Homeschooling in the early elementary age gets more and more exciting! From feeling like you know everything, you begin to re-learn along side your child subject matter that you have long since stored away in the lost recesses of your mind.
I will be the first to admit that I have forgotten 80% of what I learned during my schooling years (yes, even if I was homeschooled for part of it). Most of the knowledge I retained as an adult had to do with the practical side of things. So, when I began to teach Elijah his elementary subjects, I was like, “This is great! I’m learning all of this stuff all over again.” And believe me, you will enjoy the teaching experience more if you don’t pressure yourself to be an expert at all the subject matter. Even school teachers specialize in just one or two areas of learning, so don’t feel discouraged that you don’t know EVERY SINGLE THING that you are teaching.
You can either learn it ahead of time (ex. Filipino subject) or learn it together with your child (ex. Science, History and Social Studies subjects). During the early elementary years, the math and language arts will still be easy enough to guide your child through them without referring much to teacher’s guides. Honestly, I am very bad at following teacher’s guides! Eventually, you may have to do more preparation time as the skill levels in these subjects, especially math, escalates.
I’ve given an overview of what homeschooling my eldest son, Elijah, is like so you can have an idea of what to expect.
In the early elementary years (Grade 1 to Grade 3), the Department of Education requires that you cover the following subject matter:
- Character and Bible (more commonly known as Good Morals and Right Conduct or GMRC)
- Language Arts or English
- Civics or Sibika (for my son, Elijah, I include World History)
- Music, Art, and PE or MAPE
A typical schedule for my son on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday COULD look like this:
7:00 AM – Wake up / Prayer time
7:30 – Breakfast as a family
8:00 – Violin and piano practice
9:00 – Independent Bible
with mom about character
and the Bible
9:45 – Science or History
10:15 – Language Arts and Math
11:00 – Break
11:30 – Filipino or Civics
12:00 – Projects or clean-up time
12:30 – Lunch
1:30 – One-on-one time with
Elijah if needed to
accomplish extra work or
2:30 – Take a nap or attend
playgroup on Wednesdays
4:00 – Play (outdoors, ideally)
7:00 – Dinner
8:00 – Family time (with the exception of Monday night, which is my date night with Edric)
On Tuesday and Thursday, Elijah attends violin and Taekwondo classes. It is also his day to see his homeschool friends and have “boy’s time” with my husband, Edric, and his younger brother, Edan.
I emphasize COULD in all caps on my schedule because I’m not very militant about my homeschooling schedule. What I do follow is starting at 9am and finishing by noon or a little bit after. On some days when it takes us the whole morning to do a project, I will forgo the other subjects. Or, if we have an activity to attend, we won’t get to do subject studies. To stay “on track”, I identify how many chapters or pages we should be accomplishing by the end of each quarter and adjust the daily amount of work accordingly.
Homescholing the early elementary years starts to get a little more serious but that shouldn’t remove the fun. I maintain the same perspective that I do about teaching any other level — prioritize and preserve my child ‘s love for learning and customize it for his needs. And, have lots of time for free play! Play is an important part of the kids’ homeschool day!