The transition from KG to first grade is a significant milestone in a child's learning journey. Kids are like sponges, and the principles they learn at this impressionable age form the foundation of the kind of adult they turn out to be. 6-year-olds have a short attention span and are made to giggle, wiggle, have fun, and explore. The curriculum should propel their natural curiosity to explore rather than tie them to a desk. Homeschooling kids at this age is as much fun as it is a responsibility.
In the United States, the topics covered under first-grade and homeschooling laws vary a little from state to state. However, the government and national associations have defined common themes and subject matter to ensure children meet the required education standards.
A 1st grader gets undivided attention on a personal level at home, so a maximum of 2 hours in a day is enough to cover everything. Longer than that risks the kid losing interest and getting frustrated.
That doesn't mean the rest of the day is wasted. If you encourage enriching activities like observing nature and limited screen time, your kid will NEVER stop learning. The vital thing to ensure is that learning is fun and interactive to keep your first grader engaged and stimulated. The children should be allowed to learn at their own pace, and periodic assessments should be done to track their progress.
Cuemath, a Google for Education partner, is the world pioneer in online Math classes. Their 1:1 personalized curriculum is entirely compliant with the US Common Core plus accredited by STEM.org to inculcate critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
Curriculum for Homeschooling 1st grade
While there shall be no strict adherence to subjects for a 1st-grade homeschooler and the focus shall be on overall fun & learning, covering the following broad topics would help the kids meet the learning objectives of their age group.
Building on the identification of digits in kindergarten, the focus in 1st-grade math is on teaching addition and subtraction. The curriculum should focus on using hands-on manipulatives and engaging activities to bring life to numbers. In first grade, the kids should become familiar with place value, skip counting, time telling, and shape recognition. Cuemath has an extensive repository of fun Math puzzles and riddles to stimulate the logic cells of the little ones.
Reading and Writing
Most kids would learn to recognize their names, different alphabets, and some core words by this point. Parents can start decoding more complicated words. Reading aloud stories/poetry at tea-time (or any other suitable time!) is a rewarding activity that I swear by.
The kids learn to write uppercase and lowercase letters legibly, use capital letters for names, and use punctuation marks like full stops and question marks. Storytelling with a definitive beginning, middle, and end is a super fun exercise beneficial to reading (kids read aloud) and writing (kids write events of the story).
Science in the first grade focuses on finding patterns in nature. Children also learn about other life forms like plants, insects, and birds. The study of the life cycle of a butterfly is highly entertaining and magical for kids. They learn about wind, weather, and how environmental factors help plants and animal life thrive.
Arts and General skills
The inner artist in a kid should be encouraged to paint, draw, sing, dance, and make sandcastles. Homeschooling families must include such activities in their schedules.
Kids should be introduced to the concept of community beyond the immediate family. They learn how neighborhoods combine to make up cities, cities combine to make up states, which further combine to make up nations, and how they all work together as a cohesive unit.
The other topics to cover at this age include sports, spelling, vocabulary, grammar, general concepts of money, date, weather, etc. However, don't get overwhelmed. The main focus in this grade should ALWAYS be math and reading.
Remember to not hold tightly to any curriculum for a 1st-grade homeschooler. Informal and fun works great. Don't make kids work for work's sake. Focus on engagement and teaching-like skills.
There are hundreds of math curriculum out there, and it is easy to get confused while picking one. Remember, Math is a systematic subject and is built on tiny blocks of information. If the foundation is not robust, the top will crumble. Cuemath's Grade 1 Math syllabus is designed to build a strong base, making it an ideal choice for homeschooled kids.
The Cuemath Method treats Math excellence and Coding as life skills. Cuemath offers Live Online Math classes for kids from KG to 12th grade. Book a Free online demo with their 10,000+ expert tutors to experience stellar learning outcomes.
-By Abhishek Deswal
Abhishek is an engineer with a math-focus outlook on life. Through his writing at Cuemath, he puts forward his belief that life makes more sense when seen through numbers. A former analytics professional, he enjoys theatre, football, and long runs.