Homeschooling 1st Grade: Christian Curriculum & Schedule!
Homeschooling your children and taking control of their education is such a blessing but can be overwhelming!! Especially just starting out and homeschooling first grade or younger.
What curriculum do I choose? How do I find our learning style? What will our daily schedule be?
I wanted to share our first-grade, Christ-focused homeschool curriculum picks as well as a simple, tentative schedule we will be using this upcoming year!
My prayer is that this will help you have some ideas when homeschooling your young child from a Christian-based perspective, with some helpful reviews. 🙂
First Grade Homeschooling From A Biblical Worldview
First, let me start off with full disclosure – this will be our first year homeschooling FULL TIME – we did a partial year this past year. My 6 year old attended kindergarten 3 days a week at a Christian school and the other two days we did work they sent home here.
The Lord then clearly called us to homeschool for first grade full-time (even though we had already paid the school’s deposit for next year – another story for another time 😂) and we gladly accepted that calling!
There are so many different styles of homeschooling but when it came to deciding the curriculum, I wanted to make sure of one thing – that we were choosing things that were biblical, solid, and not pushing any agendas that are out there in today’s world.
It’s our job as Christian parents to train up our children in God’s Word, and teach them that He is the only truth and way!
It was super important to me to have most (not necessarily all) of the subjects, core especially, be Christian based.
I am excited to share with you what we have found for our curriculum plus a tentative schedule for homeschooling first grade!
What Subjects to Teach When Homeschooling First Grade:
So, what subjects do you even have to cover for first grade? This largely depends on where you are located and what the rules are. I would recommend checking Homeschool Legal Defense Association site and seeing your state’s requirements.
Here is what we will be covering this upcoming year:
- Reading (daily)
- Language Arts: Spelling, Phonics (daily)
- Handwriting/Scripture Memory (daily)
- Math (daily)
- Science (weekly)
- History (weekly)
- Art (as needed – it’s not required by our state)
We mainly wanted to focus on the core subjects like reading, writing, and math and then lightly learn the other things.
1st Grade Homeschool Curriculum Top Picks:
Without further ado, here are our current first-grade homeschooling curriculum picks for the 2023-2024 academic year!! 😊
A quick side note: the majority of our core curriculum is from Memoria Press, a Classical Christian approach to learning. It is very wholesome and affordable and we truly enjoy it!
I’ve also included a link to teacher manuals for each one (if needed) and a little note for each on how much prep work YOU as the teacher will have to do.
So you see that I included Bible in this list… but I want to make a clarification that I do NOT consider Bible a curriculum or subject!
This should be a part of our daily routine for living life – our daily bread if you will! Not a subject to be studied.
However, there is nothing wrong with having a Bible curriculum (there are some great ones out there) to study Bible history and the things of God on a deeper level. But remember that reading God’s Word as a family and individually goes beyond education. It’s learning to love and look like Jesus more every day!
I included it more so to show our daily routine than as a subject.
The main things we will do are practice a catechism, read our daily acrostic, read in the Bible (including a study aid for that), and then our morning menu (days, months, etc.). This takes us maybe 20-30 min total.
All of this is explained in more detail in our morning basket routine here! You can get a full breakdown of what our routine looks like and how we begin our days with God’s Word.
For reading, we will be finishing up the First Start Reading Program Book E and starting Storytime Treasures from Memoria Press. She has done so well with the FSR in kindergarten and we can’t wait to continue it!
Once you finish FSR Book E, you then go into their Storytime Treasures set for reading which we will be doing also. It has them actually start reading small books and answering questions based on what they read, aka reading comprehension.
Our plan is to spend one semester on the first and the next on the latter, but there is a MORE Storytime Treasures set that we may do if we finish the others.
Here is a link to the teacher’s guides for FSR Book E and Storytime Treasures – little to no prep work for these!
