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Course of Study With Reviews: First Grade

October 13, 2009

I wrote about our course of study for my eighth grader here.  Here is what we’re doing for my first grader, Soleil.


Tapestry of Grace Bible Survey/Church history selections

I love Tapestry of Grace (TOG) at both ages we’re doing now.  We are working our way through the Old testament right now, and I love how it is all connected to our history and literature reading.  Also, both girls are in the same time period!

A Little Girl After God’s Own Heart, Elizabeth George

Such a sweet little book!  I just got this, and Soleil and I will be doing one character trait each week with our tea.

Scripture memorization

We use the Charlotte Mason system for memorizing scripture.

Daily devotional time

Read a little about Soleil’s quiet time here.

Language Arts

First Language Lessons for the Well Trained Mind, Jessie Wise. Level 1

People either seem to love or hate this book.  I love it!  Beyond basic grammar, it includes poetry memorization, picture study, story narration, and copy work.  Soleil is always happy to find this book in her workbox.  Often, we sit on the couch together for our “language lesson.”  I love that it feels like we’re just sitting and chatting. 

Abeka Phonics Sounds cards

Soleil reads at a fourth or fifth grade level.  I am using these phonics cards mostly so she learns the rules which will come in handy later for spelling.  We usually just go through two or three a couple times a week.  She loves to be the teacher and go through them with me.

Memoria Press Copybook II

Instead of copying inane sentences about ants on logs, we’re now copying scripture and hymns.  Love this book!  We do use some of the verses for memorization, and Soleil loves the illustration pages that go with each copy page.  Her penmanship has greatly improved with this book.  Something about writing out Bible verses just calls for your best work!

Tapestry of Grace Literature selections

Again, perfect books!  I have skipped a couple that were based on ancient gods.  We briefly covered it and Soleil had a very violent reaction to the whole concept that anyone would worship anyone but the one true God.  Another great thing about both girls being in the same time period in history is that Soleil reads her books to Coco and vice-versa. 

Tapestry of Grace, Writing Aids

I am supplementing our language lessons with this.  So far, we’re making a word bank with the parts of speech.  FLL goes a little slowly for us, we’re still on nouns after 8 weeks of school.  With this, we’re covering adjectives, verbs, and more.

Various readers

Because Soleil is so advanced in reading, I just let her pick chapter books from the library.  She reads daily, and loves it.  She loves the American Girl books, but even those can have some older themes.  Fortunately, she loves reading the Bible, and that is always appropriate!


I had not intended to do a spelling program this year, but the maker of SpellQuizzer gave me a free copy.  It’s so fun, Soleil has been begging to do spelling, so I let her.  I’ll write a full review on this soon!


Math U See Foundations in Math (through Lesson 25).

This is an old version of Math U See I purchased used.  It has the accompanying lessons that we’ve come to love, only on VHS .  The book is supposed to cover grades 1-3, and I plan to cover first and second grades this year.  We’ll hit everything up to multiplication, and cover that next year.  We’re also still working on money and time.  I do have Soleil watch the lessons with me, then we’ll work on that concept for a couple days or a week, depending on how long it takes her to “get it.”  Love homeschool.

World History and Geography

Tapestry of Grace Year 1 Primary history and In-Depth history selections

Oh man, I love this course.  The history selections are great!  Interesting, fun to read, and I am learning from them, too.  My favorite part of this course is our discussions we have before we even start our workboxes.  We’ll cover the different threads and discuss the culture, Bible history, and other things I learn in my teacher’s notes.  If you haven’t looked into TOG, I highly recommend you do.

Map Aids Geography, Grammar Level

We are doing a very light version of the maps that come with TOG.  Sometimes, I do have Soleil label her own, but sometimes I’ll just have her point them out.  The geography is pretty comprehensive for first grade.  I had to look up many of the terms myself before I could teach them to her.  I like to use a children’s dictionary because we can both understand it 🙂


Apologia Exploring Creation With Zoology 3: Land Animals of the 6th Day

This book is for grades 1-6.  I only wish I had been homeschooling when Coco was younger so we could have done these!  They are absolutely packed with information, and I am amazed at how much Soleil retains.  I read this aloud to her, though she often takes over and reads it to me.  We love the Charlotte Mason methodology.  There’s notebooking, narration, and easy experiments at the end of each lesson.  There’s also a cool map-it and track-it section that has me feeling like Kate on Lost.  Anyway. 

