Creating a Homeschool Curriculum: Kindergarten – Grade 1
How to Create Your Own Homeschool Curriculum: K, Gr. 1
This FREE 50-page Homeschool Resource has been created to help answer some basic questions: What subjects should I teach my Kindergartner/1st Grader? Where do I start? How do I know what to teach my kids?
Every child is different, but I wanted to offer a starting point. Hopefully you’ll find some ideas and printables that will work with your kids!
Creating your homeschool curriculum is easier than you might think. Decide on the basic subjects you’ll want to cover – and then choose the topics you want to start with. Sounds easy, right? But when there is SO much you can cover, it’s hard to know where to start. This resource shows what we covered in Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies in kindergarten and first grade. Glance over what we did and see what is appealing to you. Ask your child what they are interested in learning and go from there!
One of the things I hear a lot about our blog is that there is so much to take in, it can be overwhelming. That is especially true if you are a new homeschooler just starting out. I have set out to make a series of resource packets with ideas of what you could cover in your homeschool in K-1, 2-3, 4-5, and 6-8. I hope these resource packets are helpful. (Please let me know!!) When I started putting this K-Gr. 1 Resource together, I figured it would be just a few pages. By the time I finished it was almost 50 pages long! You’ll find the link to download this down a bit lower in this post.
I have three kids. All three of my kids have had a different experience as they’ve come up through the grades. That’s partly while you’ll find SO many options on our blog!
We do most of our units together, so my kindergartner and my 5th grader would have been doing the same units at the same time. The material might have been a stretch for my kindergartner. A few years later, though, we would cycle around and do our units again so the kids would get the material again on a different level. The reverse is also true. Sometimes we would do a unit geared more for my youngest like the States of Matter that we did this fall. My older two participated/reviewed the material. Then we went on into more depth (in this case with the Physical and Chemical Properties of Matter unit).
What I hope to do with this series is give you a framework of what we did. You can look at what we did and pick and choose what might work for your family. That’s the wonderful thing about homeschooling, you create a curriculum path that works for you!
You can cover the material with purchased homeschool curriculum. Or, you can just borrow books from the library. You can do projects, lapbooks, or notebook pages. You can do experiments, crafts, posters, mini-research projects and all kinds of things to help your kids learn. You can read aloud non-fiction and fiction books. You can watch videos… anything from the Magic School Bus (for younger kids) to documentaries (for older students). In the right context, (fictional) movies can be very educational as well! You can go on field trips, to museums, and explore the online world. … and much, much more!
My highest goals have been to make the learning creative and engaging for the kids. I want them to have the skills they need to write well (and creatively), to think critically, to be able to learn new things on their own, to be polite, kind people. I want them to value education and to see what it will do for them. I keep the end goals in mind… And that’s *your* first step. Decide what skills you want the kids to have at the end of the year and at the end of this homeschool journey. Then slowly work towards those!
Keep in mind that you will not and do not have to cover “everything.” If you purchase a homeschool curriculum, you do not have to cover every page. If you look at a checklist of curriculum topics… you do not have to cover everything. Use those as a resource, not as to-do list (or a ball-and-chain)!!
All that was kind of a disclaimer. I want to offer you a starting point (if it helps), but want you to know the YOU can and will create an amazing homeschool experience!! You CAN do this!! You know your kids better than anyone else!!
So, let’s jump into the meat of things – building a curriculum for Kindergarten and Grade 1:
- Page 12 Printable Overview of Curriculum, K – Gr. 1
- Page 13 Links to Language Arts Related Posts K-1
- Pages 14-18 Links to Math Posts K-1
- Pages 19-23 Links to Science Posts K-1
- Pages 24-25 Links to Social Studies Posts K-1
- Page 26 Links to Language Arts Posts with Photos and Explanations
- Pages 28 Links to Math Posts with Photos and Explanations
- Pages 36 Links to Science Posts with Photos and Explanations
- Pages 59 Links to Social Studies and Geography Posts with Photos and Explanations
- Pages 64 What Science Topics Should I Teach my 5–7 year-old? A post I wrote on the website to help answer a reader question.
