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First Grade Homeschool Schedule – Creating a Schedule That Works
For most homeschooling parents, it often means getting started with a lot of academic work.
When they create schedules for their first-grade homeschool, it often revolves around Language Arts, Math, and Science.
But let’s not forget that your preschooler has just turned 6 or 7. They are still a child who needs a balanced academic and non-academic curriculum to help develop their skills.
I will share five learning elements that you must include in your first-grade homeschool schedule in this post.
Moreover, I will give you insights into a few homeschooling tips that you should always keep in mind as you plan for your first-grade homeschool schedule.
5 Learning Elements for Your First Grade Homeschool Schedule
I have already discussed a typical homeschool day in the life of a first-grader and answered several questions related to the first-grade homeschool in my earlier post. Now is the time to look at the five learning elements you need to incorporate into your first-grade homeschool schedule.
- Structured – Academic Learning
- Extra-curricular Activities
- Unstructured Learning
- Free Play
Let’s take a closer look at each of the elements and see how you can add them to your homeschool while using block scheduling for planning your day out.
Here is a sample First Grade Homeschool Schedule that includes all the five learning elements. I always love working in blocks, so there is flexibility in what you can accomplish with your child without keeping a constant check on the clock.
|6:30 a.m. – 7:00 a.m.||Breakfast||Breakfast||Breakfast||Breakfast||Breakfast|
|7:00 a.m. – 7:30 a.m.||Chores – Laundry||Chores – Folding Laundry||Chores – Scrub and clean bathroom||Chores – Floor Cleaning||Chores – Laundry|
|7:30 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.||Wind up and Preparing for Homeschool||Wind up and Preparing for Homeschool||Wind up and Preparing for Homeschool||Wind up and Preparing for Homeschool||Wind up and Preparing for Homeschool|
|8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.||Academic Learning||Academic Learning||Academic Learning||Academic Learning||Academic Learning|
|10:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m.||Free play||Free play||Free play||Free play||Free play|
|12:00 p.m. -1:00 p.m.||Lunch||Lunch||Lunch||Lunch||Lunch|
|1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.||Read Aloud||Read Aloud||Read Aloud||Read Aloud||Read Aloud|
|3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.||Extra-Curricular Activities/Unstructured Learning||Extra-Curricular Activities/Unstructured Learning||Extra-Curricular Activities/Unstructured Learning||Extra-Curricular Activities/Unstructured Learning||Extra-Curricular Activities/Unstructured Learning|
|5:00 – 6:00 p.m.||Dinner||Dinner||Dinner||Dinner||Dinner|
|6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.||Post dinner Chores||Post dinner Chores||Post dinner Chores||Post dinner Chores||Post dinner Chores|
|7:00 p.m. onwards||Bedtime||Bedtime||Bedtime||Bedtime||Bedtime|
Now let’s take a closer look at each of the five learning elements.
1) Structured – Academic Learning
As you get started with your first-grade homeschool, choosing the right curriculum for your child is often the first step. You can find an endless curriculum for grade one that includes everything from Language Arts to Math, Science, and History.
But before you make a choice of curriculum for your homeschool, make sure you know what you want to accomplish with your first grader.
Always remember that your first grader is only 6-7 years old, and kids of this age are not designed to sit at a desk for several hours every day.
Instead, they are naturally curious little fellows who want to know more about the world by exploring and experimenting.
So it is best to include academic content that satisfies their instincts while bringing in some structure for their homeschool.
For the first-grade homeschool, you should keep structured learning simple and fun. Thus I only recommend including Language Arts, Math, and Science as part of the first-grade curriculum.
For the early homeschool years, I always recommend that homeschooling parents place a lot of emphasis on reading. For grade one, you can continue to focus on reading while working on handwriting.
Once your child develops adequate reading and writing skills, they can go out to discover ideas and learn independently.
Another critical learning area for your first grade homeschool is Math. Make sure you spend at least 30 minutes of structured teaching of mathematical concepts that will continue to benefit your young one throughout life.
For the first-grade homeschool, I don’t recommend teaching Science every day. Instead, it is a good idea to spend 1-2 hours discussing scientific concepts with your young one. Of course, if you have a more curious little one, you can spend some more time learning more about Science.
You can also include history and foreign languages in your first-grade homeschool schedule. But again, keep in mind that you are dealing with a 6-7-year-old and academic learning is only a part of your homeschool, and there are several other ways you are interacting with and teaching your child.
Total Time for Structured Academic Learning
It is important to keep things simple for the first-grade homeschool and spend only two hours a day teaching academic concepts. That makes a total of 10 hours a week where you focus on core subjects, including Language Arts, Math, and Science.
