The focus of the early years is on laying a foundation for strong reading, spelling, writing, grammar, and math skills. We use Spell to Write and Read (a curriculum based on the Spaulding method) for phonics and spelling, practice narration and copywork for writing, Shurley English for grammar, and Singapore for math.

First graders read an assortment of early readers and classics of children’s literature such as Corduroy, Madeline, Stone Soup, Curious George, Make Way for Ducklings, Peter Rabbit, Aesop’s Fables, The Frog Prince, The Ugly Duckling, The Magic Fish, and The Emperor’s New Clothes. Additionally, regular read aloud times introduce the students to books such as The Mouse and the Motorcycle, James and the Giant Peach, Trumpet of the Swan, the Little House books, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Laike version), the Tale of Despereaux, and Aesop’s Fables.

First graders study ancient history using Story of the World (volume 1). Basic geography and science topics are also introduced throughout the year.

1st grade books

By the end of first grade, students will be able to:
  • write the 70 basic phonograms of the English language from dictation;
  • spell, write, and read, with 80% mastery, 640 of the English language’s 1,000 most common words;
  • recite the Shurley English jingles for nouns, verbs, sentences, adverbs, adjectives, prepositions, and pronouns;
  • write basic paragraphs;
  • read selected pieces of literature;
  • count, compare, and write numbers up to 100; add and subtract 1-digit and 2-digit numbers; classify and sort shapes and patterns; measure length and width; and use calendars, time, and money;
  • recite Psalm 23 and 100, plus additional memory verses and the books of the New Testament;
  • recall main characters and stories of the Old Testament;
  • and recite a timeline of thirty key historical figures and events in ancient history.