Hello! I've been working with my niece to help her get started in homeschooling her daughter. They live in Minnesota, so this schedule attempts to reflect their state requirements, their seasons (for outdoor, science studies), their outside activities, and the books available through their local library system. I hope it might prove helpful to others getting started on the road to homeschooling, as well!
Comprehensive Schedule for First Grade
Things you may need to prep for ahead of time, Blue
One website that has lots of Bible study options is Garden of Praise: http://gardenofpraise.com/
(They also have some great picture studies for art appreciation, although I think the written work that goes along with it is better for older kids....)
Reading / Phonics - 20 minutes for phonics and her reading, explanations, etc. - 30 minutes for read alouds (8:15 – 8:35 and 8:35 – 9:05):
Phonics Pathways - Mom needs to read through the introduction to this book before the school
And that's IT for day one! Don't require too much each day!
Now, for the reward!
Explain to her that reading silently to ourselves and reading aloud are different kinds of work for the brain and exercise different parts of the brain, so both are important. She will learn to read this year and will read aloud to you sometimes and you will read aloud to her and discuss what has been read to make sure she understands it. She can ask questions any time (but you might want her to put her hand on your elbow or knee or something and wait until you get to a good stopping place for her to ask) and you will try to explain to her, if you can, what the answer to her question is or you will make a note and look up the answer together later.
Tell her that sometimes the stories you read during literature time will be fanciful, made-up stories about things that don't really exist and perhaps never have and never will exist. Stories such as this are called fiction. This means the stories are not really true (or we cannot prove that they are true). These types of stories include fairy tales (fairies are not real, so far as we know), fables (a fairy tale that has a lesson, or moral, in it), myths, legends, and other such things.
On the other hand, true stories about real people, animals or things are called non-fiction, meaning they are the exact opposite of fiction. They are true, so far as we know. These will include books that you read about science topics and most of the history books you read (although you will read fictional stories for history, too).
There are also other kinds of stories, that may tell you about a true thing but may use fictional (cartoon or other make believe) types of characters to tell the story. An example of this type of story would be The Magic School Bus Books, Ms. Frizzle's Adventure books, etc. These types of books are often called "informational storybooks" - they combine non-fiction information with fun, fictional characters. We all know that people and school buses cannot become tiny enough to travel through the blood vessels of the human body, fly out into space to visit all the other planets, or do other such things. That part of the story is fictional, or non-true. However, the parts of the human body, the solar system planets and other things that the books tell us about are real and the information given about those things is true. So the book is part true and part fiction.
Another type of fiction book is called "realistic fiction" - this would be a story that seems so real that you could believe that the people and places in the story really exist and that the things in the story really happened, but they didn't. Later this year, when you are reading more, you may read some Amelia Bedelia books, or Nate the Great books, and those would be examples of realistic fiction. After you read a few of their books, you will feel like you know them and might meet them somewhere, but they are not real people.... They were made up by the person who wrote the book - a book writer is called an author.
On the other hand, if you read some of the Frog and Toad books this year, or some of the Wind in the Willow books, you would never think that frogs and toads live in little houses like the ones we live in and talk to each other the way we people do. Nor would you ever believe that weasels, badgers or other animals of the woods live in houses like people with furniture, taking tea and having picnics - that would be silly! Those books are clearly fiction.
So as you read every day this year, try to identify whether the book you are reading is a work of fiction, or is true (or something in between)....
Books to read:
Tell her that the books you are going to read from every day are related to the things you will be studying later for science and history, or sometimes will be just for fun.
You will be studying bugs in science at this time, so choose one or more books, as time allows related to whatever bugs you are studying first. Choose from things like: Eric Carle's Very Hungry Caterpillar; Very Grouchy Ladybug; Very Quiet Cricket, Very Busy Spider, Click Beetle, etc. (These are informational storybooks.) Pull these books from your library if you don't already have them at home.
Or, read some of the fictional library books for this week, such as: I Love Bugs!, The Magic School Bus: Bugs, Bugs, Bugs; Diary of a Worm; Yucky Worms; I Wish I Were a Butterfly; The Honeybee Man; Waiting for Wings; The Ants go Marching; In the Tall, Tall Grass; Arrrgh! Spider!; Be Nice to Spiders; Diary of a Spider; or, The Itsy Bitsy Spider.
Read one to three of these this first morning, depending on how your time is going and how many total books you have to read for lit for the week (divide by 5!)
