What We Are Using This Year

This is for the 3rd Annual Not Back-to-School Blog Hop, over at Heart of the Matter. This is a great project to see what other home schooling parents are using and get ideas for next year.

Our plans this year are to follow Catholic Heritage Curricula {CHC} 1st grade lesson plans pretty much as written, with a few tweaks and add-ins. I really like the CHC lesson plans – they are so gentle but yet cover everything needed without me having to sit and plan out everything on my own. If I had to create my own lesson plans – it would NEVER get done! We’re adding in Seton History 1, since CHC doesn’t cover history in the early grades, and doubling up on religion using Our Lady of the Rosary’s 1st grade plans for that. We also are using Pathways readers and the workbooks, as well as Seton’s 1st grade Faith and Freedom readers just for extra reading practice.Β  Both Pathways and Seton’s reader have wonderful stories that are age-appropriate for my daughter yet still challenge her with her advanced reading level.

So far, our list of books is as follows {Links go to Amazon when possible, if you buy through them it does give me a little to use for materials. But be all means buy where it’s cheapest for YOU!}:

Lesson Plans:

  • CHC 1st Grade 2011 edition
  • Our Lady of the Rosary School Lesson Plans {Religion Only} – part only.

Phonics and Reading:

Spelling and Grammar:

  • My Very First Catholic Speller

Penmanship and Phonics:

  • Catholic Heritage Handwriting 1
  • Workbooks for Pathways Readers linked above

Science and Health:




Girl Scouts:

  • Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouts, level Daisy
  • Daisy Level Journey Book – Not sure which one yet. Most likely the new one about animals.
  • Bridge to Brownie Girl Scouts – we will work on this during the start of next summer.

Little Flowers Girls Club:

Wow on paper it looks like a lot – but we don’t do everything every day so it’s not really that much. We only do Little Flowers twice a month, and Girl Scouts one day a week, so that helps. History is also once a week, which helps as well. We run on a 4 day academic week, with school on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Wednesday is our easy day, we do our weekly items and religion only then.

We have been so blessed this year to manage to cover everything without a lot out of pocket by using swagbucks and irazoo to earn gift cards. I earned nearly $300 in gift cards over the last year, all of which went towards home school materials for us. We are working now on purchasing our materials for next year for 2nd grade and have most of those already thanks to earning these gift cards. It’s a huge help to me as a single mom and would be a great help to any home school family.


  1. Many blessings on your upcoming year! It’s wonderful that you earned so much in gift cards to cover your costs πŸ™‚

  2. Thanks for entering in the ^not back to school bloghop! This is an exciting time of the year! My post is at http://motherofaction.blogspot.com Thanks!

  3. 3
    Amy Says:

    I hope this is a great year for you. I enjoyed reading your post.

  4. 4
    Lisa Says:

    Good Luck on this new year!!

  5. 5
    Jenni Says:

    Looks like a great year you’ve got planned. Just visiting from the hop. Many blessings to you on your homeschool year!

  6. 6
    MissMOE Says:

    Looks like a wonderful year. Enjoy your little one–these early years go by quickly.

  7. 7
    Tristan Says:

    I have a first grader this year too! (Along with a 5th, K, PreK4, PreK3, Baby, and baby on the way…LOL). I love first grade, they’re starting to really love the “school” books and activities. Have a great year!

  8. 8
    jeana Says:

    We’re doing first grade this year too. It looks like your year will be wonderful!

  9. 9

    Looks busy! πŸ™‚

    About the Girl Scout Journeys–you asked if we do them as Juliettes–and we are finishing up with one right now.

    They don’t lend themselves to Juliettes very well, and I felt like it was dishonest to “tweak” them to better fit out needs, so I asked at our Council Shop about how I could make it work and she said, “We’re the Girl Scouts, not the police! Make it work for you, we’re not that strict.”

    So we omitted activities that weren’t necessary or interesting and did what we could do. I kind of detest the Journeys and I wish they weren’t placing so much emphasis on them with the new shake-up, but I like Girl Scouts so we’ll put up with it.

    • 10

      We’re in the same boat – I really am not liking what I have seen of the new program, especially for brownies. They are going from 30+ patches, not counting council’s own patches, to less than 20, and the new requirements just feel lowered to me, with the exception of nearly every patch requiring a take action project. I detest those projects – they really only work if you are in a troop setting and have enough girls to support them. We plan on double patching for brownies, using both old and new programs. I didn’t know until I asked at my council office, but you can complete ANY discontinued patch as long as it is designed for the AGE your scout is currently. I’ve been buying 1 each of all the discontinued patches so that we can complete them, since I plan to tie them into our schooling next year. Basically we’re only doing scouts for the opportunity to sell cookies really and the occasional workshop.

      Glad to hear I’m not the only one cutting out parts of the journey activities – some things just don’t work with a troop of one.

  10. great reading a fellow Catholic’s Plans! We are enrolled in Seton for kindergarten this year but using First grade Math. I will be posting my Plans this evening. Oh and I added you to my Blog Follower hope that is okay! πŸ™‚


  11. 12
    Catie Says:

    I just stumbled upon your blog from Heart of the Matter’s Not Back to School Blog Hop. We are Catholic Homeschoolers, too! I am looking forward to your thoughts on CHC. I think I will use some of their curriculum when my guy hits first grade.

    • 13

      Hi Catie,

      We LOVE CHC. I’ve only made minor tweaks here and there, and really I could have just as easily used the program as is without changing a thing. I used them last year for K, and loved most of their materials then as well. They are so gentle but yet cover everything needed.

  12. 14
    sharla Says:

    It’s great that you were able to cover so many of your costs with Swagbucks and irazoo! Thanks for sharing your curriculum choices. Hope you have a great year!

  13. 15
    Dusty Says:

    Stopping by from the blog hop! We love the Pathway readers around here as well! I have been using my swagbucks to acquire some of our materials too this year. I hope to earn more next year to cut out of pocket costs!

  14. 16
    Diana M. Says:

    I enjoyed visiting your blog. Now I need to go make a planning entry on my blog!

  15. 17
    IAHomeSchoolMom Says:

    Congrats on starting another year of HSing! Your choices sound great!!! Stopping by from the Not back to school blog hop πŸ™‚

  16. Sounds like a great plan!

  17. Looks like a GREAT Line UP!!! Your children are blessed….

  18. 20
    AnnG Says:

    Sounds like you have a great year planned out! Have fun!

  19. Don’t you just love the planning part and seeing all of the neat things we get to do with our children? I love homeschooling!

    Thanks for stopping by our website! So nice to meet you!


    Mrs Mary Joy Pershing

  20. 22
    Theresa Says:

    Sounds like a great year!

    I never heard of the Little Flowers Girls Club, but i checked the link…I love the idea…hmmm….I am finding so many things on this Blog Hop!

  21. Sounds like a great year lined up for your kiddos! We get a ton of our supplies and books using Swagbucks – it really helps a lot! Stoppingby from the hop!

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