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Firelight Academy 2011-2012 Curriculum

August 9, 2011

I can’t believe school is starting on Monday! We have had a fun and busy summer, but I’m ready to get back into the swing of things. I’ve been planning up a little storm and I got my official “legal” letter today so we are ready to start first grade.

I thought you might like a little peek into our homeschool.

Without further ado . . .

Daily work:

  • Calendar–obvious 🙂
  • Memory Work–still figuring out the details here, but likely Bible verses, poetry, math facts and basic information like address, phone numbers, etc.
  • Poetry–we will be reading a poem a day from Ambleside’s Year One Poetry guide.
  • Bible–we’ll alternate OT, NT, Psalms, Proverbs, and Church History.  For OT we will be listening to the Jesus Storybook Bible on CD and for NT we will continue along with the Vos Child’s Story Bible.
  • I’m still working out the details on the Psalms and Proverbs, but we will be using Trial and Triumph: Stories from Church History for history.
  • Math–we will use Singapore 1A/1B and various math games and living math resources. We really enjoy card games, Monopoly and other number based games.
  • Phonics/Spelling–We are trying out All About Spelling Level One this year. I keep hearing great things. Alphaphonics did the job for us last year and Pickle is actually reading very well, but he isn’t up to spelling much yet. I’m hoping this program will give him the firm foundation that will help him have the confidence he needs to spell and write.
  • Copywork-We really enjoyed Handwriting without Tears last year. This year I am planning to do sentences from our Aesop’s reading to build his confidence in addition to incidental writing as part of other activities. I got the sentences from an Ambleside yahoo group and created worksheets with Worksheet Works. 


  • Logic–I found a great little book at Kmart– Mead 1st Grade Problem Solving Workbook –that is full of a variety of logic problems for first graders. I’m planning to use two pages of this a week.
  • Art–we are taking a Monart-based art class at a local homeschool store. I’m very excited about this. I hope he will be, too. I think it is more right-brained so it should fit with him + it is a professional teacher. This class is right in the middle of my Monday morning which isn’t optimal, but I’m planning to listen to our Jesus Storybook Bible and Aesop’s Fables en route.
  • Aesop’s Fables-We will be following Ambleside’s guide for Aesop’s Fables for Children from the Milo Winter version. The copy I got also includes a Read-Along CD for about 100 of the favorite fables. We will begin our true narration practice with these fables. We will write these down for one of the two tales each week.
  • Read Aloud–we will be reading aloud or listening on CD to various books from the Ambleside Year One list, which includes King of the Golden River by John Ruskin, Peter Pan by James M. Barrie, Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi, Red Fairy Book by Andrew Lang, St. George and the Dragon by Margaret Hodges, The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams, Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Pocahontas by Ingri D’Aulaire.


  • Geography–I’m going out on a limb here and creating my own curriculum for geography this year. I’ll be sharing as we go along, but the general idea is that we will spend about 6 weeks on each continent and read folk tales from the major countries/ ethnicities of the people who live there. First up is North American so we will be reading Native American tales, Tall Tales, Caribbean and Mexican folktales.
  • Parables from Nature–we will follow the Ambleside schedule for this book.
  • Science–I’m very excited about our science curriculum this year. It is called Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding: A Science Curriculum for K-2 by Dr. Bernard Nebel.  It’s kind of a challenge to explain, but the basic idea is that over the next two years we will learn about foundational concepts in four main branches of science through hands-on projects and inquiry.  We are going to take our time with it and stretch out each lesson for two weeks.
  • Hymn–following Ambleside’s rotation
  • Spanish–We are beginning our foreign language study with Spanish this year. One resource we will use is Salsa, a television show from Georgia PBS. It’s kind of like a Spanish-language Sesame Street that takes on familiar fairy tales.




  • Logic–more from the same workbook as above
  • Nature Study-Following Ambleside’s rotation as well as monthly Nature Study club.  Lots of hikes and backyard exploration.
  • Read Aloud–more reading!
  • Artist Study–Following Ambleside’s rotation. I’m making a DVD with each term’s works and will play it on our TV during “down times.”

Whew! Wish us luck!


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