I have been asked if I would mind putting together a list of my favorite resources from 1st and second grade since I didn’t start to blog about my homeschooling journey until third grade.
I want to start this post off first by saying when I started this journey into Waldorf education I did not accumulate all these resources overnight, in fact it wasn’t until last year I even had a chalkboard and we still do not have Stockmar watercolors yet.
I see many moms new to Waldorf education thinking they “have ” to get all this “stuff” before they can begin educating their children with this method (this is fine for those that can afford to, but a HUGE guilt trip to those of us that can’t). This “dogma” actually has sort of became a pet peeve of mine.
(*Warning mini rant ahead*)The “stuff” came after the education and in my honest “opinion” I think it is better for someone to start Waldorf education using crayola products or a “plastic” recorder than to not get started at all. After all we are talking about a child’s spiritual development here, getting them to properly “incarnate” into their bodies. In fact it was in lecture 7 (I do believe) of Child’s Changing Consciousness where Steiner talks about fanatics and having to compromise.
Now don’t get me wrong I love all the natural products that come along with this method, I just love the education more 🙂 (*end of rant* whew).
Now with all that being said, when putting a school year together I make an outline of topics studied each year, learn “why” they are studied (I am still learning )and find resources that work best for my family.
We are a literature loving family so I use books to help put my school year together. Some of these resources might not work for your family but here is a list of my favorites for first grade. In order to be on this list it must pass the test of being read more than once before it can be added to our personal library.
First grade is all about fairy tales and learning the letters and numbers through these stories. Most of Grimm’s fairy tales can be found on-line for free. Science for this grade is stories about nature and lots of outside play and exploration (see my link to free first and second grade nature stories listed under my Waldorf links over on the side).
There are not a lot of readers needed because the child is learning to read their own work they are copying into their main lesson book. We also have made a lot of handmade readers together. For example maybe we would make a reader using a particular word family like (at). Miss Sky’s always started hers with “This is a cat”(even if we were not working on that word family). She was really into cats even though we have never owned one. Here is my post on how to make readers.
Here is a list of our favorite read alouds for first grade.
A Child’s Book Of Stories (or any other book that has all these tales)This book comes in the top five of most read book in our house. It really has all the stories you really need for Kindergarten, first grade and even includes the fables for grade two.
Miss Sky’s favorites Hansel and Gretel, Jack and the Beanstalk, Puss in Boots,Tom Thumb,Ugly Duckling (most read), Water Lily or The Gold Spinners, and The Princess on the Glass Hill.
Little Sis’s favorites Goldilocks or The Three Bears (by far most read story), The Gingerbread Man, Henny-Penny, and The Three Little Pigs.
The Happy Prince and Other Fairy Tales by Oscar Wilde (use your own judgment but the title and The Selfish Giant are our favorites).
Three Tales Of My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett This story has been pulled off the shelf and read just as much as Little House In The Big Woods (lets just say I hope our copy of Little House holds up).
The Tales of Tiptoes Lightly by Reg Down and all the rest in this series.
Brambly Hedge series by Jill Barklem If you are lucky to come across these do not hesitate to purchase. These books are also in top 5 most read stories in our home.
Romona series by Beverly Cleary (really anything by her )and if you have boys Henry Huggins though we are not gender specific.
My Very Own Fairy Stories by Johhny Gruelle and don’t forget about Raggedy Ann and Andy.
Giant Golden Book of Elves and Fairies by Jane Werner
The Wise Enchanter by Shelley Davidow
Last but not least The Complete Tales of Beatrix Potter This is Miss Sky’s second favorite author (her first will come with my second grade list). Don’t stop with Peter Rabbit , Miss Sky’s favorite story is The Tale of Samuel Whiskers and Little Sis’s favorite is The Tale of Jeremy Fisher.
(Updated) I can not believe I forgot to list the second most read book in our home. I know these stories by heart I have read them so much at bedtime. Ellen’s Lion by Crockett Johnson.
And don’t forget about Elsa Beskow , we are slowly collecting her books (in fact these are the books I give with each change of the season , this years winter solstices book will be Ollie’s Ski Trip).
Favorite resources for myself though I did not have these until the start of third grade but highly recommend them for first grade. So again purchase when able.
Coloring with Block Crayons DVD set by sieglinde de francesca
Living Music From The Heart This is how I learned to play the penny whistle and Miss Sky just took off with it. I owe it all to this program.
Form Drawing DVD set by Melisa Nielsen once you understand the “why” behind form drawing then it is easy to pick out your own forms to use.
For handwork and festivals I like the book All Year Round by Ann Druitt and others.
Well I hope this list helps anyone doing first grade and if I think of anything else I will update my list.