Our Curriculum for 2012-2013

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1st Grade Curriculum

I’m still in a bit of shock that I have a first grader. We’re in the weird situation where we started homeschooling early. Based on his age and NC public school cut-off dates, Jonathan should be starting Kindergarten this fall, but we started early based on his interest and engagement.

So, here we are in 1st grade!

Ancient History

We’re following a classical approach of 4 year history cycles as the base of our studies. That makes this the year for our first go-through of ancient history. We also follow along with many Charlotte Mason ideals, so we’re doing a lot of notebooking too.

I chose to stop using the boxed curriculum and venture out on my own this year. I loved Sonlight for the last two and a half years, but I found myself not using the teacher’s guide much more than I was using it. Now that I have a couple years under my belt, I feel comfortable creating my own curriculum and reading list. (I’m working on a guide and printable to help others do the same!)


Jonathan-Word-Search-PrintableI’m making lots of fun printables to go along with our ancient history studies. You can find all of my printables listed on my printables page.

Here are some of the resources I used to pick our books:

Our main history spine is Story of the World Volume 1 and Activity Guide. I’ve listed all of our read-alouds, readers, and additional literature read-alouds on our curriculum page. There’s just too many books to list in a post with all of our other subjects. I’ll be adding to that page as we add or remove books. I’ll also be adding the corresponding chapter numbers for Story of the World soon.

Timeline of Classics is a must have resource that you will use throughout your homeschooling years. I did a review recently and got to meet the creator at the HINTS book fair this summer.


I have a little boy who seriously loves math! We tried Saxon Math K last year and it was too slow for him and the ultra-scripted teacher’s guide drove me crazy. I decided to try Math Mammoth Light Blue Grade 1 and we fell in love. Jonathan doesn’t need a lot of manipulatives for math, but Math Mammoth makes it easy to adapt the workbook to any learning style. So this year, it’s on to Math Mammoth Light Blue Grade 2. {Homeschool Buyers Co-op is running a great sale on Math Mammoth in August. Hop over to my Deals & Discounts page for more details.}



We’re continuing Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Astronomy. We’re using A Journey Through Learning‘s lapbook too. We reviewed the lapbook last spring.

English/Language Arts

We’re working on a hodgepodge of English this year.

Bible and World View / Theology:

I’m start to teach Jonathan to read the Bible on his own first thing in the mornings. He’s currently reading Genesis. In addition, we’ll do that following.


We’ll continue to work on Hooked on Phonics French as we have time and Jonathan shows interest.

Tot School

Jacob-Coloring Jacob-Writing-A

Don’t forget about little Jacob! He will be doing tot school this year. He’s almost 21 months right now and turns 2 in October. He loves to “write” and draw. He’s always trying to get into his “Bubba’s” school work. I made a special tot school binder for him. It has smooth page protectors inside and letter activities. He can write with dry erase markers all he wants in his own school binder. I also have a small bucket that I’ve been putting books and activities from around the house that correspond to the letter he’s “studying.” It’s all fun to him, but he’s actually retaining some of the letter sounds and corresponding words.


Screen Shot 2012-08-04 at 10.14.49 AM

Click the image for a larger sample of how I plan in Scholaric

Everything is planned out in Scholaric! I love, love, love Scholaric for keeping records and staying organized.

That’s our curriculum for this year. Be sure to visit our curriculum page for more details and updates.


Not Back to School Blog Hop

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  1. We ALSO are doing 1st grade and Tot School this year…I have a 6 1/2 year old and a 2 year old. We are (like you) using Story of the World Vol 1 with Activity book and I think he’ll really enjoy it. Thanks for sharing!

    • Lisa, I hope you’ll take a look at my printables. Word searches, crossword puzzles, notebooking pages and more planned over the course of the year. A couple word searches as already lives.

  2. I wish I had homeschooled my son all along… he would be way advanced like your son… especially in math. He’s technically 4th grade but I see him moving to 5th grade math at some point this year. He enjoyed Saxon but it was something he was doing in private school so we just continued where he was at {grade level}. This year I started to throw out the whole “grade level” thing. I have a 9 year old advanced student and a 16 year old, normal student. Most times they learn much of the same things… and it works for us. =}

  3. I feel as though I am in the same boat as you. I started teaching my daughter at home around 2 years old when she requested I reach her about zebras in Africa and lions in Asia. She just turned 4 yesterday and she is doing a mixture of Kindergarten and First grade work. I use a lot of different resources and we do lots of reading and lapbooks as well. I guess I just wanted to say that I really like the choices you have!

    • You just have to go at their pace. You can see that even though we call this 1st grade, some of the work is really 2nd grad level. We just go with the flow each day.

