Homeschooling: 1st Grade Language Arts – Block I

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Our first language arts block is complete and with it, the majority of the letters of the alphabet learned. In our curriculum, a connecting tale of a Prince on a long journey with the Wise Woman is used to introduce the letters, each one associated with a different character or significant place in the story (“K” is the King, “V” for a great Valley and the Village within); within the tale are some of the Grimm’s fairy tales (Golden Goose, Six Swans), stories told during the journey to the Prince to teach him the values necessary to be a good King. The vowels are presented as the feelings evoked by the tale and the associated sounds (“E” -“eeee” – for fear, “A” – “ah” – for satisfaction). Uppercase letters are introduced first, lowercase later. Letters are also taught out of order of the traditional alphabet song, the idea being that the alphabetical order is easily taught later and separately from learning to write, that the story will resonate more with the child than a memorized order.

A new set of letters was introduced into the story each week of the 4-week block and I drew each character or place symbolized before outlining the associated letter, which we then discussed before Aria copied the drawing into her main lesson book. To reinforce the letters and sounds we remembered words for each letter found in the story and I read alliterative verses; she also practiced writing each letter several times on a line. Vowels were given special distinction in Aria’s main lesson book by drawing the letter onto a golden star and gluing it into the book. As with our previous block, we practiced recall, with Aria telling more of that week’s tale each day.

Aria already knew her letters going into this block but did not always write them correctly. After this block her writing has improved quite a bit, her letters much easier to read and more correctly formed. Additionally, she has made great strides in her reading the last few weeks, something she is pursuing on her own but which seems to have been influenced by her lessons. I’m interested to see how she continues to improve when we return to language arts, after a couple blocks studying other topics; then, we’ll have a handful of letters left to introduce before beginning to write words and lowercase letters. Stay tuned…

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2 thoughts on “Homeschooling: 1st Grade Language Arts – Block I

  1. We used Christopherus for grade 1 too and LOVED it. This block was so much fun!!

    Your chalkboard drawings are beautiful – especially the fawn and the bear.

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