First Grade

First graders are so exciting to teach.  They have such a natural joy about learning new things and exploring the world around them.  Their intellectual growth during kindergarten allows them to devour learning opportunities that were out of their reach the previous year.  In effort to capitalize on their new found freedom to learn, our curriculum is designed to challenge them in many ways.  During the course of the school year students will strengthen their understanding of basic math facts and phonics.  While students were exposed to science and social studies in kindergarten, the expectation in these subjects is slightly increased for first grade.  

Standardized Testing

All elementary students complete standardized testing each spring.  We currently utilize the Terra Nova 3 test published by McGraw Hill.  More detailed information can be found here.


  • Bible (ACSI) - This Bible series focuses on the foundational teachings from the Bible about the nature and character of God, the qualities of his people, and his church.  Students are provided with an overview of the Bible, with an emphasis on God's attributes, biblical characters, the early church, and what it means to know Jesus Christ and live for him.  Students will be challenged to memorize twenty verses from the Bible which work in conjunction with the teaching units.
  • Language (Bob Jones) - This text uses exciting theme lessons to combine phonics, reading, listening, comprehension, creative writing, and grammar.  The six units cover short and long vowels, single consonant blends, and diagraphs, r-influenced vowels, special vowel sounds, silent consonants, suffixes, and syllable division.  Phonics patterns are also taught using word families.  Phonics characters make phonics generalizations fun and memorable.
  • Mathematics (Saxon) - First grade students work to strengthen their understanding of addition facts and begin learning their subtraction facts as well.  A sampling of other concepts include: working with patterns, graphing, problem solving techniques, doubles, estimating and measuring length, time, money, estimating capacity, reasoning skills,  even and odd numbers, adding two-digit numbers, foundational geometry, and the use of picures in problem solving.
  • Reading (A Beka) - Expanding a child's reading level is an important focus of our curriculum.  We currently utilize a series of readers published by A Beka.  These leveled readers offer an excellent way for students to gradually increase their reading level over the course of the school year.  These readers are supplemented with additional books chosen by the faculty each year.
  • Science (ACSI) - Building upon the excitement generated in kindergarten, this text helps students gain a deeper appreciation of God's creation through scientific observation, experimentation, and analysis.  Students will explore the areas of life science, physical science, the human body, and earth/space Science.
  • Social Studies (Harcourt) - The first grade text, A Child's View, challenges students to interact with the world around them.  Areas such as human government, geography, environmental resources, world culture, and the marketplace are all addressed.  Students have the opportunity to read about individuals who have impacted the world through hard work and creativeness.
  • Vocabulary (Wordly Wise) - The words emphasized in this text expand critical grade level vocabulary and improve reading comprehension.  Words from each lesson are commonly encountered in grade-level literature, content-area reading, textbooks, and standardized testing.
  • Spelling (A Beka) - Thirty carefuly selected phonics-based word lists.  Each list contains several exercises designed to aid student retention.
  • Handwriting (A Beka) - Proper penmanship is a lost art.  Our handwriting curriculum is designed to foster careful attention to the formation of letters and words.  

Community Service

An important aspect of our program is an emphasis on serving others.  One cannot read the gospel without recognizing how Jesus consistenly placed others before himself.  He plainly states that he came not to be served, but to serve (Mark 10:45).  In effort to foster this attitude within our students, we have developed a community service requirement.  More detailed information and ideas of service opportunities can be found here.  First graders are required to perform a minimum of one hour of community service during the course of the school year.

Field Trips

Students participate in several field trips throghout the course of the school year.  Each trip is designed to emphasize a component of the curriculum.  Examples of field trips taken in the past include: Tellus, Legoland, The Martha Berry Museum at Berry College, and the Georgia Ensemble Theatre.