So, I am busy planning a second go round with first grade (along with fourth). First grade is really fun, simple to plan (I know it probably doesn’t feel that way when you are going through it for the first time, though!), and can be simply magical.
I think there are several things to consider when planning First Grade.
1. How long will it take you to get through the alphabet? All year? Part of the year? When will you make readers from what your child can already orally recite (verses, prayers, things that are a part of your daily fabric of life) or from fairy tales? Will this be a separate block, how will this work? Perhaps you will just pick four fairy tales as an ending block and work on writing a short sentence summary and word families from these tales. I have seen it done all different ways.
2. Math should begin right away, at least in my mind. Do NOT wait until your first math block. Counting forwards and backwards and even and odd numbers and such is part of your daily opening to school, before you even get to that first math block.
3. As far as form drawing – we typically start with a form drawing block that last two to three weeks. Observe your child; know your child. Will they fatigue with a longer block? Form drawing should be once a week after that first block, and you may intersperse several more blocks of form drawing throughout the year.
4. Science takes place through nature tales, through being in nature, nature crafts, through the preparation for the festivals, through cooking and gardening. These are important activities, and a vital part of first grade.
5. When will you start recorder/flute/pennywhistle? Some teachers start around Thanksgiving or even early December, some start in January. I have not heard of many teachers starting it on day one, although one can start with hand clapping games of the child repeating rhythms back to you through clapping, tapping, etc and of course singing!
6. Handwork – How will you bring this? Can you knit? Can your child braid, tie bows, finger knit, make slip knots? Those are all skills to think about. Can you show your child sheep, feel raw fleece, wash it, card it? Whole to parts is very important.
7. Foreign Languages – Eva over at Untrodden Paths reminded me I left foreign languages out the first time I wrote this post. In our homeschool, in accordance with most Waldorf Schools, we study two foreign languages. I picked Spanish and German for our languages as we had native speakers available to us in those areas. I have several posts on this blog about foreign languages in the homeschool and invite you to refer to those.
Just a few thoughts.