First Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices for 2021 (2023)

It’s here! I’ve finally put together all of our first grade homeschool curriculum choices for 2021.

I went back and forth on several things but having to do my son’s homeschool exemption really made me knuckle down and decide on what we’re going to use.

This will be our second formal year of homeschooling although I would say that we really took the first year as a way of learning what works and what doesn’t.

You can see what choices I made for our 2020 Kindergarten homeschool curriculum right here, and watch the end of 2020 homeschool update that I shared to see what we stuck with and what we gave up on.

If you want to see what I’ve settled on using with my will-be 6-year-old son then keep scrolling.

First Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices for 2021 (1)

What We’re Using For Our First Grade Homeschool Curriculum

I’ll admit that I was really excited to put together 1st grade homeschool curriculum picks for this year because I had my eye on several curriculums and have been waiting (not so patiently) to purchase them.

We’re using some of what we used last year but I’m also adding in several new things and lots more enrichment study!

I’ve also budgeted for several new books to add to our home library, some of which I’ve listed here:

Watch In Video (or keep scrolling)…

Language Arts

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Last year we started out using The Good & The Beautiful Level K and ended up stopping before too long because it was just moving too fast.

It is a wonderful program but we needed something that would focus more on the foundations of learning to read and less on all the other things.

You can watch this video for more details on that, but the short of it is that we switched to using All About Reading which is a really solid and thorough reading program.

(Video) FIRST GRADE CURRICULUM PICKS | Homeschool Curriculum Choices 2022-2023

It did exactly what I needed it to do and took so much stress away.

Near the end of the year my son kind of stalled with that as well and so we made the switch back to The Good & The Beautiful and we both really enjoyed it.

This year my plan is really to be flexible. We will continue with The Good & The Beautiful Language Arts Level K, but I also have All About Reading available as well as Level 1 from The Good & The Beautiful.

I don’t want reading to be a miserable experience for my son and so I’m determined to go at his pace and keep the whole thing really positive.

Related: How to Print Homeschool Curriculum for Cheap!


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Choosing a math curriculum was a no-brainer really. We thoroughly enjoyed using The Good & The Beautiful Math Level K last year and will be continuing on with Level 1.

I love how hands-on their math is and my son enjoys the games so much.

You can read a review of their Level K Math right here.

The Good & The Beautiful did come out with an announcement very recently that they’re discontinuing their current math curriculum and bringing out a totally new one mid-2021.

My plan is to continue with the current one we have and then in 2022 we’ll likely switch over to the new version.


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Another pick from The Good & The Beautiful. My son finished their level K handwriting last year and will be moving onto level 1 for 1st grade.

He did briefly use Handwriting Without Tears but it grew a bit challenging after a while so we switched him back to The Good & The Beautiful.

He really enjoys handwriting but not so much coloring and so I tend to just leave that out for the most part.



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Science was the subject that I struggled to decide on the most – without doubt.

I really didn’t love science when I was in school until I started using Apologia in my later high school years.

However, Apologia is too textbook based for what I want to do with my kids while they’re stills so little so it took me a while to really sit down and find something that worked.

I know that at this young age they don’t need anything formal and that you can just do fun experiments, etc.

However, I don’t have the headspace to even think about coming up with said activities so I needed a curriculum that was simple, gentle, and did that work for me.

Here’s what I came up with:

Simply Charlotte Mason Science & A Year of Tales

Both of these curriculums have been on my radar for at least the past several months.

I love the Charlotte Mason homeschooling philosophy but would never consider myself to be a purist of any sort.

However, when it comes to subjects outside of math and English I definitely have a Charlotte Mason tendency.

The Science from Simply Charlotte Mason is simple and gentle. It is also very much meant to be done as a family which makes teaching it really easy.

The lessons are short, nature-study based, and derived from living books.

We’re going to be doing their Outdoor Secrets this year.

Honestly, that is totally enough in and of itself but I spied A Year of Tales on Instagram last year and fell head-over-heels in love.


A Year of Tales is from A Year of Learning and is a year’s curriculum based on the beloved books by Beatrix Potter.

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It is a very gentle curriculum that covers all subjects and is aimed at preschool and early elementary.

I am adapting it for our purposes along with their recommended schedule.

We’ll be using their nature study sections as part of our science this year.

History, Bible & Geography

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Last year we didn’t do anything very formal for any of these subjects but this year will be somewhat more intentional.

We will be using the History, Bible & Geography from Simply Charlotte Mason and will be starting with their Ancient Greece level.

This is once again a family-style curriculum so I’ll be including all of my kiddos and circling back to it when the little ones are a bit older.

I love that it ties three subjects all together and that they’ll be relating to one another as we go along.

I often feel there is a big disconnect between history and what was happening in the Bible. We see them as seperate when in actuality they were going on at the same time.

I’m also planning on using the devotionals from the Book How Great Is Our God by Louis Giglio.

They are daily devotions based on science and creation.

Enrichment Studies

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Finally, but probably most exciting, is enrichment studies.

(Video) Homeschool Curriculum Choices - First Year of Homeschooling Curriculum Review | First Grade & Pre-K

This is an area that I really want to focus on this school year and the curriculum that we’re using for that is A Year of Tales.

It includes poetry, picture study, art, handicrafts, Scripture memory, and character training.

We won’t be using everything in the curriculum but I’m taking some from it every week to work on.

One thing that we will be doing a lot of is watercolor painting. I took some time to do my research and invest in some decent brushes (these ones are really cool because it takes away the risk of toddlers spilling water!) and a good watercolor palette.

I’m also hoping to do a poetry tea time at the end of our 6-week school terms throughout the year.


One of the main things that I learnt from last year is that things are really apt to change.

