Our school year here in New Zealand starts in February, so I’m a little late to the game sharing our first grade curriculum, but better late than never!
Besides, my U.S. readers will be starting to think about curriculum options for the 2022-2023 school year. So I hope this is useful for some of you.
You can check out what we used for kindergarten in this round-up from last year.
Our 1st Grade Curriculum
This year we are using mostly Masterbooks for our core curriculum, with a few other things thrown in as well.
We are also using a bunch of other resources I have found here and there, so I will list all of those in this post too.
Here’s what we’re using for our 6 year old for 2o22 (grade 1 or year 2 for those in NZ).
Simply Good and Beautiful Math 1
Near the end of 2021, The Good and the Beautiful released their new maths curriculum. It is called ‘Simply Good and Beautiful Math’ and it is more simplified and streamlined than their old math.
This math curriculum is actually available as a FREE pdf download on The Good and the Beautiful’s website.
You’ll just have to print it out and get it bound (a very cost-effective option for those of us in NZ where shipping is crazy expensive!) I print the books out at home and then get them bound at Warehouse Stationery for about $5 a book.
This math really is beautiful. It is colorful with beautiful illustrations. There are lots of games and hands-on activities.
You’ll need the grade 1 math box to go along with the course, which you can either buy, or you can print a few pages out and make your own math box (which is what I did) which works just as well.
Each lesson includes a page introducing a new concept, often with a game, and then there is a page of review of previous lessons that the child is able to complete independently.
Last year we did Math Lessons For A Living Education Level 1, but I felt it wasn’t challenging enough for my daughter. So, we decided to switch to Simply Good and Beautiful Math 1 this year. (Masterbooks Math seems to actually be a level lower than is labeled, so their Math 1 is more Math K level/year 1. Hence, why I am going from grade 1 to grade 1!)
Language Lessons For A Living Education Level 2
This is a Charlotte Mason inspired language arts curriculum from Masterbooks.
Last year my daughter completed level 1, which she really enjoyed, so this year we are continuing with level 2.
This course includes picture study, poetry, memorization, spelling words, grammar, punctuation, drawing, copywork, writing, and more.
It includes a schedule of 5 days a week, with a couple of pages of work to complete each day.
Masterbooks curriculum is Bible-based, so this language arts curriculum includes Bible verses and stories.
Explode The Code 4
My daughter is going to continue on with the Explode the Code series this year, and she is currently up to book 4.
She did books 2 and 3 last year (kindergarten/year 1) and book 1 when she was 4 and a half for preschool.
This book focuses on compound words, word endings, and syllables. It is an excellent reading, writing, and spelling curriculum.
This year we are using this book 2 days a week, and completing 3 pages each day. My daughter has made great progress using this series so far.
It is plain black and white, but there are lots of cute illustrations which hold my daughter’s attention.
Draw Write Now
Last year we completed book 1 of the Draw Write Now series and started working through book 2.
This year we will finish book 2 and hopefully start on book 3!
Draw Write Now is a fun curriculum that teaches art and handwriting. There are step-by-step instructions showing the child how to draw something, and then the child will have to copy a few sentences about the topic too.
There are 8 books in the series, each focusing on different topics. There is also a cursive version of each book too!
My daughter absolutely loves doing this book, and always asks to do it!
See my full Draw Write Now review to learn all about it.
Also for language arts, my daughter will be writing in her journal several times each week, and I will be reading aloud chapter books.
God’s Design For Life: For Beginners
This year we are using the first book in the series ‘God’s Design For Life’ from Masterbooks.
This will be our science curriculum this year. This book focuses on plants, the human body, and animals.
Last year we used Adventures In Creation by Masterbooks (which we absolutely loved!) but this year I thought it would be a nice change to start learning about life science. Plus, this book just looked so fun!
This curriculum has short and simple lessons with discussion questions, coloring, drawing, scripture tracing, and more.
My husband is a keen gardener, and we have a very big vegetable garden, so this will be great to give my daughter some background knowledge about plants.
My Story 2: My Country, My World
This year we will be using ‘My Story: My Country, My World’ from Masterbooks as our social studies and geography curriculum. Last year my daughter completed My Story 1 and enjoyed it, so we are continuing on with level 2 this year.
In each lesson in the book, the child will be learning about a different country, the type of government that country has, coloring in the flag of that country, and completing other fun activities.
There are discussion questions, Bible verses and stories, and word searches. Also in this book, the child will have to write out something they are grateful for almost every day, which I love!
We like to watch a couple of YouTube videos about each country too, and our favorite channels are Expedia and Touropia!
Story Of The World
Aside from our main curriculum, we will also be reading through volumes 3 and 4 of Story of The World this year.
This is a narrative-style history curriculum made up of 4 volumes, that I read aloud to my daughter. It is for elementary-aged children. It is a very popular and well-loved homeschool resource!
See my complete Story of the World review here.
How Great Is Our God
We started reading ‘How Great Is Our God‘ last year, and have not finished it yet, so we will be finishing this book this year.
Last year we read Indescribable, also by Louie Giglio, and really enjoyed that devotional as well.
Louie Giglio’s devotionals are short and interesting and only take 5 mins a day.
We have learned about so many fascinating things through these books!
After we finish reading ‘How Great Is Our God’, we will start reading The Ology.
I am excited to get into this book! I have heard so many good things about it from other homeschoolers!
It is a beginner’s theology book that will help children to understand who God is and how we should relate to him.
It teaches basic biblical truths.
ESV My Creative Bible
I gifted the ESV My Creative Bible to my daughter last Christmas, and this year we will be reading through the New Testament together during homeschool time.
This is such a fun first Bible for creative, artsy girls (which my daughter definitely is)!
This is a beautifully designed Bible with lots of fun scripture coloring.
I will do a full review of this Bible soon!
Last year for French we used the Kindergarten French workbook I had made, and since that sold so well on Etsy and my website, I decided to make a second workbook.
I haven’t finished it quite yet, but stay tuned.
But until then, we will be using a variety of different resources for French:
- Usborne Big book of French Words
- Usborne First Picture French
- Usborne French For Beginners
- Skill builders French 1
- French for kids readers sets 1 and 2
- Illustrated Guide to France
and a bunch of other books on my homeschool shelves!
This year we are doing French 3 days a week.
Here is a list of other resources we will be using this year:
- Famous Paintings Flash Cards
- Te Reo Maori Flash Cards
- New Zealand Flash Cards
- Answers For Kids Box Set (Masterbooks)
- One Blood For Kids (Masterbooks)
- Character concepts – Crossroads of Character
- My Book of Manners – Lift the flap book
- Usborne Starting Point Science – What Makes You Ill?
- Catechism Questions and Answers – Printable from ReformedMama
- The Biggest Story by Kevin DeYoung
- This is the Gospel – A Kids Read Truth Story
- Life Before Birth: A Christian Family Book
- God’s Design For Sex series – ‘The Story of Me’ (ages 3-5) and ‘Before I was born’ (ages 5-8)
There are 5 books in that final series mentioned.
One book is the parent’s guide, and there are four books that you can read (or give) to your child at various different ages.
Homeschooling A 1st Grader
So that’s what we are using for our 2022 school year.
This list does not include our read-alouds because that could be its own article and this one is long enough.
Let me know what curriculum you’re using this year in the comments below – I love finding out about new resources!