The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews
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First Grade Complete Review by Tawnee HintonDebra Arbuthnot
1910 24TH AVENUE CT SW
PUYALLUP, WA 98373-1365
First grade. Is it your first year homeschooling or is it your first year tackling first grade while homeschooling other grades? Either way, first grade takes some amount of preparation to ensure everything is accomplished and covered in the first grade year without overwhelming your kids with too much information.
If you are looking for a way to make first grade thorough, complete, and FUN, without hours and hours of preparation, then look no further than First Grade Complete from Homeschool Complete.
First Grade Complete is exactly what it says - a complete First Grade curriculum all in one binder. The curriculum has the year planned out for you so there is minimal preparation for you as the teacher to get started with your school day.
The binder includes a breakdown of what is covered each semester as well as a Subject Area Content and Skills List broken down by areas such as Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies, and Science, to name a few. An explanation of the Daily Lessons Plans, how to Organize and Plan, Teaching Procedures, Calendar Skills, and Handwriting Guidelines is included in the front of the binder to help the teacher get started on the year.
Something unique about First Grade is that every 4 lessons has a unit name that pertains to the general topic of the lessons included in those lessons. For instance, lessons 1-4 are entitled Family, Lessons 5-8 are entitled Seasons, lessons 81-84 are entitled Community Helpers, Lessons 97-100 are entitled Dr. Seuss, and lessons 137-140 are entitled Energy. There are a variety of subjects included in these units sure to interest every child throughout the year.
Each lesson begins with Skills that are covered in the lesson as well as Materials needed and verbiage for Calendar time. Every subject area is not covered in each lessons; however, over time every subject and topic area is covered that is included in the First Grade Complete curriculum. Each lesson includes a variety of activities and worksheets or games. If there is a worksheet or game used in the lesson, these worksheets and game pieces are included at the end of the lesson.
At the beginning of each unit is a list of literature you will want to read during the unit. The title of the book and its author is included on the list to make it easy for you to pick up the literature at the library when preparing for the unit. An additional literature list is also included in case you want to use more books in your homeschool that center on the topics being studied.
Character Development/Bible is included in First Grade Complete. When working on these skills the student will learn to understand and explain the importance of major Christmas holidays, recognize well-known Bible characters, develop biblical character traits and memorize some scripture. Each unit study page includes a Bible verse at the bottom of the page. Though there are not always a designated study of the Bible during the lesson, reference to the Bible verse can be used and most of the Bible and character in the lessons where it is covered it
Writing in a journal daily is a huge part of First Grade Complete, something that my son had a hard time with. However, once he got used to it, he started to like it. In the beginning, he told me what he wanted to write and I wrote it for him because he didn’t like all the writing. We felt it was important to move through lessons and not get bogged down on physically writing. The writing will come. Most of the journal prompts are reading comprehension from stories and books read in the lesson.
My son liked using Legos for math manipulatives, which is something that First Grade Complete does. Other manipulatives that are used in the math part of the curriculum includes dice and flashcards as well as cutting shapes with construction paper and using them. One lesson even used jelly beans for manipulatives. We didn’t have any so we used marshmallows but the gist was there and my son loved it!
I loved that everything was thought out and planned. My weekly prep was only getting the books and materials for the projects ready. The books were picked out with additional lists available in case something was checked out of the library. And the activities varied from lesson to lesson so my son didn’t get bored. I also loved that art and music are included each week as well as physical education.
The First Grade Complete covers poetry, songs, and art studies as well as crafts and art projects in addition to reading, math, social studies, and science. My son really enjoyed the lessons we have completed and the curriculum is very easy to use. Having everything ready to go in one binder for the whole year is just a blessing. And, the bonus is that if you need to have a portfolio, or wish to keep a portfolio of what was accomplished throughout the year, you have it all in one binder and are ready to go if you need to show anything or refer back.
Homeschool Complete offers Kindergarten Complete and First Grade Complete curriculums at this time and will be offering Second Grade Complete very soon. Check out the website at www.homeschoolcomplete.com to see if the curriculum is something that would work for you and your family. Overall, we really loved the setup and think it is an excellent fit for many families looking for a well-rounded, complete First Grade curriculum!
-Product review by Tawnee Hinton, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, January, 2017