Spelling Workout, Level A - this book begins with a little phonics and letter writing practice, which is why I went ahead and chose Level B in the handwriting book for you. The A level book for writing was completely just writing letters and I am hopeful that she is ready to do more than just that.
We ALWAYS kept a "Trouble Word" list and any words missed in the spelling test went on there and periodically got re-spelled (had to get them correct at least 3 times before they were removed from the list). You can use the "Spelling Notebook" pages at the back of the book, if you want....
So here's how to set it up:
Week 1 - Week 3
Spanish for Children Chapter 1
Because I am not sure that there are breaks in the CD that will allow you to do just one page or exercise at a time, I will suggest that you listen all the way through each chapter and just follow along with your fingers in the book on the first day, then re-listen and fill out the exercises on the second day.
If you want to re-use this workbook (I have never found extra workbooks-only available for sale), then I suggest placing a clear sheet of plastic over the page and allowing her to write with either a dry erase or wet erase marker.
For those exercises that ask you to cut out, color, etc., then I might suggest that you photocopy those pages if you have access to a color copier that would not be too expensive for you. If you do not, then you might modify them. For instance in the exercise in chapter two, where it tells you to cut out and place items in a basket, you might instead place a plastic sheet over the basket and have her draw in items over the basket; or you could cut out magazine pics and place those on the basket; or if this exercise forms a two-page spread, she could draw a line from the items to the basket if you put plastic over both pages, etc. (I can't tell, from the website, how the pages are laid out in the book....)
Read the intro about what you're going to be learning and turn on the CD to listen. Follow along with the songs on page 69, if you want.
Listen through Chapter One, I assume to end - I'm not sure how they have the CD tracks laid out. As the children's names are said, just point to them this first day to help her (as I assume she is really not reading).
REPEAT the Spanish words as they say them as much as you can and keep encouraging her to do that, too. If she isn't saying the words, she won't learn them!
I don't think they read the FUN FACTS that are included on the tape. You can read these on DAY TWO, so don't stop for them now.
Don't draw the picture yet. You will do this on DAY THREE.
I don't recall whether or not they read the CHECKLIST that is at the end of each chapter, but I think they DO read the little cartoon, and that is fun, so listen all the way through if they do and follow along with your finger.
Primary Math Lesson Time - about 20 minutes daily (10:10 – 10:30):
I can't see a picture of these books online, so I am assuming they are basically similar to the ones I used with Liam and am assigning pages based on that. You may need to modify some, however, if pages have changed....
Primary Math 1A Textbook: Chapter 1: Numbers 0 - 10 (I am assuming she knows these pretty well from K)
Pages 6 - 9 - look at sets of zero through 10 things. Also shown is the number and the number word for each amount. To the right is also dots of the same number. Talk about how we can express numbers differently in this way with pictures of things, actual items, dots or bars, the actual written number or the word for the number. Have her count out zero to ten of something such as the bear counters in the set I am sending for Eli's use.
Pages 10 - 15. Have her count the items in each set orally and if you want her to write the amount, place plastic cover pages over each page to keep them clean and use write on/wipe off or wet wipe markers.
On page 12, compare sets. If they are not the same, which one has more (or less)?
Same with page 13.
Also practice counting backwards on page 15....
Since you are not writing in this book, note which pages you do each day, her grade on the work or how she did, the date, etc.
Civics – about 10 minutes daily (10:30 – 10:40):
Thanks to the Happy Strong Home blog for this! http://happystronghome.com/exploring-patriotic-symbols-of-america-free-ebook/ )
Here's a government website that has some info for kids:
A Brainpop movie about U.S. Symbols:
Under the monthly programs, there are options to also listen to Italian composers, instruments of the orchestra, etc.
There are also some good teacher lesson plans you could use throughout the year. For instance, there's one for Aaron Copeland's music and they have plans geared specifically for K-2. You download the info and there are links to find the music free, online, as well as directions for related activities.
If you go to this Classical Kids site, there are excerpts (pretty lengthy) of their past productions, such as Vivaldi's Ring of Mystery and Beethoven Lives Upstairs that you could watch and listen to in order to introduce her to some fantastic classical pieces that are very well known:
Also, for ART APPRECIATION, here is a free site where you can pull up any pictures you (or she) like and read about them. Sometimes there are some questions about them or you can just discuss yourself. The Simply Grammar book will also have some art study included in it, for purposes of narration....
