Tuesday, September 25, 2012

First Grade Common Core

One of the challenges of homeschooling is figuring out exactly what your kids "need" to know.  Here in Oregon we only have to face standardized testing a few times (3rd, 5th 8th and 10th grades) and otherwise it's really up to us how we choose to home educate.  There are several philosophies about this, some folks choose to make it up as they go along, or trust that the curriculum they are using is enough.  Some prefer to ignore the "requirements" and allow their children to learn at their own pace.  The rest of us just have to KNOW!  :)  Whatever your philosophy, here's a great resource that's worth a peek.  

This First Grade Common Core workbook is the largest collection of resources for teaching the Common Core State Standards. This workbook includes reams of worksheets, activities, and posters that cover Language Arts and Math.   They have the Common Core Standards Workbooks for Kindergarten through Grade 5 (though the Grades 3-5 aren't available just yet).

I took a peek at a sample (you can download it, here) and the worksheets seem easy to follow and read.  The directions are straightforward.  Even more exciting are the colorful activities and posters that could be used for homeschool-style folder games or even lapbooks.  Lots of fun ideas, here.  

It's always up to us as parent educators to decide what and how our kids should learn.  But sometimes it's nice to get a look at what our kids really need to know.  If my kids need to go back to public or private school, I want them to be ready to meet the standard.  

I was offered a free copy of the First Grade Common Core Workbook in exchange for this blog post.  Thanks to http://www.hipmamasplace.com/2012/05/summer-reading-programs-for-kids-2012.html for the cute pics of the babies reading, too.  :)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

First Grade!

Homeschooling is now official in our home.  We sent in the forms (relatively easy in Oregon) and we had our first day, yesterday.  I've done my homework, read the blogs, and decided on a philosophy.  Picking curriculum can be expensive, but this year we've joined the Classical Conversations community, an amazing co-operative style program and curriculum that happens to be available in our little town.  

Once a week we meet together and parents participate along with the kids while tutors lead the class in learning new information and reviewing the old.  Classical Conversations (CC) presents a classical, Christian education with emphasis on memorization and presentation using lots of silly songs (they work!) and other tools.  With CC I don't have to worry so much about Art, Music (though we started violin this year, too), even Science (for this early age), Geography and History.  As the kids get older, we'll add more of that stuff, too, but for now I'm happy.  This means I do lots of Language Arts at home (reading, writing, grammar and spelling), Math and review of all the CC stuff.  We read lots of extra library books about history and have as much fun as possible doing it all!
Our rhythm in schooling has aligned with a sort of seasonal cycle, not surprising since we are a season-loving crew.  In the summer we have lots of emphasis on science, the outdoors, gardening and interest-led learning.  During the "school" year we focus more on Language Arts, Math and History.  Winter sports are key, of course, as are other seasonal focuses.  Of course, a family vacation can lead us down any path of learning we wish!  I've been missing blogging and I hope as our summer winds down I'll find more time to greet the world, here, as we enter into our fall academic cycle.