Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in
exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I
compensated in any other way.
I have been using the 1st Grade Entire School Year Curriculum from Homeschool Easy with Little Miss lately. She finished her preschool and kindergarten books about a month ago, and was eager to learn to read, so I thought this level would be a good fit for us. She was excited about trying something new, too.
We received the entire year of materials from Homeschool Easy in a zip file.When I extracted it, I found seven folders, one per subject, plus two PDF files about how to use the curriculum and an overview of it. Each week, I opened each of the folders, found the folder inside that for the week we were ready for, and printed the pages for the week. We simply worked our way through the worksheets each day, going back to the guide for some of the subjects in order to find the links we needed for videos or online books. It took an hour to an hour and a half a day to do all the work, which I thought was pretty good. Little Miss enjoyed most of this schoolwork, and it took little enough time that she didn’t get bored.
We started most days with the Math. I was very surprised, when we started working with this math course, that it jumped right into place value. Obviously, children are expected to know their numbers when they start this course! Little Miss is quite advanced with her numbers, so it wasn’t a problem for her. We cut out the paper place value blocks that were provided, and she enjoyed building each of the numbers she was told to. She quickly caught on to place value and had no trouble with it. By the fourth week, she had worked on ordering numbers up to 200, and was adding, too. This course seemed to move ahead very quickly; I have some children who wouldn’t have been able to handle it as well as Little Miss did. Looking ahead, I see that addition and subtraction are pretty thoroughly covered, as well as skip counting. Money and graphs are also introduced. In this photo, she had built the number 145 with the paper place value blocks.
We usually worked on Reading next. This presumed that the child would know the entire alphabet and how to sound out words already. The first lesson introduced a number of sight words. I made a number of changes in how we used the program in this subject, since Little Miss wasn’t ready for reading sight words yet. She learned a few of them, and I helped her read the content in the lessons. Each lesson introduces a group of words (words with a particular short vowel, or long vowel, or other combination, or simply high-frequency words). The first page has a word list and several sentences using the words. Then there are several pages of flashcards to print, cut out and glue together, and then a couple of pages of sentences with blanks to fill in. There is a crossword puzzle and a word search with the week’s words, and some comprehension activities.
The next thing we usually did was Grammar. We learned what makes a sentence, and then about different kinds of sentences. Nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs are introduced later in the year. Each week has a page for each day, in which the child either copies a sentence correctly or writes their own.
Little Miss’s favorite subjects were Book Reading and Science. She especially loved the Book Reading. We were able to access books online to read together by clicking a link in the monthly guide. Most of the books are very simple and repetitive, and she loved helping me read them, and enjoyed answering the questions on the worksheet, too. Some of the books are nonfiction, and some are fiction. She wants to keep on doing them! For Science, we often watched YouTube videos and then answered questions about them. She didn’t like the first one, but she enjoyed the rest (the first was “too silly”). We studied plants while we used this course; bugs, mammals, birds and water animals come up later in the year. This was one of her favorite science projects—she has always loved picking flowers!
History is one subject we struggled with in this curriculum. It is very American, and the first month’s theme is Patriotism. We don’t live in America, so it didn’t apply to us. We simply skipped a few things, like the page that said to color the country we live in—it was a map of the United States! Month 2 covers the Presidents, and Months 3-8 study the geography and history of the United States.
I appreciated the Writing subject. Each week there are two writing prompts given, with several lines on which to write a short story. These have been very helpful. We are part of a writing group, and it’s hard to come up with topics. Using these papers has really helped Little Miss come up with things to take along to share with the group.
It was interesting to use a new curriculum for a few weeks. I was disappointed in how advanced it was, since it was for first grade. I would have expected it to start out a lot simpler. Little Miss is advanced enough that I would have been able to teach her to read using this, but it would definitely have taken longer than the schedule allowed for. Most of my children, however, would not have done well with this. There are very few directions for the teacher; you need to know how to teach a child in order to use this. If you are confident, however, and just need a framework, this might be a very good choice for you. The cost is fairly reasonable for a full year of school curriculum, and since it’s digital, it’s fully reusable for other children. A lot of printing is required, so that has to be factored in. All the materials needed, though, are available online and easy to find by just clicking links. Have a look at what other people have to say about this curriculum—I’m especially interested in reading some reviews of other levels, since there is a complete year’s curriculum available for grades 1-5. Click on the image below to find the other reviews.