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Old 11-14-2012, 08:17 AM   #1
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1st/2nd grade curriculum ?? NOT religious?

I'm trying to get a feel for what is out there as far as good curriculum for 1st grade.

My DD is 5.5 and we're currently doing virtual school through the state, and she's in Kindergarten and it's just way too easy for her. She NEEDS to have something more challenging.

Here's what I'm looking for (as specifically as I can get...)

little (none would be better!) prep work

year-round

comes with a day-by-day planner type thing to help me keep up with what we should be working on each day

possibly something with the ability to have different subjects at different grade levels (but I realize this is not common)

Not religious

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Last edited by Kiliki; 11-14-2012 at 09:59 AM.
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:43 AM   #2
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Not that there isnt one out there, but I haven't heard of something that will combine everything you are looking for. Specifically, I have never seen a daily scheduled curriculum that has outings and field trips scheduled. I believe it is because there is too much variability in what surrounds people weather and activity wise for it to be feasible.

When looking for a new curriculum, I would question, in what ways is your child advance and in need of more challenge? Is she at a higher level in math or reading or is she just ready for more and deeper content or is it all of these? Many young children will be advanced in one or two areas, but not all of them and if that is the case you might want to consider a piecemeal approach to better meet where she is at.

With many programs it is easy to leave out religion or substitute you own (this isn't the case with all of them so get samples if you can) If you might consider things without a daily schedule, I'd suggest looking at The Well Trained Mind recommendations or maybe Five in A Row (which kind of has a schedule), but neither cover all subjects. Hopefully you will find a good fit for you and your daughter.
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:56 AM   #3
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Re: 1st/2nd grade curriculum ?? NOT religious?

She seems to be on a 1st grade level for math, and 2nd grade for reading/writing.

I don't need or want anything with a scheduled outing.

I want something year round.

I tried googling "year round homeschool curriculum" but I'm confused about what I'm looking at or for.

I guess I need to edit my OP. It's really jumbled and confusing.
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:44 AM   #4
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Re: 1st/2nd grade curriculum ?? NOT religious?

I don't know anything like that that is secular. But, you can piece together what you need with different curriculum. You'll need to do that anyway if you want different grade levels for different subjects. So, you'll need a program for phonics, reading, handwriting, math, science and anything else you want her to have at this level. Personally, at K and first I think anything other than the 3 R's is option. I could list some programs out, but I only know of Christian ones. Then, once you have them, you just go at your own pace for each one.

For year round, it is just something you decide you want to do and do it. Any curriculum can be year round. You just do it over the year instead of over the "school" year. Very few are written to be date specific. Although, sometimes you'll have to move around holiday units, usually not though.

As for outings, you can toss those in any time. A lot of people have one specific day every week that they do outings or field trips, like every Friday or every Wed.

I don't know if I was any help or not, but try searching this forum for secular curriculum. I know you aren't the only one wanting that, though most of what is discussed is Christian based.

Have you looked at Heart of Dekota? It is Christian, but I think it would be easy to take that out if you wanted because it's not integrated in. (Though all the materials will have that world view.) With them, you can also pick your own LA and math.

Just some random thoughts.
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:41 AM   #5
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Re: 1st/2nd grade curriculum ?? NOT religious?

I agree with the pp, any curriculum can be made into a year round program. There are two easy ways to do this, you get a five day a week program (usually scheduled for 36 weeks) and do 3 and 4 day a week school OR three weeks on, one week off. OR you can just work through one program and go right into the next year level when you are done. I've never heard of any company writing a specific "year round" curriculum because everyone I know who wants to school year round just does one of the previous recomendations.

You might look into Oak Meadow http://www.oakmeadow.com/, although they take a relaxed approach to reading writing in K and 1st. HTH some. I'll try and list some more secular choices when I get a moment.
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:33 PM   #6
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Re: 1st/2nd grade curriculum ?? NOT religious?

I would agree with the Oak Meadow suggestion, just buy 2nd grade as I understand the math is pretty light (you could always supplement a different program if you wanted). I have found it easy to just buy the programs I want that work for my kids but Oak Meadow is tempting. I do have a 2nd grader but he is a bit difficult and totally blew my curriculum plans out of the water. I can tell you what I had planned for the year and list some of the other secular curriculum options. I almost always just buy pieces though. Most are pretty open and go because I don't like a lot of planning, the exceptions would be science and history you do need to do a bit of preplanning there.


I homeschool year round by starting when I want and ending when we are done then just starting right away with the next grade level. It isn't official year round homeschooling but I don't follow local public school schedule.
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:41 PM   #7
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Maybe check out time4learning. They allow multiple levels at one time.

Or elearningk12 (not affliliated with k12 virtual). It is a monthly fee but all set up and grading is done automatically.

We use both and love them. We do supplement time4learning with LLATL and teaching textbooks (3rd grade and up)

Elearning doesnt need supplements.

Both are secular.
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Old 11-14-2012, 01:06 PM   #8
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Re: 1st/2nd grade curriculum ?? NOT religious?

One other comment on year round schooling...you don't have to have a specific schedule like 3 or 4 days of school a week or 3 wks on and one off. We have nothing like that. We aim to do school every day (even Saturdays when dad is working, never Sunday's though.) However, because our house is so blessed with young children, we end up missing a good amount of days. We also skip school when we have almost any appts that day or for various other reasons (even needing to clean the house sometimes). Sometimes we take a week or more off just because I need to. We are simply more relaxed about getting it done. Planning to go from Aug to Aug rather than Aug to May (or whatever) simply gives us the ability to be flexible and relaxed in getting it done. It takes the pressure off. We took a couple weeks off between K and 1st last year and started 1st in July. We will probably be done earlier than July this year (maybe). If we are, we'll just go ahead with 2nd a couple of weeks after we finish 1st. The other reason we do it this way is to keep our family on routine. The summer "break" turns quickly to chaos here.
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Old 11-14-2012, 01:39 PM   #9
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Re: 1st/2nd grade curriculum ?? NOT religious?

Thanks everyone so much! I will look into all of these options!

For now, DD's public school teacher (she is assigned a PS teacher that she reports to for her virtual work...) is seeing about moving her on to 1st grade. She is more than ready. She had a causal assessment today and it placed her at "average" for 1st grade. So 50th percentile. And that was w/NO prep at all and NO idea what was on the assessment, just winging it. Sorry, I'm kinda proud.

But anyway, I want to keep looking into this idea b/c I am hopeful that regular curriculum will be a better fit overall and get rid of the unnecessary junk we have currently for her to do.
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Old 11-14-2012, 02:58 PM   #10
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Re: 1st/2nd grade curriculum ?? NOT religious?

How exciting about your daughter, good luck searching curriculum, it is fun to see the variety out there.
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