Kingfisher 1st Animal Encyclopedia

This is just a fun photo-filled supplement.  I was unhappy with some of the evolution references, but we just skip those for now.  I like to stick this in one of Soleil’s workboxes in between some of the heftier science reading days. 

Nature Study Handbook, by Anna Comstock

This is more of a reference for me.  We are still getting the hang of nature study and this book is invaluable!


Memoria Press, Prima Latina DVD Course and student book

Another lesson I am doing alongside Soleil.  This course is for up to third grade, so we are taking our time with it.  I watch a small portion of the dvd with her and we do lots on the whiteboard.  I plan to finish about half the book this year.  We take a few weeks per lesson, absorbing the vocabulary, English derivatives, and prayers. 


How Great Thou Art: I Can Do All Things

I wasn’t sure about this book when I saw the pages.  It’s a little cluttered-looking, but we are loving it after all.  I am having fun going through it with Soleil.  There are hundreds of lessons, and we skip around from drawing to painting to markers.  She has taken to drawing during much of her free time and has a sketch book nearly filled. 

TOG fine arts and activities selections

Fun stuff!  I combine our arts and activities for both grades, and the craft books recommended by TOG have come in super-handy.  One of my favorites, Old testament days, I got free at our park day. 

Classical Kids Music Cds

These are fictional CDs about different composers with their music throughout.  They rock!  My kids have started listening to classical music while cleaning their room and playing, and can identify several composers.  We’ll be studying composers more in depth when we come to their time periods, but this is a great way to get their interest going.  Not that we don’t still rock out to Hannah Montana once in a while.  ‘Cause we do.



Swimming, volleyball, workout videos, bike riding

I started Soleil out on a point system this year, like her big sister, but I’ve already let that go.  She is naturally very active, and I just decided not to worry about grading PE for this year.  If I find it becoming a problem to get her moving, I might rethink that.  But I don’t see that happening.  The girl is always moving.


These are just my main resources.  By using workboxes, I can actually fit in many more books, games, and learning activities.  It seems like a lot here, but we do very short lessons.  One of the Charlotte Mason ideas I just love.  We get to cover so much in a week, and short lessons are a good fit for my busy girl.  Using narration and just every day conversation, I am very pleased with how much she remembers! 

I’m not sure that would be the case if we were spending thirty minutes per subject.  That being said, we do read for over thirty minutes aloud sometimes, but that depends on the subject.  If it’s a pleasing story, she could listen for hours.  If it is lots of new information, like science, I will read for no more than fifteen minutes.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. October 13, 2009 11:00 pm

    I can’t get rid of those giant quotation marks. They’re really getting on my nerves…

  2. October 14, 2009 9:54 am

    I was so glad to see what you had to say about the Apologia elementary science. My dd will be in 1st grade next year, and I am considering using it. We are currently using A Beka, but find that it is a bit too textbookish for our needs.

  3. October 15, 2009 6:03 am

    A detailed and well-rounded study course Angela. You include gym too, which is Important! Well Done 🙂

  4. October 15, 2009 7:07 pm

    What a great list! I am especially interested with what you had to say about Apologia Science. I really need something different for science.

  5. angelamills permalink*
    October 17, 2009 1:18 am

    I wanted to add that Christian Book Distributors sells Apologia Elementary books for $25. I was not able to find it cheaper anywhere, even used. People were paying $30 for them used on ebay, plus shipping. They also take a young-Earth position and every lesson has a “Creation Confirmation” section. Don’t get too deep into that with my 6 year old, but I am thankful for that foundation, and like knowing that we can explore that more when she’s older. Often, I’ll share those facts with my 8th grader, too, who is very interested in all that.

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