Homeschooling First Grade: Our Goals + Helpful Resources

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Growing in His Glory: Homeschooling First Grade: Our Goals + Planning Resources

Back in March as we were finishing up our Kindergarten work, I created a handy printable to help me plan for the upcoming First Grade year. As I researched and planned for homeschooling first grade, I realized very quickly we were going to be adding more subjects and broadening our focus. However, I also needed to remember that our primary aim is preparing our children for eternity, not college.

Because I’m a planner by nature, I wanted to set goals for certain areas in which I want my daughter to progress.

Instead of a subject-by-subject emphasis, I focused on the following categories, which also include spiritual growth as well as special skills we want our children to grow in:

  • Spiritual Maturity/Character
  • Bible Knowledge & Memorization
  • Academic
  • Physical Fitness/Health
  • Life Skills
  • Special Skills/Handicrafts

As we’re now well into our 5th week back at school {see our 1st Grade & preschool/PreK curriculum}, I thought it was high-time I shared with you our goals for 1st Grade.

1st Grade Goals

Spiritual Maturity/Character

  • Work on proper ways to handle anger
  • Work on showing respect to others
  • Work on exhibiting self-control (tongue, actions, emotions)
  • Begin learning how to actively participating in worship at church
  • Participate in a service project at least 1x/month

Bible Knowledge & Memorization

  • Memorize Bible verses (We use the verses in our curriculum, Bible Road Trip (see sidebar).)
  • Daily Bible reading
  • Read through the Psalms together at night
  • Begin to learn Books of the Bible & how the Bible is organized


  • Begin learning how to work independently
  • Daily read-aloud time (Kate to me, me to her)
  • Daily handwriting practice & copy work
  • Daily grammar & spelling practice
  • Introduce how to write a book report & poetry
  • Learn how to use a dictionary
  • Memorize & recite short poems
  • Learn to tell time, use money, basic addition & subtraction
  • Learn about Ancient History: culture, customs, geography, literature
  • Nurture a love for nature study & exploration
  • Become familiar with great artists & their works & experiment with different art techniques
  • Listen to music by famous composers & introduce 4 families of instruments in orchestra

Physical Fitness/Health

  • Understand importance of good nutrition, adequate sleep, cleanliness, regular exercise, & tooth care
  • Be able to run 1 mile
  • Learn how to swim

Life Skills

  • Learn basic kitchen skills like how to make sandwiches, cut up vegetables, & cook eggs
  • Be able to do chores like sweeping & mopping floors, cleaning the bathroom, dusting, laundry, & washing dishes
  • Learn manners, social graces, & how a young girl should present herself

Special Skills/Handicrafts

  • Learn basic sewing skills: threading and knotting a needle, stitches, sewing on a button

Goal-Setting Sources

If you’re looking for a place to start in creating your own goals for your child, I highly recommend the Core Knowledge Series by E.D. Hirsch, Jr. In compiling our goals for First Grade, I used What Your First Grader Needs to Know: Fundamentals of a Good First-Grade Education. It’s a good jumping-off place with lots of references for further research.

Another good source is Harvey & Laurie Bluedorn’s Homeschool Basics: Christian Homeschooling in a Classical Style. The list of “Ten Things to Do Before Age 10” suggests not starting formal academics until a child is 10 years old. However, the Bluedorns recommend laying a firm foundation in the early years so that later the child will be academically successful. Their recommendations revolve around: Reading & Writing; Oral Narration; Memorization; Hearing & Listening; Family Worship; Arts & Crafts; Field Trips; Work & Service; Discipline; and Play & Exploration.

I bought the Kindle version for only $0.99 and HIGHLY recommended this very short read.

Another source I would recommend is Rebecca Rupp’s Home Learning Year by Year: How to Design a Homeschool Curriculum from Preschool through High School. This book is great because, unlike the Core Knowledge Series that only apply to one grade, Rupp’s book sets out a full curriculum of subjects for all grades. Both books set forth the academic subjects with specific, grade-appropriate skills to be learned in each. Rupp includes helpful resources and recommendations too, including books, websites, and software.

Now, start brainstorming your own goals!

If you’re preparing for your new school year or if you just want to set some goals for your children, here’s a printable goal planning form to help you on your way.

Printable Goals Chart for Your School Year

As you plan for your upcoming school year, remember to pray first and commit everything to the Lord.

“Many are the plans in a man’s heart,

but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”

Proverbs 19:21

What are your favorite resources for planning & setting goals for a new homeschool year? Any must-have references??

May God bless you as you prayerfully plan and prepare for your upcoming school year!


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  1. Great post! I like the idea of the spiritual maturity/character growth! This gives more focus to your studies. And your printable is very helpful too! Have a wonderful week and hope the pregnancy is treating you well 🙂
    JES recently posted…The Art of Home-Making Mondays ~ Please Join Us for Link-Up #7My Profile

  2. Thanks, JES. You’re right! When I originally created a list of goals for our year, they were purely academic and the Holy Spirit quickly prompted me to make some changes. Our homeschool is Christ-centered first, then academic-focused. That means learning honesty and self-control is more important than learning 2+2=4. It’s hard to remember that though when you’re coming from a public school background where there were no spiritual pursuits in school, but that is where we want our children to be growing first and foremost. Then, the academics will follow suit.
    Keri recently posted…Homeschooling First Grade: Our Goals + Helpful ResourcesMy Profile

    • I couldn’t agree more! I don’t want to put education on a pedestal, God comes first in our school as well! He is the highest source of information our children will ever have… Thank you for linking this up with us. Please join us again next week Keri 🙂
      JES recently posted…5 Interesting Canning Tips and TricksMy Profile

  3. This is great! I love your approach to homeschooling. And I also love your willingness to share all your behind the scenes info. I’m pinning this to use as a resource
    alyssaz recently posted…Perfected Release Day Book BlitzMy Profile

    • Thanks, Alyssa! If I can share anything that is helpful to readers, then I’ve accomplished something! Thanks for pinning!

  4. This is a great plan!!! I think I’ll use it as mine as well! We have 1st and 2nd graders this year. They are getting excited to start their new books! Much more than I am, but I’ll get there! 🙂 Pinned this for the very near future. Thank you!
    Kaylene Yoder (@FaithfulFeat) recently posted…40 Prayers for my Husband: His ExampleMy Profile


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