, Saxon, MathUSee or BrightMinds), then hit the dollar store for supplementary materials.

    Depending on how far your son has gotten in the learning to read department, I'd suggest taking a look at Hooked on Phonics (if you want to work with him) or (where the computer does most of the teaching work) or a combination of both.Again, I've found the dollar store to be an interesting source of supplementary materials.

    I don't know about your state, but when I checked the science curriculum for my area, I laughed out loud at how basic it was. Take your son on walks and observe everything along the way, discuss how things feel, look, sound and taste, go for a field trip to a farm, make a map of your neighborhood, plant a garden, track the weather, and let him help make healthy meals, and you're miles ahead of anything he's going to learn from grade 1 science.

    For history/social studies, you can either follow a classical type schedule like you'll find in "The Story of the World" series, or find out what his private school peers are learning and keep up with them by heading to the library and picking up one non-fiction and a few fiction titles on each historical event and read them with him.

    Pay attention to the things he's particularly fascinated with. One of the nice things about schooling at home is that you can put all your studies on hold for a month to focus on astronomy, vikings, pyramids and mummies, dinosaurs, or whatever it is that's currently fascinating your child.

    Hope this helps a bit.... 

  • 02-06-2008 12:59 PM In reply to

    Re: Considering homeschool for 1st grader

    Thank you so much for your helpful insight!  Right now we are living ih Hawaii, and the school system is not what we are looking for, especially since we will be moving back to the mainland in the next couple of years.  My biggest concern is that our son will not be prepared when we do move back if we where to put him in a public school here ( that is why it is either homeschool or private school).

    My first thought was I need to get hooked on phonics to work with him on since I do want to participate with his learning as much as possible, do you have experience with this tool?  I am a little worried about the math, but if I can find a program that is user friendly and effective than I think I can make it work.  The science should be fairly easy since we do alot of outdoor exploring already, I would just need to incorperate the other factors.

    I am pretty sure the social studies will not be too difficult.

    I am gussing that there is programs that I can get for each of these subjects? If you have any suggestions on what works best I would love to find out what you would recommend since I am totally lost on where to start.  Thank you again for your help, it is much appreciated!

  • 02-16-2008 6:11 AM In reply to

    Re: Considering homeschool for 1st grader

     Sorry for taking so long to respond.

     My son really liked the Hooked on Phonics books, but we never did crack open any of the other materials, flashcards or CDs. I got him to the point where he could sound out words, then we just dealt with unknowns as they appeared.

    How easy it will be for you will depend on what your son knows when he exits Kindergarten, but no matter how far he's progressed, and no matter how overwhelmed you feel about your decision to homeschool, take heart in this....

    It's not nearly as hard as you think it's going to be.


    Before I started teaching my son, I bought TONS of books on homeschooling, studies 'teach your child to read' literature till my eyes bulged. I was seriously stressed.

    But in the end I used very little of the information I had accumulated.

    I played it by ear, led my child through reading in the way that would be easiest for him to figure out, and kept reading a fun thing.

    When all is said and done, I have to say it was easier teaching him to read than it was getting him to use the potty. :D 

    As for math, hey, this is Grade 1. Even if you are horrible at math, you can do this stuff.

    If you're really worried, look around online for easy math worksheets and online games you can play with your son now.  Once you get a feel for how he learns, and how fast he's picking it up, you'll have a better idea of the sorts of math workbooks he might work best with. Between any Grade 1 workbook, a piggy bank full of coins, a clock and an abacus, you've got grade 1 math covered.

    You can also pick up a book like "Home Learning Year By Year" ( or  another book that lists essential concepts a first grader should know, and make your own list of things your son needs to cover. Then, starting now even, be aware of the million different ways you can introduce those concepts as you live your life. 

    But I would advise not running out and buying a full curriculum just because it worked for me or someone else. Each child learns differently. What worked for me might be all wrong for your son. You should take advantage of your son's strengths to help him learn faster, his way. 


  • 06-05-2009 11:48 AM In reply to

    Re: Considering homeschool for 1st grader

    I grew up in Hawaii, and still have family there.  I always felt that my mainland classmates where always ahead of the locals.  There are a lot of History, Cultural (social studies) and Music that you can take advantage of while you are in Hawaii. 

    Good Luck!



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