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What first grade curriculum are you going to use? Assembling all the best curriculum that fits your family and your learner can be a daunting task. There are so many different curriculums to choose from. First you have to decide which subjects you need to teach. 

What Subjects to Teach in First Grade

You’ll want to consult your state website to see which, if any, subjects are required for first grade. Personally we chose to teach these:

  • Language Arts
  • Handwriting
  • Literature
  • Math
  • History
  • Science

Don’t forget the enrichment subjects!

  • Art
  • Music
  • Crafts
  • PE

These are the subjects we personally choose to teach in first grade. You might choose less or more subjects or enrichment activities to include in  your first grade homeschool day.

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First Grade Curriculum

Once we knew which subjects we wanted to cover this year, it helped us narrow down our curriculum choices. We are secular homeschoolers, so we only use secular homeschool curriculum.

Language Arts & Handwriting

We have 1 curriculum for both language arts and handwriting, and we absolutely LOVE IT!

We started Logic of English Foundations last year when Dominic was in Kindergarten. In Kindergarten, he completed Foundations A & B. In First Grade he will be completing Foundations C & D.

Foundations Covers - links to Logic of English website

There are so many reasons why we LOVE this program.

  1. It’s FUN & Active!
  2. It Covers
    1. Phonics
    2. Reading
    3. Handwriting
    4. Spelling
  3. It WORKS!

Just to be honest, I had NO IDEA how to teach my kids to read. I didn’t know how to approach it or help them understand to get from knowing letters or sounds to reading words & sentences. Logic of English Foundations has taken all the guesswork out for me. Plus it’s open & go for me. I don’t have to do any prep work! It is a staple curriculum that I will be using for ALL of my kids.

Read my full Review of Logic of English Foundations

Literature, History, Art, & Mythology

We use one curriculum to cover literature, history, art, and mythology. For our first grade curriculum we have chosen Torchlight Level 1. This is a beautiful secular, literature based curriculum. I adore the philosophy behind it and the thoughtful way that the author has chosen books that represent diversity.

All of the literature books are scheduled in the first grade curriculum and have lit primers to help guide discussions. Some are related to the history that we’re studying, some are just quality books to read with this age group.

We are using both Curiosity Chronicles: Ancient History and History Quest Early Times. They are both new secular history curriculum! We are really enjoying them. They compliment each other because they cover everything in different ways, each with its own emphasis. Using both makes our study of history more well rounded.

First Grade history & mythology books

We’re also using the Usborne Encyclopedia of World History. These books compliment each other really well and I definitely recommend adding the encyclopedia to round out your studies and reinforce what they’re learning.

For Art, Torchlight has scheduled Clay Lab for Kids throughout the year. I wasn’t so sure about this at first, but we are loving it and I really prefer it to a bunch of crafts. I really like that we’re focussing on this one medium this year. And I think some of these creations are going to make excellent presents for grandparents!

In first grade we will also be studying mythology of the various ancient cultures that we’ll be learning about this year. Our main spine for this is World Myths & Legends. This book includes some myths along with projects that connect to them. We’ll also be adding more specific books that cover mythology from each of the ancient civilization we’ll be studying.


Ah math, my least favorite subject. I just have never loved math or found it interesting. I do like the math curriculum we have chosen though! We are using Singapore Primary Mathematics 1A & 1B. It works well for us.


Science is one of the trickiest subjects for secular homeschoolers. So many curriculums are sneaky and claim to be secular when they aren’t. But we have found a GREAT secular science curriculum: Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding K-2. This is one curriculum that does take planning. It can be confusing to figure out how to use it, which is why I highly suggest you also get Early Elementary Science Education which takes the first book & breaks it down into a schedule with lesson plans!

It’s a very affordable, thorough curriculum that approaches science in an interdisciplinary way, layering the lessons so that they each build on each other to help get a fully informed picture of science.


I am not musically inclined. I don’t play any instruments and don’t really know how to teach kids music. So I decided it was time to outsource this! We have joined Prodigies Music & do music lessons 3+ times a week all together. It’s fun & seems to be a great, thorough curriculum.


We keep PE simple by doing Cosmic Kids Yoga, playing outside, going on hikes, and taking trips to the park.

Secular First Grade Homeschool

Those are our first grade curriculum choices for the year! We are LOVING all of our curriculum choices & are so excited to dig in deeper in all of these subjects.

What curriculum are you using for first grade?

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