Last Year’s Homeschool Plans (Grades 1 and 3)

Yesterday I laid out some of the plans we have for this year. For those who are new to my blog I thought you might be interested in looking at some of the plans I had for last year (Fall 2011). Our focus in geography/history last year was on the USA and (some) American history.

There was a lot of material that we covered that weren’t in my initial plans/post (which I added in below).  If you were to look chronologically at what we covered you would see how much we meandered and brought in other topics as interest and opportunity arose.  But this is a glimpse of some of what we covered last year:

DD and LD’s new school routine (from Fall 2011).

One thing we started last year was a ‘group time’ that we call collection. Last year this is how collection looked at the beginning of the year.  Collection became the kids’ favorite time of the day as it included our experiments and hands-on activities as well as calendar time (at the beginning of the year only), German, read alouds, songs, etc. I’ll talk more about what collection is like this year in an upcoming post.

Last year’s main units included…

  • A unit on the Ocean- I made a number of printables in that unit that you can download.
  • The Montessori Great Lessons (the first two)
  • A unit on the USA (see more at this post) (an introduction to the symbols and landmarks of the US, basic US geography–the 50 states, rivers, mountains, etc.).

U. S. Landmarks

You can download the US landmark cards I made:
US Symbols and Landmarks Cards

We started this unit with some basic facts about the USA and world such as the largest continent, biggest countries, highest mountains, etc.  You can download that sheet here: Let’s Learn About the World.
World Facts Packet

Human Body Unit Pics

heart activity
  • Animal Discovery Notebook (Science Sorts)
  • Landforms (we wound up doing this during the second semester) – See an examples of our landforms unit here.
  • Animal Habitats – ED’s preschool themes (oceans, deserts, rainforests, etc.), but DD and LD participated too.  You can see all the activities we did last year by browsing through the category in the sidebar Biomes; Animal Habitats 0r clicking on the link). I know I made a few printables during these units as well such as the forest animal sort cards.
  • Fire and First Aid Unit: My husband and I also wanted to include a unit on health and safety. Last year we decided that we should cover topics like our phone number, address, emergencies, fire/fire safety/using a fire extinguisher/fire do’s/don’ts/stop-drop-roll, being lost in the woods, germs, teeth-care, strangers, general first-aid how-to/whys of cuts, broken bones, etc. You can see what we wound up doing with Fire and First Aid by clicking on the link (or clicking on the “Fire Safety” tab in the right sidebar). The most popular post I did was on Where Do Germs Grow in Your House? in March where we took swabs from all over the house and see what grew in the cultures!

Where do Germs Grow?

  •  Astronomy Unit: Including the inner and outer planets, asteroid belt, moon phases, etc.
  • American West Unit – Including the American frontier (Ohio Valley region) and the Oregon Trail
  • Physics Unit – We used Real Science 4 Kids, pre-level 1 Physics and did lots of science experiments (especially those by J. Van Cleave).
  • A mini unit on the black plague with a really memorable simulation of how the plague spread so quickly.


  • Plus other basic subjects such as math, language arts (spelling, grammar, writing), and music.


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