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"What your First Grader Needs to Know"??

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Joined: 23 Sep 2010
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2010 4:32 pm    Post subject: "What your First Grader Needs to Know"?? Reply with quote

I've been reading everything I can get my hands on lately to prepare to teach my dd at home. She's 6.

I've purchased some (cheap) workbooks at Wally World for practice with reading and math (the two big complaints in ps), although I'm tailoring what I'm teaching to how my dd learns, so it's definitely not exactly what the ps wants her learning or how. Even though we are just in the 'tutoring' stage with dd, I can see the progress she's making even on her schoolwork.

I bought "What your First Grader Needs to Know" today as a guideline, and honestly I'm a bit concerned. The reading section, though short, suggests teaching words that aren't sight words as sight words. The math section is REALLY scary, asking me to teach far more concepts than I think any child could master in just one year (addition and subtraction, addition and subtraction of 3 numbers, addition and subtraction of 2-digit numbers, money, time, greater than and lesser than, graphs, and more).

Is this book a 'setup' for using spiralling curriculum? Are people using this book as an effective jumping off point for setting up learning, or should I just return it to the store?

I suppose I had expected a more ... balanced approach, with more info on what needs to be taught when WHY. Instead, it seems to be putting forth a lot of the same failing curriculum that I want my dd away from.
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Joined: 06 Oct 2005
Posts: 2122
Location: Missouri, US

PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sight reading sounds like a bad sign, but as far as the math goes, it largely depends on the child. What you listed is maybe a dozen or so base concepts / techniques, and even if you're only studying during the school year, that still gives you several weeks per concept. Far more than is needed for a child with aptitude in math. To give you a frame of reference, it takes less than a year to amble through Algebra I or II, and I did Calculus III as a summer school course, which required learning this many new concepts every day or two. If your child can't do it in a year, don't stress over it - there's plenty of time to get to high school math - but also don't assume that learning this many concepts is impossible.
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Joined: 05 Oct 2009
Posts: 20
Location: Ohio

PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You might get more out of Ruth Beechick's 3Rs booklets. I always recommend these for new homeschoolers.

In relation to the What your first grader needs to know book, you just have to take from it what you need and not worry about the rest. I tend to shy away from the books that tell you what you should be teaching your child each year.

I figure my children can go beyond those kinds of books if they choose or go a little slower if they need to. That's the beauty of homeschooling. I can tailor a curriculum and don't have to follow some standard that fits someone else's idea of what is best for my child.

There are so many great picture books for history and science that you can use with an early elementary child. Focus on those and you'll see your child excel way beyond the first grade book you have.
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