I”ve been asked over and over what I’m doing for Tyrion’s 1st Grade Homeschool Curriculum and today I’m finally covering it!
We decided to go with The Good and The Beautiful for most of his 1st grade homeschool curriculum, along with Abeka math.
I’m going to break down each course we’re doing and share some pieces of it so you get a good understanding of the material. Just to be clear, we have not started school yet, my opinions may change once we dig into the material and I may switch things up. Each of us are allowed to try something and then change based the individual needs of our children and teaching styles.
No one curriculum or school schedule is right for everyone. One of the most amazing things about homeschooling is the option to be very fluid with your schedule and how you teach. The ability to lean into your children and their ways of learning.
What homeschooling model is right for you?
Before looking at curriculum, its a good idea to get a feel for your homeschooling style. Are you structured? Have more of a principled approach? You may love the Classic Method for homeschooling. Are you a learn-as-you-go kind of person? Don’t like to stick to a standard way of doing things? You may like more of an Eclectic Approach. Overall there are seven methods that are the most popular:
- The Classic Method
- Charlotte Mason Method
- Montessori Method
- Unite Studies
- Eclectic Education Method
Before purchasing any homeschool material I suggest you look over these methods more in depth so you can match your family to a style, and then material, that will work best for you. This article about the Homeschool Styles is an excellent starting point!
Isn’t the Good and The Beautiful (TGTB) created by a Mormon? Does it have Mormon material in it?
I received several messages from friends and other homeschooling families when I first said I was looking into TGTB as our primary curriculum, voicing caution. This was because this curriculum is created by a mormon, and they were concerned it might have mormon doctrine in it. Since our family is Christian, it could contain material that might go against our core beliefs.
After lots of research and watching more YouTube videos that I can count from other homeschooling moms, listening to their reviews and why they’ve decided to use it, or not use it, I’ve come to the conclusion that its a great option for our family!
TGTB does not contain any doctrine that is specific to any religious sect. This curriculum is based on very simple biblical principles:
- That God exists
- That He created the world
- That Christ is our savior
Jenna Phillips, who is the creator of TGTB, has said herself that she doesn’t believe that school curriculum is where you should be getting your core doctrine. She talks about it all in this YouTube video that I would recommend watching. TGTB also has a panel of reviewers from all different religious backgrounds to make sure it’s not going to go against anyones beliefe system.
first grade homeschool curriculum
You may be thinking, “Wait, you said Tyrion is in 1st grade this year? So why a Level K course book?” THTB actually has a Level K Primer (which I got for Evelyn) and a Level K course book, that I got for Tyrion. TGTB is a level based curriculum, not grade based. After reading up on it, the Level K Course Book is very similar to 1st grade material. If you are unsure of where your child falls into the course books, TGTB has a level assessment under the description of each course that you can give your child to help determine where they are at. Since I taught Tyrion through the end of Kindergarten and knew where he was at, I simply looked over the assessments and determined what level I thought he’d work best in.
If you feel your child is between levels, I’d suggest going down one instead of up. I know it can be tempting to advance your child, but it can be such a hit to their pride and learning to be forced into a level they may not be fully ready for. Starting on an easier level can be an encouragement and confidence booster. Plus, review is never a bad thing! If they are clipping along at a steady pace you can add a page or two extra a day to complete it faster, and then move onto the next level when finished.
I’m so excited to dig into this Language Arts course! The beginning of the book walks you through exactly what the course covers, laying everything out in an easy to understand way for any parent, new or seasoned, in the homeschooling arena.
TGTB books are what you call “Open and Go”
They state exactly what is expected of the parent, and walk you though each lesson. You don’t have to do any prep-work beforehand, simply open and go with your child. Learn as they learn, enjoy, and have fun! You don’t have to be an expert in each subject to homeschool, just a willingness to learn along with your child.
What is also amazing about TGTB is that it’s several subjects in one course. If you’re new to homeschooling, or have multiple children, this is going to be great for time management! (Need to know what subjects are required for your state? Check out my homeschool laws post here.)
And friends, the course books and reading material in TGTB are just absolutely stunning. I’m a visual person, and having schoolwork that isn’t cut and dry, but beautiful and interesting speaks to my soul! And how much more visual are our children right? Anything to encourage their learning is such a blessing.
The Language Arts and Literature course also came with a Level K reader, that again, is beautiful and wholesome.
Look at those vintage drawings! I’m in love.