Flexibility is key to having success in homeschool and so with all my curriculum choices I am going in with an open mind.

Life circumstances may change and my son’s learning needs may change.

It’s good to have a plan of action but it always needs to have room for fun and flexibility.

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Christine Keys

Christine is a homeschooling mom of three. She sees homeschooling simply as another facet of parenting. Just as you teach your child to tie their shoes, you can also teach them how to read and do arithmetic.
A second-generation homeschooler, Christine knows the endless benefits that homeschooling offers. She went on to complete a Bachelor of Nursing and now has chosen to stay at home with her children (while also running this blog, Christine Keys, and Simply Keeping House).

(Video) FIRST GRADE HOMESCHOOL CURRICULUM CHOICES 2021 | Our 1st grade homeschool curriculum picks


What is the most used homeschool curriculum? ›

Memoria Press. Memoria Press is possibly the most popular homeschool curriculum that uses the classical approach. It is a mailable program for all children, especially gifted children. It allows gifted homeschoolers to exercise their minds rigorously and challenges them using classical Christian methods.

How do you fill out a homeschool curriculum? ›

Here are some general steps to follow to help you design a curriculum for any subject.
  1. Review Typical Courses of Study by Grade. ...
  2. Do Your Research. ...
  3. Identify Topics to Cover. ...
  4. Ask Your Students. ...
  5. Create a Timetable. ...
  6. Select High-quality Resources. ...
  7. Schedule Related Activities.
Mar 18, 2020

What is a typical 1st grade curriculum? ›

First grade curricula must cover the basics of math, reading, science, social studies and arts in a simple and easy-to-understand manner. 1st grade lessons provide the foundation for the learning that happens in later years, so it is important to be careful while selecting the 1st grade curriculum for your child.

What should 1st graders know by the end of the year? ›

Education experts say that, by the end of first grade, a student can count, read, write and sequence numbers up to 100. They also learn how to compare numbers using the symbols for greater than, less than and equal.

Can you homeschool with just workbooks? ›

Homeschooling with workbooks can be a very straightforward way to learn. If you plan to use workbooks in your homeschool, you'll want to know the advantages and disadvantages. Many parents appreciate the ease and portability of using workbooks, while kids also get to work independently.

Is Easy peasy homeschool enough? ›

After reading through many Easy Peasy homeschool reviews on this program, I've concluded that it is enough. Parents don't have to supplement it with other material. One of the mothers in the reviews forum said, 'It has everything you could need. '

What is Unschool homeschool? ›

Unschooling is a style of home education that allows the student's interests and curiosities to drive the path of learning. Rather than using a defined curriculum, unschoolers trust children to gain knowledge organically.

How do I choose a curriculum? ›

How to choose a good curriculum
  1. Your child's needs. The most important thing to consider when picking the best school in Pune is the curriculum and how well it fulfils your child's learning style and needs. ...
  2. Pedagogy. ...
  3. Teaching quality. ...
  4. Relevant skills. ...
  5. Cost of education. ...
  6. Success rate. ...
  7. Scores versus skills.

What subjects should I cover in homeschool? ›

The 4 core subjects considered to be essential by most (again, note that “required subjects” is a subjective term) are:
  • math.
  • reading/English/language arts.
  • social studies.
  • science.

Can I make my own homeschool curriculum? ›

Creating your own curriculum is doable for any interested parent, and it doesn't require you to have a degree in education or know how to teach every single subject. You just need to know your child, do your homework, and not be afraid to try things and ask for help.

What is an example of a curriculum? ›

An individual teacher's curriculum, for example, would be the specific learning standards, lessons, assignments, and materials used to organize and teach a particular course.

How can I homeschool without a curriculum? ›

One fun way to homeschool without a curriculum is by learning through games. Gameschooling is a form of play-based learning that incorporates educational components into fun and engaging board or card games. What is this? There are countless games that teach complex concepts in a way that makes them easy to understand.

How do I prepare for homeschooling? ›

8 Steps to Homeschool Success
  1. Research Your Homeschool Options. ...
  2. Investigate Your State's Homeschooling Requirements. ...
  3. Join a Local Homeschooling Group. ...
  4. Decide on Homeschool Curriculum. ...
  5. Create Your Homeschooling Space. ...
  6. Set Specific Homeschooling Goals. ...
  7. Define a Homeschooling Schedule. ...
  8. Watch Out for Common Homeschooling Pitfalls.

What should I be teaching my first grader? ›

Read and write common words such as where and every. (See a list of 1st grade words here.) Write complete sentences with correct capitalization and punctuation (get extra punctuation practice). Read first grade-level books aloud with accuracy and understanding (find great books for 1st graders here).

What should my child know entering 1st grade? ›

That's because kids going into first grade are expected to know the alphabet and the basic features of letters and words. They're also typically able to recognize and provide rhyming words. These are all skills that help emerging readers learn new words and read simple books.

What level of reading should a 1st grader be at? ›

Range of Typical reading Levels in First Grade

In the fall, first graders typically independently read at a Level 4. By the end of first grade, a typical first grader will independently read at Level 16. It is important to note that some students may have DRA scores that are above or below the grade-level expectation.

What is social studies for 1st graders? ›


In first grade, students develop their understanding of basic concepts and ideas from civics, economics, geography, and history. The context for social studies learning in first grade is the family and the ways they choose to live and work together.

What science do 1st graders learn? ›

1st graders will learn about the water cycle, plants, insects and are introduced to some basic elements. Basically, 1st grade science helps students start to understand the world around them better.

What do 1st graders learn in language arts? ›

A first grade language arts curriculum should cover several topics, all with the shared goal of building and improving communication skills. This is accomplished by teaching topics such as phonics, reading, reading comprehension, writing, grammar, vocabulary, and spelling.


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