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1st Grade: Homeschool Review

May 13, 2024


With another homeschool year accomplished, I reflect on many lessons learned in the first grade year. First grade is such a foundational year (as is kindergarten), and students continue to build upon basic skills.

In today’s post I will share my thoughts on 1st grade curriculum, what I’m doing to close out the year, and what I plan to do during our summer break.

1st Grade Homeschool Curriculum

Curriculum is any tool or resource that I use to educate my children, and textbooks are part of my homeschool curriculum choice. I like to have a “spring board” to give me a sense of direction though meaningful experiences and rich books are also a part of our homeschool.


First Grade Math with Confidence by Kate Snow (Well-Trained Mind Press) –I have used Kate’s math since K4 and loved it! So far I plan to continue using this curriculum.

Language Arts

Spell to Write and Read by Wanda Sanseri –Mrs. Sanseri believes that a fast introduction to all the phonetic concepts is best and that over time, children will make the necessary connections. Children learn to read through learning to spell. I use this curriculum every single year, and each year we progress farther in the curriculum. I love the repetition and resulting confidence this curriculum builds!

This curriculum is not for the faint of heart, but I truly believe it is the best and most thorough approach to the English language that I have seen in all my research. I believe the time I invest daily in teaching this curriculum is worth the effort.



We used a variety of Abeka readers and McGuffey’s Pictorial Reader. We read lots of library picture books, and we also had a chapter book going at all times.

Social Studies

My Story and the World Around Me by Caig Froman and Andrew Froman (Master Books). My child enjoyed this beautiful textbook, but unfortunately, it did not meet our educational style. I will be using something different in 2nd grade. If you are curious about why I will not use this book again, feel free to email me.


Adventures in Creation Level 1 by Carrie Lindquist (Master Books). My child truly enjoyed the engaging lessons and activities, and I plan to use the next book for 2nd grade.



Closing Out the Year

At the risk of being too brisk, here is my “to do” checklist for wrapping up the year.

--Finish entering grades

--Generate a report card

--Create the portfolio (samples of my child’s work) —include Journal, Learning Log (spelling journal for Spell to Write and Read), and samples of daily work



Summer Break Plans

Over the summer, my main goal is to take a complete break from school. This allows me the mental refreshment necessary to once again prepare for a new year. I’ve found that one of the best ways to get excited about a new year is to read a cozy, inspiring homeschool book (almost like sitting down with an experienced friend to listen to her wisdom). A Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections on the Gentle Art of Learning by Karen Andreola is my tome of choice for this summer, and I already feel inspired and refreshed from it!

Alas, it’s not all fun and games over the summer, and some preparation needs to happen to start again smoothly.

--I hope to create a general schedule/framework for our school day.

--In addition, I hope to map out goals for each child for the year.

--I need to gather/order necessary books and textbooks.


Well, friends, this felt like a short and choppy post, but if you are in the midst of homeschooling, maybe you found a nugget of encouragement. If you are a homeschooling mama (or papa!) stick with it! You are doing a noble work. May you enjoy a beautiful summer as you rest and recharge!


Personal Disclosure

As the author of Ashley Qurollo Blog, all opinions are my own. Any possible applications are universal in nature, not directed at any one individual or people group. My sincere desire is to help others by sharing what I am learning. Nothing stated on this blog is ever intended to hurt others. Ashley Qurollo, owner of Ashley Qurollo Blog and Website, is not held liable in any way for any application of the ideas and thoughts stated here.

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Homeschooling is such a rewarding journey, I'm so thankful God led us in this direction over 3 years ago. As I read your post and watched your video I was encouraged by your dedication to find what will work best for your children. Everyone's homeschooling journey is so different I appreciate your truthfulness with your reviews of your curriculum.

We chose to do Abeka Academy for a couple reasons when we first began in 2021. First, I was very new to the idea of homeschooling and our daughter was going into 6th grade and we decided in August of that year that she would no longer be in public school. We needed to act fast to get something in place…

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Dawn, thank you for taking time to write such a comprehensive comment. I rejoice with you in the growth and development in your daughter as a result of your self-sacrificing choice to bring her home for education. That decision is hard and requires sacrifice in many areas--personal time, finances, career, etc. But the reward is so worth every sacrifice! If we gain the world but lose our children, what do we really have then?

I heartily agree with you that one beauty of homeschooling is the freedom to choose the path that best suits our family needs and dynamics. Abeka is a stellar curriculum, solid in its Christian foundation and strong in its academics. I would wholeheartedly recommend Abeka to…


May 14
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

I remember my first grade year well. I had a sweet teacher, fresh out of college. She had a group of about 25 rascals to keep under control! Reading was a real struggle for me, and I remember wiggling in my seat in "reading group" time. By the time I reached 2nd grade, my reading improved and I loved chapter books!

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I'm so glad your confidence in reading grew! Sometimes it just takes time to spread your wings and learn a new skill.💖

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