Hi! This is a good question, and it is one that I wish more parents consider.
Much of the country is moving towards the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) or a version of them. I suggest you read through the standards for first grade. You can find the CCSS at http://www.corestandards.org This site has not only the standards, but also information for parents.
Also, LessonPop (my company) has a tool that you might find helpful called Common Core Discussion Stems. It has discussion starters that you can use when you are reading any type of text with your son. It is easy to use. You can check it out by going to LessonPop.com This product focuses on the reading standards.
It is also important to read, read, read to your son. Go to the public library and check out lots of books. Most libraries allow children to get their own library card at the age of 5. Not only will your son love to check out his own books, it teaches responsibility. Select books you can read to him and books he can read on his own. Even if he hasn't learned to read yet, he will "read" by learning to handle the book the right way, turn pages, tell you want is happening based on the pictures or illustrations. Have both fiction and nonfiction (informational text). Have a discussion after reading.
While at the library, check out some audiobooks. This is a great way to pass time in the car and for your son to practice his listening skills. There is so much going on when listening to books - fluency (how the reader is reading the text), sense of story (knowing there is a beginning, middle end), understanding problem solution, etc.
I don't have many ideas for math, but one thing you can do is start to develop a sense of numbers. What I mean by this is when you are in the kitchen, fill up the sink and allow your son to use measure cups, spoons other containers to see what holds more, what holds less or even the same.
You can also have a list of numbers and have your son add one more to that number and say it out loud. for example, you point to the number 5 and your son says 6. Once he gets the hang of that, have him add 2 or double that number. You can also have him do this activity by subtracting 1 or divide half. If he has a competitive edge, time him and the chart his results.
When you are at the grocery store, talk about money. What is the price of the cereal he wants? Which eggs cost the most? Talk about coupons.
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from a fellow member
The supplies I would recommend to you are lunchboxes, pencil case, notebooks, backpacks, and journals. You expect to be learning the same thing every year, just adding a little more and getting a little harder.
The expectations in first grade are mostly focused on your son learning to read, write, and master basic mathematical concepts. He will also be expected to work independently and with others for a longer period of time, about 20 minutes.
As he progresses through first grade he will be expected to become a more fluent reader who exhibits the ability to comprehend what he's read. In addition, he needs to begin writing paragraphs by building on what he learned in Kindergarten. He needs to read and write on a daily basis in order to develop these skills. For more information check out
Another piece of the expectations for this grade is social-emotional development. Children at this age need to develop self-regulatory skills such as how to take turns, follow multi-step directions, tune-out noise, and more. These skills lead to successful learning, perhaps even more so than reading and math. You can read more about this here: toolsofthemind.org