This slideshow takes you through a whole series of poses:
And here's a You Tube to help get started:
I have a "Snacktivities" book I'm sending you. 50 activities for parents and kids to make healthy snacks (and they involve some math activities, too).
Here are some PBS things related to nutrition: http://pbskids.org/healthykids/
Here are some things related to the current "My Plate" nutrition push by our government:
http://www.choosemyplate.gov/kids/ (while I think some things are wrong, like too much grain still, I think these are ok....)
Doing Health once or twice a week and using these activities about once a month will, I think, get you through the entire school year!
Read Usborne Ancient World, page 3.
Read intro from SOTW. The Activity Guide has some examples of review questions (and possible answers) for you to use following each chapter of the book in order to make sure she understands what you are reading. Ask her some of these after you’ve read each chapter. Don’t stress her about it, though! You want history to be fun for her!
I Can be an Archaeologist
The Magic School Bus Shows and Tells (use for reading time)
Bible (8:00 – 8:15):
Reading / Phonics (8:15 – 8:35):
Phonics Pathways, page 21 and 23. This is more of the two letter blends. I think these are more confusing than helpful, as some of them, like "so" yesterday, are two letter words that will have very different sounds later, so I don't like these. I would help her through these two pages today, emphasizing the short vowel sounds, and the second page ends with a three letter word, "ran." I think it will be better to move on to three letter words for learning to read. These more typically make the correct short vowel sound in the middle. At first, you just repeat one or two of the words and have her follow you, then see if she will try them herself. Keep prompting her if she won't try. For instance: What sound does the letter 'm' make? Mmmmmmmmmmm. What is the short vowel sound for the letter 'u'? Remember, the vowels say their name when they make the long sound, but the short sound is different. 'U' makes the uhhhhh sound.... Put those together: mmmmmmuhhhh....
Again, this book presumes that you may be either starting with a pre-schooler who may not know all their letters and their sounds perfectly (and Kindergarten should have taught her this), or an illiterate person who may not have ever read and so may not know the alphabet well. Assuming she knows her letters and sounds, these two letter "words" are not all that helpful and may be confusing, so I think it's best not to use too many of them.
That's all for today. Tomorrow you will start three letter word blends which I think will make more sense to her.
Literature / Read Aloud Time (8:35 – 9:05):
Choose a bug related book from your list provided yesterday.
Choose any of the fictional books you were able to get from the library that are related to your history studies for this week, such as:
One Small Blue Bead
The First Dog (read one; save the others for the next day or so….)
Talk about the difference between fiction and non-fiction. Remind her that these books are all informational, in that they tell you about something important related to science or history, but they are not about real characters or things that really happened, so far as we know. The stories are made up by the author (assuming that is true for the bug book you choose – or it may be purely fanciful, like The Ants Go Marching, etc.)
Also draw a small pic of sun if it is sunny, clouds if cloudy, rain drops if raining, snow if snowing, etc. At the end of each month, you will tally how many days you have that were sunny vs. cloudy vs. rainy, etc. This will give her practice with making tally marks. You can also create a graph sometimes and graph it, to give her work with that, as well....
READ THE FUN FACTS
Re-listen through Chapter One and fill out the written exercises, such as checking off the names of the other children, writing in your name (saying the phrases as you do), filling out the number of items, matching the ages (saying the numbers as you do), filling in your own age (and saying those phrases as you do).
Primary Math (10:10 – 10:30):
Do Workbook exercises one and two, using plastic cover sheets if you wish to keep workbooks clean for later use again. Hmmmm, what to do about coloring on page 8? Let her color on the plastic? or copy the page?
Practice counting forwards and backwards to ten. Also start practicing counting by 2's and show her 5 sets of two bears each to show her what you are doing by counting by twos.... Also, tell her that when counting by 2's, we are always counting what we call "even" numbers.
(Most of her baseline books came from Rainbow Resource Center.)
Mik's Mammoth (use these last three for literature)
One Small Blue Bead
The First Dog
I don’t have available to me anything showing the full index of Phonics Pathways, so I’m not sure if the three-letter blends start on page 24 or shortly after that. But turn to the first page that is all three letter blends and start there. Those are your typical rhyming word families that will allow her to really use her short vowel sounds more easily. There are also many of these to be found in the little mini-books workbook that you have. So if you are doing “-an” word family for the day, see if you have a mini-book she can make that uses that same word family. If you are using the “-at” word family, look for a mini-book to go with that, etc. After she makes the little book, she can “read” it herself! Keep these and let her re-read them periodically over the next few weeks as she learns to read.