It also came with 30 short stories that I had to cut and staple together. One evening watching half a movie along with assembling and I got it all done.
Lastly, the course comes with phonics cards. The cards are not all meant to be used in Level K, but advance with the child into the next level.
They are all perforated, so as you use them you pull apart and go.
The Good and The Beautiful Handwriting Level 2
Tyrion has been doing great at his handwriting, so I decided to go up a level for this course.
I appreciate that the course book works on training a child not just to do numbers and letters, but also encourages them to strengthening their penmanship in other ways. Like drawing a flower or face in a picture frame, as shown below.
Also see the example of coloring the horse drawing below after completing their assignment.
Overall I find TGTB very engaging and am excited to see how my kids interact with the material!
K-8 Science Unit Study
When taking these pictures just a few short days ago I fully intended to go with this Kingdoms and Classifications from The Good and The Beautiful for the science portion of our 1st grade homeschool curriculum. It’s what was recommended, so I purchased it!
What I find interesting in learning about teaching, is that most subjects you circle around to three times in the course of kindergarten through high school. As a Kindergartener or 1st grader, you cover the very basics of the course, and as you get into the higher grades TGTB has progressively more intensive assignment books to go along with the unit studies so your child can go into more in-depth learning.
That being said, when I looked through the material with Travis yesterday, we decided it was just too much for our littles. I will be doing history and science family style with both kids, and I just don’t see them grasping most of the concepts in this course. My sister has a 1st grader and a 5th grader and she’s beyond excited to use this same Unite Study material for her kids. Again, that’s the great thing about homeschooling!
Water and our World
After talking it over and deciding against that Unit Study, I looked at the kids and asked them what they’d love to learn about this year. They said water. Well okay then! We switched it up and will be doing a unit study on water! When I went to TGTB website they actually did have a course on Water and our World. I purchased it, and also went to Pinterest and pinned a bunch of activities, crafts, and books about water, the ocean, clouds, the water cycle, and more. Not only are the kids really excited about this, I also have much more peace teaching something I know my kids will find much more engaging and because of that, will also retain more info about.
However, I wanted to still include the photos I took of the Kingdoms and Classifications book if it’s something you’re considering for your family. We will definitely use it in the coming years, just not this year.
abeka math curriculum
Why did I decide to do a different 1st grade homeschool curriculum for math, rather than sticking with TGTB for everything? A few different reasons. First, TGTB math is a story based program. And while I love the other subjects being story based, it wasn’t my favorite idea for math. Story based math it also pretty teacher intensive, with a lot more “fluff” that what Tyrion was use to in Kindergarten. Since he had been excelling in math at school, (why change up something that’s working?) I decided to go with a math workbook that was very similar to what he was already doing. Abeka is tried and true for traditional (not common core) based math. It’s been around for decades. I even used it during some years of my personal homeschooling journey!
If your child has been struggling with the traditional approach to math, TGTB may be a good fit. Again, YouTube is a great area to get other homeschool parents personal opinions and experiences using certain curriculum!
Still colorful and engaging, I think it’s a perfect fit for Tyrion and what he learns well with.
Along with the Abeka math book, you can purchase an answer key! While I hope (fingers crossed!) I can help Tyrion without an answer key this year, as he advances in grades I’ll eventually need to purchase one (along with a tutor if needed) down the road!
Guys, I’m waiting for the history books to come back in stock! As soon as they do and I get them I’ll update this post! TGTB’s sales went up (If I remember correctly) 300% over the past few months with so many families choosing to homeschool this year. That’s a crazy amount of growth in a very short period of time! My heart goes out to them as they scramble to get items back in stock!
Once I decided we were homeschooling for sure, I ordered everything I could. Even then, I wasn’t able to snag the history in time, and I hear TGTB history is amazing! If you go to the history page, or any page with out-of-stock curriculum on it, you can add yourself to the “Text when back in stock” updates and literally run to your computer and order ASAP when you get the text message!
However, if they don’t have it back in stock in the next few weeks I might go a different rout with history, so stay tuned!
Don’t go! I’d love for you to follow along!
Follow along with my homeschool journey over on Instagram! I show up daily Mon-Fri with lots of home DIY, crafting, decor, gardening, canning, and sharing my favorite and not so favorite parts of being a stay at home mom!
More questions about the curriculum? Message me over on Instagram, or leave a comment and I’ll make sure to get back to you.
Also stay tuned for our homeschool room reveal coming in just a couple weeks! Eeek! So excited for it to be done and decorated!