For Parents Homeschooling 1st and 2nd Graders- Recommendations

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lostinfog

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Apologies in advance that this is not in a homeschooling group on CB, I’m a new member and probably don’t have invitation access to some things here.

Has anyone homeschooled their 1st or 2nd graders? What program or curriculum did you use? Pros or Cons? Some gyms have an in house homeschool. I am not very confident in the quality being provided with the ones I have some familiarity with. The public options in my area are 3rd and up.
 

Sk8ermaiden

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I homeschool mine and am on my second first grader. Do you have any idea what you are looking for? Will you be putting them back in school after this year or continuing homeschooling? I hesitate to chime in because a lot of parents right now want an entire school year in a box (which they do make, for $$$$$$), or an online option, but I chose subject curriculum independently and taught it myself, so that's what I'm most familiar with. If that's what you're interested in, you could share what you really want/care about in your school day and I can toss out some ideas, or if that's not what you want, I might be able to help if you have specific questions.
 

jamieintexas

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I did the same as Sk8ermaiden. I never found a company where I liked every subject. I will also gladly share what I used. My boys are adults now, so my curriculum is older but I don’t think that it has changed much.
 
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gymgal

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I was an eclectic homeschooler, pulling from lots of sources. You can use the box sets but honestly, for the k-3 grades, I don't think they are worth the money. A lot of excess work. We have been in an online charter school for several years now and the (previous homeschooling) parents with younger children comment similar with the online programs being unnecessarily labor intensive. But it really depends on your comfort level in teaching the fundamentals of reading and math.

I taught reading with "100 easy lessons" book. I then moved to the old McGuffey readers. They are very simple but very good and sequential. For math, we used Saxon, 2nd edition (the old ones). We also used some of the workbooks you can get at costco/bjs, etc. The grade level ones for math, reading, penmanship, etc. For history (and reading) I used a series called the Story of our World.
 
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lostinfog

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Appreciate the suggestions so far. It’s possible she could go back to school for next year but she worked really well remotely with the forced closure so if that continues I’d keep homeschooling. Right now there is an option through our local school but it would require being available for 7 hours and live lessons throughout the day which isn’t ideal for this age.

I would like curriculum that focuses on math, reading comprehension, grammar, and writing as the main focus. Science and geography I feel I can easily cover and it doesn’t have to be a boxed curriculum necessarily. In pre-k we used Abeka for reading. I’ve seen Veritas Press as well. There just seems to be so much out there. I actually love the big Costco workbooks.

The main challenge is the schools were expecting deep weekly character development fictional writing, poetry, modifying plots of fairy tales etc. So much time was spent brainstorming, illustrating and on drafts it was overwhelming to fit in with all the other subjects. Math seemed to be a major afterthought and grammar has not been a focus. Seemed straight to the creative writing which I don’t mind incorporating but on our terms.
 

M2Abi

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For early elementary I focused on math, reading, and handwriting for curriculum. We used Singapore Math, Explode the Code workbooks, and Handwriting Without Tears. For other subjects, we just read a lot of books from the library based on their interests.
 

Sk8ermaiden

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I also use Explode the Code and Singapore. :D By second grade, my daughter was through ETC and reading fluently though.

Singapore is an awesome math program. If you're looking for a rigorous math that teaches the concepts really well and not just "plug and chug", then it's one to look at. If you think she might go back to school, I'd look at the common core edition, because some versions follow a different scope and sequence than schools.

After ETC I moved to Evan Moor Daily Language Review, which we have used from first through 6th grades. It is bite sized chunks of grammar, meant to reinforce rules through repetition. It might not be enough for what you want though, and those big Costco workbooks can be great for subjects like grammar. We also use Evan Moor Daily Geography Review, which I definitely recommend. I find the Evan Moor workbooks awesome, but a bit easy as written, so we have always used one grade level up. Reading comprehension and grammar are my forte, so we haven't needed much formal stuff. I do like the WriteShop writing curriculum for K-6, though not High School.

Also, BrainPop is an awesome resource just to have, my kids at that age would just get lost watching informational videos - it is my favorite homeschool "extra." Mystery Science is extremely fun for lower elem. as well. I think both of these were made free when the quarantine started, but I don't know if they still are.
 

raenndrops

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You could look into MobyMax.com ... they have a 30 day free trial and if you want to continue with all subjects, it is $9.99 / month for the first child and $2 / month for each additional child. It actually covers K-8 .
 

jamieintexas

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Another vote for Singapore Math. I also loved Easy Grammar and Daily Grams.
 

gymgal

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one other note - if you are planning to put them back in school, you will want to be sure you are keeping up with the sequence of their school district. sometimes the scope/sequence can be found on their site, but otherwise, you may need to dig a little further. This is particularly important in math to be sure they do not fall behind as all programs introduce the concepts in different order.
 