Draw the picture of yourself and write in a speech bubble. Practice the phrases on the page.
Primary Math (10:10 – 10:30):
Do Workbook exercises three and four.
Is she having difficulty with writing any number? With getting numbers correct when counting items? With counting backwards or skip counting? Practice more and use counters if necessary to help her cement this basic knowledge.
Civics (10:30 – 10:40):
Antler, Bear, Kazoo: A Northwoods Album of Songs
Big Belching Bog (Oh, man! You need to go visit a bog!)
Gathering: A Northwoods Counting Book
Good Night Minnesota
I Spy with my Little Eye: Minnesota
The Legend of Minnesota
Lena and the Lady’s Slippers…
M is for Minnesota – 2 titles
Marven of the Great North Woods
Minnesota – 3 titles
Minnesota’s Hidden Alphabet
Are you a Grasshopper?
Wee Sing and Learn Bugs (continue next several days)
Try to do about 30 minutes of reading; about 30 minutes of hands-on activities such as those below; and about 30 minutes of work outside (in this case, try to catch and observe some crickets and grasshoppers, sketch them, etc.)
To help fill out your study - or for rainy days or time back home, I am sending you a build-your-own- bug sort of set. It is called Amazing Bugs. You snap on moving legs or wings, etc. to various bugs as you read through the book. Some of the snaps are kinda hard to work, but you can just lay them on if you can't snap them.... (I will fit this in to the study later….)
There's also a Janice Van Cleave Insects and Spiders Science Fair Project book. Not that you have to be entering a science fair to use these experiments.... You can use some of these to guide your outdoor nature study time. For instance: the first project: Catchers. You could experiment with different ways of catching insects. The second project: Diggers. Go play in the dirt and see what kind of insects (or insect parts) you find there.... The third one: Jointed. Catch a cricket (or grasshopper) and look up close at its jointed parts, using a magnifier or your Brock's Magiscope. Sketch what you see!
All have segmented bodies and jointed appendages.
All are invertebrates (no spinal column).
Arthropod phylum includes the: Insects, Arachnids, Myriapods (millipedes and centipedes) and Crustaceans (most of which live in the sea, save for the Pill Bug).
Insects have 6 legs. Arachnids (spiders and their kin) have 8 legs.
Most insects have wings at some point in their lifespan, even if they unhook them and don't keep them all their lives (like ants do, after migrating to new colonies).
The only common insects that never have wings are fleas, lice, and silverfish.
Also choose one of the fictional books related to history to read. If you were not able to obtain all of these, use classic children’s literature for reading time (any books you have at home or get classics from the library such as Frog and Toad, Amelia Bedelia, Nate the Great, Wind in the Willows, etc., etc.)
The Complete Book of Spanish - write your name on page 4, practicing the phrase in Spanish, then look at and practice saying your numbers on page 5 and 6.
Complete workbook page 8.
(I would actually use up this workbook with her as you will use it for several years. Just put your date and her grade at the top of the first page and then the date on each page from here on out so you can prove when the work was done. Include the year in the date since you will use this for several years. Even on pages where you don't actually write anything, such as pages 5 and 6, write the date and put "oral" or "orally" or "oral work" or something to note what you did.)
Use Singapore Math Practice 1A for more extra practice. (I got this cheap at my local Parent-Teacher store!)
Do pages 13 (examples) through 18. Use plastic sheeting if you want to keep the book clean for later re-use. Just instruct her on what to do for each page and watch to see if she can do it. If she can do it on her own (correctly), allow her to - if not, then step in to redirect.
Civics (10:30 – 10:40):
Show Me Insects (just general books – not beetle specific)
Living Lights: Fireflies…
Spelling / Writing / Grammar (9:05 – 9:35):
Complete Book - practice counting the balloons on page 7.
Complete workbook page 9.
Sing the songs from Chapter 1 in SfC again and/or look at the back of your Complete Book and sing some of those songs (page 205 are all good for now). "Diez Amigos" on page 206 will work now; the "Name Chant" on page 209 is good for what you are studying now, as is "Adios Means Good-bye."