Our Curriculum Choices for 1st/2nd Grade

1 Curriculum

It is hard to believe that another school year is beginning.  Terrace Hill Academy will have two official students this year: my 2nd grade son and my 1st grade daughter.  We also have two unofficial preschool students (aged 2 and almost 4) who really love to run around like crazy; noise and chaos and mayhem seem to follow wherever they lead.  I think I’m going to need to do something about that.

Anyway, planning school is one of my favorite things to do, so although I have had illness, moving, house renovations, VBS responsibilities, four children to care for, many meals to prepare, visiting family, and many birthdays to celebrate this summer, I have managed to come up with a school plan for this next year.  And I’m excited about it.

Bible:  We will be reading through stories of the Old Testament and watching through the What’s in the Bible series by Phil Vischer (we LOVE these videos!) as they correspond with our reading.  We will also be reading Wisdom and the Millers, some stories of Trial and Triumph, and Little Pilgrim’s Progress.  We will continue to learn hymns together as a family, about one a month or so.

Math: We will complete Right Start Level B.  With X-man, who will finish about half-way through the year, we will start Right Start Level C.  We really like this curriculum.  It is well-laid out and easy to use.  I find it easy to tailor to my kids’ needs and the kids love the games.

3 Math


Language Arts: For phonics instruction, the kids are working through Explode the Code books.  We also have a plethora of easy reader books.  Each student will select a book and read to me or their dad ten minutes every day until we finish the book, and then they will select another.

We will read poetry from my collection of favorite poems and each will select a poem or two to memorize.  They will also use poetry, literature or history selections, verses, and hymns as sources for their copywork to practice penmanship and to be exposed to proper spelling and syntax.

We will read many short and long stories that correspond with our history readings and our science topics.   A few of these include: Burgess Bird BookMr. Popper’s Penguins, Trumpet of the Swan, and Greek and Roman myths.



History & Geography:  This year, we will be studying ancient history and read through a few of Guerber’s historiesStory of the Ancient WorldThe Story of the Greeks and hopefully we will at least begin The Story of the Romans.  I have the Usborne Encyclopedia of the Ancient World to use as a supplement and for all the awesome pictures.  For geography, we will use Knowledge Quest’s  Map Trek: Ancient World.



Science:  During the first semester, we will study birds with (the 1st half of) Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day.  In the second semester, we will study astronomy with Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Astronomy.  We will also be using the accompanying Junior Notebooks and we will continue to do nature walks and nature study as normal.
 I must add here that I am so very excited about finally starting this series.  This was the first curriculum I ever chose after we decided to go with homeschool as our educational path.  I was pregnant with my first child and I was researching homeschooling curriculum because I’m crazy like that.  And also I love curriculum and school planning.  Anyway, so I’ve been looking forward to when it would be time to use this series for nearly 8 years now.  So I am SO excited!  (Here’s hoping it at least meets my expectations, since they have been a long time growing!)

Spanish: We will be using Cherrydale Press Speaking Spanish with Miss Mason and Francois We will also read and memorize short Spanish nursery rhymes from the book ¡Pio Peep! and watch the Whistlefritz DVDs.

Art:  We will study 6-8 paintings of 5 artists: Renoir, Bruegel, Rubens, Waterhouse, and Degas.  Each student will select 3-5 new crafts to learn and enjoy.  We will continue to practice drawing using a variety of drawing lesson books (and internet resources).

Music: We will listen to and discuss the music of 5 famous composers: Vivaldi, Bach, Tchaikovsky, Mozart, and Beethoven.  Hopefully we will begin piano lessons this year.

Physical Education:  We will get daily exercise through bike riding, walks, jumping on the trampoline, and playing active games as a family and/or a variety of exercise videos/video games.  We may also participate in some community classes, such as ice skating.

So that’s the plan for Elementary School at Terrace Hill Academy.  I’m looking forward to all the learning and fun I’m going to do and have and what an awesome bonus if my kids learn anything with me.


2 thoughts on “Our Curriculum Choices for 1st/2nd Grade

  1. Thanks for posting, I love our curriculum but have had the hardest time finding a math that fits. We use Teaching Textbooks but that doesn’t start until 3rd grade so looking for something for my first grader. Will be looking into Right Start

    • We really do love RightStart- it is very involved- the teacher directs the learning and it is very interactive. But that means it is teacher-intensive. Also the lessons are sometimes long. Since I am a big supporter of short lessons (especially in the early elementary years), I will often cut the lesson in half. However, the games are very enjoyable and don’t feel like math lessons to my kids- so that works out well. 🙂 I love how it has even taught me some good tips for mental math. And the abacus- I didn’t think I could ever understand how to use it, but it is wonderful! I love it!

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