If you do use our free resource, please help me spread the word by sharing this post with others. Share it on Facebook, pin the images on Pinterest, etc. I am very grateful for your help! ~Liesl
Click on the link or picture below to download this FREE PDF. It’s recently been updated and is now over 70 pages!
You might also enjoy this post: Homeschooling Kindergarten – Grade 1 which includes a lot of pictures/photos of activities we did when the kids were this age.
I wrote this post after I received a couple of emails from readers who will be homeschooling Kindergarten or Grade 1 for the first time. It’s hard to know where to start, right?! There are lots of possibilities and picking a starting point can be overwhelming! I hope this post will give you some ideas and inspiration for a wonderful homeschool year ahead!
This post has dozens of homeschool curriculum ideas from reading and writing to math, science, history and more! Hope your kids are engaged and have lots of fun along your homeschool journey!
You might also be interested in the next free Resource Guide in this series: Creating a Homeschool Curriculum: Grades 2-3
And, we also have the Free Resource Guide for Grades 4-5
This is just a sampling of what is in the pdf for Language Arts and Math!!
Learning to Read
- Letters and Sounds
- 2 Letter Words
- CVC Words – Games and Activities
- Sight Words
- Phonics – Early Reading Skills
- Phonics Readers
- Handwriting Without Tears Kindergarten (affiliate link)
- Handwriting Without Tears Grade 1 (affiliate link)
- Independent Reading (with Hello Readers, etc.)
- We started using All About Spelling for the kids in Grade 1. (affiliate link)
- First Language Lessons (affiliate link) by Jessie Wise – We used this in Kindergarten and part of Grade 1.
- 15 Chapter Books my 7-year Old Loved!
- Books and Series my 8 Year old has been Racing Through
- 25 Books for 4-8 year olds; 25 Chapter Books for 8-12 year olds
- 10 Books (and Series) My Kids Love (Ages 9, 11)
- 10 Australian Picture Books we Love! (The kids were all born in Australia.)
- 15 Children’s Books Your 4-7 Year Old Shouldn’t Miss
- Encourage Independent Reading with This Cute Idea
- 10 Books My 4 and 6-Year-Old Love
Math Topics You Might Want to Cover – K-Gr 1:
Numbers and 1-to-1 correspondence – We did a lot of grid games… first rolling one die and covering the board. Then when they were ready, using two dice and adding them together to cover that number of spaces. We used different grid games to go with different seasons. Here’s an example of an apple grid board (above) that is free on the blog:
Addition and Dice Games – We used the Math Board Games (free printable) for lots of math fact practice!
Number Families: Addition Facts: Fact Family Games and Worksheets
30+ page packet including 16 game boards
Why learn the number families? Knowing their fact families helps a lot as kids start to work on their subtraction facts. They know that 6+7=13, so 13-7 becomes easy! These games help kids learn their math facts in a fun way! My kids always begged to play “just one more game!”
We have an Addition Bundle that covers basic addition and subtraction facts, number facts, place value and more in this growing bundle! It includes the number families and pet pack that you see above as well as more than 10pdfs (250+ pages and growing!)
Skip Counting (by 2s, 5s, 10s)
- Free Thanksgiving Skip Counting Mazes
- Free Holiday Skip Counting Mazes
- Free Winter Skip Counting Mazes
- Free Valentine’s Day Skip Counting Mazes
- Free Valentine’s Day Skip Counting Mazes – Addition – Multiplication Practice
- Free Easter Skip Counting Mazes
- Skip Counting by 6s – Song and Clapping Game – ED and DD really enjoyed learning the 6s; they did this clapping game a lot when ED was in 1st grade.
- Free Skip Counting Mazes – Minecraft Themed
- Active Skip Counting Chalk Game ED had fun skip counting by running around this huge chalk circle. DD reviewed her multiplication facts and LD worked on order of operations!
- Skip Counting Card Game – We also had the card game (made by a fellow homeschooling mom!), Speed! (affiliate link) ED and I played many rounds of these games. Find out how to play those card games at this post: First Grade Math – Games for Math Fact Practice
Montessori Addition Pages (Introducing Double Digit Addition without carrying, with carrying)
- Montessori Style Addition Sheets (No Regrouping/Carrying)
- Montessori Style Addition Pages (With Regrouping/Carrying)
Math Resources we used a lot. I highly recommend both of these books. (These are affiliate links.)