  4. I have 3 boys the oldest wll be doing 3d this year, ut my middle son is about the sameasyour middle one. He should be going to 1st grade, ut he really between 1st and 2nd. His Math is rally advanced but he is struggling with reading. I also have a littl on who will be doing tot school. He is 2 1/2 now. I always love to read what other HS are doing for curriculums as i usually find something new and you never know when you will need that information!

  5. MomsMustardSeeds says:

    Looks like a lot of fun! Can’t wait to read about your year as we move through the days, weeks and months…..

  6. We use SWR. I really like it. :) Sounds like you have a great school year planned. Enjoy.

  7. We love Story of the World and finished Volume 1 last year. I learned so much from it! Looks like a great year!

  8. Sarah @ My Joy-Filled Life says:

    Looks like you have a great year planned!!

    I love how you have your Pelser “logo” on your school stuff!! So cute!


    • The logo was made with our school in mind. Our school name is Havenhart Academy with the idea that our hom(school) is a shelter for the heart of our kids. So the heart with a “roof” over it. It started incorporating the logo this year as I was reorganizing and getting ready for this school year.

  9. Great list! I’m going to check out your printables now!

  10. I like your plan. That first year going out on your own from a box can be a bit scary but it’s so much fun! We’ve been doing it for years now and I love personalizing our studies for each of my 7 kiddos. We used to lapbook a ton and have mostly migrated to notebooking now. I think I need to print out a lapbook for my little ones though, they would get a kick out of it!

    • It was a scary thought but I realized that much of last year, I was planning and doing it all on my own anyway! Hoping I can help others break out of the box with less fear!

  11. I smiled with surprise when I was reading this blog post because we’re using an identical history and science plan with our 7 year old and 5 year old for combined learning (well, slightly different read alouds)…down to having bought the Journey to Learning lapbook! I’m definitely going to have to check out your blog a little more often as the year goes along!

  12. I’ve never heard of Scholaric, I’ll have to check it out.

    I agree with you about Sonlight—I found the Teacher’s Guides confusing and I just prefer to do my own thing—but I love their books!

    • I love Scholaric! It’s like a electronic paper planner. So easy to plug things and and move them around. Plus it tracks number of days (or hours) for attendance too. It rocks.

  13. Sounds like a great year! We are using mystery of history but I bet a bunch of your read alouds would work well for us too! I am off to check them out!

  14. Apologia Who is God is great. We’re doing the next one – Who Am I!

    linked to your post today! =)

  15. Michelle @ layers of Learning says:

    We’re doing the classical method too and have been for the past 10+ years. We’re on Renaissance/colonial period right now, but we’ve modified the science so we hit topics from biology, earth science, chemistry, and physics every year. Also we added systematic geography and art education to our four year cycle.

  16. Stephanie says:

    I know what you mean about Saxon K. Our Kindy year went by in 4 months because we sailed through it so fast and it was our only real curriculum that year. Unfortunately it continues in the same scripted format through grade 3, but you should look back into Saxon again in fourth grade. It changes formats in that year and it’s really wonderful.

    • I like Saxon math as a kid in public school. I’m considering going back to it in middle school, but we’ll likely stick with Math Mammoth thru 5th or 6th grade.

  17. Dusty @To the Moon and Back says:

    Hello from a fellow North Carolinian! :) I’m toying with breaking out of the boxed curriculum next year as well, but don’t know if I’m brave enough yet or not! I also have a first grader! We love the pathway readers here as well!

  18. Looks like a great year planned out. I have never used Saxon, but I have heard it’s slow moving…

  19. Leah Courtney says:

    Looks good. We use Saxon for math, but it is very tedious if you follow the whole teacher’s guide.

  20. Wow! What a great list! My youngest is in 2nd grade, and has enjoyed using Time4Learning and SpellingCity. With SpellingCity, I can knock out spelling AND handwriting, by printing off handwriting worksheets using his spelling word lists. This is good, because he hates handwriting and I need all the help I can get, lol.

    We are looking forward to checking out Apologia…but we haven’t decided which series to start with yet. I like the Astronomy one, but my son really wants to start with the Zoology set. I’m sure he will win. 😀

    Thanks for sharing, and I hope you have a wonderful school year!

    • We have used Spelling City. Jonathan likes it! I think they have an iOS app now too. LOVE Apologia!!! It’s nice that you can start anywhere with the elementary books. I gave Jonathan the choice between Astronomy and Zoology 1 – he chose Astronomy. Some people like doing them in the order of the days of creation.

      • They do have an iOS app, yes. My boys have loved it. When they are having some down time, they like that they can work on some things while slothing on the couch. :)

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