If you know me at all, you know that I love a great bargain. My frugality doesn’t stop at homeschool. With 4 young kiddos, I have many years of materials to collect and I am not about to spend a fortune on it. To give you an idea what I use, I have given you a list. I focus primarily on the 3R’s and consider Bible our history at this point. Combining subjects into one lesson is key. I have 3 categories that I look for in a curriculum…1) cheap, 2) simple, 3) enjoyable for the teacher and student.
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- Good and Beautiful Language arts for first grade– FREE! You just have to print it out. Good and Beautiful offers their language arts curriculum for free grades 1-6. You won’t believe this curriculum is free. It is beautifully put together and enjoyable to use.
- McGuffey’s First Eclectic Reader – You all know how I love these classics! I bought the whole set on Amazon for $20 but you can print it for FREE! I use this for spelling words, word building and reading fluency.
- The Beginner’s Bible by Karyn Henley -My mom actually found a couple of copies of this at the church she cleans. I have also seen many copies at used book stores. I have also found 1st grade level Bible readers at the DollarTree! Believe it or not, the DollarTree has a lot of simple books for beginning readers. I chose this one because it goes through almost all the Bible stories and its at my daughter’s reading level. It combines history, Bible and reading practice all in lesson.
- EasyPeasy Math Workbook Grade 1-If you are not familiar with Easy Peasy, it is a huge blessing. The workbook was $5 for a year’s worth of material! But you can also use their online curriculum completely FREE! They have every subject you will ever need. This site helped me beyond measure when I began my homeschool journey and I can’t thank Lee Giles enough for developing it.
- Preparing to Build English 2 by Rod &Staff– I use this as a guide to grammar. We don’t do grammar everyday but I want to introduce the rules slowly before going all in next year. I found this on Amazon for $10. It is a non-consumable which I love! I enjoy this particular grammar book because it is straight to the point. There is no fluff. I like the short lessons and the way they describe the parts of the English language. We take what we learn and apply it to our copywork. I plan on using this for second grade so I thought the $10 was well worth it.
- Khan Academy videos for math– Free! and awesome! My daughter loves watching them and math is not her favorite subject.
- YouTube– Free! with internet connection of course. If I’m not quite sure how to explain something, I find a video.
- The glorious library– We check out books on animals, the solar system, history of chocolate…whatever grabs our interest for the week. Free!
- A notebook– I use a notebook ALOT. I have my daughter do copywork from Scripture or the McGuffey readers. I have her copy her spelling words, write sentences, do math facts and narrate stories by illustration. The list is endless. Notebooks are also about $0.50 each. So super affordable.
So here is what a day’s schedule looks like….
- Math– Watch Khan Academy video about fractions. Do worksheet in Easy Peasy workbook about fractions. Complete math facts in notebook. Or make math facts flashcards using index cards and quiz yourself for 10 minutes.
- Reading– Read aloud pages 98-127in Beginners Bible with mommy (mommy reads a page, you read a page). Discuss what you read. Read lesson #32 in McGuffey reader.
- Spelling/Phonics– Review spelling words in McGuffey reader. See the word singing? we are going to write some more words with -ing sound. Write -ing words on whiteboard or chalkboard. Copy spelling words in notebook 3 times each. Copy the first 3 sentences in your McGuffey lesson. Highlight all the nouns in blue and verbs in pink. (Or do a lesson in Good & Beautiful Language arts if you prefer a more guided lesson. I like to switch it up to keep things interesting).
- Science– Listen while mommy reads the book about whales from the library. Paint a picture of a whale. Where do they live? What do they eat? What’s the name of the biggest whale that lives in the ocean?
- Life– Go outside and play! Explore! Get dirty! Find a worm! Bakes cookies with mommy! Have fun learning through the atmosphere around you.
This is just what I do with my first grader. You can certainly make your homeschool completely free if you like. I love finding free stuff and using the resources that are available to me. However, I really enjoy holding a good hardcover book in my hand. If you know other homeschool mommies, curriculum swaps are a great way to get new material. Also, garage sales and used book stores are full of treasures. I hope this helps someone out there. Happy learning!!