Homeschooling Multiple Children: Our 1st Grade Plan for 2014-2015

You have now seen my schedule, my 4th grader’s schedule, and my preschooler’s schedule. Because she’s involved in most of our schedules most of the day, you’ve also seen the bulk of my 1st grader’s schedule, but I’ll share it here on it’s own.

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I want to note that in preparing each of these schedules I carefully considered my kids’ unique personalities. Helen is my most patient but also my most extroverted child. I knew I had to include time for her to play with her neighborhood friends which means that she has to be done with the majority of her stuff by the time they can play after school. It also means that I need to try to keep her busy when her friends are in school.

This is Helen’s first year of school with me. I didn’t do formal school with Henry at this age.  I don’t think it’s necessary to have scheduled school time with a 1st grader, but Helen is begging for it. It also gives us a format for interaction that we both enjoy. Our one-on-one school time has become a highlight of the day for both of us.

I just don’t want anyone to read this and think that their 1st grader needs to have a bunch of formal school time scheduled into their day. I still stand by my relaxed approach. Henry was unschooled at this age. You know your kid. If they don’t delight in sitting down to do math and phonics for an hour a day, don’t force it!

You’ll see that much of her day is still free time, though I provide a little structure to keep boredom away. Most of the activities (like science box time and sensory time) are open ended and optional. If she has a better way to spend her time, for the most part, she can do what she likes.

7:15-8:15 Wake, dress, brush teeth, eat breakfast
8:15-9:15 Group School This has been happening at the breakfast table for the most part. I read aloud from Life of Fred, our science reading for the day, and our history reading for the day. The kids can color or draw or play quietly on the floor.
9:15-9:45 Outside Time All three of the kids go outside while I clean up the kitchen and such.
9:45-10:15 Free Time This was initially read alone/book time while I do school with Thomas, but in practice it’s been free time while I finish up chores or play with Thomas if he’s interested.
10:15-10:45 Morning School Here is more read alouds or picture study, composer study, or nature study a la Charlotte Mason. This is still developing.
10:45-11:30 School with Mom We’re working through the Primary Arts of Language phonics/reading program. We’re also starting Ray’s Arithmetic. Phonics takes priority. If we have time, interest, and attention, we do a little math.
11:30-12:00 Time with Thomas They can choose to do whatever they want as long as they leave Henry and I alone to work. The science box materials are still out. I also plan to have a planned sensory or craft activity available during this time. Or they can play with dolls or trucks or whatever. Again, as long as they let Henry and I work, it’s all good.
12:00-12:30 School Alone Yes, 1st grade is young for independent work, but the idea is that she’ll work on her phonics games and worksheets at the kitchen counter while I prep lunch.
12:30-1:00 Lunch
1:00-1:30 Spanish with Henry I don’t know if this is going to work, but I’d like to have them do some sort of Spanish at this time. We have Power Glide Spanish, but we may switch to Spanish videos or something.This time has two goals in addition to learning a little Spanish. 1) Henry and Helen spend time together doing something constructive. 2) They leave me alone to do some prayer and reflection.
1:30-2:00 Screen Time This is first (of three) 30 minute screen times. During this time, Thomas is resting in my bed with me, and Henry is working on his independent work.
2:00-2:30 Rest Time Quiet play in her room, preferably resting on her bed. She can listen to audio books, look at books, or play quietly alone with her dolls and such.
2:30-3:00 Time with Mom This is for us to do whatever it is she wants to do with me. Often it’s playing with dolls.
3:00-4:00 Outside Time Free time outside. I’m available at this time to supervise, but I’m reading or making phone calls or doing yard work.
4:00-4:30 Afternoon Chores Making sure everything is picked up from the day and straightening up her room.
5:00-6:00 Outside Time As soon as afternoon chores are done, they’re free to play outside with the neighbor kids.
6:00-6:30 Screen Time
6:30-7:00 Dinner and Clean up
7:00-7:30 Screen Time or Free Play Sometimes she heads downstairs for more TV after dinner, sometimes she spins around in the living room for a half an hour.
7:30-8:30 Bath, bed, tuck-in Lights out at 8:30.

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