Our First Week of Homeschool

homeschool planner

This was our first official week of homeschool and overall it went pretty well! There were some tears and pushback but I understood why. She is really bummed about not seeing her friends this year, our relationship has changed a bit because now I'm in this teacher role and it's new to her, and during summer break she was able to Facetime friends and play video games with them so that routine has changed. It's a lot! And I want her to enjoy learning so if it takes a couple weeks of me backing off and easing into homeschool, then that's what I'll do.

When it came to creating a daily routine, I realized I didn't know what to do. I wasn't sure how to schedule our day out, so instead of making a schedule ahead of time, I just write out what we do as we do it. I found out that this has a name in the homeschooling world: reverse planning.

I bought this lesson planner for under $4 (affiliate link) and it is perfect! It's a big size, has plenty of room for everything, a monthly calendar, and an important dates page. It's not spiral bound and can be hard to flatten out, but it's bound well and not going to fall apart or anything. 

I really like writing things out as we do them, because sometimes a lesson will take a turn or my daughter will ask a question about something related to a lesson which ends up having us learn about something I wasn't expecting! There was one day I pulled up the TKSST video collection, clicked on the history tag, and told her to choose whatever video looked interesting to her. We ended up learning all about how Ebru rugs are dyed which turned into us learning about other cultures and paper marbling.

Singapore Math curriculum

We've slowly been working our way through the curriculum I bought and are starting to see what we like and what we don't. Here are each of my curriculum choices and how they are working for us one week in:

Singapore Math // I chose this because the idea is to teach kids to think mathematically rather than just having them memorize the steps. I also liked that is closely aligns with common core in case she ends up going back to public school. The books are priced well (all those above were around $13 each), plus they offer video instruction of each lesson for $85 for an entire grade of videos. I'm thinking about signing up for that as well. 

Grammar from I Can't Stop Smiling on TpT // We both love this grammar curriculum! It's made by a third grade teacher and includes a pacing calendar (super helpful for me!), bright and to the point slides to teach the lesson, fun worksheets (my daughter really loves worksheets that remind of her of school), and the teacher who made this includes photos of fun activities she did with her class that tie into the lesson. There's also separate lessons and worksheets for major holidays. I'm super happy with this purchase and glad I bought this one!

Spelling and Vocabulary from Kathryn Willis on TpT // This is another great resource! There are some errors and it doesn't look like the file is being updated anymore so there are some issues. Like, she links to slides to help assist in teaching the lesson or for games to play, but the links or broken or the files are no longer there. Also, on the first lesson diphthongs is spelled wrong and there's a chart to write out -ch words when the kids are supposed to be learning about -ow and -ou words. Just little things like that. But honestly, it was $8 and includes a ton of resources - pacing calendar, different worksheets, stories, etc. It's a good buy, just be aware of a few small errors here and there (we have only done week one so far, so there may be more or none after that just fyi).

Thinking Tree Classical Poetry Journal (affiliate link) // I like this one a lot, but my daughter isn't into it. I believe that is because I should have bought level B rather than C. The website said if your child has trouble reading to get B and if they can pick up an encyclopedia and start reading out of it, then buy C. I think the poems are maybe too serious for her? Then when I looked up a YouTube review on this particular journal it said this one is best for junior high to high school or ages 10-17. So, a little confusing with how they do their levels.

The first poem in the journal (and the only one we have read) is The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost. So, you read the poem, then there's a page to write the poet's name, year of birth, a quote, and interesting fact, and to write the names of other works they created. Here's a video walk through of the journal. You can see they are really nice and are well made! I'm going to hold on to this one for later and just buy level B for her to do now.

Singapore Science MPH level 3B // This is a really nice workbook. It goes over the basics in an easy to follow way and was only $14. My husband has a science degree so I didn't need anything in depth as he teaches her a lot already. This week they studied electricity, voltage, currents, and played with this circuit board (affiliate link).

Handwriting Without Tears Cursive Workbook // We have been doing a couple of pages from this workbook throughout the summer. She can read cursive when she sees it now which was my goal!

Spanish through Outschool // She has been taking private Spanish lessons since May and will continue through the school year. We found the most fantastic teacher on Outschool! My daughter has two half hour private sessions a week for $30. They play games, she can ask specific questions or request certain topics, she is starting to read Spanish, and the teacher throws in a lot of history about Mexico (where she is from) because she knows my daughter is really into history. 

Here is a referral link that will get you $20 off your first class on Outschool (and I'll also get $20 credit once you take your first class). My daughter has taken all sorts of classes - Minecraft in Spanish, creative writing about your pet, math, gymnastics, art, Minecraft social group, paleontology, marine science - it has been so great for us because there is a class for anything she is interested in.

That's everything I bought that we have started using. There are a couple more Thinking Tree journals and some TpT resources I've purchased, but we haven't used them yet. We are also using some free resources, such as No Red Ink, Wide Open School, and the TKSST video collection.

homeschool mornings

I want to share one thing that has worked really well for us and then I'll end this post 😅 My daughter really likes being independent. At night right before I go to bed, I will load up a clipboard with all the worksheets for the next day and put a sticky note on top with a list of things she can do on her own.

homeschool mornings

Then I put the clipboard in a basket along with all the books she needs to complete the items on the list. That way it's ready to go for her in the morning and I'm able to drink my coffee and catch up on news/social but be nearby if she needs any help. She really loves this and it makes her excited to get started in the mornings! I swear that clipboard was the #1 best purchase I made for homeschool haha! I highly recommend getting one if you're homeschooling as well.

That's all I've got today as we are still new to this, but I just wanted to share in case you are still looking at curriculum. I've been sharing a lot of homeschooling stuff over on my Instagram too if you're interested in seeing all that :]

I hope that you all have a great weekend! ♡

2 comments

  1. My daughter is younger, but I loved this peek into another first-timer's homeschool approach! Love the clipboard idea :)

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    Replies
    1. I just checked out your blog and loved the post on getting started under $160! Some homeschooling stuff is seriously expensive, so that was super helpful. Definitely get a clipboard! :)

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