Complete didn’t mean having it all
While I like using a complete homeschool curriculum, I don’t always find exactly what we need and have to supplement. So, I was happy for the opportunity to review the First Grade Complete Homeschool Curriculum from Homeschool Complete.
Would there be learning gaps?
Because it is a continuation of the Kindergarten Complete Curriculum, I was concerned that there could possibly be some learning gaps in the concepts presented and what my first grader was comfortable with doing.
The Daily Lesson Plans were easy to follow. As a result, we were able to get through three weeks of lessons even with our off week for planning.
First Grade Curriculum Contents
I liked that Homeschool Complete includes a School Year Overview. However, it begins in September. Our homeschool is year-round and currently begins in February with most of Costa Rica (so we can take advantage of the back-to-school supplies and offers). But, I think it is excellently scheduled for those who homeschool from
The Skills List that follows was great for me to compare with my daughter’s Scope and Sequence for the year. I was able to go through the list, check off what my daughter was, or was not proficient, and determine where in the curriculum she could begin.
Once I looked at the amazing and fun unit literature, I decided to start at the very beginning.
Everyone in the house enjoyed the CAlendar Skills and Daily Routine section of the First Grade Complete Curriculum. We only adjusted one item.
Our family felt more comfortable reciting the Apostle’s Creed (since we have to know it in English and Spanish) over the Pledge to the Christian Flag and Pledge to the Bible. And, since my children have dual citizenship, we included the Costa Rican Pledge to the Flag with the United States Pledge of Allegiance.
Other than that, we stuck with the Daily Routine schedule.
Locating the materials
The first unit, Family, included some fun literature. Living abroad, I was not certain if I would be able to find the books in time to fully appreciate the lesson plans.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that some books were available with our Kindle FreeTime Unlimited subscription, and many others were available as read-alouds on Youtube. We were completely prepared for Unit 1.
What we enjoyed
Each lesson began with the skills that would be covered, the materials needed for the lesson, and the Daily Routine/Calendar Skills. We enjoyed the slight changes and additions with each new lesson, yet appreciated the repetition (songs, pledges, etc.) for memorization.
One of our favorite parts was sitting at the recliner to read the unit chapter books. My girls (yes, my oldest sometimes paused her work to listen) were engaged from start to finish. They were even making predictions during the reading.
And while my youngest is not fond of journaling, she was ok with the option to draw her thoughts. She wasn’t as anxious to write a few words about the picture.
After the Daily Routine (which concluded with the daily journal writing), we moved on to the Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, Special Ares (art, music, physical education), and Bible sections. However, I noticed they were never in the same order as the lesson before and Homeschool Complete occasionally incorporated two subjects into one section.
Did we – as usual – supplement?
There were a couple of instances where we had to modify the lesson “on the fly”. We were in the middle of travel and I didn’t pack blank sheets of paper. I did pack the whiteboard. So, instead of creating a timeline using paper, my first grader and I created her timeline of significant events on the whiteboard.
There was also a slight issue with learning and repeating the home address. There are no “real” addresses in Costa Rica. Most addresses translate to something like “the second house 300 meters south of the cemetery”.
Thankfully, we live in a community that we were privileged enough to name.
It still gets a little rough for a FedEx driver sometimes.
Our homeschool’s conclusion
There are also Complete Unit Studies for grades K-6. My oldest expressed interest in taking a look at the one on Soccer.
In fact, she is trying to convince me to switch to the first semester of her grade level during the next break/planning week.
(I think it was the Chapter Book Readings.)