What I’m Using to Homeschool my 1st Grader and Kindergartener

Kindergarten & 1st Grade Curriculum Graphic

Hi, friends! If you’re anything like me, you’re overwhelmed with the thought of choosing curriculum. I sought out advice from veteran homeschool mom friends. All of whom said the same thing: don’t be overwhelmed. ha! Elizabeth at This Little Home of Mine calmly talked me through the overwhelming feelings and told me not to listen to “Belinda who is telling me to order 50 million dollars of curriculum,” but to “look at your own kids and what they need from you.” So, that’s what I did.

I started with a Sonlight catalog, a Christian Book Distributor catalog, and YouTube videos of curriculum reviews. I’ll tell you what we’re using and why I love it, so far.

I need to mention beforehand that my Kindergartener is already reading. He needs to learn phonics and basic addition and subtraction, telling time, and he needs to master simple money concepts, however, he is reading, so I bumped him up to 1st Grade Reading and I’m adding in what he needs via specific curriculum choices.

(My affiliate shopping links are attached to the pictures. Happy shopping!)

Reading: Sonlight Grade 1 (Ages 6-8)

Sonlight is a literature-based program (as an English teacher, I LOVE this). I love the idea of teaching my kids through literature. Their programs come with preplanned lessons. Let me say that again: PRE PLANNED LESSONS. As a former classroom teacher, I’ve spent hours upon hours planning lessons. With Sonlight, someone else has already done it! After looking through the plans and the curriculum, I must say, I LOVE their plans. They even integrate plans for optional Phonics and Handwriting curriculum (which I took advantage of and added to our curriculum). So, our Language Arts program is already planned out for me!

Since I’ll have two kiddos completing this program, I purchased an extra Activity Sheet packet. Sonlight recommends the purchase of an extra Activity Sheet packet if you plan to use the program with your children in the future. I plan to do this since I have multiple kids!

Phonics: Explode the Code 1-3

These are workbooks that introduce (to my K student) and reinforce (for my 1st grader) phonics concepts via fun worksheets. They look easy to use and also reinforce handwriting skills.

Handwriting: Handwriting Without Tears

I’ve seen a few different programs in my search for curriculum. I’ve heard many good things about this specific program. It’s also supposed to help address the problem of inverted letters (one of my guys notoriously flips his letters), so I went with the program.

Math: RightStart Mathematics Level A & B

RightStart Mathematics is a very visual program. It uses games, manipulatives, and an abacus. I chose this program because I wanted a challenge for my gifted 8 year old. I also wanted all of my guys in the same program, so I started my two littles in RightStart. This program leans more toward Singapore Math and the type of math taught in other countries – more visual, more challenging (I think). All three guys will need to learn how to use the abacus (from my understanding, each level includes a review in the front of the textbook), so we’ll all learn together and then branch out from there. Being a teacher and a boy-mom, I know that boys are most oftentimes very kinesthetic/hands-on learners – the games and manipulatives in RightStart Mathematics meet that need. I’ll start my K guy on Level A and move him on to Level B as needed. The beauty of this program is that the manipulative kit can be used for all levels – so I purchased one to use throughout our years of homeschooling.

Science: Adventures in Creation

This is such a fun book! It focuses on the days of creation – teaches the days of creation and provides activities for each topic (Light for Day One of Creation, etc). It’s written for lower elementary. My youngest two are learning, while my 8 year old is my “helper” and still enjoys the coloring pages, experiments, and notebook.

Bible: AWANA and Our Own Plan

I plan to use our AWANA books for Bible. We also started listening to an audio Bible while the boys draw pictures related to the reading, We have started memorizing New City Catechisms (look for the app).

History: The Mystery of History Volume 1

I cannot say enough about this textbook! Volume 1 covers Creation to Resurrection – World History alongside Bible History. It’s fascinating! It’s written in a story manner and comes with a digital companion guide filled with hands-on activities, geography exercises, and so much more. The text can be used for all ages – the author includes activities for every age group. My guys (K, 1, 4) are all in the “Younger Student” age group, so they’ll all complete the same activities and timeline.

This seems OVERWHELMING, I’m sure! It seems like TOO much! I know…but we’ve been doing Science since May and I’m about to begin another subject in July. I want to ease into a homeschool schedule. The kids are already bored since they’ve been home since mid-March. So, I plan to start schooling this summer and hopefully ease our way into year-round homeschooling.

A visit to Sonlight.com & a click on the images in this post will provide you with these resources.

Let me know if you have any questions! I’ll try to help if I can!


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