Like most parents in California, I was not expecting to have to homeschool my child because of the COVID-19 Pandemic. I wanted her to remain in school- I was enjoying finally having some me time to get back to my pre-child weight, declutter the house, and finally return to the work force. But, it happened, unexpectedly.
We recently moved to Northern California, and because of that, I was so ready for this. We had to stay in corporate housing for a month, so we tried online homeschooling to lessen the impact of the move. Each city here seems to have their own school district, so we decided to keep my first grader home until we could find a permanent school.
Now, three months later, we are ready to homeschool again. I am not making the same mistake that I made when we enrolled her in an online homeschool. Instead, I am letting the child lead, or something like that. This is the schedule:
We painted our door with magnetic, and chalkboard paint to create a learning hub. I wrote the schedule down and wanted to erase it immediately to have more space to draw and add vocabulary, but I left it and added the actual schedule on the sides. I’m glad I didn’t erase it. Keeping it up really helps remind me to follow daily plans. It’s not meant to be a ridged schedule. We deviated from it on the first day and end the day at 4 p.m. instead of at 2.30 p.m. Everyday the schedule moves around, subjects change places yet we still do most of them because it’s up on the board. We still haven’t had a chance to incorporate STEM in it’s full sense, though. We only get to complete the science and math portion of it. Technology and Engineering, you keep evading us!
The following pictures are the resources we use for math, English, and Geography:
I wish I could tell you this is easy, it’s not. I love every minute of it, most of the time, but it’s draining. It’s difficult to maintain order when you’re doing worksheets for Math, and English. Having the chalkboard really helps, because my kid can go up and do some work on the board instead of on their usual worksheet. That’s the fun part. The lack of attention and interest is the worst part. The thing that helped with attention was to threaten to remove recess. I’m usually a positive parenting follower, where kids learn from natural consequences. Just this once I’m keeping this threat in my side pocket to use only for emergencies.
Manipulative’s really help to lessen the struggle of math. I’m not saying to go out and buy a ton of tiny blocks or toys, just use what you have at home. If you have cotton balls, q-tips, legos, anything that is small and can be counted to 100 or more is perfect.
If you want to purchase some items, I have a few affiliate links to share at the end of this blog that I can recommend from personal experience.
For English: we journal, use a grammar book, and a reading comprehension book. This Wednesday my little did not want to work at all. During lunch, she set up her stuffed toys around her table and served them each a meal. So, instead of getting her workbooks out, I brought out a few sheets with poems from Robert Louis Stevenson, which I got from Here. I gave a sheet to an owl, Eevee (Pokémon), myself and my kiddie. She read poems for each animal (in their respective voices) and for herself too. She ended up reading six poems at the end of our lunch. I also read, because if you don’t join in, it’s not as fun. Maintaining a laid back attitude really helps with the day. Yes, it’s good to finish the worksheets, but, literature is also part of English. So, let it go sometimes, and find different ways to talk about grammar or spelling throughout the day. For example: While playing chess, my kiddie was able to retrieve a second Queen. I said, “that’s a plural noun! What do you call them?” And she responded with, “Queens!” You can incorporate English anytime this way.
I am a fluent Spanish speaker, this doesn’t mean I’m a good Spanish speaker, or that I have taught my 6 year old any Spanish. My husband and I primarily speak English to each other, so we haven’t really been immersing ourselves, or our daughter in this second language. During this lockdown, I am taking advantage of this learning period, and I am including Spanish lessons in the day. I’m using music and a few books to help teach Spanish. We found a good album on google play: Con Cosmo Uno. The songs are catchy, and easy to remember. My little kept singing the song even after school. If you know a second language, try to incorporate it now. I’m sure you’re not like me and haven’t waited until this very moment to teach it! But, if so, look for videos on YouTube, or even songs from iTunes or Googleplay that sing your second language.
For Geography we purchased these. Every birthday we kept collecting a continent or country, we even found the Asian country puzzle on Etsy! I asked my kid what Continent she wanted to study this week, and she chose Asia. With this puzzle, we take the country we are focusing on out of the puzzle and trace it. Then we use a pin to poke the outline and use it as a lovely window decoration. I took advantage and taught history while also teaching geography. I read through the Encyclopedia of History and found interesting people, facts and terms to talk about, and wrote them down on the chalkboard. We will keep doing that for the rest of the week and will change to a different continent or country the following week. I also used Trillium resources for geography. This is one of my favorite lesson plans to work on.
Science is so fun, too! It is one of the best subjects. I’m a big fan of math, and geography, but science is really the best kid teaching subject of all. I use a ton of activities for science, but for these lessons I am using The good and the Beatuiful science PDFs. I purchased the Space PDF and printed out the lessons. It took us three days to finish the first lesson, only because I accidentally put it close to the end of the day and we were so pooped by 3 p.m. we really don’t want to do much. It’s so easy to follow along, the lessons are short and sweet, they do have scripture, so if that is a problem, there are also other space lessons on the website Teachers Pay Teachers. We will work on space and switch from that to The Good and the Beautiful’s Kingdoms PDF. I’ll post more blogs about the science projects we do in the future.
Art class is usually just painting, or watching the new Mo Williams lunch hour which you can find here. We love his hilarious books, and while this might not be the best for children under 3, it’s so awesome for my 6 year old. We had to pause it to do the drawings, and sometimes we rewind to listen to MO’s funny commentary twice. Mo is so interesting and funny!
We haven’t sectioned off PE, because we do activities during recess and lunch. We have been lacking in the 4 hour of outside playtime so our days are longer then what I would like. If anybody has any resources that can help with this, please let me know in the comments.
The previous links were not affiliate links, I do not profit from the links that I posted.
If you click on the following, I will get a small percentage from the purchase. Thank you for doing so, if you purchased it from Amazon. These are the links: Montessori Multiplication Bead, Atlas, Grammar and Punctuation. I hope they are useful if you did purchase the items. We love them!
Experiencing this quarantine feels as if though we are living in the 1950’s to me. It also feels like I’m living in a Ray Bradbury book or short story, but it’s necessary and I wish everybody out there stays safe and healthy. I hope my resources help out in some ways during this tough time and that you can find a good schedule for your littles.