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1st Grade

·       Tapestry of Grace

When our kids were in grades 1, 4, and 7 we began using a curriculum called Tapestry of Grace. TOG follows the “classical method” using a 4-year rotating cycle of Ancients, Middle Ages/Reformation, Early Modern and Modern. Based on a Christian worldview, this is the BEST curriculum I have ever used. Having all three of my girls using the same curriculum means that they all cover the same topics and subjects, but each grade level has age appropriate activities and expectations. Each Year Plan can be purchased in digital format (DE) as well as in print. You purchase the lesson plans (instructions) for Year 1, Year 2, Year 3 and Year 4 and then use them over again as you go through each cycle. If you began this curriculum with your child in 1st grade you would go through the 4 year cycle 3 times before he graduates (going through Ancients in grades 1, 5, and 9). The reading books and reference materials will change with each grade level as you go through the curriculum, but you only have to purchase the lesson plans once. You can purchase additional pieces to go along with the curriculum for subjects like writing/grammar, map work, etc. We added our own math and science for the older students and the Tapestry lesson plans provided instructions for everything else...including hands on projects!

 At first glance, it can be intimidating. I honestly looked at it for 3 years and didn’t think I could do it, but I eventually figured out that each Year Plan has everything in it for grades 1-12 and I would never “do it all” in one year.   We have now worked with Year Plans 1, 2, and 3 and I can honestly say that we are solid in our decision to use this curriculum until our last child graduates from high school. You even have access to online help including other users and the authors through the Tapestry Forum on their website. Check it out by clicking here...

Text Box: Tapestry of Grace website




My quick overview of the FIAR program:
Each week you read a different children’s book. Using the content of the book as your weekly themes, the “manual” provides you with various activities for art, music, language, cooking, etc.  This is called a “unit study” - you use the weekly literature themes to coordinate your art, music, cooking, math, and whatever other subject you choose to cover.

My thoughts on how it worked for us:
Although I loved the unit study approach (everything from crafts to math coordinating with the themes), it lacked the historical aspect that I felt my family needed. We were wanting something based on literature and history that followed along in chronological order. I wanted a curriculum that would teach my children about the world around them while teaching them biblical history at the same time.

My quick overview of the MUS program:
Lessons are presented for the parent on video (may be DVD by nowJ). You watch the creator of MUS explaining each math concept to a room of students and teachers. We used the older version (Introduction, Foundations, and then it went on to Intermediate) so I cannot comment on any revisions made after that point. Parents used the Instructor’s Manual along with the video and students had both manipulative blocks and a workbook.

My thoughts on how it worked for us:
My daughter loved MUS. She watched the video with me, then we “played” with the blocks demonstrating the concept described on the video, and then she did the workbook pages. She had a great understanding of basic math concepts because of the way the MUS presents them. Everything is based on 10’s (up to 9 can live in the unit’s house because the 10th resident exceeds the unit’s house and has to move up to the 10’s. The 10’s house can hold 9 tens and then moves up to the 100’s). Learning to tell time was presented in the same easy to follow way. I used the program again with my middle daughter for kindergarten and she too did very well with the hands on approach to math.

  • Phonics Pathways by Doris Hiskes (learning to read)
    available where books are sold

My quick overview of the Phonics Pathways book:
Step-by-step instructions and rules for reading and spelling.

My thoughts on how it worked for us:
Quite a thick book, we began going through it in kindergarten and then finished it in first grade with both of my older children. The older child finished it and was reading quite well by the end of 1st grade. We did supplement with Hooked on Phonics (http://secure.hop.com/), but this was mostly so that the child learning to read would have something she could do independently while I worked with another child on something else.
















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