Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Curriculum Choices for First Grade

There are few things most homeschoolers like more than researching, buying, discussing, and recommending homeschool curriculum.

I'm starting to think about next year, and thought I'd lay out our situation, and do a little crowd sourcing to find out what you all would recommend.

Next year L will be 6, and in the first grade. He's bright and has a good memory. He's reading some. No War and Peace or anything, mainly Dr Seuss books right now. He's not exactly resistant to school, but he isn't enthusiastic about it either. (I've mentioned elsewhere previously that he has some special needs, ADHD, and possibly something like high functioning Asperger's. He has a very narrow range of interests, presently limited to Pokemon and Mario Brothers. He will tolerate learning about other things, but that's about it. I can't manage to work up much enthusiasm, no matter what we're learning about, or how. I think he sees school as something he just has to get through every day, like tooth brushing...) He doesn't mind workbooks.  He does have a fairly short attention span. I'm not wanting more than say, two hours of sit down work a day. (Attention span aside, I'm sort of a less is more person anyway. I still want most of his time free to be a little kid at this age.)

This year I have put together unit studies out of books, and things I've found online. The "typical" five year old probably would have had a lot of fun with them, but L has just plodded through them. I don't want to go this route again next year, because it's hugely labor intensive for me, and he doesn't particularly seem to enjoy them  anyway.

As much as it goes against the way *I* would want to learn, and *I*  thought I'd be teaching, I've concluded that a more traditional, out of the box curriculum might be a better fit for L. The time saved by my not trying to plan a bunch of activities he's not even into can hopefully spent doing something more productive with him or V. (You know, productive like doll tea parties, and Pokemon battles.)

I've heard a lot of good things about My Father's World, and that's what I'm looking at right now.

What would be your suggestions for a serious little six year old fellow? It needn't be an all in one choice, I'd be interested in hearing about suggestions for specific subjects too.


  1. We had great success with ~ we used Soaring with Spelling & Growing with Grammar and both were very successful choices. Math U See is an awesome Math program that has been a good choice. Personally, we used My Fathers World in Kindergarten and I didn't like it and neither did my son but that is just our experience. Above all, you have to do what works for you no matter what others say!

  2. we are considering MFW for 3rd grade. I have a superhero who wanted to fight crime. For 1st grade - we used Abeka for LA & Math, Kumon, DiscipleLand Heroes, and a few other misc workbooks here and there. (but my son couldn't wait to do school and fill in worksheets - he loved getting stickers and awarded praise). Incentives worked to get him to the table with smile and eagerness.
    He was a SLOW reader - to the point of having to put it down for 6 months are pick up. Once that happened he sailed thru lessons and is a grade ahead reading level now. GOOD LUCK!!

  3. My boys are just about the same age, they just turned 6. MFW didn't really work for us, but that's more because it didn't work super well for me, but I've heard their first grade is better than the kinder.

    We use Math U See for math, and just moved up to Alpha. And then we use Apologia for Science and Mystery of History for History. We're really enjoying both of those.

  4. I saw your post today on twitter. We (Master Books)offers supplements to curriculum. Check out the line at

  5. Math U See is great for math, especially for the active boy who merely tolerates learning. I myself have two of those little boys...

    I have found Shurley English to be remarkable for my boys as well, and it only takes me about 15-20 minutes a day to work out.

    History and Science we do on our own without curriculum, and using fun stuff like experiments, videos, books, and games.

    Spelling I have yet to find one that works, but I'm very optimistic about Spelling Power!

    Phonics I have found the best way for my boys on that one is Click N Kids Phonics, it's space themed and completely on the computer which they love.