The other day, I shared what is on our shelves for Aidan’s fourth grade year. Today I’ll share what we’re planning for Gresham this year. Gresham will be 6 in October, so he would be in kindergarten if he were entering public school. Gresham is one of those kids for whom homeschooling will be really advantageous academically speaking. I would not want to put Gresham in first grade if he were going to school. He does well being one of the oldest in his grade for his church activities. Gresham doesn’t like to attempt something unless he is sure he can do it, and he is slow to make friends. I’m not sure that putting him ahead a grade would be a great idea, mainly because of the ramifications when he gets to junior high. A boy who is young for his grade in junior high can feel really out of place, so I would hate to set him up for that. However, Gresham would be bored in kindergarten, I think. He is reading well on his own, and enjoys adding numbers in his head. He has the doubles addition facts up to 9+9 down pretty well after just two days of working on it! So he’s obviously ready for first grade work. It’s great to be able to move him along in the areas that he’s ready to move along in, without having to actually move him forward a grade.
For history, Gresham will be sitting in on some of what Aidan is doing in Sonlight American history. I am also planning to go through a 2nd grade American History textbook with him – “Our America” from Abeka. I’m not a big fan of Abeka overall, but I picked up this history book for cheap at a used book sale, and it introduces the kids to American history, American government, and our flag and national anthem, etc.
Gresham will also be doing science with Aidan – Apologia Zoology 3. This year, Apologia came out with a junior journal to go along with the Exploring Creation series, and Gresham is very excited about his! It has animal coloring pages, mini-books to make, copywork, experiments, and lined journal pages for beginning writers.
The main thrust of first grade will be learning to read, write, add, subtract, tell time, and count money.
For phonics, I love Explode the Code. Gresham is on book 3. The activities are interesting (things like choosing which sentence correctly describes a silly picture), and he can work through the lessons fairly independently.
Like Aidan, Gresham will be doing Handwriting without Tears.
I also bought Wordly Wise level “B” for him. I didn’t do Wordly Wise with Aidan until second grade, but I was looking at the A, B, and C levels (intended for kindergarten and 1st grade, I think?) and I really liked them. Here’s a sample:
I really like the fact that this book will help Gresham start thinking about “definitions” for words. Even at age 9, if I ask Aidan what a word means, he tends to give me an example rather than a definition. I also like the fact that the A, B, and C levels have pictures.
For math, Gresham will be doing Making Math Meaningful (first grade) from Cornerstone Curriculum. I did not do this math with Aidan, and our order hasn’t come yet, so I’m anxious to get it and see what I think of it!
Gresham will be spending about 2 hours a day on school, which leaves lots of time for playing and bike riding and other little boy things!