Homeschooling: Fall Semester Planning for 1st Grade and Tot School

Yesterday was the first day of school for most public schools in San Antonio! We celebrated with our first community day at Classical Conversations and playground time with friends. For our family, it was school day #25! We’ve spent the past month easing into our daily schedule with Saxon math, memory work review, and journal entries–and now we’ll be adding in copywork, science, and grammar/phonics.

As I mentioned previously, we have regular commitments almost every day of the week (Monday: CC, Tuesday & Wednesday: signing classes, Thursday: science co-op), so there is no way that a daily school schedule is going to work for us. I’ll be working up a weekly spreadsheet to find pockets of time, and we’ll definitely be doing some schoolwork “on the go.”

We DO have regular touchstones throughout our day, typically revolving around our meals. In the morning, we do our Bible lesson and practice our memory work before starting our day. After lunch, we do read-alouds on the couch before rest-time. Having these routines in place make our day a little easier.


1st Grade

Addie has a strong auditory learning style, so we play our Classical Conversation audio CDs/playlist throughout the day. It’s nice to know that she is learning while she dances around the room or plays with her little sister. We also play our review game for 15 minutes three or four times a week, and we keep CC copywork pages in our daily work binder.

Other morning activities include calendar, journal, tablework (either CC memory work or math/reading pages from Annie Moffatt) and our Saxon math lesson. Our goal will be to work for about an hour before taking a break for free play and morning chores. Our science curriculum includes lots of library books, so we snuggle up on the couch and “talk” through our lesson.

After lunch, we do read-alouds and rest time. Before dinner, we usually do a few chores and complete our “tot school” activities together: sensory bin, playdough, craft, etc. We have a few evening activities, including practice for a musical at church.

Fall learning goals:
* My philosophy is that learning looks like play for young children. We practice handwriting, but many of our lessons are oral at this stage.
* Our local school district has 88 days in their 1st semester (ending January 16th). I’d like to be “halfway” through our formal lessons by December 18th, which breaks down to 65 math lessons, 50 grammar lessons, and 36 reading comprehension lessons plus 12 weeks of Classical Conversations and 16 weeks of science (animals). I have a note in my lesson plan book that we should be nearing school day 44 by September 29th.
* Hopefully, we’ll start having cooler temperatures in another month or so and we’ll spend a LOT more time outside with our homeschooling friends. The benefit of schooling during the hot summer months means our fall/winter months can be more relaxed!

Homeschooling: Fall Semester Planning for 1st Grade and Tot School from Lone Star Signers

Tot School (age 3)

Kate is extremely flexible and “tags along” with most of Addie’s lessons. She’s picking up a lot of the memory work and math concepts just by being in the same room with us, but she’s also asking for some “schoolwork” of her own.

We do weekly toy rotation (moving to Thursdays starting in September), and I plan tot tray activities for her that go along with our weekly signing class themes. I’ve also started planning a month’s worth of seasonal activities to have on hand for our family’s “witching hour” before dinner. At this point, I’m not scheduling activities for certain days/times–but just knowing that I can pull something out to keep her engaged and learning for 10-15 minutes gives me all the peace I need.

Tot School Planning: Apples

See our first monthly theme (APPLES) here! 

Please note: As we settle into our new fall routine and plan our next signing class session, posts around here will be lighter than usual. Feel free to follow along with us Twitter and Instagram to see all of our fun!

If you’re a homeschooling family, how do you plan for the big picture?


One thought on “Homeschooling: Fall Semester Planning for 1st Grade and Tot School

  1. Love, love, love! You are such a great teacher (and planner)! I broke down our homeschooling big picture into goals, methods, and resources and borrowing your idea I wrote down a number of lessons to be completed by the end of the fall semester. I am so happy we chose to homeschool because of the freedom and flexibility and self-paced nature of it!

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