Summer Education, First Grade

This is the educational plan for my daughter this summer. She has just graduated first grade. The core subjects are math, writing and literature.


The Singapore Math series is sensible, colorful and fun.


Open-ended writing is not as useful as writing on particular subjects. Narrower topics are better than open-ended ones. One good use of writing would be for the student to write about concepts that she is learning, getting practice at organizing her thoughts and putting her knowledge about the concepts into her own words. She can learn about organizing her presentation by using a process of, first, making a "laundry list" of items relevant to the topic; second, organizing the list according to some plan (e.g. importance, chronology, cause-and-effect etc.) and grouping similar items together; third, constructing an opening sentence; fourth, writing the body of the paragraph based on the list; and fifth (if needed), writing a closing sentence. An example of a topic presenting simple material to organize is "What did you see on the way to school?" (Chronology is an obvious organizing principle.) A possibly-useful book is English for the Thoughtful Child. This has good qualities but is also prone to be too open-ended.


Reading analytically will be different from reading for entertainment. The student can read a chapter or two and then talk with an adult about what she has read. Partly this is to verify comprehension, but more it is to help draw out connections, motivations and the like that she might not have noticed. Help her learn to make connections. Book lists: StrongBrains, StrongBrains and Chinaberry.


The student can take words from what she has read, look them up in a dictionary to find their meaning and then practice using them in sentences.