Tuesday, December 01, 2015

1st Grade Schedule

I decided to post my current thoughts on scheduling our 1st grade year for a young 6 year old boy, starting in August of next year.

  • Science - Apologia Science (either Exploring Creation with Botany or Zoology 1) Young Explorers, with Junior Notebooking Journal. This may be overkill for most 6 year old kids, but my oldest kid is a science fiend. They do science in co-op as well, so I may adjust this to go along with what they are doing in co-op, but the Apologia science curriculum is amazing.
  • Math - Singapore Math (1A and 1B)
  • Grammar - First Language Lessons of a Well-trained Mind
  • Reading - read aloud quality literature outside of "school time" (we've already made it through the first Boxcar Children book in the last week). Explore various genres of literature as in-school read-alouds - biography, non-fiction, historical fiction, folk tale, poetry, mystery. Encourage him to read on his own for pleasure, using reward systems as needed.
  • Vocabulary and spelling - add to vocabulary list from read-alouds. Use spelling words and worksheets, as needed from www.k12reader.com or other free online resources.
  • Handwriting - A Reason for Handwriting Book A and copy work, as desired (I don't like the idea of forcing copy work, but I may use it occasionally, as desired to reinforce learning in other areas).
  • Writing - have him re-tell stories in his own words, and dictate stories to me.
  • Art - library books, practice using various art forms (we're getting the kids some acrylic paints and Crayola paintbrushes in various sizes and styles for Christmas).
  • Fine motor skills - continue to build fine motor skills by encouraging play with Lego's, Kinetic sand, Play-doh, lacing and more. I may also try to teach him finger-weaving as well, if additional fine motor skills are needed.
  • Music - continue to visit story-time at the library, listen to classical music, and other songs and CDs.
  • History - visit museums, read books, unit studies. Mainly I would like to focus on North Carolina and U.S. History this year, and then start with a chronological world history study for 2nd grade, when he's more ready for that much information. I don't think he's quite ready for a formal history curriculum yet.
  • Field Trips - continue planning on 1-4 field trips per month.
  • Memory Work - Awana and Vol. 2 of "Hide Em in Your Heart" (Steve Green)
  • Bible study - continue to read Bible aloud at bedtime and discuss.
It looks like a lot, but the only "Everyday" subject is math and reading (my kids love to read aloud, so they won't complain about that). A basic schedule would look something like this (subject to adjustment):

Monday - math, reading, science, handwriting, art, history, fine motor skills
Tuesday - math, reading, grammar, music, co-op
Wednesday - math, reading, library story time, vocabulary, science, writing, history
Thursday - math, reading, grammar, spelling, handwriting, art
Friday - math, reading, grammar, fine motor skills, history, science, music

I'm a bit undecided at this point on whether to re-join co-op for next year (and it's still really early to decide anything). Field trips will generally be worked around the school schedule depending on time of day the field trip occurs and the needs of the school day. I have no problem skipping school when the occasion warrants, and will most likely end up schooling somewhat year round, even if it's just science experiments and reading quality literature. I also still haven't decided if I want to do an all-in-one curriculum such as Heart of Dakota again next year and just add science to it, and take away from it as necessary for my child. Needless to say, the only reason to put this post down at this time of year, is to stop my own head from re-working things indefinitely. I'll try not to look at it again until it's closer to the time to decide on curriculum next year.

In the meantime, school is going fabulously this year, and I won't plan on messing with a good thing. The best thing I've learned all year is not to keep going with too much of a good thing, even if the kids are enjoying a science experiment or art project, it's best not to keep them at it too long, or it will quickly become frustrating.

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