Thursday, March 28, 2013

Our New First Grade Curriculum (UPDATED)

Our Chinese curriculum choice: My First Chinese Words
**UPDATE** I've made a few changes since we finished our kindergarten level work and moved into the first grade work. I discovered The Logic of English Essentials curriculum and I love it! I am using it on my Chinese husband to improve his English reading skill as well as on the kiddo who is an emerging reader! So I have completely changed the way we were approaching phonics and reading for first grade. You can see some stuff is crossed out--we're not using it any more. And new stuff is marked with an asterisk (*).

So here's our new curriculum, to finish the end of kindergarten and continue through first grade. Yay! I'm so proud that I put together my first curriculum by myself. No more K12, "online public school" rules and regs. All the curriculum is secular. I decided we'll be homeschooling year-round, since last summer he was so bored. It is so hot here in the summer and we can't go outside anyway, so we might as well enjoy the air conditioning and learn stuff. Then we'll take a nice long break in the cool season when we can actually enjoy doing stuff outdoors. We've started already with this (except a few bits I haven't bought yet); and we found we are finishing school in 2 1/2-3 hours. It's just right! We don't use all these materials every day, but we switch it up and have some variety. Some subjects, like art and science, we're doing once a week. I'm really happy that we can do this!

 *Logic of English Essentials (LOE)
*Homemade LOE flashcards
*LOE Phonogram and Spelling Game Book + game cards
Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons (book)--using only for the readings
K12 PhonicsWorks Basic Readers (left over from our unfortunate K12 experience)(completed)
Progressive Phonics, intermediate level (free download)(too easy for the kiddo)
Beginning reader books from our local library
Sight words flash cards, level b(no sight words used in LOE)

Handwriting Without Tears, 1st grade (yellow book)

Math Mammoth, 1st grade
Assorted manipulatives: base 10 blocks, snap cubes, abacus, school money, magnetic fractions set
Addition and subtraction flash cards

Build Your Library Curriculum, 1st grade

 Build Your Library Curriculum, 1st grade

Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding: A Science Curriculum for K-2 (ebook)
Build Your Library Curriculum, 1st grade (nature study science; we'll do this during the cool season)
The Magic School Bus episodes (YouTube)(he watches them constantly anyway, so they're no longer part of our daily work)

The Happy Scientist (online subscription)

Home Art Studio DVD: Kindergarten

Mandarin Chinese
My First Chinese Words Curriculum (We purchased the subscription to the online component,
workbooks, games, and flashcards)
Fun Fun Elmo (Mandarin YouTube videos from the makers of Sesame Street)
Daddy (He'll tutor us in pronunciation [because mine's terrible] and writing Chinese characters)

Salsa  (Free Spanish videos from Georgia PBS)
Spanish flashcards that I make myself
*The kids' godmother Marvah (she'll tutor the kiddo in Spanish conversation)

Brain Quest Workbook, grade 1


  1. I am so glad you found me on the homeschool group! This is so cool. I had NO idea about the Elmo videos, and I'm looking at My First Chinese Words right now. I am so excited about that. I also want my children to learn Spanish, but I'm not sure about starting right now while they're in Chinese school and I'm just desperately hoping they'll start speaking well soon. I really hope you all will come visit your husband's hometown sometime SOON and visit us, too!

  2. What does your reading list for Build Your Library look like? How much will you end up spending on it? I'd love something like that if it was just doable for us, but I'm guessing it's not.

  3. I really wish I could come visit! It's so, so expensive for airfare and our budget is always tight. :( I hope we can manage it someday.

    I like my first Chinese Words so far. We are only on lesson 3 (after several months) because we were taking our time learning numbers and tones and just practicing the new vocabulary orally as well as the written Chinese. It's a lot to take in when you are just starting. I'm so jealous that your kids get that daily immersion! Mine get it only when we visit their Nainai and Yeiyei in California.

    I counted up 36 books for BYL. You can check out her amazon bookstore through her website and you can see the books for each grade. I'm guesstimating they would be close to $300 on Amazon, not including shipping. She picks really good books though. You'd want to have these books in your home library for continued enjoyment. When I find them for cheap or get an Amazon gift card I buy one or two to keep. So if you could get them to China it's not like you wouldn't get good use out of them.

    I'm having this baby any day now so I'll be offline for awhile, but let's keep in touch and share any online resources and such. Feel free to message me via email: oneworldhomeschoolATgmailDOTcom


  4. Reading Makes Your Child Smarter

    Reading is known to have numerous benefits. It increases your world knowledge, enhances your vocabulary, and works to improve your reading comprehension abilities.

    But did you know that reading can actually make you smarter?

    In fact, reading not only can make a child smarter, the very act of reading can even help to compensate for modest levels of cognitive ability in children by building their vocabulary and general knowledge! This is a finding reported by researchers Cunningham and Stanovich in a report titled "What Reading Does For the Mind".

    The simple fact here is that reading can make your child smarter, and that learning to read early on is directly linked to later success in life.

    1) Did you know that your child's vocabulary at 3 years old predicts his or her grade one reading success? [1]

    2) Did you know that vocabulary and reading ability in first grade strongly predicts grade 11 outcomes? [2]

    3) Did you know that your child's reading skill in grade 3 directly influences high school graduation? Studies have found that children who cannot read proficiently by grade 3 are four times more likely to leave school without a diploma than proficient readers! [3]

    >> Give your child the best possible head start. Teach your child to read today. Click here to learn how.

    But how do you teach a young child to read, and isn't that the job of the school and teachers?

    You can't be more wrong...

    With the right tools, knowledge, and techniques, teaching young children to read can be a simple and effective process. I'd like to introduce you to a fantastic reading program called Children Learning Reading, a super effective method for teaching children to read - even children as young as just 2 or 3 years old.

    The creators of this program have used it to teach their four children to read before age 3, and by reading, I mean real, phonetic reading.

    I can understand if you find that hard to believe... In fact, I had a difficult time believing it myself as well... that is, until I saw the videos they posted documenting the reading progress of the their children - not to mention all the videos other parents have sent in showcasing their children's reading progress after using the Children Learning Program. After learning more about their methods and techniques, it became clear how it's possible to teach young children to read effectively.

    It is truly within your ability to teach your child to read in a relatively short period of time spending just 10 to 15 minutes each day.

    >> Click here now to watch the videos and start teaching your child to read.

    1. Vocabulary Development and Instruction: A Prerequisite for School Learning
    Andrew Biemiller, University of Toronto

    2. Early reading acquisition and its relation to reading experience and ability 10 years later.
    Cunningham AE, Stanovich KE.

    3. Double Jeopardy How Third-Grade Reading Skills and Poverty Influence High School Graduation
    Donald J. Hernandez, Hunter College and the Graduate Center,