If you are new to homeschooling, find out how to homeschool and spend these early years equipping yourself with the tools needed to teach.
This is a suggested outline of how to organise your curriculum for Year One. Curriculum choice varies depending on the individual child and specific family's homeschooling needs. So feel free to change it as it suits you.
In Year One child only needs about one and a half to two hours formal sit down work 3-4 days per week.
The rest of the time should be spent on the activities of daily living, establishing good habits and learning through play and lots of conversation.
This guideline has been written with consideration of the Australian National Curriculum (ANC) and the methods of Charlotte Mason. Subjects covered include Bible, English, Maths, Science, History, Geography, Creative and Practical Arts and Personal Development, Health and Physical Education.
Approximately one third (or more) of your lesson time should be focussed on English. Nearly all subjects can be English lessons in some way.
The Australian National Curriculum splits the teaching of English (or language arts) into three sections:
Oral skills for children such as poetry recitation, storytelling and telling back stories (narrations). Begin the practice of narration during your reading time to check your children's comprehension.
Discuss how sign language and facial expressions help us to communicate.
Discuss how to ask for things.
Continue reading instruction and readers use the Teaching Reading Booklist focusing on letter sounds (phoneme and morphemes).
Reading isn't a magic process it usually requires some methodical instruction but one method will not suit all children. Children also develop this skill at different ages.
This is a delightful time to enjoy books while snuggled up on the couch with your young children. There are so many books to choose from. Learn the difference between a good and a bad book. Cultivate an appetite for quality living books.
Our read aloud suggestions correspond to some of our copywork resources. Begin the practice of narration to check your children's comprehension.
Mother Goose Poetry and Nursery Rhymes. Lovely nursery rhymes to share with your children. Goes well with the Mother Goose Copywork
For this year you can also our world travel picture book list for read alouds. This interrelates with the history and geography component of the course.
With your other subjects you will also be reading from a range of different books (text types). You will cover biographies, fiction and nonfiction. Discuss with your child how the different books are written for different audiences and purposes.
I always like to read through one Australian Classic over the year. I think Dot and the Kangaroo by Ethel Pedley is a nice book for this age.
Children begin to produce their own writing. Charlotte Mason believed the correct place to start was by giving children copywork.
Teaching Handwriting the CM Way is also a helpful guide for this stage of learning.
Both of these texts use large fonts and images to help your child understand what is happening. You will need to read these texts with them (or for them) but you can also take the opportunity to highlight particular easy words they know in the text.
Here are some points to focus on while doing copywork.
The use of repetition in the poetry
How predictable the story might be.
Point out the following punctuation marks: full stop, question mark and exclamation mark. Briefly discuss how these have different purposes.
Discuss how the images in a book contribute to the meaning of the story.
"Mathematics depend upon the teacher rather than upon the textbook and few subjects are worse taught; chiefly because teachers have seldom time to give the inspiring ideas ... which should quicken imagination." Charlotte Mason
Get off to a good start with math by reading Ruth Beechick's The Three R's. She will give you ideas and tools on how to make maths an enjoyable topic for your children.
I don't want to sway you in a math program as I have jumped around a lot and that has had advantages and disadvantages. We currently use Saxon Math but that is not available until the higher grades. I can however recommend some popular programs amongst homeschoolers.
The Australian National Science Curriculum breaks science into three categories. To help you understand the differences between a Charlotte Mason approach to science and the National Curriculum see my blog post. And here is my primary school science suggestions from Kindergarten to Year Six.
The Wonderland of Nature can be used as the main science resource for this year also. Many of the chapters have corresponding nature journalling pages. Here are some suggested chapters to help you cover the Australian National Curriculum for science:
|Living Things and Change of living things||Read through other chapters as desired. Including bees plants and spiders. Insect lifecycles for varies insects covered from p. 7-89 The changeable frog p. 118|
Moths and butterflies p. 89-112 Bugs not Beetles p. 51 -53
|Habitats||The Seashore p. 186-208 Study the habit along the seashore looking at all the different animals found in one rockpool.|
|Light||Light - the fastest thing there is. p 216 -224|
|Sound||Sound is never still. p. 224-229|
Encourage enquiry and observation questions from your child. Discuss how science helps make decisions. This doesn't need to be a specific lesson but rather an ongoing process when you create a learning environment. Find out more about Nature Journaling.
Time Allocated to Science
One or two formal science lesson per week is sufficient. You won't need worksheets just keep your nature journal and record your field trips. Include as much time out in nature as possible. If you have difficulty getting out and about just out go to your backyard, or look around your neighbourhood.
It is my goal as I write these curriculum suggestions to keep as much to the ideology of Charlotte Mason as possible. The National Curriculum history component for this age group is really social studies and doesn't really teach any history in a chronological order . The first actual real history a child learns is in Year 4 when they begin Australian history. I think this is a wasted opportunity.
Charlotte Mason believed that history should be taught using living books and not sketchy outlines of facts and dates. She wanted the children to become familiar with the time period they were studying. This was accomplished using historical fiction, biographies and narrative style history books.Children love history when it is presented to them in an interesting way. History has a storehouse of ideas as Charlotte Mason would say. Here are some ideas on teaching history the Charlotte Mason way
The Australian National Curriculum splits geography into two strands.
This is really Social Studies from Foundation to Year 4 - read more here. No chronological history is in the syllabus. Australian Book Traveller will help you meet many of your history (social studies) outcomes for Stage One (Foundation to Year Two).
I suggest that while you meet the requirements of the curriculum you also begin studying history in chronological order. If you have a few children you will probably find it best to slot your Year One child into the history that matches the others so you don't have too much reading aloud. You can still teach the National Curriculum requirements but teach chronological history as well.
A good place to start is Biblical and Ancient History. You can read through Genesis and start looking into the history of the Jews, Egyptians, Babylon , Assyrians and Greeks and Romans.
You might like to follow our History Makers Curriculum - From Creation to Christ.
Here is a good spine to start teaching Ancient History.
For more book ideas see:
Worldview is a subject that is first brought up at this age. This is a good place to discuss that history is approached from different ideologies. You might also want to talk about having a Biblical worldview or a Secular worldview. An obvious conflict is between the Biblical worldview of creation and the secular worldview of evolution.
Museum visits will help your child identify things from the past. While covering your chronological history you can have your children draw artefacts from the past. Discuss how we get information from the past.
Using the ideas of Charlotte Mason and National curriculum I have combined the teaching of geography into stages rather than specific years. This is also the approach used in the NSW Board of Studies Syllabus. Please look at the geography schedule for Australian kids here.
Children need to experiment with different art mediums. Encourage painting, drawing and craft projects. As they make their own creations they will also discover about the elements of art: line, shape, colour and texture.
Some good art books to use for Picture Study are the Come Look With Me Series.
This topic can be covered as desired through activities of daily living of regular sport, nutrition and hygiene.