September 7 we started our official first grade, including all our new curriculum choices. I’ll go through everything briefly, following our curriculum list on the right side of this blog. One update already, we are doing three hours a day approximately, with a very light load on Mondays, in which we’ll be trying out OPTIONS (one day a week).

Explode the Code workbooks: We had just finished up ETC 4 and towards the end, the workbooks turned out to not be so independent as all prior books have been. We still really love Explode the Code, but now the vocabulary is a bit more unfamiliar, and of course the work itself was more challenging as well. I think all the three-syllable work at the end intimidated Satori, even though she could read them. We have never used the 1/2 extra practice books, but for some reason I did purchase ETC 4 1/2 just to look at, but didn’t think I needed it, so I put it up for sale on Amazon. Last week I quickly took it off Amazon Marketplace, and Satori started to use this for the extra practice. We’re doing four pages a day as always, even a few weekend days here and there. Our of curiosity, I have MCP Plaid Phonics B and Level C arriving this Tuesday, so we might try this out for awhile. More on that in a week or two…

Beyond the Code – Since we finished our official reading program, I thought we’d try the Beyond the Code series for reading practice. It’s okay. The first book is way too simple, and I wish we had started half a year earlier on these, or at least when we were on the ETC 2 and 3 books. Satori loves following the story of Zack the Dog, and it has enough coloring and writing to have her asking to work on Beyond the Code everyday. I totally skip some of the workbook pages, as they’re insultingly simple for her at this time. We’ll probably zoom through the series 1-4, as Satori is getting a kick out of the stories. I see I forgot to put this up on the side bar, I’ll have to do that, as we will be using this program for sure now.

All About Spelling – We’ll be on Level 3 book, Lesson 9 this week, and as always, it’s going well! I recently blogged about the spelling rules she’s learning. She often asks to do spelling lessons, and this is one of the subjects I try to slow down a bit.

RightStart Math B – I’m trying my hardest to do this four days a week now, and Satori is now doing the worksheets easily. This program just blows my mind how effective it is. I intend to give it the priority it deserves this year!

Math Mammoth 1A – We just started this last week and although Satori is not thrilled about the worksheets, she does them without complaint. The first worksheets are super easy, they are addition problems like 2+3 or 5+0. I don’t have too much feedback on this yet, but we’ll be doing these worksheets 2-3 times a week, with about 2-3 worksheets per lesson.

Handwriting Without Tears Cursive – Another amazing program. Satori is kinda teaching herself cursive, so I’m going to try to keep up with her interest by doing this 3x a week and doing 2 pages per lesson. We’re using StartWrite Worksheet Wizard quite a bit now that we’re learning cursive, it has the HWT Print and Cursive fonts!

Story of the World 1 – just chugging along, we have a great time with this program, as you can see by all the blog posts.

Write Source Grade 1 – This is one of our brand new programs, we had finished up WS Kindergarten, but First Grade is more indepth of course. Satori begs to do her new “grammar” program everyday, even though it’s mostly a writing program. She’s finally learning how to write, which is probably her most favorite activity in the entire world. The program does cover some grammar, which is why she’s been calling it her “new grammar program”.

Aesop’s Fables: My Book about Reading, Writing, Thinking – I recently realized I had this program laying around and that now is the time that Satori can appreciate it. It looks like a lot of fun for her, so we’ll be starting this next week. Sorry that I have no feedback on it yet.

Growing With Grammar 1 – I was really looking forward to a more independent program where Satori can write in a workbook (she seems to dig that kind of thing), but she just does it like it’s a job she doesn’t particularly enjoy. I’ll give it a few more weeks and write up more about our experiences. We may drop this.

Writing With Ease 1 and First Language Lessons 2 – These programs go too slow, so we do these 2-3x a week doing several lessons at a time. Not too impressed with WWE yet, but I do think FLL has great value for us. People on the WTM forums that I frequent love these programs, so they do work for most children. We may drop Writing With Ease.

R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey – Life – We’re actually doing science this year and having lots of fun! The program itself makes it all so easy. I’ve made an updated list of books that are easy to find, as this program really benefits from reading additional books.

Wordly Wise 3000 Grade 1 – Satori still loves this for vocabulary, and we’ll be starting the Second Grade series soon, which is totally different.

Elementary Spanish – We bought a subscription to Discovery Streaming and this great spanish program is offered there. We’ll watch the 20 minute video once or twice a week (they seem to have great review built-in) and do the corresponding worksheets. Here’s Satori watching the first video for the second time and coloring her sheets. I normally download the higher quality 700kbps video and play it full-screen, but here we just watched it on the smaller screen as it was on my laptop and the Internet connection was slow that night for some reas0n.

La Clase Divertida – I had this program already, so we’ll be watching the videos and doing some of the activities, but I think Elementary Spanish will be our main Spanish program. I thought Satori would love this DVD, but she seemed a bit bored.

We’re really trying to learn Spanish this year, as in two months we’re going on an eastern Caribbean cruise and we’ll be hitting Mexico and Honduras!

Song School Latin – this is a very gentle, easy Latin program for young children. We did one lesson this week and Satori loved it. I posted the video last week of her singing her SSL song. 🙂 We just learned four terms, and she’s been using them all the time throughout the week.

Meet the Masters – really enjoying this program!

Artistic Pursuits – starting Book 1

Drawing with Children – have yet to get into this…