Did you take some time off during the summer or are you just beginning your homeschooling journey? We traditionally slow things down in the summer and do only a bit of school here and there. However, last week we got back into the swing of things and I’m sharing our lessons for the week.
One thing I don’t do when starting back to school is to jump right into all of our lessons. Everyone is off track from the lack of a routine and it takes awhile to practice getting back on track.
K/1st Grade: Starting Your Homeschool
1. Building Skills Through Calendar- I’ve taught calendar many ways in the past, but this year I need it to be a little more independent. I have 3 other grade levels to teach which makes my one on one time a little more sparse. Try using Deanna Jump’s Calendar Building Skills: Daily Language & Math. First Graders may be able to do this on their own, but make sure you walk through it with your Kindergarteners.
Image from Mrs. Wills Kindergarten
2. Johnny Can Spell– It’s important to have a phonics program for young learners. Johnny Can Spell is a great program to begin. You can do it any way you want, and we only did about 10 minutes of it on our first day.
3. Poetry– Poetry is a great way to practice reading skills. I’ve used these poems for the last two years with my Kindergarteners. You can use the poetry found here to make your own poetry notebooks. Later in the week you can do rhyming words and circle the vowels in your poem!
4. Make Writing Fun- At this age it’s important to let kids explore the concept of writing. Set up a writing center with Kindergarten paper, or lined paper, put up word cards so kids can copy. Add a cup full of pencils, markers, and colored pencils and you have a writing center!
5. Trace, Cut, Paste, and Draw! These are great little worksheets to help with reading and writing. These are quite cutting intensive, but kids can also do these independently. I use these with my K/1st graders when I’m working with another group.
6. Play Math- Keeping little minds and hands busy during math is what Kindergarten is all about! Use play dough in place of counters when counting on ten frames. Also, math interactive notebooks are great to use for cutting and keeping up with skills.
Is it easy to get all of this in with multiple age groups? No. It’s hard the first couple of weeks of school. It’s important to practice, practice, practice routines so your homeschool day will run smoothly and efficiently.
If you’re a little overwhelmed, it’s natural. In about a month, the boat will stop rocking and your homeschool will sail into calm waters. It takes a lot of practice and a lot of prayer for homeschooling habits to take place. And sometimes, if something is not working, you’ll have to change it. This is all a process, so learn to go with the flow.
What are your best tips for starting your K/1st Grade homeschool?