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The Everyday Homeschooler’s Guide to Teaching the Early Years answers a lot of questions that new homeschooling families have about how to teach at home. It also contains a 1st grade course of study.
This guide will help you figure out your family’s unique priorities, and it’ll show you how to make homeschooling your child easier. Learn how to set up a learning environment that honors your child’s questions and creativity. Soon you will become a family of life-long learners.
EXAMPLE OF OUR 1st GRADE PROGRESS REPORT
SEPTEMBER 2013 – JULY 2014
This is how I do our end-of-the-year homeschool progress report. You can do yours any way you like, but I’m posting it here in case it helps anyone.
I have removed my son’s name for obvious reasons. This is his first grade report, and since I’ll probably do all of them this way, I won’t be posting future ones on the web. I realize most homeschoolers may want to report only what is required by law, but I see this more as a keepsake because we’re not required to submit them to anyone in the state of Georgia. We’re only required to keep them for our records. So I’ve included everything.
Obviously, as he gets older, we may concentrate more on certain subjects, such as writing and history. I believe in going at a child’s pace and using their interests as step off points for exploring each subject. I hope you’ll follow along with me on my homeschooling journey! (Thank you, if you already do!)
I’ve created links to blog posts where applicable in case you want more information. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.
For more information about how I mark the end of our year, see
Homeschooling: End of the Year Review and Progress Report (Kindergarten) and
- Completed Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, lessons 50-100
- See attached book list. (Books he has read on his own.)
- He is continuing to develop his reading skills. He is at least at a first grade level, if not higher. (He was tested informally by his aunt who is an elementary teacher.)
*Language Arts (including Writing & Handwriting)
- See book list. He has listened to many library books this year. This doesn’t include books we own or the following series:
- He has read up to #49 in the Magic Tree House series with his father in the evenings. This almost completes the series.
- He has read the first three books of the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder with mommy.
- He loves oral storytelling and requests a story every night before bed. He has told a few stories of his own, and his everyday make-believe is full of stories that he likes to tell me about!
- He practices his writing skills by writing lists of vocabulary words from his reading practice books. He doesn’t like writing, and it hurts his arm, but he’s continuing to practice at a slow pace.
- He was introduced to a dictionary this year and taught how to use it. We have McMillan’s Dictionary for Children.
- He is developing a healthy love of story and language.
- He has begun to become familiar with the Spanish language by watching Episodes 101-130 and 201-203 of Salsa, a children’s program available for free on PBS.org that aims to teach Spanish to elementary students. He has learned some basic words in the Spanish language, such as hello, good-bye, the numbers, colors, etc.
- We have done a lot of review and practice with math this year. We play math games frequently.
Math Dice Jr.
- We occasionally use a toy cash register for practice with money.
- He reviewed math skills using the A+ Addition Workbook and the Stick Kids Workbooks: Telling Time and Money Mania
- He used Splash Math app on the iPad for several months.
- He has repeated through Chapter 14 of the third book, Cats, in the Life of Fred series, and then finished the book, which is 19 chapters long.
- I’ve noticed that he can add and subtract fairly quickly in his head, although I know he hasn’t memorized all the facts.
- He has mastered these skills:
can count to 100.
can do skip counting by 10s, 2s, and 5s.
can identify what a penny, nickel, dime & quarter are, and he remembers their values.
knows what ordinal and cardinal numbers are.
good at place value, although he needs more practice with place value 10,000 and above.
can tell time perfectly.
has used a number line.
understands quantity and size.
understands ½ and ¼.
has been introduced to geometry and prime numbers.
- He is at grade level for math.
- He did a long project on carnivorous plants, reading about them, viewing them online, and growing them at home.
- He did another project on DNA in which he made two DNA models, and we extracted DNA from a kiwi fruit.
- He did a project on mushrooms and did several experiments trying to grow them.
- He did a science fair project at the Sandy Creek Nature Center titled, “How Are Sedimentary Layers Formed?” which required using the scientific method.
- He earned his second badge in the Georgia State Parks Junior Ranger Program.
- We continue to watch nature and science documentaries He has learned a tremendous amount from these documentaries.
He has attended and completed the activities in the following Homeschool Science classes at the Sandy Creek Nature Center:
- December 13- “Dinosaurs”
- January 10- “Ice Age”
- February 7- “Log House” (This had more to do with history than science.)
- March 21 – “Nature Facts vs. Nature Fiction”
- May 16 – “Cryptozoology: Do They Exist?”
He has attended the following summer camps:
- Sandy Creek Nature Center, June 2014
- “Discovering Minds” (science experiments on animals, plants, nature and geology)
- Botanical Garden, July 2014
- “Water World”
*Social Studies (includes History)
- This past year we have done projects around each of the major holidays:
- We celebrated the Winter Solstice and studied the science and history of this event.
- We learned a little about Hannakah and played the dreidel game and cooked latkes!
- He has a good knowledge of the different continents and countries on the earth. We often refer to our globe when watching T.V. documentaries or reading about a different part of the world.
- He has learned about history by reading the Magic Tree House and Little House books. His father is a history professor, so we have many conversations about history too.
- He understands the different roles of people in this household and understands certain jobs and why people need to go to work.
- He is expected to help clean and help out in the house, and he’s learning about the value of money by shopping with us and through conversation. He also gets to save and spend his own money.
- He has continued to enjoy many play dates and activities with his friends this year.
- Art and fostering creativity is a big part of our homeschool. He has access to many different art and craft supplies, and he’s always creating something. Just a few of his creations from this year are:
- big robot out of cardboard box, pot, coat hangers, paper, etc.
- a tank out of cardboard
- a cardboard airplane
- paper mache bee
- several paintings and drawings
- several clay creations
- He still loves to build with Legos and Zoob pieces. He has followed long, detailed instructions by himself to build things, and he’s also started to make his own creations.
- We did a few formal art lessons this year too. These include:
- We took a field trip the Georgia Museum of Art.
- He has acquired an interest in POTTERY:
He took an 8-week homeschool pottery class, and LOVED it.
He took a week-long summer camp: Asian Pottery on the Wheel
From the techniques he learned in class, he made a big clay frog, bird and dinosaur at home. (We hope to give him more opportunities to take pottery classes.)
- He gets a chance to exercise everyday (whether inside or out). He especially loves to run (like his father).
- He loves to hike with his family, and he appreciates his time spent in nature.
He initiated these projects this year, which are cross-disciplinary (and mentioned above already):
- Carnivorous Plants – He read about these plants, drew them, visited them at the Georgia and Chicago Botanical Gardens, and even grew some of them!
- DNA – He learned about DNA, extracted DNA from a kiwi, and made two DNA models. He recently said he wants to do the other experiments in his kit too.
- Mushrooms – He wanted to grow mushrooms, and he tried several different ways of doing so only to find out his ideas didn’t work. He was satisfied with that, and I feel that failing can be just as good of a lesson as succeeding at something!
- Pottery – He has always had an interest in clay, so we tried to support this interest this year with some pottery classes, which he loved.
- Most of his projects this year were building projects. I see him increasingly wanting to build and create things whether it is out of cardboard or clay. I hope to find other ways to support him in these endeavors.
He is ready to advance to the 2nd Grade Level!
*indicates a subject required by Georgia law.
Written by Shelli Pabis.