Homeschool Plan for Toddler, Preschool, and 1st Grade

After realizing how much  kids need to relearn after taking the summer off and seeing some of that first hand with Goofy, we came to a decision in our house – We are going to school year round.  Now don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean we aren’t taking time to enjoy the summer or letting the kids have time to just be kids! (I happen to be a HUGE advocate of letting kids enjoy their childhood & learn through play and free time!) I am finding that by doing school work year round it allows us:
  • not to have to relearn things (so we cover more material),
  • we get more and longer breaks throughout the year (which allows us to enjoy various seasons/activities and take off-peak cheaper vacations)
  • we have less to cover per day (so we have more time each day to play!)
I know this plan isn’t a good fit for every family and may not fit our family in upcoming years – but it fits us this year so that’s our plan! (We went ‘back to school’ in early July)

Homeschooling Resources

Lots of people ask me how we organize our day. Although each day is it’s own adventure… typically here is what we do:
  • Breakfast, morning walk as a family, and Bible Time (my kids choose to wake up shortly after 6am so our day starts earlier than most =-)
  • 8am Daddy goes to work and we do our calendar time. Then each morning we do several of the following:
    • do the interactive science/history/activity from the Five in a Row or theme we are studying (those are fun to do all together)
    • visit the library for story time & checking out books
    • have music time (make instruments, sing/dance/do silly motions together)
    • make a craft
    • stories on the flannel board (the kids love helping me tell classic children’s stories on our board!)
    • PLAY (dress-ups, store, playmobil, dolls, making a fort, board game, playdoh, etc.)
    • Exercise – going to the park, riding bikes, swinging, weekly nature journals, playing at indoor tunnels or jump zone, mall play area, etc.
  • Lunch; then we read books together and Tinker Bell goes down for a nap
  • SCHOOL TIME – Minnie works through her workboxes (click to see how we do our workboxes) while Goofy works through his subjects. They do the 3 R’s (Reading, wRiting, and aRithmatic) every day! Then each of the following gets a 1 1/2 hours chunk once a week: Social Studies, Gym, Science, Art, and Music. This allows us to do involved experiments and large history activities.
  • 4pm (give or take) more time to play and have free time before dinner


“Tinker Bell” (2 years old) – Tot School
No formal school for Tinker Bell yet! She will do:
  • Music – sing, dance, and play the maraca
  • Reading – read lots of books and build up a good vocabulary
  • Play LOTS! (dress-up, roll play, creativity, cause & effect, and interaction with Mom)
  • Gym –  play at the park, jump on our trampoline, crawl in our church play tunnels, push her dolly around, and ride around on her ride-on truck (large motor skill development)
  • Guided Play – playing through my {free} Nursery Rhyme Lapbook
  • Arts & Crafts – lots of playdough, sensory bins, and crafts to stimulate her and help her practice her fine motor skills
“Minnie” (4 years old) – Preschoolimage
  • Letter of the Week Curriculum (from Confessions of a Homeschooler) is only $10 and has about 50 pages per letter! It contains cute clipart, incorporates a
    wide variety of activities, and is reusable for your kids. I will say that to print most of the pages, laminate or page protect many sheets (so I can reuse them with Tinker Bell in a couple years), and store them (I used folders, but Erica uses Binders) will cost you $200-300. It is a great curriculum, but wanted to kind of bottom line it for you. I am planning on getting several child’s worth of use so it was worth the time/effort. You could also pick a preschool pack/literature based pack for each letter of the alphabet and get the same effect.
  • Reading the Easy Way!  I created this 80 page set to help Minnie learn to read the Preschool Dolch words! It worked – my 4 year old is confident & reading. I am so proud. You can see more about it by clicking on the button at the bottom of this post.
  • My Father’s World K (We already had this and didn’t get to finish it. Honestly, I felt like this alone for  Kindergarten was too simple. But there were some good ideas in there. So as more than half of the letters (i.e. E is for Elephant) corresponded with the Letter of the Week curriculum, I decided to do them together. My Father’s World will add the science & social study ideas that the Letter of the Week lacks. I think it should be a lot of fun & perfect for her level  (Note: Unless you are very relaxed or an unschooler I am not sure I would spend the money on MFW – Kindergarten curriculum).
  • 5 in a Row Books (various)
  • Spanish: will  join in with big brother (see below)
  • P.E.: walks, play at the park, jump on our trampoline, crawl in our church play tunnels, push her dolly around, and ride around on her ride-on truck (large motor skill development)
  • Hands on Learning (see resources below)
“Goofy” (7 years old) – 1st gradeimage

  • Reading/Writing/Phonics/Spelling: Sing, Spell, Read, and Write (We love this program! It includes reading, writing, and phonics. We will be doing level 1.  We are also planning on doing a couple Study Guides for Literature (including Sam the Minuteman). Plus, being the Disney fanatics we are,  we are using this wonderful, free Disney Creative Writing* (Enchanted Homeschooling Mom) for 1st & 2nd grade.  *Note: As of July 2012 Enchanted Homeschooling Mom no longer offers resources for free – so glad we downloaded it first!
  • Math: Singapore Math Level 1A & 1B (We have really been enjoying Singapore Math. The lessons are short and there isn’t a lot of busy work. We’ve been drilling math facts using Mathopolis )
  • Social Studies: We are going to do several units this year: Westward Expansion, Old Testament Times, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, and Ancient Rome. These will be 6-8 week units where we will read living books and do lots of hands-on activities to reinforce the time period & what we learned, but more on that later.
  • Science: Play & Find Out About Bugs, Earth Science Unit (based on this amazing lesson plan), AIMS Primarily Magnets, and Answers in Genesis: Animals (so excited to get into this!), and my {free} Weather Unit with printables and science experiments.
  • P.E.: We are blessed to have a gym teacher who teaches all our church homeschool kids!! Goofy will also be playing soccer, baseball, taking swimming lessons, gymnastics, and getting lots of exercise running our neighborhood with friends & with us at the park.
  • Spanish: I grew up in Spain and speak fluently, unfortunately with Goofy’s speech issues we intentionally stopped speaking/reading to him in Spanish to see if that would help succeed in English (unfortunately the issues were deeper than that so I guess we shouldn’t have stopped). Now we have some ground to cover! I am going to use The Complete Book of Starter Spanish as a springboard with both of the kids and ease our way back into reading/talking to them in Spanish regularly.
  • Music: We LOVE Color the Classics we’ve been using. It is a great way to expose the kids to a variety of music and some great composers in a way that is fun & memorable to them. This year we will be studying:  Luther, Wesley, Watts, Newton, Crosby and Banner.  I will also be working through my {free} Music Lapbook with the kids. It has a good foundation to music notes, staff, orchestra instruments, Peter and the Wolfe, and more.
That rounds out our curriculum choices and favorite educational toys for 2012-2013. Hopefully this has been helpful to you. I know I always like seeing what resources are out there & what other people choose to use.  Here are some other links that might be helpful:Reading-the-Easy-Way6
No matter where you school, or what you use, have a GREAT year!

About the author

Beth Gorden

Beth Gorden is the creative multi-tasking creator of 123 Homeschool 4 Me. As a busy homeschooling mother of six, she strives to create hands-on learning activities and worksheets that kids will love to make learning FUN! She has created over 1 million pages of printables to help teach kids ABCs, science, English grammar, history, math, and so much more! Beth is also the creator of 2 additional sites with even more educational activities and FREE printables - www.kindergartenworksheetsandgames.com and www.preschoolplayandlearn.com

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