Math Card Games by the Right Start Curriculum
Math Curriculum (That you can purchase.) – There are LOTS of different math curriculum options available. We used games and the Spectrum math workbook series for most of elementary. Other homeschoolers speak highly of these options:
- Singapore Math
- Math Mammoth
- Saxon Math
- Abeka Math
- Right Start Math – At this age, we used many of the ideas in this Montessori-based math curriculum though we used as an extra resource, not as a solo curriculum.
For links to Science and Social Studies topics for K-Gr 1 open the free pdf above!!
Happy Homeschooling! ~Liesl
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above and in the pdf Homeschool Curriculum Resource are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.
You might also be interested in this related post:
Homeschool Science Checklist (K-8): Topics and Units we hope to cover in Elementary and Middle School
- Big Animal BUNDLE – which includes the Animal Unit, World Animal Packet (including a mini-unit on African animals), the Rainforest Packet, Life Cycles Packet and Winter Packet & Hibernation Unit.
Our World Animal Unit has been updated and expanded! Now it not only includes the Montessori 3-part cards, but also 1) matching & tracing pages, 2) fun-fact tracing pages, 3) do-a-dot pages, and 4) outline maps for each continent. It is now well over 60+ pages!
Rainforest Unit: This is all about the Amazon Rainforest – it’s animals, insects, layers of the rainforest and more!
We did units on the Human Body at this age too. We did a unit on the Five Senses. There are a lot of hands-on activities you can do in this unit!! You can find out more about our packet here: Five Senses Unit
Another unit we did early on was the Skeletal System. We started first with fun, hands-on activities and the kids learned many of the names of the bones. Note: we came back to this again & again through the years! (Then in later years, we went on to talk about the Digestive System, Circulatory System and things like that.) My kids really loved doing the hands-on activities you see down below. 🙂
See our Human body BUNDLE here. We would usually review the Human Body Systems (as a whole) each year and then we would study one of the body systems in depth each spring. (skeletal, digestive, circulatory, muscular, nervous system etc.)
Other science units:
States of Matter Packet with fun hands-on activities!
Where I Live – 7 Continents
Where I Live Activity Packet & Seven Continents Packet: My galaxy, solar system, planet, continent, country, state, town, and home! — Plus Montessori world map activities for learning the 7 continents
60+ Page Dinosaur Packet – One of my daughter ♥loves♥ dinosaurs, so we’ve added to this packet a lot over the years. This packet has material for a range of ages (because I kept adding and adding to the packet!)
- Montessori 3-Part Dinosaur Cards
- Dinosaur Lapbook
- Letter Recognition Activities
- Number Activities and Games
- Dinosaur Game Board
- Fast Fact Information Cards
- Dinosaur Writing Cards
- Math Games
- Bingo Cards and more!
You might also want to check out some of our other packets including
- Rainforest Packet
- Earth Science Unit
- States of Matter Unit
- Simple Machines Unit
- Winter Packet (Earth’s Axis and the Seasons, Antarctica vs. the Arctic, Polar animals and more)
- and much more!
See you again soon here or over at our Homeschool Den Facebook Page! You might also want to check out some of our resources pages above (such as our Science, Language Arts, or History Units Resource Pages) which have links to dozens of posts. You might want to join our free Homeschool Den Chat Facebook group. Don’t forget to check out Our Store as well.
Again, if you are interested in joining our Homeschool Den Newsletter, feel free to subscribe here. The Welcome Series includes 5 packed emails… with tips on homeschooling, keeping motivated, finding various resources and freebies tucked away on the blog and more!
Plus, you’ll be the first to hear about new packets (generally offered at a discount when they are first released), seasonal resources and more!
P.S. I have a new post called Homeschool Resources that will help you find many of the resources we have on the blog. In addition to the various packets we have in the Store area, we have TONS of FREE printables. The Resource Page has a huge list of those. 🙂
P.P.S. Here are the other free guides:
Creating Your Own Homeschool Curriculum: These are some resources I made that might be helpful as you create your own homeschool plans. These are somewhere between 30 and 50 pages and are FREE to download :