Want to tame the chaos and help your homeschool day go more smoothly? Here’s a simple 1st grade homeschool schedule that actually works!
OK, I know it’s probably totally type A of me, but I love a good schedule. I love knowing exactly what needs to be done, making sure I don’t forget anything, and having a way to keep track of my day.
Add in 3 kids and homeschooling, and my love affair with schedules and routines has only grown. I’m not sure how to get through my day without them now. 😂
But schedules aren’t just for parents, they’re great for kids too. They help provide security, develop independence, and build great time management skills.
But don’t worry, you don’t have to be a lover of schedules to make them work. In this post, I’ll share with you a solid 1st grade homeschool schedule that anyone can follow.
It’s simple but covers the basics so you can get some structure in your day without feeling overwhelmed.
Let’s get started!
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Table of Contents
What Makes a Good 1st Grade Homeschool Schedule?
Before I share the 1st grade homeschool schedule that I’ve come up with, I think it’s important to go over what goes into making a ‘good’ schedule. I mean, anyone can put together a list of things to do and assign a time frame to them.
But often that doesn’t go well for young kids. First graders are often still quite rambunctious, squirmy, and easily distracted.
So a good schedule for them will look a bit different than what you might do for older kids or adults. Here are some things to keep in mind:
What to include in your schedule
The first thing you want to do is get clear on what you’ll include in your daily schedule. What subjects are you teaching? What tasks does your child need to do every day?
This will be the core of your 1st grade homeschool schedule. Here are some things I’ve included in mine for my kids:
- Meals and snacks
- Field trips
- Extracurricular activities
If there is something that you want your child to do on a daily or weekly basis, be sure to put it on their homeschool schedule.
Don’t over plan your day
The next part of creating a good 1st grade homeschool schedule that works is to make sure you don’t plan too much. At this age, a child’s biggest job is to explore, play, and learn.
They’re going to get a lot more out of free time to explore and play than they are from sitting at a desk all day. So be sure to leave room in your schedule for free time and fun learning activities.
Take plenty of breaks
The next part of a good 1st grade homeschool schedule is making sure it includes plenty of breaks. Like I mentioned before, 1st graders are pretty squirmy.
For many kids this results in an attention span about as long as a squirrel’s and an inability to sit still for long periods of time. And as homeschoolers, rather than fight with your kids, you can just accept it and embrace it.
Take lots of breaks for your kids to get up, move around, run through the house, and maybe ask you the 25 unrelated questions they came up with while you were trying to get through your math lesson.
All of this will help make sure you and your child have a more enjoyable homeschool day.
Sample 1st Grade Homeschool Schedule
Here is an example of a 1st grade homeschool schedule. I have used a version of this with all of my kids.
9:00am-10:00am – Get ready for the day.
10:00am-12:00pm – Homeschool lessons.
12:00pm-1:00pm – Lunch and Play Time
1:00pm-2:00pm – Finish School Work and Chores
2:00pm-4:00pm – Hobbies and Extracurricular Activities
As I’ve used this schedule throughout the years, I’ve made slight adjustments for each kid to help tailor it to what they need. However, I’ve kept the basics the same.
Having these time blocks helps my kids to know what to expect each day, but it’s flexible enough to keep us from feeling rushed or overwhelmed.
Here’s a breakdown of what each time block looks like for us:
9:00am-10:00am Get Ready for the Day
This is when the kids wake up, get dressed, brush their teeth, and have breakfast. I know most families start their day a little earlier, but we’re a house of night owls.
We work better on a schedule where we stay up a little later at night and wake up a little later in the morning.
10:00am-12:00pm Homeschool Lessons
Next, we move on to doing our schoolwork. I like to tackle our main subjects first which are reading, writing, and math.
Then we move on to doing any extracurricular subjects. At this age, I usually keep it pretty simple with subjects like science and social studies.
If I’m using a formal curriculum I might alternate days, so on Mondays and Wednesdays we would do science, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays, we would do social studies.
If I’m using an all-in-one curriculum that offers shorter lessons for each subject, we’ll do both subjects each day.
Depending on how squirmy my first grader is, we try to take breaks between each subject or every 20-30 minutes. Whichever comes first.
12:00pm-1:00pm Lunch and Play Time
After our schoolwork is done, it’s time for lunch and playtime. Both of us are usually ready for a nice long break from having to focus.
I like to give my kids enough time to eat their meal and then spend some time on other interests and explore on their own.
1:00pm-2:00pm Finish School Work and Chores
After lunch and everyone has had some downtime, we check to see if there is any schoolwork we need to finish up for the day. I typically stop for lunch regardless of whether we’ve finished our lessons.
If I think we can get more done, we’ll work on it during this time. If not, the kids take care of their chores for the day.
Once that’s done they can have more free time to play or move on to the next part of the schedule.
2:00pm-4:00pm Hobbies and Extracurricular Activities
The last part of our 1st grade homeschool schedule is extracurricular activities. The majority of our sports fall into this time of our day.
I like to have my kids do at least 1 sport. It’s good for them to be active and it offers more socialization opportunities.
So some days we pack up and drive to tennis, aerial silks, etc. Other days, the kids get to spend more time with some of their hobbies.
That might be cooking, drawing, painting, or whatever else they’re currently into.
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How to Build Your Own 1st Grade Homeschool Schedule
Now that you’ve seen an example of my 1st grade homeschool schedule, let’s talk about how to build your own. You’re of course free to use my schedule and make any tweaks that you need.
