Though my little girl will be in first grade in a technical sense by summer, I have already started compiling a few resources for her. I continue compiling games and resources daily, really, but after checking out What Your Kindergartener Needs to Know and feeling like it had something to contribute to my daughter’s daily adventures, I decided to go ahead and purchase What Your First Grader Needs to Know. It was only a few cents, and it’s full of information that she will be able to use as an easy reference guide in the coming months.
First Grader picks up where Kindergartener left off, building upon—and even reviewing—some of the different concepts and materials presented in the previous book. (I actually had forgotten about it, but there is also a preschool version you can purchase as well, which sets up the skills that are in the K book.) You’ll find just as many, if not more, stories, poetry, and fables, though this time around the focus is more on fairy tales and less on nursery rhymes. I love the fact that various cultures are also included, such as a story about Anansi. (When my daughter is older, if she shares my affinity for Neil Gaiman—and I am betting that she will!—she’ll probably enjoy Anansi Boys as well!)
As with the Kindergarten version of the book, it didn’t seem to have much focus on art, though there were many different songs and musical elements to discus in the text. Instrument families and other components of an orchestra are includes, as well as songs from “Skip to My Lou” to “La Cucaracha.” Different types of music, from jazz to dramatic operas, are also discussed.
The math curriculum covers just about as much material as the previous book, from numbers to money to geometry, but the science section seems to have much more to learn, such as the human body (one of my daughter’ s favorite subjects), electricity, astronomy, matter, and more. I am particularly excited about this section since we got our first telescope for Christmas, though I wish that there were more female scientists profiled. Rachel Carson is profiled, which is great—but all three of the other science heroes are men.
Overall, parents can expect the same thing from this text as they did in the previous one. It’s simple to use and pick and choose from, and I am sure we will find it handy in the months to come.