Science and Social Studies: What to Teach Your First Grader


Often, it’s the basics of math and reading that parents find easiest to cover in their home education programs. There’s not much guesswork involved with teaching these two subjects. But what about when it comes to science, social studies, and health? There seem to be an endless list of topics to cover, so what should you teach your first grader? Here’s a foundation with which to start:


Children are naturally curious, and first graders have an amazing thirst for knowledge about the world around them. That’s what makes this such a fun time to explore scientific concepts with your child. This year, introduce your child to weather, plants, and the water cycle. Teach your first graderabout woodland and farm animals as well as their babies and habitats. This is also a good time to teach about solids, liquids, and gases; soil; motion; day and night; and the solar system. Children absorb especially well when hands-on activities are incorporated into lessons, so use plenty of experimentation and demonstration in teaching science. Don’t forget to cover grouping and classification, as both will prove important as your child grows and learns.

Health and Safety

While your child is curious about the world around him, he’s likely to have questions about his own body as well. For health, teach your child the basics of the human body, including the bones and major muscles. Then cover dental health; the importance of eating a healthy, well-balanced diet; and why it’s critical to get enough sleep every night. Likewise, cover personal hygiene, bike safety, and instructions for reacting to emergencies, such as fires.

Social Studies

Teach your child about community and the world, starting with your family and its traditions and branching out from there. Explain what a community is and explore community helpers. Explore holidays and traditions. Cover some American history topics, especially those you can relate to community and customs. Teach about different cultures now and in the past, explore geography, and teach your child how to use a simple neighborhood map. Cover various jobs and social responsibilities as well. Don’t forget to teach your child about farms, and if possible, take him on a trip to the zoo. Both count as social studies!

Keep in mind that the above suggestions are just that—suggestions. You can mix and match subjects to meet your child’s needs as well as his interests. That’s one of the best things about homeschooling. You aren’t forced to adhere to anyone else’s schedule. What do you plan to teach your first grader? Share with us!

Looking for more information on homeschooling first grade? Check out these posts!

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