Hello! This week in Plan It Out we are talking about resources and rhythm, and I thought it would be fun to share about what resources I’m planning on using for my second child’s first grade. You can see last week’s post on our block plan for this coming year here. I’ll write about fifth grade in a separate post.
Planning first grade for the second time around has been fun and honestly pretty relaxed, because I was so happy with what I used the first time around. I am planning on using that again and have been able to focus on adding in some fun extras that I know my seven-year-old son will love. The bulk of my guidance for first grade will come from Lavender’s Blue Homeschool’s First Grade. I love Kelly’s curriculum so, so much. It is gentle, creative, engaging, organized and easy to use. My third child was due in October the year I taught my oldest child first grade and I felt successful using Lavender’s Blue. I’m so looking forward to using it again.
Even though I think you could totally just use Lavender’s Blue for first grade (perhaps with the exception of a reading curriculum, more on that in a sec), I’m having fun choosing some extras for our second trip through first grade. They include:
What will be interesting for us is that with my oldest child, I held off on introducing academics until first grade and with my second child I took a different route, so he is already well on his way toward reading. I would say that the one weakness I found with Lavender’s Blue (and I think this is true of Waldorf curriculum in general) is that it did not offer the explicit phonics reading instruction that so many kids need. So I have been supplementing with The Good and the Beautiful for kindergarten for my second child and this fall I will start him with All About Reading’s Level 1. My seven-year-old also absolutely adores the little books from Dash Into Learning and I recently ordered him the second set of those books to continue using for practice. (My two cents: Dash Into Learning says that it can serve as a stand-alone reading curriculum and I don’t think it’s quite that robust. But the books are so great for practice.)
In addition to the math blocks we will be doing, I have some hand-me-down Singapore Math workbooks for my kiddo to do. He is very math-inclined and enjoys doing math workbook pages! So I guess those kids do exist!
My seven-year-old is obsessed with LEGO. The Lavender’s Blue schedule is just a three-day week for first grade, and his big sister will be doing four days of lessons a week. So I purchased him the LEGO Education Early Simple Machines set and this Simple Machines book, along with a Brick-by-Brick Dinosaurs book and a Dinosaur Encyclopedia and I’m planning on setting him loose on his interests on that fourth day every week. He’s very excited.
My fifth grader will be doing botany this year and so naturally my first grader will be along for the ride for some botany work. I am especially looking forward to folding him into our nature hikes and keeping a nature journal, as well as the two book studies that are a part of Blossom and Root’s Wonders of the Plant and Fungi Kingdom: The Boy Who Grew and Forest and The Tree Lady.
Our family will be focusing on social and racial justice topics this year and I’m sure will be discussing presidential politics at length around the dinner table. I’ll be folding in my first grader as it feels appropriate. Some books and resources I’ve purchased so far include Oak Meadow’s Foundations in Social Justice, This Book is Anti-Racist, The Colors of Us. I also really love this set of books I got for him about how kids live around the world! It covers India, Mexico, Italy, Brazil, China and South Africa.
Art and Handwork
I love how artistic Waldorf homeschooling. There’s really no set time to do “art” because art is woven into the lessons so beautifully. My seven-year-old is also an enthusiastic knitter, so we will be doing lots of knitting this year.
Some of our favorite art and handwork supplies are:
- Filana crayons
- Crayon holder
- Lyra Ferby colored pencils
- Strathmore watercolor paper
- Stockmar watercolor paint (this is spendy but it lasts forever)
- A nice, wide paintbrush
- Modeling beeswax
- Wood or bamboo knitting needles (you’ll want about size 10 or 10.5)
- Bulky or worsted weight yarn
- A First Book of Knitting for Kids
I’m sure there’s more that I’m forgetting, but those are the biggest themes and resources I am planning for my first grader this year. I think it will be a wonderful year!