Looking for a homeschool 1st-grade schedule? Here is a sample homeschool schedule for 1st grade to give you an idea of how to organize your homeschool day. This post is sponsored by General Mills, but all opinions are my own.
This year marks the first year we will homeschool in New York state, a state that has way more homeschool regulations and requirements than the state of Texas, where we’ve homeschooled our children for the last five years.
Our oldest daughters, twins, are 9 and entering the 4th grade and have always been homeschooled.
Our son Michael, 6, is entering first grade and has also always been homeschooled.
Our daughter Emily, 4, is officially preschool-aged now and wants to do another co-op with friends like she did last year.
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Our fifth child, another girl, is 18 months and getting into everything while we attempt to do school.
Homeschooling and I have an interesting relationship, as I don’t 100% love homeschooling my children, nor do all of my children 100% love being homeschooled, but we press on as we still feel it is best for our children, even with NYS homeschool regulations making more hoops for us to jump through, and with being new to an area.
I am not an A+ perfect homeschool parent, and generally take a pretty laid back approach to childhood and learning. But, we still do school work nearly every day, including doing homeschool through the summer.
I am glad that my 4th graders are doing pretty well in school. We’ve been doing some extra math and spelling work over the summer here in New York, as they’re still behind in Mathematics, and their spelling is terrible. But, they both read well, love to read, and even to write. They also enjoy science and history.
I’m not as worried about creating and maintaining a structured homeschool schedule for them as they are getting much more self-directed and self-motivated, and I know how to fill their time.
But, I am a little worried about creating a good homeschool routine for my younger kids, starting with my first grader.
My son was a kindergartner last year, but on the younger side of that grade with a March birthday, so I didn’t force him to do a lot of book or sit down work.
But, my son is a bright kid. He already knew a lot of what you need to learn in kindergarten, so I didn’t stress a ton if he didn’t want to keep working, or was done after only 10 minutes of working. I found unique opportunities to sit down and teach him or work with him otherwise over the last year.
I didn’t want to force my son to do school work when he was still so little.
But, my goal for first grade is to always have my children really learn how to read.
Michael is a whizz at math facts and enjoys math and can easily sound out and read and spell simple CVC words (consonant-vowel-consonant).
This year I want to expand upon his fairly good reading foundation and get him reading faster, easier, and of bigger words, so that he can really learn how to read, and hopefully love reading.
I don’t make my first graders do much in terms of formal history or science, but will read books or watch documentaries, and talk about things as he asks and shows interest during the year.
He may also participate in lessons I do with his older 4th-grade sisters as he chooses, but will not force him to do that work at this time. He will get all of that same information in due time.
So first grade is still a very simple homeschool schedule. It’s still mostly play-based and student-led, but heavily parent-involved. In our home, it’s also family-centered and routine-focused.
He will follow much the same schedule as we did for my twins’ homeschool schedule for second grade that I shared a few years ago.
2019 Homeschool 1st Grade Schedule
7:00 AM – Wakeup and Breakfast
My children naturally wake up anytime from 6:45am-7:20am. They wake up, go to the bathroom, and then get themselves breakfast, the old standard cold cereal and milk for breakfast.
7:30 AM – Morning Chores
Once they are done eating, it is expected that they will unload the dishwasher. My three oldest children are all assigned a specific section of the dishwasher. My first grader is responsible for the silverware.
After its unloaded, they need to load their dirty breakfast dishes into it properly
Then, they all need to get dressed for the day, brush their hair, make their beds, read scriptures, and say prayers.
8:00 AM – Morning Exercise
Last year we began incorporating a morning walk around our suburban neighborhood, (almost) rain or shine or cold, and it helped start our day on the right foot tremendously.
The walk would take anywhere from 25-45 minutes, depending on the amount of energy from our youngest, if we all walked or some biked, rollerbladed, or scootered, and was always the same 1-mile lap around our subdivision.
Even putting on some Cosmic Kids Yoga or lifting weights or something together helps us get our bodies and minds going and clear.
There’s a great park near our home that we like to walk around now too.
If we stay and play after, I like to bring a simple snack for us to enjoy there as well, something I can quickly throw into a lunch bag with a freezer pack and be good to go like Yoplait Go-Gurt and bananas.
9:00 AM – Language Arts
We’ll start our school time with language arts!
