Any advice for someone about to start Memoria Press First Grade?
I love Memoria Press Classical Core Curriculum, I truly do. I’m impressed with everything they’ve put together and their Enrichment is my favorite part of how it all meshes together. We have spent the last year working our way through Memoria Press First Grade from their Classical Core Curriculum. It’s shocking, because I feel like I was just finishing up my reviews from our year in Kindergarten. We started with Junior Kindergarten, then Kindergarten, and then First Grade, and I’ve already started plotting my fall with Memoria Press Classical Core Curriculum Second Grade. We are that impressed that I just keep coming back for more and recommending it to anyone who asks. Truly, I could go on for hours.
It is based on years of research, that Memoria Press is able to offer classical curriculum for homeschool families. After the second grade year, they have a split accelerated or core curriculum path depending on the appropriate route for your students. By following the daily lesson plans written for a five-day week your students will have a full-year of open and go material to provide an awesome foundation to the primary grades. While our background has Memoria Press from the beginning, their First Grade is a great place to come in. It is the year to come in after a foundation is set with phonics and jump right in with Level 1 early readers and other classic vintage picture books full of interesting and character driven text to build a love of good books. My daughter was introduced to the idea of the Little House series by Christmas themed early readers and a Christmas treasury, it has opened the door for interest in our next year when she will actually read Little House in the Big Woods herself.
We continued to grow a knowledge of love of art appreciation with the Memoria Press First Grade Art Cards. My daughter has been introduced and fallen in love with the craft of cursive penmanship through New American Cursive. We’ve continued to practice her manuscript with a continuity of memory work, Bible-based reading and copywork in Copybook II. We’re also in the process of finishing out our year with the second half of Rod & Staff Beginning Arithmetic 1 in learning Addition and Subtraction Facts as well as the basics of Fractions and Counting Coins.
This year in Enrichment we’ve traveled the world stopping a while in places like Ireland and Russia. We’ve explored, read, and re-read picture books that entertained my parents or even grandparents as youth. We’ve had in depth discussions on author and illustrator biographies. We’ve gone beyond just the name of famous art pieces and discussed the author behind the work and decided what they might have been thinking or the era they’ve lived to create such masterful pieces. My daughter has listed to classical pieces of musical and has integrated the desire to discuss the emotions that are evoked by other music we come across in our daily lives. We’ve spent time in social studies; sciences of earth, life, biology, anatomy, and more. The pegs planted in my child’s mind have already given her a desire and a passion to learn so much more.
At the beginning of our curriculum year my daughter could stumble along and read, sounding out things as she went along. Now she’s enthusiastic and passionate about reading! She appreciates water-color and classical illustrations and compares her school books to the current publications that grace our shelves (I’m a book reviewer for new releases as well).
My daughter says, “It was a very very good year and I liked reading the classic books in first grade. Cursive was great and I enjoyed writing my name in cursive. More and more I’m writing other things in cursive. I liked reading books in first grade and now I’m reading chapter books. I love books. The math was really really great. The math was very easy and I should be able to finish it soon. The Art Cards were very very very great; they are interesting and someday I would like to paint a picture like that. The classical music is very very very nice. The classical music sounds good and it almost makes me fall asleep; I find it relaxing. This year I read and learned The Star Spangled Banner (illustrated by Peter Spier) and the Wee Sing America CD is fun to listen to and sing aloud with.”
This year we continued along with the lesson plan prompts with Classical Phonics, but we did not use Spelling Workout – we opted to use Barefoot Ragamuffin’s new Reading Lessons Through Literature Level 1 for spelling material and she has sored in skills and desire to spelling. She even wants to participate in a spelling bee next year. Oy vey! We are also personally continuing along with Christian Liberty Press’ Adventures in Phonics series instead of Core Skills Phonics workbooks as we switched while Memoria Press was currently seeking out the best replacement for their former usage of SRA Phonics. I’m happy with our choices, but Memoria Press’ replacements for these curricula appear to be sound as well for options.
Memoria Press is a company that I’m crazy about. It is true that I get some of their products for review, but I buy them as well, and then buy them again in the consumables for my next child and I will for the third child as well. Memoria Press is a company that I trust and I’m truly passionate about their direction that they are taking us in. We are getting a smidgen of American history appropriate in a unit-study per week type format within the Enrichment Guide and we are learning so much. My daughter is truly developing a love of learning and I think it is very much invested in our usage of Memoria Press curriculum. Both in their own published materials, but also in their development of lesson plans and a Classical Core Curriculum for one year. Truly it is open and go and all you need for one year.
Advice? Oh wait, was that the question…
Coming in, I’d be sure my kiddo had a handle on manuscript and just needed to continue it to gain more confidence. If my child wasn’t quite phonetically reading, I might keep on that a bit more before jumping into the readers with StoryTime Treasures, and actually with a newer release of the lesson plans they have added in more time with Classical Phonics and the EPS Primary Phonics beginning readers (we started before that re-write in 2015). Once you’re child is ready for Little Bear they are ready to proceed and soon soar! Rod & Staff Math is amazing and I love the way little bits of scripture are woven in, especially in some examples and word problems. It has to be a part that I was a little unsure of but thanks to the recommendation from Memoria Press I’m in love with it and delighted to go on to continue in Working Arithmetic 2.
With my passion for reviewing curriculum and with a constant curiosity I have looked at lot of curricula for the primary grades, especially those focusing on a Classical Christian methodology and Memoria Press is a treasure. I wouldn’t mind a bit more American history, but there is a foundation and it is definitely a spring board worth jumping to and from and they appear to have added some readers in the 3rd and 4th grade years that will enhance that for students as well as keeping a focus on the classics. I’m delighted with where we’ve been and I’m delighted with where we’re going.
You can do the entire curriculum, just the literature, or even just the enrichment or parts of it. Either way, Memoria Press has a great group of items here that are fabulous for educating our children. I’m delighted to have discovered this company and definitely plan to keep coming back for more. From the primary grades and more, Memoria Press is one of my favorite curriculum providers. I love the amound of hand holding their lesson plans grant and it is truly a joy to teach.