We will also be doing a LOT of read-alouds (here are some of our favorite Christian books to read for kids) as well as independent reading each day in books of her own choice.
Some of our favorite, wholesome independent readers are:
- American Language Readers Set
- Bible Reader from My Father’s World
- The Beginner’s Bible Read Through the Bible: 8 Bible Stories
- Horizons Reading & Phonics
We will also be reading through our Nature Reader (LOVE these!) from Christian Liberty Press, and I’ll have her write a few sentences about what we read and draw a picture.
I found this pack of primary K-2 journals on Amazon with 1/2 ruling and a spot to draw above it!
Language Arts: Spelling/Phonics
For Language Arts, we are doing spelling and phonics.
We will be using the Traditional Spelling 1 Workbook from Memoria Press. This one is a little up in the air for us – we are planning to do this daily but I have heard some people have better luck with it in second grade.
If for some reason it’s taking us longer, I am okay to spread it out and finish it up the next year! As long as she is progressing in reading and writing, we’ll be fine. 😉
Here is the link for the teacher’s manual for TS1. There is some minimal prep work if you choose to use the flashcards, which we will be!
For extra phonics practice, we are using the Core Skills Phonics Grade 2.
She completed Grade 1 in kindergarten and it has some really good stuff in it! It will be more of a supplemental to the Spelling and Reading, rather than a workbook to work through every day.
We will be using the Write the Word on My Heart Bible memorization curriculum for our handwriting practice.
We usually do scripture memory on our own, so when I saw this 30-week scripture memory writing curriculum, I knew it would be perfect!
Each week goes through a different verse and follows a similar format:
- Day 1: recite the whole verse, trace it, and write it again
- Day 2-4: the same as above but each day more words are missing in the tracing part for them to fill in
- Day 5: recite the memory verse and color a picture to keep!
Not only does it cover handwriting practice, but writing God’s Word over and over will help kids to memorize it and keep it in their hearts. So awesome!
Plus, zero prep for you!
For Math, we will be using the Rod & Staff Grade 1 workbook 2 and possibly Grade 2 workbook 1, which Memoria Press outsources from their site.
We will start with the Grade 1 Arithmetic Workbook 2, and when we complete that we’ll move to Grade 2 Arithmetic Workbook 1. They schedule the first part of Grade 1 in kindergarten and then finish it up in first grade.
As long as we get the first workbook done, we’ll be fine! I’m not too concerned about completing Grade 2 because we can always move it to next year.
Rod & Staff is a Christian company, very wholesome, and the thing I really like about it is there is no fluff.
If you like bright colors and pictures, this may not be for you. There’s no fluff, and they focus on mastery learning which works well for us.
Plus, the less distraction the better for my daughter and she truly loves working in her math book!
They also have practice sheets to help with any struggling areas or just extra practice.
There isn’t a ton of prep work, but it may be handy to look over the teacher’s manual before! We are not using the recommended flashcards for these.
I have these separated for two reasons – one being these are not as heavily curriculum based so we won’t do them every day. These will be weekly, except art which will be as needed.
Also, we are doing these subjects in our co-op group once a month so I don’t feel we need to lean into them as heavily as the core subjects above.
Here are the choices we are using for the following enrichment subjects…
This is the History for Little Pilgrims book by Christian Liberty Press, the most recent find I had, and I could not be happier!
A lot of the ones I looked at such as Notgrass History, Masterbooks, etc. all looked wonderful! In fact, we will most likely use Notgrass next year, but for this year they all seemed way too book/workbook heavy.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and it may work for some, but I wanted something a little lighter so we could really nail down those core subjects.
The History For Little Pilgrims book starts with history at the beginning with Adam & Eve, through Jesus’ life, the church growing, America being founded as a new nation, to recent history.
It’s very light and enjoyable reading, but still teaches and has some fun activities included as well! It’s all in one book too which works great for one child. Plus, it’s super cheap!