9:30 AM – Math
Then we’ll move to math, using The Good and the Beautiful Level 2 Math curriculum. We haven’t started this yet, and I’m a bit nervous about it, but he is advanced, but I’m not sure he’ll like all the games and activities over doing worksheets.
10 AM – Snack Time
Because I am also wrangling a 4-year-old preschooler, and a toddler, snack time is going to be built into my schedule. Because my first grader is often the first one awake, he is usually getting a little irritable by around 10am too.
I really want to keep snack time quick, simple, and easy to clean up. Walmart has made it easy for me to find a variety of flavors and Yoplait Yogurt products that everyone in the family (including me) will enjoy!
10:30 AM – Creative Time
After a quick snack of Yoplait yogurt and maybe some fruit, my baby will go down for her first of two naps. This will also allow for more time to work on school with my older children, and allow my first grader to have some scheduled art, music, and creative time.
This may include things like practicing piano, coloring, drawing, making crafts, or playing with LEGO.
I’m hoping my 1st grader will be more self-directed during this time.
He may also be assigned additional work, a book to read, or something else to do.
11:30 AM – Lunchtime
We eat lunch sometime after 11:30am. It often depends on if we are done with school or not or going somewhere.
For lunch, the kids usually make their own sandwiches, eat leftovers, or make a simple meal for themselves, with me assisting as needed.
12:30 PM – Chores
After our long, leisurely lunch, we clean up the kitchen, sweep, mop, fold and put away laundry, vacuum, clean bathrooms, take out trash and recycling, and other chores they might be assigned.
1:00-4:00 PM – Playtime, Work Time (for Mom), or Errands
After chores are done, the kids are allowed to play by themselves, together, outside, in their rooms, wherever.
My older children are asked to read quietly for at least 30 minutes.
Chores always have to be done before any screen time is allowed, and screen time bans are usually the first punishment for misbehavior.
I try to get some work and household management stuff done during this time – making phone calls, paying bills, scheduling, answering emails, writing blog posts, editing photos, taking photos, and so on.
Sometimes we pack in a few errands when we go out for groceries, like dropping off packages, a fun trip to the park, or something else.
4:00 PM Dinner Prep
I start frantically thinking and preparing for dinner, or otherwise finishing up cleaning last minute things in the kitchen, as I make an easy, hot dinner.
5:30 PM Dinner
We eat, hopefully about the time my husband comes home from work.
6:00 PM After Dinner Chores
Before hanging out the rest of the evening, my kids have to again clear off the table, load the dishwasher, put away items in the kitchen, wipe down the table, and sweep the floor.
Different jobs are assigned to different children each night.
6:30 PM – Family Time with Dad
My husband loves spending time with his family, and we enjoy it too. This time is always reserved for whatever, even if it is running out to the store together, or just enjoying some Youtube together. Sometimes it’s playing games or playing outside.
8:00 PM – Bedtime Prep
For our 1st grader, bedtime needs to be around 8pm or earlier. We like to do bedtime once and for everyone so we don’t have to do it multiple times with multiple kids.
Bedtime prep consists of picking up a few random things, getting on pajamas, brushing teeth, reading scriptures with the family, and saying prayers together as a family.
8:30 PM – Lights Out
After that, it’s lights out for all of the kids, except our oldest who like to stay up and read for a little while.
My husband and I enjoy some quiet, and catch up, and then it’s time for me to do some more work.
If you noticed, actual homeschool formal time is very limited in my son’s sample first grade homeschool schedule. The reason for this is simple – he doesn’t need more than this.
First graders don’t require a lot of formal instruction time, and some are still not even very ready for formal learning.
In the early elementary school years, I generally try to only do formal instruction time for as many hours as the grade level, or even half an hour per grade level, starting with about 30 minutes a day formal instruction for kindergarten, 1 hour for 1st grade, 1.5-2 hours for second grade, 2.5-3 hours for third grade, 3-3.5 hours for fourth grade, and so on, maxing out at around 4-5 hours a day.
As always, use my sample 1st grade homeschools schedule as a guide. It will very likely be different for you. That’s great! I am not holding this up as some sort of amazing standard, but giving you a real example of what homeschooling for first grade often looks like in our home.
Good luck teaching your first grader at home this year! You can do it!
For more about homeschooling, check out these posts: