first grade at home

Posted on August 19th, 2013 by mountain girl  |  6 Comments »

I’ve been doing some scheming. A little spying, snooping, hypothesizing, and gathering a plan for our school year.  The end result is that I have quite a bit more structure planned for Zia this year.  Gasp.

After observing her way of learning–and just plain way of being happy–I’ve decided to switch up last year’s open-ended style for more of a predictable rhythm and a fuller spectrum of activity.  It may or may not work, but we’ll find our rhythm once we get started.  For now, here’s roughly what I have in mind:

Zia’s First Grade Schedule

8:30-9:00 Morning Chores: Get Dressed, Make Bed, Wash up & Brush Teeth

9:00-9:30 Bible & Breakfast

9:30-10:00 Walk with Mamma or Play Outside

10:00-10:15 Reading Lesson

10:15-10:30 History/Science/Geography

10:30-11:00 Math: Cuisenaire Rods/Sum Swamp/Measuring/Fractions/Telling Time/Counting Animals

11:00-11:30 Five in a Row

11:30-12:00 Writing/Music/Health

12-12:30 Lunch

12:30-1:00 Play in Woods; bring Art Journal

Living Skills (throughout the day): Money/Cooking/Creating/Play Store/House/Town.

I know this sounds like a lot, but really, it’s not that bad.  History/Science/Geography means we pick just one of those and read about it in story form, which is really relaxing for her.  And all those things listed under Math?  They’re basically games and manipulatives, with maybe one workbook thrown in for fun.  We’ll pick and choose one thing or more each day from that long list.  Life Skills will be pure play in the form of real life: making cookies, building a cardboard town, playing McDonalds.  My hope is that it will make for a happily busy day, but certainly not a tedious one.

The books pictured above are what I’m using, plus some math games as well as this, this and this, which are still in transit via Amazon.

Going from an unschooling mindset to this is quite a stretch for me, but after observing her over the summer, I think she might thrive on a more planned out way of spending her time, with lots of variation and not too much of any one thing.

I plan to do a Monday-Thursday school week, with Fridays spent out in the world shopping, playing, watching a movie (out or at home) and whatever else we want to do.

And really, doing school four days a week, three hours a day–including lunch, play, and being read to–is not that bad. (Can you tell I’m still trying to talk myself into this schedule thing?)  Afternoons will be free, which will hopefully give her enough time to get bored.  After all, they say boredom is the mother of creativity, which I fully believe.  But too much boredom is also the mother of cartoon addiction and whining.  Quote: Myself.

All I can do is try it, tweak it, and try it again.

Our homeschool schedule starts Friday, along with Caleb’s first day of school.  What are your plans for this school year?

6 Responses to “first grade at home”

  1. Lyssa says on :

    It’s so important to know your own child’s needs, strengths, and areas to grow. Way to go, mama, for being so attentive to Zia! Going from an unschooling view to a more structured view must be a bit tough. It’ll work out for the best!

  2. Mom & Dad says on :

    WOW honeeee….God Bless You; and happy studying (1st grade) my GOODNESS 🙂 LUV U GUYS TO THE MOON/mom

  3. Appleshoe says on :

    I showed this to Bear (who is still very much on the fence about homeschooling Panda one day) and he loves it. Some children need more structure and that’s the beauty of children.. They are all so different, unique, and beautiful. Be well.

  4. GRANNY says on :


  5. Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom says on :

    This is wonderful! We’re homeschooling my oldest (Grade 1) starting September 3rd. I’m so excited.

    I love that you’ve incorporated living skills (we’re doing that too; sewing, math, grocery shopping, even cleaning)!

    Our days have a different structure depending on the day. However, every day will start with art journal, bible, and reading. Then, depending on which day it is, we will explore math, social, science, and health.

    I look forward to going on this journey with you and your family!

    Wishing you a lovely day.

  6. Tiffany says on :

    Sounds like a good plan! Homeschooling is a tough gig. I have tried different plans and methods, but it is always seems best in our home to go with a child-led, more relaxed approach. Good luck this year! Your girl is so beautiful! 🙂