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Madden3

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Gymgal makes a good point. I homeschooled using primarily Walford methods and expectations per grade are often pretty different than what a kid would be expected to be doing in each grade of a "regular" school. I wanted to be sure the kids would be able to do well in a non-Waldorf school at any grade level if needed. But I found there is lots of very dense verbiage if you look at a school district's or state's written per grade learning expectations. I never understood all that, and found it overwhelming. Instead I looked for examples of actual math work or textbooks per grade, as well as spelling lists and grammar work, to see what kids in the local schools were expected to be able to do. Then I made sure my kids could do those things. This worked well. For day to day teaching, aside my Waldorf curriculum math resources, I just poked around and found things - videos, worksheets, etc. that I thought explained a concept or worked a "muscle" well.

Looking back now, in the early grades, old fashioned stuff like drilling math facts by making and using flash cards was very helpful.

The main challenge is the schools were expecting deep weekly character development fictional writing, poetry, modifying plots of fairy tales etc. So much time was spent brainstorming, illustrating and on drafts it was overwhelming to fit in with all the other subjects.
I agree with you this seems odd, it seems like way too much conceptual writing "work" for early elementary!
 

Sk8ermaiden

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But I found there is lots of very dense verbiage if you look at a school district's or state's written per grade learning expectations. I never understood all that, and found it overwhelming.

This is off the Texas education agency website for grade level standards. For KINDERGARTEN.

(6) Students understand that a constitutional republic is a representative form of government whose representatives derive their authority from the consent of the governed, serve for an established tenure, and are sworn to uphold the constitution.

(8) Students identify and discuss how the actions of U.S. citizens and the local, state, and federal governments have either met or failed to meet the ideals espoused in the founding documents.

And when I posted that to Facebook with the caption, "Go home Texas, you're drunk," the best teacher (also head of department) I have EVER had, and possibly the most beloved teacher in our district by students and admin alike (just to say, not a slouch!) posted:
"It just gets worse as students get older."
" TEKS for English III contains 25 main "standards" and 76 "substandards." Most of them, including the ones for writing, never find their way into the curriculum. "

And that was when I stopped visiting the state website. :p
 

wonderK8

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We’re using All About Reading and Singapore Math for our K and 3rd grader.
 

raenndrops

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This is off the Texas education agency website for grade level standards. For KINDERGARTEN.

(6) Students understand that a constitutional republic is a representative form of government whose representatives derive their authority from the consent of the governed, serve for an established tenure, and are sworn to uphold the constitution.

(8) Students identify and discuss how the actions of U.S. citizens and the local, state, and federal governments have either met or failed to meet the ideals espoused in the founding documents.

And when I posted that to Facebook with the caption, "Go home Texas, you're drunk," the best teacher (also head of department) I have EVER had, and possibly the most beloved teacher in our district by students and admin alike (just to say, not a slouch!) posted:
"It just gets worse as students get older."
" TEKS for English III contains 25 main "standards" and 76 "substandards." Most of them, including the ones for writing, never find their way into the curriculum. "

And that was when I stopped visiting the state website. :p
OK ... Now imagine that you are a student teacher and you have to have detailed lesson plans that MUST BE aligned to the standards AND you have to state which standard or standards you are covering with each lesson.
Of course, my student teaching was in math ... and my cooperating teacher taught (non-Common Core) Algebra 2 (using the district's Algebra 2 books from the previous year). This was the first year of Common Core ... so the class was called "Transitions to Algebra 2" for juniors who were taking it and "Senior Algebra 2" for the seniors taking it (same class, different periods of the day).
I actually found my standards in the Algebra 1 section of Math Standards. At the end of first semester they were still covering Algebra 1 standards.
There were also Common Core Algebra 2 classes taught by other teachers ... and those kids went from "old" Algebra 1 and geometry to CC Algebra 2. That was a BIG jump! The school was actually allowing students to switch to our class from CC Algebra 2 as late as November. It was crazy.
 

mommyof1

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This is off the Texas education agency website for grade level standards. For KINDERGARTEN.

(6) Students understand that a constitutional republic is a representative form of government whose representatives derive their authority from the consent of the governed, serve for an established tenure, and are sworn to uphold the constitution.

(8) Students identify and discuss how the actions of U.S. citizens and the local, state, and federal governments have either met or failed to meet the ideals espoused in the founding documents.

And when I posted that to Facebook with the caption, "Go home Texas, you're drunk," the best teacher (also head of department) I have EVER had, and possibly the most beloved teacher in our district by students and admin alike (just to say, not a slouch!) posted:
"It just gets worse as students get older."
" TEKS for English III contains 25 main "standards" and 76 "substandards." Most of them, including the ones for writing, never find their way into the curriculum. "

And that was when I stopped visiting the state website. :p

Good luck with that, Texas. My friend who teaches kindergarten says it takes until December just to get all of the kids to understand that you are supposed to write on consecutive pages of a notebook instead of opening it to a random page.
 

raenndrops

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Good luck with that, Texas. My friend who teaches kindergarten says it takes until December just to get all of the kids to understand that you are supposed to write on consecutive pages of a notebook instead of opening it to a random page.
I'm working with a rising 6th grader who STILL doesn't grasp that concept. Or that science notes should be in his science notebook, math notes in the math notebook, social studies notes in his social studies notebook, etc :rolleyes:. He also doesn't understand why it is important to LABEL his notes (Date, title of the lesson or text pages, and the "Block, Week, and Day").
 
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