Article updated on March 17th, 2018
At the beginning of my blogging years, I never thought about sharing our curriculum choices for the early grades. Blogs were just what they sounded like – web logs or online diaries for others to read. I was quickly finding blogging friends through my home life posts; they were basically a peek into our daily lives. I was enjoying peeking into other homes and learning about other families.
When I realized I should share our curriculum choices, I was already in several years of homeschooling, so I started with that year. Over the years, I’ve said I would share what we used in those early years, but I never have, until now.
Today, I will only be sharing our kindergarten through second grade years. All of my notes from these years are in storage, but I remember enough to give you my thoughts on all of them.
A Look Back: Our Early Years of Homeschool Curriculum
affiliate links included, you can read my disclosure
For our kindergarten year, it was a no brainer for me. I had twelve years experience as a teacher with Abeka and I grew up using it as a student. I purposely went to a display meeting to question the whole idea of cursive writing in the kindergarten. A little secret, I taught cursive writing in kindergarten before. While I was proactive of the change with other children, but I wasn’t too keen on the idea for my son. But after listening to the encouraging representative, I followed through with it and was very pleased with how my son did.
One thing I realized what they market as homeschool, is nothing more than classroom curriculum. I had to pick through the busy work to get to the meat of the curriculum.
|Abeka Grade K5 Child Kit (Cursive Edition), New Edition
Our first grade year was exciting; we moved to western Montana. We used Abeka’s DVD program. My sister-in-law told me about it and how it was working for their children. I wanted to love this program because I felt my Jamie would enjoy a teacher teaching him. Well, it turned out to be dud for us. While the teacher acknowledges the students at home throughout the lessons, there wasn’t enough real life interaction. Boredom set in and the last half of the year we chose to not complete the lessons using the dvds.
In all honesty of the DVD program, I think it is wonderful for older students, those with a little more discipline. For those in the early grades, they really need to interact with a live person, not just someone on the TV.
|Abeka Grade 1 Homeschool Child Full-Grade Kit (Cursive)
The only negative thing I can say for Abeka, is they are not really a homeschool curriculum. Their products are produced for the classroom, but with a little work on the parent’s part, it is a wonderful source.
For second grade, I tried Christian Liberty Press. I knew they were Reformed in their doctrine, so I didn’t use their Bible, but I didn’t realize their other books would be effected because of it. What I mean is their History book lacked details that pertained to some of the struggles our forefathers faced with building the US. It came across as they didn’t have a hard time during the early years of forming a nation. The classic book Boys and Girls of Colonial Days has been republished by CLP and it leaves out things from the original book that come across as harsh. It’s almost a pacifist leaning.
At that time, CLP used Modern Curriculum Press for math. We completed the work, while it was lacking in needed concepts. There was not enough for that level and my son fell behind a little.
I loved their Building Spelling Skills book, it progressed with learning the phonics rules. There wasn’t much of a difference in rules from Abeka which helped with transitioning to another curriculum.
|Building Spelling Skills, Grade 2; 2nd ed.
By Christian Liberty Press
|Christian Liberty Nature Reader Book 2, Second Edition, Grade 2
By Christian Liberty Press
We used Abeka Language 2. A solid grammar curriculum. In fact, we used Abeka Language Arts for many years.
In the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing a look back on our third, fourth, and fifth grades.