10 Tips for Homeschooling First Grade
#1 – The first grade is the doorway to the child’s entire education. It must be a positive experience because it will affect the rest of his life. If he learns to love school in the first grade, he will enjoy in the rest of his school years.
#2 – Your decision to homeschool you first grader is a great responsibility. Don’t panic. Don’t stress out. Yes, this is an important time in the life of your child, and you may not feel prepared or capable. Relax. Have fun. Your child will learn every thing he needs if YOU enjoy school.
#3 – Make your first grader the #1 most important member of the family. Let him feel that first grade is very important. You can show it in small, simple ways. For example, let him sit beside you when you read, even if he is not the youngest child. Let him have special school crayons or pencil for use only when doing school work.
#4 – Don’t let the preschoolers do the first grade workbooks. They see older children doing it and it looks so fun. Make it a special part of first grade, that only those special first graders get to do. Then when your preschooler gets to first grade, it will be new and exciting.
#4 – Play learning games like word games and letter games. Include lots of pre-school activities. But at the same time, don’t let play distract form studies. Keep a good balance between work and play. Think of it as a balance. Work is on one side, play on the other. If the work side gets too heavy, the child may end up disliking school, get grumpy about doing his work, makes your job of teaching harder, and learn almost nothing. On the other hand if the play side of the balance gets too heavy, the child learns no study skills which will be a disadvantage when he gets in higher grades.
#5 – It is important to teach the child to finish his school work in a timely manner. You need to expect work from him, and he needs to know that it is expected of him. Work is in fact a frame of mind. So using this balance of play and work, make his work pleasant so that it seems more like play.
#6 – Focus on reading. Reading is the base that the child will build his entire education on. If he learns only this one skill in first grade, he will be prepared for the rest of his school years. Center your first grade curriculum around your reading program. Of course the other subjects are important, but phonics, writing, spelling, and language can all be incorporated into the reading program. History can be taught during story time which is important to any reading program.
#7 – Math is also very important. Choose a good math course that will continue on and build through each grade.
#8 – Don’t forget art. Drawing, coloring, and cutting all improve eye-hand coordination which in turn will help delve lope reading and writing skills.
#9 – Keep a fast pace. First graders don’t have a real long attention span. Alternate between math and reading throughout the day so that the child doesn’t get tired of doing one subject.
#10 – The first year of school will take more of your time than any other year. If the proper foundation is laid in the first grade, the child can almost take himself through his lessons the rest of his school years.
Lily Ann is a mother to six bright children. She has enjoyed great success in the area of homeschooling. She is always looking for ways to improve and loves to learn new things. Please visit her website.