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A Typical (1st Grade) Day

I saw a funny meme yesterday that was basically poking fun of the never-ending battle that homeschool parents go through to find the PERFECT curriculum. You start on Google, skip to YouTube, check out Instagram and finally ask your best friend what she uses and decide to order the exact same thing! Sounds about right to me! It can be so hard to choose from the hundreds of options, and reviews don't always give you the full picture. Sometimes you just want someone to tell you what THEY do...just for a little peace of mind, right?!. So, that's what I'm going to attempt to do today. I'll start with my youngest, my 1st grader, and hopefully it will give you a little bit of insight into how we make it work.



If you've read any of my other posts, you know that I'm a firm believer in flexibility and freedom! Yes, we have a plan for each day; however, there are days we get it all accomplished and days that we don't check anything off of our list. And I'm okay with that. Admittedly, it took me awhile to truly be okay with that, but I can honestly say I am now :)

So, what does a typical schedule for my 1st grader look like? Well, we start every day off with reading a devotional during breakfast. The one I linked above is the second in the series by Louie Giglio, and we absolutely adore it. If your kids love science and fun facts, it's the perfect book for you! From there, it's chores, getting ready for the day and then we jump into reading. Sometimes we do a read-aloud (see this post for some great ideas), sometimes it's a picture book that goes with the day's lesson, and sometimes it's just something I find that we haven't read in awhile. But every day starts the same...we read together. On most days, we'll continue with reading by looking at our Word Wall (hoping to do a post about that soon), our course book, and then I'll have her read one or two books to me on the couch (any reader would work well for this). From there we do Handwriting and Spelling. Sometimes we do both, sometimes either/or, it just depends on the day. This helps her penmanship and gives her a little bit of independent work, but also gives ME a break to help my other kids with their work as well. Win-win!

Because Language Arts takes the longest for my littlest, we always take a little break after we complete all of our work...and snacks are a MUST! I like to give her time to choose what she does next. Sometimes it's crafting, drawing, lacing or another pre-thoughtout activity, sometimes it's Reading Eggs on the iPad (keep an eye out for my next post about some great subscriptions that we use to supplement our curriculum!), and sometimes it's just playing either in her room or outside. The key is giving her time to imagine, have independent play, make choices on her own, and (if we're being honest), a chance to be bored!

Next, for us, comes History or Science. We do both of these subjects as a family using the curriculum linked above, and we alternate days for each. I'm not going to go into how that works exactly, but I will elaborate in a post in the near future. Suffice to say, these are our kids favorite subjects so I'd definitely say that it's working! Doing subjects together not only saves time, but it also encourages teamwork and joint discussion in a way that is sometimes lacking in a typical home school environment. It gives older children a chance to dig deeper, and younger children an opportunity to feel included. Again, a win-win!

After History/Science, we break for lunch and some sort of physical activity. If there are no outside-the-house organized activities that day, we'll swim, take a nature walk, ride bikes, etc....just something to get the blood flowing and a little fresh air. Each kid is different, but we finish the day with Math for my youngest because she loves it, and I like to end on a good note! Abeka has worked well for her, but it's not great for everyone. Some other Math options might be Singapore (Common Core aligned), Math-U-See (for tactile learners), Teaching Textbooks (can be done online), or Saxon (what a lot of public and private schools use). A lot of Math curriculum will allow you to take a placement style test online that you can use to gauge which one might be the best fit for your child.

Art, Social Studies and Geography are all done a little differently. One day it might look like an organized craft project, the next might look like doing map puzzles with her siblings. It just depends on the week, really. I love the book "My America, My World" (linked above), and we sometimes use that to start discussions at night after dinner. These subjects always lend themselves to being taught through reading, too. When you have rich, well-written, beautiful books within reach, your child will often take the initiative to engage without being formally "taught", if that makes sense. And that's the BEST way to learn, in my opinion!

Flexibility and Encouragement:

As always, my number one tip for any home/virtual school parent is to be flexible! What works for us might not work for you, and that's OKAY. Children learn differently and at different paces. My oldest was quick to read, my younger two are much more math-minded. If I put them all in a box, or expected the same out of all of them, the only sure thing is that we'd all end up disappointed. I encourage you to seek out what works best for your child and try that for awhile. If it works in the long run, great! If not, that's what is great about can always change things up!



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