Why First Grade Is Important?

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why is first grade importantYou just finished an overload of sensory and cognitive experiences. Now you are going to refine them and put them to use. You’re in first grade!

Why is first grade so important? This is where it all starts! It’s not just an introduction or first step to more advanced concepts. In this grade, the fundamental building blocks that will be used throughout your children’s lives are laid and their love or disdain for a subject is setting in.

Language Arts

first grade readingReading and writing and spelling, oh my! For some children, first grade is when they learn to love these subjects. Others are frightened and never recover.

The key to language arts for young children is to create an atmosphere of encouragement and wonder; never comparing their skill to others, reassuring them when they are frustrated, and revealing the power these subjects have to make their dreams become a reality.

Math

first grade mathA cornerstone to understanding the world, math is another subject that first grade can make or break. The act of solving simple equations regularly, sharpens logical thinking ability and boosts mental agility. Once your first grader has a firm grasp on these basic concepts, problem solving becomes easier and a different way of thinking is possible.

If children become confused with the basic concepts covered, their confidence is shattered. What’s more discouraging; once children are behind, many do not catch up. They either don’t understand why they are struggling or are too embarrassed. So they do not think to review what they were supposed to learn in first grade math.

They are utterly stunted.

The same methods used to promote learning English can be used in Math. It is a universal language after all. Simply make math fun by encouraging, doing hands-on activities, and of course, relating it to the children’s lives.

Science

Curiosity isn’t lacking in young children, but the tools to use that inquisitiveness may be. That’s why first grade is so important. The use of observation and experiments is channeled into an organized system enabling students to solve problems and answer questions.

Geography

first grade geographyBefore children learn to read they have a natural ability to orient themselves to their surroundings. In first grade they are given the vocabulary to explain this orientation.

And that’s only the beginning. History and current events that may have a direct impact on them can only be understood with the geographical terms learned in this grade.

Art

Many people think of drawing and painting when they hear the word, but art comes in many different forms. Music is a type of art, as is sculpting, building, and woodworking. First graders are some of the most creative thinkers; unhampered by outside influences. Given the techniques, they are easily motivated to put their imagination to work.

Physical Education

There is an epidemic of obesity and diabetes in young children. While unhealthy eating habits are the main culprit, lack of physical activity also plays a huge role. Being active in the first grade will set a pattern of healthy lifestyle choices.

When it comes to the first grade, there is no doubt that it is the most important grade in your children’s education. According to the research in an article published on the Harvard Graduate School of Education website, academic success can be determined starting in first grade. Does this mean that your children are destined for failure if they are struggling? Absolutely not! It just means a change needs to be made. Whether that is extra help in reading and math, changing classrooms, or bringing them home, it is up to you.

Why do you think first grade is so important? Please leave a comment!

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Janine LaTulippe

Janine LaTulippe

Like all parents, I love my children. I have 3 under the age of 5 and believe an elite education begins in the home. I want to give my children a solid foundation so that they might reach their full potential or at least become better than their mother. My mission is to help parents raise sons and daughter, whose legacies honor their families and glorify God. My sites Blue Manor Education and True Aim Education provide curriculum, free resources, and inspiration for parents and homeschoolers!
Janine LaTulippe

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  • Ida Mae West-Simone

    Hi Janine – Would you believe that I can remember feeling behind in grade one? I had the chicken pox and when I came back, my class had learned to subtract. I swear I never caught up. I did not speak at school until I was in grade three, so I copied and coped. No one knew. I almost had to repeat my grade eight year because of my problems with math, but a tutor got me through. I repeated grade nine math. As a special education teacher, I realize now that I have a learning disability. I do not blame anyone – I would have been behind regardless. But grade one is the year where so much groundwork is laid. We catch ‘red flags’ and can often address them, especially if the school has a Reading Recovery program for grade one students. Great post.

    • http://www.trueaimeducation.com/ Janine

      Hello Ida Mae, I’ve heard the same thing happen to many friends and colleagues. Thank you so much for sharing your experience booth as a teacher and a student!