Friday, September 16, 2005

Our First Grade Learning Plan

LANGUAGE ARTS: Primary goal -- learning to read. Study phonics, grammar. Practice reading. Parents read aloud above reading level. Work on handwriting skills.

MATH: Cover areas and skills recommended by the State standards. Use oral, manipulative, and written approaches. Weights and measures. Telling time. Calendar. Money.

SCIENCE: Study based on child's interests. Observation of nature: living and non-living things. Seasons, weather. Oceans, mountains, space exploration. Animals. Library books, field trips, experiments, internet research.

SOCIAL STUDIES: Based on child's interests. Family and community. Various jobs. Cultural diversity and history. Our town, state, country, world. Government.

HISTORY: Based on child's interests. Local and State history. U.S. history. History as it comes up in music, art, science, and other subjects. Library books, museums, internet. Develop a time line, history binder, or computer database which we can review, adding to it as we study various people and events.

FOREIGN LANGUAGE: Exposure to Spanish and Latin. Spanish story time at the library. Read simple bilingual Spanish / English books. Work on some vocabulary for each. Spanish language A/V materials for review or further study.

ART: Crafts of all sorts, drawing, sculpting, fine art study. Books, prints, museums, internet, classes.

MUSIC: Listen to music of various styles, periods, and cultures. Listen to children's songs, sing. Make up songs. Introduction to musical instruments: Melody harp, keyboard, recorder. Some basics of musical notation.

RELIGION: Prayer, Bible study, lives of the saints, catechism. Study Judaism and other religions. Church attendance.

P.E.: Soccer, swimming, ballet, park time, dancing, T-Ball, tennis.

GEOGRAPHY: Interest-based. Map work, globe and atlas. Incorporate with other subjects. Library books about various places of interest. Learn while traveling. Local geography.

CREATIVE WRITING: Stories, poems, booklets, dramas.

"Look, Ma, no textbooks!" ;)

[I'm sure we will eventually get some, but for now we are beginning our third textbook- and curriculum-free year.]


Nancy C. Brown said...

You probably have already heard of this book, if not, it will reinforce your feelings of avoiding textbooks. It is called The Language Police (I reviewed it once in Heart & Mind). There the historian/author reveals the "bias and sensitivity" committees that sanitize our books, standardized tests and texts. Eye opening, and yet, something you probably intuitively already know.

2nd grade mom said...

Thanks for the support on this issue, Nancy. Do you have a link to your review?

I imagine I will want to steer clear of public school sanitized materials. But I'm sure there are some good textbooks out there from other sources. I envision using some as resources to give structure to particular subjects, and then fleshing them out with more interesting books, materials, field trips, etc. State standards can be useful in the same way.

Mary G said...

This is a great-looking plan! I love the idea of no textbooks -- we use a few, but mostly CHC phonics and math workbooks -- all else is "living books".

Next year maybe I'll shoot for no textbooks -- altho the kids like the accomplishments inherent in doing math workbooks --

Thanks for giving us a peek at your schedule!

2nd grade mom said...

You're welcome. I'm glad if it was helpful.