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103 of 106 people found the following review helpful
on March 11, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is an outstanding story book that's fun to read and excellent at educating young children. We read something from this book almost every evening. Both my seven-year old and four-year old love something from this book.
This book gives a good selection of classic children's stories, fun poems, singable songs, wise fables, and other works that are fun to read. It also gives great introductions to American history, world history, science, art and much more. What you see in this book is what your child should be learning at an ideal school.
Since no school is perfect and can cover everything, use this book as a great way of ensuring that your chilren receive an outstanding education.
This book tells you what you need to teach your first grader, and it's good reading. Next year we will buy the volumes for second grade and kindergarten.
It's interesting that one review made a claim that this book is a little too liberal. The fact is that the editor has been closely associated with forger Education Secretary William Bennett, a social conservative. In fact, the information in this book is neither liberal nor conservative. It's just excellent and enjoyable education for you kids, based on solid empirical research...
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63 of 65 people found the following review helpful
on April 1, 2004
Format: Paperback
Great springboard book to help if you're a homeschooler or trying to supplement your child outside of the classroom.
Language and Literature: Plenty of stories and poetry to read to your child and get them started. Weak in the phonics area. I would recommend a good phonics primer - Phonics Pathways by Dolories Hiskes (awesome and inexpensive resource and it will get your child reading fast).
Mathematics: Simple progression in math skills. I like the suggestions on manipulatives and games to do with your child, they make the learning process more fun for the child.
Science: Braod overview of many sciences. Good things to start talking about with your child before a trip to the local zoo or library to pick up more in depth information.
This book is not meant to be a complete curriculum for teaching your child, but is a nice supplement. I like the stories, poems and music. It's a great portable all in one book. The notes to parents are helpful in finding ways to teach each subject.
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71 of 75 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This is an excellent resource to supplement a child's education. The topics are presented in an interesting, child-friendly manner. My daughter enjoys working from this book. As for the literature section, I found it to have a balanced mixture of traditional tales and multicultural folktales. Even though many traditional fairy tales are no longer politically correct, I feel that is important for my child to be exposed to literature that has endured for hundreds of years. When a poem or novel makes a literary allusion to Rapunzel or Sleeping Beauty, I want my child to understand. As for the multicultural stories, there are Hispanic, Japanese, English, Dutch, West African, German, Jewish, African American, Italian, and Iroquois selections. My daughter enjoyed reading stories from so many different cultures. I was also pleased with the math and art sections. This is a wonderful tool to use for following your child's education. Comparing the work that my daughter brings home from school to the curriculum in this book helps me know if she is on track or not.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on August 9, 2002
Format: Paperback
You just can't beat this book. Not only does it tell you what your child should be learning, it's right there for you. This isn't just a list of topics - it has the actual stories, biographies, math games, etc. right there for you. One of my favorite parts is the literature section. It has the basic stories, poems, fables, and sayings every well-rounded child should now. And the science and history sections have great introductions/overviews of topice - great for unit studies. We use this book for homeschooling, and every homeschooler should have it. Note: to help you buy the right grade - for most books, you often have to buy a grade level higher for a homeschooled child, but the grade levels of these books are very accurate.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on August 6, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is an outstanding book. I read many passages for my son. He likes them very much. They enrich him like nothing else. My son's school does not provide this much content. We would miss a lot literature, history, and geography without this book. Thanks to the authors. I do see the math part is too easy for first graders. For math, we use Beestar (a nice web site [...] Its free weekly exercises are about right and very helpful. Overall, this is an outstanding book loaded with fine content. I highly recommend it.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on November 1, 2002
Format: Paperback
'What your first grader needs to know' is by far the best book that I have purchased for homeschooling. I believe it's a must have for every homeschooling family wondering if they are covering what they should. Along with non-homeschooling families curious if their child is where he or he should be at in the school system.

It goes over everything your child needs to know in the first grade, breaking it up into sections by subject. It not only explains to you what your child should know, but gives you pointers on how you can help your child learn and achieve the first grade goals.

I have nearly every book in this series, for each grade level, and use them all. And for a lot of the concepts, you can really use them at any level, such as the stories and poems. Each subject is broken up into sections/chapters, which I mark with sticky notes sticking out of the top. And even though as time moves on, they are getting older, the first editions are just as wonderful as the second. Like I stated, you can use any of them at any level. You do not have to use this first grade book for a first grader, use it for any child who could benefit from it. So if you feel your child is at a different level, all you do is adjust.