2) Extra-curricular Activities
If you are homeschooling other children of varying ages, you can try to work on extra-curricular activities that cater to the needs of children of different ages.
Your children will learn to communicate and interact with their siblings better and develop creative problem-solving skills through these activities. Moreover, extra-curricular activities will also help you identify all your hidden talents and passions.
There are several extra-curricular activities to choose from but make sure you don’t over-schedule your first graders. Remember, the idea behind adding extra-curricular activities to your homeschool schedule is to have fun.
By overscheduling, you might end up feeling overwhelmed, and that’s detrimental to the purpose of including extra-curricular activities in your homeschool. Moreover, it’s also essential that you try to include budget-friendly extra-curricular activities in your homeschool.
3) Unstructured Learning
If you try to bring a lot of structure to a 6-year-old’s life, it negatively impacts their curiosity and eagerness to know more about the world. And that’s precisely why you should include unstructured learning in your first-grade homeschool schedule.
I think opportunities for unstructured learning are one of the best ways to enhance your child’s overall homeschool experience. Some of the ways you can add unstructured knowledge to your homeschool are by incorporating a schedule for arts, music, poetry, and games.
Moreover, you can use family trips and a trip to the local library as opportunities for unstructured learning.
4) Free Play
The life of a first grader is not complete without free play.
And when I say, “You need to add it to your homeschool schedule,” I mean it.
As homeschool parents, it is natural to feel overwhelmed about your child’s learning to the extent that you might end up depriving them of opportunities for free play.
Make sure you guard your kids’ free playtime at this age. Also, make sure that they get this time every day!
Just let them play so they learn to explore, get creative, and make the most of their childhood.
Last on the list of the five learning elements that you need to incorporate for your first-grade homeschool schedule is chores.
After all, your kids need to learn some basic life skills, and I feel it is essential to introduce age-appropriate chores at this point. It will not only help your child develop the necessary life skills, but it will also help you keep up with the housework as you homeschool your children.
A first grader should be able to help you out with cleaning their room, putting away their clothes, and drying the dishes. However, they may still need a little help from your side, but this is an excellent start towards a journey of life-long independence and responsibility.
First Grade Homeschool Schedule
And that’s it! Once you have these five essential learning elements in your first-grade homeschool schedule, you are done! You may need to tweak your days a bit as you get through your first-grade homeschool schedule, but this is a good foundation that you can work from.
Tips for Creating Your First Grade Homeschool Schedule
Creating a first-grade homeschool schedule is not a once-a-year event. You might come up with a schedule at the start of the year and then feel that it’s not working for your family, and you might have to tweak your plan a bit, and that’s alright!
Creating a first-grade homeschool schedule involves a lot of trial and error because, at the end of the day, you are dealing with 6-7-year-old humans, so you must keep a few tips in mind so you can create a first-grade homeschool schedule that works for you.
Are you getting started with creating a schedule for your first-grade homeschool?
Think about your family, work, lifestyle, and everything else that matters to you, and only when you have given enough thought to all these elements, realistically plan your homeschool.
Your homeschool will not function in isolation. Like other elements that affect your life, your homeschool is a part of it, so make sure you plan how much you can accomplish with your first graders.
It’s easy to over-plan and feel overwhelmed or guilty for not accomplishing much when you fail to complete everything you planned. But that’s a wrong approach. A better alternative is to be realistic.
Another essential element of a first-grade homeschool schedule is flexibility. There will be some perfect days when you will be able to incorporate all five learning elements into your day, but then there will be days when you will hardly get done with the chores. And that’s alright.
Let’s not forget that you deal with humans and not machines who function the same way every day. You are dealing with tiny humans, and you need to be flexible.
Pick Up the Curriculum That Works Best for You
You can find several first-grade homeschooling curricula available on the market. Some of them are so appealing; you want to invest in them right away. However, when choosing a curriculum for your first-grade homeschool, you need to make a smart choice.
Give enough consideration to the content and how it is laid out. Moreover, check if it aligns with your teaching style or not. Finally, realistically decide whether your first-grade homeschool needs all of this or not, and only when you have considered all essential aspects of the curriculum, make a choice that feels most appropriate to you.
Set Aside Time for Yourself
You can’t pour from an empty cup! So you need to take care of yourself before you decide on your first-grade homeschool schedule. Recharge yourself every day because homeschooling is challenging, and it can drain you physically, mentally, and emotionally.
I understand that finding time for yourself is tough when you have kids, but it is essential to take better care of those around you.
If you need further help to homeschool your first grade, please read “The Ultimate Guide To Homeschool First Grade.”
P/S: You will also love these helpful homeschool posts and products: