Our first math block was really fun. I used the numbers as a theme, rather than introducing them strictly as a mathematical concept. Knitting, baking, modeling, playing the pennywhistle, form drawing and listening to fairy tales among other activities helped us to explore the numbers one through twelve. I think these elemental lessons in grade one (like the letters) are easy to skip, but I believe they are helping to lay a proper foundation for teaching what school looks like in our home. Jude may not be learning anything new academically speaking, but he is learning about different forms of art and movement, life skills, my expectations, his limitations, my limitations and how we navigate all of this while living and learning together. Some days this is easier than others!
I cannot recommend Eric Fairman’s slim volume Path of Discovery: Grade One more highly. It is chock full of good ideas and truly imparts the essence of grade one. If you are on a budget, this single resource would be enough of a guide to homeschooling grade one with Waldorf inspired methods. Add in knitting, baking, afternoon storytime, lots of time outside and a strong daily rhythm, and your first grader will be well served.
- Christopherus Grade 1 Syllabus, Donna Simmons
- Path of Discovery: Grade One, Eric Fairman
- Grimm’s Fairy Tales
- Modeled numbers in beeswax.
- Painted a representation of “The Seven Ravens.”
- Started a math main lesson book dedicating one number per page.
- Played lots of number themed songs on the pennywhistle: “This Old Man”, “Ten in a Bed”, “Ten Little Apples (Indians)”, “99 Bottles of Pop (Beer).”
- Baked different shaped cakes: round (#1), square and rectangle (#4).
- Baked dozens of cookies (#12).
- Wrote numbers in a rice tray.
- Tossed beanbags while skip counting.
- Marched different number rhythms.
- Did form drawing with 5 pointed stars (#5) (photo above).