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How to Homeschool Your First Grader for Free

When I was a new homeschooling mom, I spent way too much money on two complete homeschool curricula for my sons, who were then in 2nd grade and Kindergarten.  It was not a good use of my money.  You can read about my experience (and how to homeschool your Kindergartener for free) here.

As I looked for alternatives to the curriculum that didn’t work for us, I was happy to discover that quality homeschooling was possible outside of an expensive boxed curriculum.  Not only could homeschooling be done inexpensively, but homeschooling for free was completely feasible.

As my children have grown, so have the free homeschooling resource available online.  No matter how often I look for free homeschooling goodies there are always more to be found.  In this post I will go over what a first grader should learn during the first grade year and list lots of free resources for each subject.

What Your First Grader Should Know

The first step to homeschooling your first grader for free is knowing what your child needs to learn in this stage of his or her education.  Below are the basic concepts that should be taught.  I will not include grade-level standards for history, science, health education, religious studies, foreign language or fine arts. In my own home, I am apt to teach these subjects in a more child-led, unschooling manner.  I often include all three children together when doing lessons in social studies, science, arts, etc, regardless of grade level.  My focus is making sure that my children are on target in the big three — reading, writing and arithmetic.

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Reading and Reading Comprehension

  • Review letter sounds (phonemes)  Your child should have learned these in Kindergarten, but review and reinforcement may be necessary.
  • Identify root words and common word endings
  • Know 1st grade Dolch sight words
  • Read and use contractions
  • Identify and use punctuation (period, question mark, exclamation point)
  • Understand plurals (irregular plurals might come later for some)
  • Be able to answer the “five Ws” about material they’ve just read (who, what, when, where, why)
  • Use context clues to understand new words or phrases
  • Learn literary terms like plot, setting, characters, etc
  • Understand and use a book’s table of contents


  • Print all upper- and lower-case letters
  • Identify nouns, verbs and adjectives
  • Spell first grade level sight words
  • Write 3- and 4-letter words from phonics skills
  • Identify synonyms, antonyms and homonyms


  • Recognize and write numbers to 100
  • Count by 2s, 5s, and 10s
  • Identify ordinal numbers first through twelfth
  • Compare numbers through 100 using greater than, lesser than and equal to
  • Learn place value for 1s, 10s and 100s
  • Learn halves, thirds and fourths
  • Understand simply picture and bar graphs
  • Perform addition and subtraction with two numbers without regrouping or borrowing
  • Understand that numbers can be added in any order (commutative property)
  • Solve simple word problems
  • Identify all coins (pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters)
  • Identify days, weeks and month (using a calendar)
  • Tell time to the hour and half hour
  • Be able to use common measuring instruments (scale, ruler, thermometer, etc)
  • Compare objects by measurements (weight, length, etc)
  • Draw common two-dimensional shapes

Sources:  Home Learning Year By Year,  What Your Kindergartener Needs to Know,  Core Standards.Org,, Reading Rockets. Org

How to Homeschool Your First Grader for Free

Fortunately for us homeschoolers, we live in the digital age.  This means greater access to educational tools, both free and paid.  Below I will list the free homeschooling resources for each of the three knowledge categories I listed above.  (This is the part you’ve been waiting for!)

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Other Subjects

As you probably noticed while clicking around the websites I listed, many of the websites have a variety of subjects to offer.  Although I only focused on the specific subject listed, you should certainly take advantage of the science, social studies, art and other subjects to homeschool your kindergartener for free.  (It is my plan to eventually update these listings with other subjects.)

Other Resources

If you’re like me and enjoy the organization aspect of teaching your children, you’ll like this list of free homeschool planning printables I grouped here.

Check out this Free 1st Grade Homeschool Plan from

 My homeschooling board on Pinterest is full of great homeschooling ideas, many of which are frugal or free!  Go check it out and don’t forget to follow!
Follow Our Small Hours ‘s board Homeschooling on Pinterest.

If you find that you have a little cash to spend on homeschooling your 1st grader, I highly recommend these resources that can be bought on Amazon for less than in bookstores.  (Especially if you sign up for Prime!)

What your First Grader Needs to Know

Spectrum Math — Grade 1 

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Spectrum Writing — Grade 1

Bob Books 1st Grade Sight Words

Homeschooling your first grader doesn’t have to break the bank.  It’s so easy to homeschool your firs grader for free.  The internet puts so many free resources right at your fingertips. Combined with your public library and a local homeschooling co-op, you’ve got everything you need to be a frugal homeschooler while giving your children a quality education.Homeschool for Free

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