Though some parents do choose to teach preschool and first grade at home, first grade is the level at which most parents begin to focus on academics and learning milestones. Here’s a simple guide for what to cover and develop in first grade:
By the end of first grade, your child should be able to read about 150 sight words, decode stories using basic phonics and pictures, read first grade level books, listen attentively, and understand the purpose, settings, and plot of stories. He should also understand action, descriptive, and naming words, spell some sight words, and understand how to use question marks and periods for sentences. At this age and stage, he should also learn to use pronouns and conjunctions.
By the end of this year, your child should be able to form complete sentences of sight words and names she knows. She should be able to hold her paper and pencil in the correct position.
In first grade, your child should be able to count up to 100, skip count, understand place value, and grasp concepts such as less than, more than, and equal to. He should also be able to add numbers up to a sum of 20 and subtract from 20, do mental math involving basic addition and subtraction, and tell time by the hour and half-hour. At this stage, children should also grasp ½ and ¼ and understand the concept of symmetry.
At this stage, your child should learn more about communities and learn the origins of the United States and state and local communities. He should learn some local and national customs, what citizenship means, and how people and communities of the past compare today. He should also learn to use a simple map and identify the United States and his state on a globe.
In first grade, your child should learn about solids, liquids, and gases; learn about earth and space; compare plants to animals; and learn about different types of energy, including light and sound.
By the end of first grade, your child should understand the basics of germs, the five senses, and the importance of healthy food. At this age and stage, he should also learn healthy ways of dealing with anger, disappointment, and stress.
At the first grade level, your child should be able to create art on paper and canvas, use clay and mix colors, and explain how a piece of art makes him feel.
For more details on what to teach when you homeschool first grade and the other 13 grades, check out our Year-by-Year Teaching Guide for Homeschoolers:
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Also published on Medium.