However, I think it helps to understand how to make your own that way you can customize any schedule to work best for your family.
Consider your homeschooling style
The first thing you need to do before creating a homeschool schedule is consider your homeschool style. How do you like to teach your children?
Your homeschool style is going to impact how many hours a day you do schoolwork, what subjects you need to cover, and how much free time you plan for your kids.
Trust me, it’s a lot easier to build a schedule around your current homeschool curriculum rather than try to force a schedule and curriculum to mesh.
Start with your main subjects
Next, you’ll want to start adding your main subjects first into your schedule. I like to make sure that in 1st grade we at least cover reading, writing, and math every day.
Those are the core subjects that children need to learn well to be successful academically. I know that even on the crazy days if we can at least get those subjects done, we’re doing ok.
Check-in with your local homeschooling requirements
The next part of building your 1st grade homeschool schedule is checking in with your local homeschooling laws and requirements. Some states require students to keep attendance and/or cover certain subjects.
Make sure to note any requirements and work them into your schedule.
Write it down
Next, go ahead and write everything down. Then be sure to post it somewhere where everyone in the family can see it.
Although you can probably easily remember your schedule, I promise your kids will forget it. Then on top of teaching and everything else you need to do, you’ll spend your day reminding them of what they need to do next.
When it’s written down and clearly displayed, your children can start to take ownership of their schedule and stay on track with it.
Don’t forget chores and extracurricular activities
When creating your 1st grade homeschool schedule, make sure you don’t forget to add in any chores or extracurricular activities that come up regularly. Part of homeschooling includes teaching your children life skills and giving them opportunities to explore their interests.
So be sure to make time for these activities in your schedule. It will also help you and your child better manage your time when you have that reminder of everything that needs to be done that day.
A very important part of a good homeschool schedule that actually works for your family is that you need to keep it realistic. Only put on the schedule what you honestly think you and your child can keep up with on a daily basis.
You’ll notice that I didn’t put down any learning blocks that lasted longer than 2 hours and I planned for plenty of breaks. That’s because I know at that age, none of my kids had the focus to sit still and learn for longer than that.
And trying to force them only led to frustration for everyone.
I also didn’t plan a ton of activities each day and I didn’t try to wake them up early knowing we tend to stay up late. I made a schedule that was realistic for who we are and what we’ll be able to follow through with.
Anything else is just a to-do list that gets ignored and ends up making me feel guilty when I can’t complete it.
Keep it flexible
Another important part of any daily homeschool schedule is to keep it flexible. Life happens and things come up.
Some days might run smoother than others, and that’s OK! The schedule is meant to be a guideline for what you hope to accomplish for the day.
But if things change, if 1 subject isn’t going well, or you feel like everyone just needs to get out of the house and burn off energy first thing in the morning instead of doing schoolwork, that’s ok too!
Having a homeschool schedule doesn’t mean you’re stuck following it. It’s meant to provide structure for the days that you need it.
But as always, as a homeschooler, you’re free to do what you want. 😉
Adjust as needed
My last tip for building a 1st grade homeschool schedule that really works for your family is to adjust it as needed. Don’t be afraid to make changes when you find that something isn’t working.
It’s YOUR schedule and it should be tailored to fit your family’s needs. So if you find that your child is struggling with a certain subject or activity, feel free to shift things around and find a better balance.
Remember, the ultimate goal of homeschooling is to provide an education that works for your child and their unique learning style. So don’t be afraid to make changes as needed.
FAQs About 1st Grade Homeschool Schedules
How many hours a day should a 1st grader homeschool?
How many hours a day you teach your 1st grader will depend a lot on what type of curriculum they are using and your homeschooling style. I’ve personally found that around 2 hours (assuming everything is going well), is usually enough time to cover the main subjects plus 1 or 2 extra subjects.
What should a first grader learn in homeschool?
First graders in homeschool typically cover the core subjects such as reading, language arts, and math. Other common subjects at this level include science, social studies, art, and music.
First grade is also a great time to start adding in life skills and extracurricular activities into their learning experience.
Do I need to follow a strict schedule for homeschooling?
No, you do not have to follow a strict schedule for homeschooling. In fact, flexibility is one of the many benefits of homeschooling.
As long as you are covering the required subjects and meeting any local requirements, how you structure your day is up to you and what works best for your family.
What is a loop schedule?
A loop schedule is a flexible approach to homeschool scheduling where subjects are rotated on a loop, rather than being assigned specific days. This allows for a more fluid structure and the ability to focus on certain subjects that may need extra attention without feeling behind in other areas.
Loop schedules work well for families who value flexibility and have varying schedules from day to day.
Conclusion to Simple 1st Grade Homeschool Schedule for Kids That Really Works
I hope this article has helped you understand that creating a 1st grade homeschool schedule doesn’t have to be complicated or overwhelming. You can use mine or easily build your own by following the tips and guidelines I’ve shared.
Remember, every family is unique and what works for one may not work for another. So don’t be afraid to make adjustments and find a schedule that fits your family’s needs and lifestyle.
And don’t forget to grab a copy of my free printable homeschool schedule templates so you can easily display your schedule for everyone to see.
What does your 1st grade homeschool schedule look like? Share in the comments below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow me on Pinterest for more homeschool and parenting advice.
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Candice is a mom of 3 who has been homeschooling since 2013. She has an A.A.S. in Early Childhood Studies and cares deeply about helping other parents get the information and resources they need to help them homeschool their children with confidence.