Our Homeschool Curriculum Picks for 1st and 3rd Grade

It’s almost that time of year!

The time of year where you pull out all your fresh pencils, paper, and craft supplies. The time of year where you sit and plan lessons out weeks in advance. The time of year where you plan out your library book lists, put holds on them, and come home with a curated collection that goes along with what you’re studying that week. The time of year that makes homeschooling feel magical.

If you’re anything like me… that all changes about 6 weeks in. All of our supplies are in disarray, the lesson plans have been thrown out the window, and we come home from the library with 20 books chosen at random that nobody actually enjoys reading but I still have to keep up with to attempt to return on time.

But those 6 weeks… they’re wonderful and the reason we keep coming back to homeschooling.


So before the magic goes away, I wanted to share with you our curriculum choices in case you’re still on the hunt for something that works for your family.


Level 1 Language Arts
Level 3 Language Arts

We have used The Good and the Beautiful curriculum since day 1 for our Language Arts and Math curriculum and it’s not changing this year.

I absolutely love TGATB language arts curriculum because it makes teaching my kids to read not intimidating. We decided to homeschool our oldest literally 2 weeks before he was about to start kindergarten so I was in a rush to find something affordable and all-in-one. This stuff is all of that. It’s very wholesome and focuses on classic values with more vintage-y pictures. There’s a good bit of art appreciation and some geography thrown int he mix, too.

One of the coolest things about TGATB is they actually give away Levels 1-5 of their Language Arts curriculum for FREE. No strings attached. You can download it all in a PDF and print it out yourself. It’s an amazing resource if money is tight. Obviously you miss the readers and some of the other extras, but the bulk of what they’re learning is in the Course Book.


photo from Maintaining Motherhood
simply good and beautiful math 3

Math is still TGATB for us this year, but it’s going to look a little different, at least for my 3rd grader. TGATB is totally revamping their math curriculum to make it even more affordable and easier to teach! When they were clearing out their previous curriculum, I went ahead and bought level 1 & 2 to use with our middle daughter for a whopping $30 total. I couldn’t pass up that great of a deal, so she’ll be using the older curriculum for at least this year while my 3rd grader is a guinea pig for the new stuff. You can find out more about it from the creator herself right here.


My opinions on Kindergarten are a different post for a different day, but ours didn’t include history. Then in first grade, we tried TGATB history and it just didn’t jive with us. I did some research and figured we’d give The Story of the World a whirl for second grade because it was a pretty low-pressure year and SOTW is low-commitment financially. Well… we LOVED it. It’s like reading a storybook to the kids and we’re able to supplement with our own activities and library books to go with what we’re learning about. There is an optional activity book available, but I didn’t buy it for volume 2 because we never used it. I can see the value in it for older children, but my own supplements have been more than enough to help the lessons stick. You can’t beat a history curriculum for under $20!


Sonlight Science

This is definitely the biggest financial investment we made this year and I can’t even tell you that we love it because we haven’t done it yet, but I’m looking forward to it! The lessons seem very much open-and-go and they provide everything you need to do the lessons. Again, we didn’t mess with science curriculum in Kindergarten and then had two misses in first and second grade because there were really involved experiments that required too many expensive/hard to find items so we just never did them. Science without experiments is way less fun, let me tell you! I’ll do a mid-year update with a YAY or NAY vote on the science.

And that’s that! We have some spelling curriculum we’re trying, but I honestly think that we’re just going to be doing a lot of creative writing to practice spelling naturally because both of my kids have really great imagination. I’m very confident in everything but science, and fairly confident in that, so I’m hopeful it’ll be a nice, smooth year.

If you homeschool, what curriculum are you using this year? I’m always interested in learning about new ones! Let me know in the comments!

As always, let’s connect! I’m on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest, ready to get to know other people so we can make real mom life simpler!