I use these books as a basis. I can adapt any lesson plan to this book. When reading the poems and short stories, or the history section ( or really any section) it opens up a whole world for more research and reading. The stories get my kids interested in a topic, and they want to know more, so, we find more. A trip to the library, an Internet search, or a kindle download (usually free). Our kids enjoy them as much as I do. I have used them for many years now. I started with the kindergarten series when our now 17 year old was 5, and homeschooled until 6th grade (and again her freshman year). She is now a National Honor Society member, dual-enrolled, straight A student in the publc school system.) and considering finishing up her high school career at home,) And again with our now 8 year-old, and beginning some of the reading with our toddler, but will repeat it as he grows. But they're never to little to be read to!

Sections on reading, literature, poems... Math, science, social studies and music. My favorite are the literature, poems and history. I use them the most. Only wish those sections were bigger.

Many thanks to the author of this great book for putting everything I need to know to teach my child, under one cover.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on August 28, 2006
Format: Paperback
I love this book! I have my degree in Elementary Education and spent 3 years teaching - 2 of those in Kindergarten. I have seen how many times even the best intentions do not allow the time for covering EVERYTHING you would love to expose the children with when they are in your classroom.

When my own child started Kindergarten "What Your Kindergartner Need to Know" was recommended to me by a friend. I would spend the nights reading to her out of this book. It was a great chance for me to introduce concepts to her that she either had a basic knowledge or no knowledge. She looked forward to our evening readings together and learned a great deal from this book. We used it solely as a "night read" and did not do the experiments it showed. However, we would look at the experiments and talk about them. They looked very age appropriate and fun.

We have just begun "What Your First Grader Needs to Know" and all 3 of my children love it (ages 6, 4, and 3). This is an excellent way to add onto any child's education!
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on October 10, 2008
Format: Paperback
"What Your First Grader Needs to Know" is the second in a seven-part series for school children through sixth grade. It encompasses a variety of subjects such as writing, reading, history, math, art, music, science, and touches on different religions in the history section. The book says it gives an overview of what children should know by the end of the first grade. Ideally, one would use it with a publicly or privately-schooled child as a supplement to their "normal" schooling or it would be used as a supplement to a homeschool curriculum. We used it as an addendum to our homeschool curriculum.

This book was very informative and truly did as it claimed: Covered a variety of topics and subjects. It is written in a very easy-to-read format for children of this age. My younger children did get bogged down some in the lengthy history section. We had to break some of those "lessons" down into smaller segments.

I was very impressed with the overall subject coverage in this book. In the reading section, for example, they cover poetry, common sayings and quotations, short-stories and excerpts of larger books. In the history section, they cover American History, World History, and briefly touch on religions. In the science section, they cover anatomy, biology, and earth science. In the music section, they cover different famous musicians, different types of music, and types of instruments. The book offers the same type of information offered in the "K" version, but with more detail as is appropriate for this age. I have the 2nd & 3rd grade versions as well and have found them to appropriately build as you progress through the books.

I was a bit disappointed in the religion section. We are Christians, but want our children exposed to different religions. The fact that the others (Islam, etc) were included is NOT what bothered us; although we did alter the sections some to state the information as what some believe not as fact as the book does. However, we found the section on Christianity which includes the story of Moses to be not only disappointing, but biblically inaccurate which leads me to question the accuracy of other similar sections in this book. If the author was not familiar with this information through his own beliefs, then he should have made certain to input accurate information in this section through sources that DO know; as I have to assume he did in the other religion sections of the book.

Overall, I would recommend this book. It is definitely worth the buy to enhance your child's education, particularly for a homeschooler.
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on February 25, 1999
Format: Paperback
As an immigrant from a non-English speaking country, I found this is the best series of the knowledge book for my daughter and myself. As the contents showed, the book covers every aspect a grader student needs to know (solid and advanced). My daughter is in her 3rd grader and we read together all most every evening from book one to three. Not only she knows a lot from these books and superisingly answer "wild" questions in her class, I learnt a lot from these books regarding to the western (American) history which I missed during my grader education. Very enjoyable books to read with!!!! It worths every penny spent!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on October 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book is great if you homeschool or want to help your child during the summer. If you want to use it for homeschool, Hirsch has made a teacher handbook. The Teacher Handbooks provide background about language arts, history and geography, visual arts, music, mathematics, and science. Each handbook has been written to look like the Core Knowledge Sequence. For each section in the Sequence, there is a matching section in the handbooks
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