A "Typical" Week Homeschooling Grades 1-3
by Tamara Eaton
[Last week I wrote about enjoying homeschooling grades 1st-3rd and this
week I'd like to continue that theme by sharing examples of our family's
We like to get our children off to a good start in homeschooling! We
encourage them to enjoy learning new things without pressure so they can
proceed at their own pace. We read lots of books to them, answer their
questions, introduce new skills, and help them learn how to research and
explore topics of interest in a relaxed atmosphere of learning.
Most younger children don't like to spend much time sitting down with
workbooks and formal textbooks so we limit written work unless they enjoy it. Our
job is to keep them challenged and interested in learning--busywork can be
dull and dreary and turn children off! This relaxed method has worked for our
family--our older kids continue to love learning new things and are
self-motivated in their studies. By requiring less, more was actually
accomplished because they enjoyed learning and didn't see it as being
confined to a certain time of day or period in their lives called
A "Typical" Week
Here are some highlights from one "typical" week in the life of
our younger children. (Our youngest daughter is in first grade and our
youngest son is in second grade.)
- This week we have been reading aloud a chapter a day from George
Washington's World by Genevieve Foster. This is a
fascinating book that covers the years 1732-1799 and talks about different
people all over the world who were alive during George Washington's
lifetime. What a neat way to study history! We're really enjoying it
together and since it's about 350 pages, we'll probably be reading this
for a while.
- We covered geography because they were interested in the route between
England and the colonies during George Washington's time and that lead to
all sorts of other discussions about maps and travel routes. We compared
the older map in the book with our newer wall map and globe. We discussed
what it would have been like to travel during Washington's time.
- We also have been reading aloud all the Carolyn Haywood books
and just finished one called Eddie and Gardenia which was published
45 years ago and is about a boy named Eddie and his goat, Gardenia,
visiting his homeschooled cousin on a ranch in Texas. (We all loved it!)
Now we're reading Eddie's Pay Dirt.
- My first grader and I worked together on phonics (for about 10-20
minutes each time) three days this week, writing out sentences and making
a little story with pictures.
- My second grader is fluent in reading now and loves to read during
afternoon naptime and for 30--60 minutes before bedtime each evening. He
also reads aloud to me several times a week for a short time so I can be
sure he's continuing to do well, and I read aloud to him regularly, too.
(He enjoys reading the Box Car Children mysteries by Gertrude
Warner, Encyclopedia Brown mysteries, as well as many
- They watched Bill Nye: The Science Guy and Kratt's
Creatures on PBS a couple of times this week. (We watch them with
them and discuss any comments that come up about evolution.) My second
grader especially loves this and likes to pursue topics discussed on the
show and get more books about them at the library. We really limit TV
viewing in our home and for many years we didn't even have a TV--we're
convinced that that's one of the reasons our children all enjoy reading so
much. They were forced to be creative and find entertainment in other
ways besides television. 99.9% of the time our television stays OFF!
- We read aloud a book on porpoises because my son is fascinated by them
and wants to do a unit study on them.
- We haven't done formal math in their textbooks this week (but they
played Monopoly Jr. and counted money) and they will probably do some this
weekend. They generally do several lessons at once when they do math
because they think it's fun. My daughter uses BJU 1st grade math text, as
well as many "natural" and hands on math exercises using legos,
counting money, etc. My son uses Saxon 54 text, Math-it, and enjoys
thinking "mathematically" all the time.
- They did crafts with older sisters who were making things from wool.
They drew lots of pictures and made books. They used legos to build a
steamboat called the Mississippi Queen and it sat in the middle of our
kitchen floor for four days!
- One of their older sisters read them a couple of books from the library
- My son also watched his dad and older brother taking apart computers and
changing hard drives, etc.
- My daughter helped me pick roses, greenery and mint from our garden and
make pretty arrangements using an assortment of odd containers around the
These are just a few of the highlights--it would be impossible to share
them all here! My preparation time is minimal so I have even more time to
enjoy my children. We are so thankful to have this time together and
treasure each fleeting moment of their childhood--these are precious years,
never to be captured again.
If you and your children have grown weary of learning together, search for
ways to brighten up your homeschooling. Seize the moment! Children won't
wait--they grow up all too quickly. Create warm, wonderful homeschooling
memories with your child this week--and get excited about learning again!
"Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the
womb is his reward." Psalm 127:3
© Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2000, all rights reserved.
Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit
publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the
copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the
publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.
We have always homeschooled our six children (elementary through high
school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their
homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information,
please join us on the Christian Homeschool
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"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."