Our 1st Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices 2012-2013

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Previously, I shared our picks for 3rd grade curriculum, and today, I wanted to share our choices for 1st grade.

 Need 1st grade homeschool curriculum recommendations? She has some great suggestions. Homeschooling 1st grade is so much fun.

HomeEd Expert’s recommendationswere a tremendous help but I also had some curriculum tucked away from when Lira was in 1st grade.

About my 1st grader ~ If Franc were in publish school, he would be entering kindergarten, but since he is already reading, adding, and more, I have decided to test the waters of 1st grade. I am perfectly willing to slam on the brakes if it becomes too difficult or if he shows signs of struggle.

1st Grade Homeschool Curriculum Picks


Lira used the Horizons Math from Alpha & Omega Publishing when she was in the 1st grade. I loved the spiral approach where the concepts build upon one another as new concepts are introduced.

Homeschool curriculum choices

Horizons Math, Grade 1, Complete Set by Alpha Omega Publications

No more hours of boring, endless repetition – your kids will actually thank you for this interactive math curriculum! Each level has two student workbooks, but the teacher handbook is the main component of the program. All instruction is provided through one-on-one teacher instruction, which is the biggest difference between Horizons and the self-guided Lifepacs.

Another big focus in Horizons is hands-on learning using a variety of manipulatives, which can mostly be found around the house: pencils, pipe cleaners, play or real money, thread, a timer, clock, yardstick, etc.

Novice home-educators should not be intimidated by the amount of teacher involvement as it is carefully layed out in the beginning of each year’s teacher handbook. The teacher handbook also provides a variety of teaching suggestions and supplemental activities for additional practice.

The concepts covered in Horizons 1 include:

  • Counting by 2’s, 5’s, 10’s
  • Ordinal and Cardinal Numbers
  • Addition Facts
  • Place Value

This means that a solid foundation in number recognition and other kindergarten concepts is imperative.

Spelling & Phonics

I purchased a Reason for Spelling last year, thinking that it would be a good place to start Franc, but I quickly realized that he needed a fundamental understanding of sight words and word families first. So, I am pulling it back out this year to see if he is ready.

homeschool curriculum choices ideas

A Reason for Spelling, Level A, Teacher Guidebook and Student Worktext by A Beginning Advantage

How do children best learn to spell? Research says it takes more than just rote memorization and drill. Activities with a purposeare the key! And what better purpose than learning Scripture values.

Recommended for Grade 1. Every weekly lesson begins with a story – a contemporary theme story that develops key principles found in that week’s Scripture verse. Daily lessons continue to build on this theme and help make learning to spell FUN! In addition, A Reason For Spelling encourages regular personal writing activities in a values-based setting. This gives children a meaningful context for focusing on correct spelling.

A Reason For Spelling combines the latest research on how children learn to spell with all the strengths of traditional programs. It integrates spelling with reading, writing, and language arts, while teaching children all the high-frequency base words, plus hundreds of other word forms as well!

A Reason For Spelling incorporates a variety of successful teaching techniques: daily practice, self-correction, visual imaging, detailed student feedback, learning games, the test/study/test sequence, and much more. It also includes special activities in every lesson to help motivate visual, auditory, tactile, and multi-faceted learners.

Bible & History

The Ancient Civilizations curriculum by Answers in Genesis is a great fit for our family. Tracing history from creation to Christ, the children will be able to learn based on the Bible as their outline. The curriculum is completely adaptable for multiple ages and addresses how to personalize lessons to different learning styles.

3rd grade Bible History curriculum pick for homeschool

Ancient Civilizations & the Bible: Full Family Curriculum Pack by Diana Waring / Answers In Genesis

Explore events, civilizations, and personalities from creation to the time of Christ in this redesign of Diana Waring’s exciting one-year curriculum! Featuring dynamic new illustrations, the kit includes teacher’s guide, student manual, and test pack (grades 6 and up); elementary activity book (grades K to 4); and 10 CDs–True Tales, Digging Deeper, and What in the World?


Our science will also be studied as a family unless we can gather some friends for a co-op. I knew without a doubt that the Junior Anatomy Notebooking Journal was going to be a necessity for the 1st grade level.

3rd grade homeschool science pick

Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology by Jeannie K. Fulbright / Apologia Educational Ministries

All creation is awe-inspiring, but the work of the human body, created in the very image of God, is especially jaw-dropping! This study of anatomy and physiology showcases the intricacy and design of the human body, from DNA and cell creation to the skeletal, muscular, digestive, respiratory, cardiovascular, nervous/endocrine, immune, and intergumentary systems. Integrated with health and nutrition information, as well as plenty of scripture and biblical application, this complete guide to the human body is written in an enjoyable, conversational tone that will keep kids engaged. Experiments, notebooking assignments, narration, and a “personal person project” provide interaction with concepts outside of reading, and help to solidify understanding. 265 pages, hardcover. Index and answers to the narrative questions are included.

Junior Notebooking Journal for Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology by Jeannie Fulbright / Apologia Educational Ministries

Love the regular Apologia notebooking journals, but find the writing a bit too advanced for your student? The Human Anatomy & Physiology Notebooking Journal will remove your concern with activities specifically geared towards students who aren’t as advanced in their writing abilities. Almost the same length as the regular journal, the notebooking pages aren’t designed to just suit lower grades—only writing ability is considered. Perfect for younger students or older, struggling students! Coloring pages, scripture copywork, vocabulary flip-cards, puzzle pieces, “more to explore” ideas, diagrams to label, and other fun lapbooking pages are included, as well as full-color minibooks and two overhead transparencies. 230 pages plus full-color section. Spiral bound, softcover.

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  1. Tabitha Zehner says

    For the book, A Reason For Spelling ~ is the teachers edition necessary? Or can just the workbook be used?

  2. Shannon Margaret says

    I LOOOOVE Horizons…..We are doing this Mathbook in the fall. Please post as the year goes along …. I would love to see the progress with the Horizons…. good luck…. –Peace & Learning, Shannon Margaret

  3. Jaime says

    I am curious about the Exploring Creation Zoology series (we did Human Anatomy this year). There are 3 “days” – are each of these to be a year’s study? Or do they cover less time?

    • Penny says

      Typically, the studies are to be stretched for a year but I think the book covers three days of Creation. We have not done that one yet. Hope this helps but if it doesn’t, you can ask Apologia directly on their Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/apologiaworld) or on Twitter (@apologiaworld). The ladies who run those accounts would be happy to help you. Just make sure you tell them that Penny sent you. :)


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