First of all, I really must say, Chessa is such an adorable 1st grader. The sweet little voice with which she answers a question or recites a verse, she just melts my heart!
She is also a rather shy 1st grader. She is allowing me to post some of her lesson book pictures, but there are others that she has asked me not too, and so I will of course respect her wishes.
We started her 1st grade year with a two week block of Form Drawing, same as I did when Chloe was in 1st grade. After that we began her first Language Arts lesson block, introducing the letters of the alphabet. Chessa already knew all the letters, not because I ever taught her them, but how could she not pick this up herself with an older sister. However, there is still much work to be done. For example, she often writes the letters backwards, and really has not much awareness of the sounds that accompany the letters.
I had grand thoughts of creating an entire new lesson block for Chessa, different than the one I did with Chloe when she was in 1st grade, but in the end I was forced to be practical, with planning out the homeschool year for two children now, I am mostly following what I did before. Which is mostly based on Donna Simmon's Christopherus First Grade Curriculum.
~ My own drawing of a swan for the letter "S" to go along with the Grimm's fairy tale The Six Swans
First grade was the only year which I had a complete curriculum purchased for. It gave me a great foundation that allowed me to continue in the following years more on my own. Unfortunately I don't own the curriculum any longer (and I really do wish I did, Donna writes with such wisdom, I would love to go back through the whole thing) but since I completed entire lesson books alongside Chloe that year I am still able to go back and fairly accurately recreate the lesson for Chessa. In my own lesson book I had written the container story to accompany my drawings, I preferred to read from my own book and writing rather than the typed curriculum pages. (Nope, I didn't tell the story from memory!)
My first drawings were done on individual sheets of paper which where then hung on the wall. Then Chloe and I, and now Chessa and I, would do a drawing together. As you can see, my drawings are very simple, and I am certainly no great artist!
~ My own drawing of the King, Queen, Prince, and Wise Woman
The container story tells of a kingdom where the Prince must go on a journey with the Wise Woman, so that he can learn how to become a good king.
~ Chessa's lesson book drawing of the Jester, who tells the Prince the story of The Golden Goose
~ Each picture has letters written on the opposite page.
~ Chessa's lesson book drawing of a door in the mountain ~ a door which the Prince was convinced must lead to a Deep, Dark, Dangerous Dungeon (though it did not...)
You can imagine my delight when while drawing the letter "D" Chessa said, "A straight line and a curved line!" Yes! Form Drawing success! She pointed this out often while drawing her letters.
~ Chessa's lesson book of the prince calling to Rapunzel
We worked our way through much of the alphabet (not in order) and will continue with the rest in early December.
Now we have moved on to our first math block on the Quality of Numbers. Again, Chessa already knows the numbers fairly well, she actually seems to have quite a good sense of them. She will sometimes amaze us with little mathematical figurings she does in her head.
~ Chessa's lesson book drawings for the numbers One and Two
For this block we are memorizing a verse by Eugene Schwartz... "One is the sun that shines so bright, One is the moon so high. One is the day, One is the night, One is the sheltering sky. One is a head, so still and tame, upon one body whole with health. And "I" is the one and special name that only I can call myself." And then the verses continue with the next numbers.
Although we mentioned the sun and moon for One, they also symbolize the duality of day and night, the opposite qualities of light and dark, and so we used those images for the number Two.
~ Three makes a family
~ The Four Seasons
~ My own lesson book drawings for the numbers Three and Four
And our journey continues...