Last year I homeschooled a first grader, kept a pre-schooler busy, and worked around a baby. This year’s homeschool planning includes teaching two lower elementary children in second grade and kindergarten while keeping a toddler busy. It feels like a big leap jumping from one official student to two!
Little House on the Prairie is on in our living room while I type this out. My husband is chuckling at the jokes between Charles and Caroline (if you know, you know) as our boys play with trains, occasionally glancing at the television. My life looks nothing like I ever imagined it would when I was a child. I’ve been blessed with the option to spend almost every waking moment shaping how my children experience their first tastes of the world. I want those first tastes to be filled with the love and goodness of God, timeless stories from engaging literature, and the peace and safety to always know where to call home.
Charlotte Mason Philosophy
One of the ways this dream is being cultivated is by homeschooling using the Charlotte Mason method. I won’t go into details here about this method or why we chose it. However, I include this so that you can look into it as well as other philosophies like Montessori, Waldorf, Classical, and so on. It’s important to research these things before making plans to homeschool. The right thing for me might not be the same for you. Do not just take the ideas I give you here and run with them. Figure out how you want this to look for you, and research.
Knowing which philosophy you align most with allows you to move forward on curriculum choices, etc. All of the resources in this post are heavily influenced by the Charlotte Mason philosophy and heavily influenced by the incredible (and unbelievably free) curriculum provided by Ambleside Online.
The Resources I’m Using for Homeschool Planning for Lower Elementary Children
- Ambleside Online – Charlotte Mason Curriculum
- Singapore Math – Primary Mathematics
- More Than Words Level 1 – Bible Curriculum
- Bob Books – Phonics
When I set out to write this, I pictured that list being much longer. It is surprising to me that it’s such a simple list! Planning it all out makes it appear to be much more complex. Our main curriculum from Ambleside covers the bulk of our study subjects, including: bible, history and tales, natural history, literature, poetry, nature study, artist study, composer study, and folksongs. They cover much more, but for simplicity’s sake I am utilizing More Than Words for scripture memorization (recitation), our hymns, some copywork and some artist studies.
So Much to Choose From
I get it, trying to figure all of this out can be so overwhelming. I remember wondering how I was ever going to decide on anything when it came to choosing our education resources for homeschooling. Homeschool planning for lower elementary doesn’t have to be complicated. My biggest suggestion to making this work for you and your family if you’re feeling the nudge to homeschool is to make sure there is order and peace in the rest of your home. Doing things like creating a custom and simple meal plan can take so much stress off your plate.
Get with friends you admire who are already homeschooling. Ask them if you can take them for coffee (and buy theirs, please) to ask questions about how they manage to accomplish it. Bring a notebook and soak all of the wisdom in they have to offer. I’ve learned so many valuable things just by listening to experienced homeschool moms share their hearts and experiences.
Final Thoughts on Homeschool Planning Lower Elementary Children
Hear me when I say this: don’t rush the precious time of your littles being “little.” One thing I adore about Charlotte Mason’s philosophy is suggesting that kid’s don’t begin formal education until age seven. Y’all, please heavily consider this. Spend those first six formative years exploring nature with your babies and reading rich literature filled stories. Cultivate a love for learning through those stories and see the world through their little eyes. Build a library by visiting thrift stores, asking for specific ones for gifts from family members, and keep a master list so you don’t end up with repeats!
My kindergartener will be five this September, and he has begged to “do school” with us so that is the only reason I’m even including him in the school portion of our days. He is included with much of it, but it’s on a very simple low level for him.
Exploring Nature with Children is the curriculum by Raising Little Shoots I used when I wanted to do something while my kids weren’t quite school aged. I still recommend it frequently as an all around great option that encourages being outside and reading rich literature. Plus, it’s super affordable. Really great option if you’re itching to do something before and during the official school years.
I hope this helps you with some fresh ideas as you plan your year, or future with your kiddos!