There are 15 lessons, and we could most likely knock out one lesson in 1-2 days a week which is just what we were looking for!
You can grab the teacher’s guide here – it’s mostly filled with extra ideas for the lessons, but has answers to questions as well! Little prep work from you at all.
*There is an optional coloring book that you can get (we did) and an easy to follow teacher’s manual with more ideas.
This one was tough for me as far as trying to figure out what format to follow. We are also doing science once a month at our co-op so that helps!
But I think we have decided on Our Father’s World by Christian Liberty Press. It’s very gentle and approaches science from the God as our Creator standpoint.
It focuses on everything God made such as people, plants, animals, seasons, etc. Basically a great overview and intro to science in first grade!
Some other supplemental books I have for science are:
- Usborne 365 Science Activities– this is a fun book filled with science experiments to do at home for young kids. I plan on doing a couple of these a month to reinforce whatever we are learning!
- Nature Reader 1 from Christian Liberty Press – I mentioned we will be doing this for reading earlier, but it can also count as science as we learn about different insects and animals.
It may seem like a heavy focus on animals, but I asked my daughter early on when we decided to homeschool, what she would like to learn about. She said animals, and the beauty of homeschooling is we can take that and run with it!
The teacher guide includes answers to the questions and extra resources! Again, very little prep work.
I am definitely NOT an artist, so when I found the Usborne Art Treasury book, I scooped it up quick! It goes over famous artists/paintings and includes a hands-on art activity to replicate their style.
We are also doing art in co-op and learning from someone who knows much more about it than me hah! So this will be more as needed, fun activity to include.
We will also be using just a simple learn-to-draw book from Usborne called the Big Drawing Book – this book actually teaches kids to draw things and refine those skills.
Daily Schedule For Our First-Grade Homeschool Year
Now that we have gone over the first-grade curriculum picks, how does it all look together on a day-to-day, week-to-week basis? Let’s look!
We are starting our year by following a traditional school calendar, but I have seriously been considering year-round homeschooling. It may be something we switch to during the year or the next year, but we will see how it goes!
We are planning a 4-day homeschool schedule with Fridays off to catch up on work, do fun things out of the house, or just rest!
The Lord led us to a co-op group that will meet once a week for two hours, so our schedule that day will be slightly adjusted on that day!
Also, when I say “schedule”, I don’t mean a super strict, on the minute type of deal. I want freedom and flexibility in it… that’s why we want to homeschool!
But we need something as more so of a guideline so we can know what we need to get done and when, to stay on track.
Here is our tentative sample schedule for first-grade homeschooling next year:
Monday, Weds, and Thursday:
- Morning – Morning basket with Bible reading, Bible verse copybook, short break, math, reading
- Afternoon – spelling/phonics, loop subject (science, history, or art)
- 15-minute, independent reading for her can be done at any time
- Read aloud can be done either in the morning, at lunch, or at bedtime
- Morning – Morning basket with Bible reading, Bible verse copybook, math, reading OR spelling
- Afternoon – Co-op group meeting
- Same with the independent reading and read aloud for the other days!
- Morning basket, recite Bible verse, and either a catch-up day, field trip day, library day, or rest!
As far as planning, here is the homeschool planner I plan on using – I currently use the non-school Plum Paper for my daily planner and it is hands down the BEST one I’ve ever used consistently.
*We will also be doing piano lessons and ballet, so depending on when those are, it may alter this sample schedule!
More On Christian Homeschooling
As I said, homeschooling your children and taking control of their education is such a blessing but can be overwhelming!!
LOTS of prayers went into these choices, and I felt the Lord telling me not to get so caught up in the multitudes of curriculums and schedules out there… but rather to focus on my daughter’s heart.
Overall, do what works best for your family! My prayer is that this helped give you some curriculum & schedule ideas, and overall encouraged you.
You only get this time with your children once, so lean into God and He will lead you!
What will your homeschooling look like this year? Let me know below!