Gearing Up for First Grade: Planning and Schoolroom

I will begin our (fingers crossed) weekly first grade postings next week.  I know!  What kind of mother starts a school year at the beginning of the normal summer holiday?  One of the biggest reasons is that it gets so hot in the summer months that we rarely venture outside.  Last summer, there were way too many days where it was unsafe to be outside for any length of time.   RockerDad and I decided that year-round schooling with breaks (scheduled and unscheduled) would work best for our family at this point in time.

With that in mind, I've been getting our materials purchased and organized.  The heart of our curriculum can be seen in the sidebar.  I've put together lesson plans and setting up a weekly schedule spreadsheet (blah, blah, blah... right?).  I guess I should just get on with it, eh?

I snapped this pic while I was in the midst of organizing our history books by civilization.  We will be beginning our first of the four year cycles outlined in The Well Trained Mind, so these are all books about and stories from ancient civilizations.

I did a similar sorting with our science books, but I didn't snap a photo.  Per our place in said cycles, we will be studying life science in first grade.

Robbie's Art Roll: Prismacolor Scholar colored pencils, several grades of graphite pencils, a pen, erasers and blending tortillions.  Crayons and markers are always handy.  Paints and other messy things are available, as well.

Our school area before (technically, this was while I was in the process of changing things over to first grade).  Why is it that you have to make things messier to clean them?

Ahhh.. much better!  You can see our little geography wall (with hanging inflatable globe... fun for tossing and such).  I also used brown shipping paper (from the Dollar Tree) to create a disposable bulletin board area for displaying... whatever.  I'm still using the yellow magazine files to hold our individual subjects (such a great deal.. they came from the dollar section at Target LAST year).  The red bins on the bottom shelf are used for tutoring sessions with my nephew.  Our math manipulatives have also been streamlined.

Here is our main school wall (before and after, of course).  The changes aren't major, mostly a tidy and such, but I think it will work better for us.

Robbie will be doing lots of weekly hands-on projects, most of which can be found on our Pinterest boards.

So... onward into the true grammar stage.....

Any other mean mommies out there who are schooling this summer?  Speak up!  Unite!  :)

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  1. Your first grade curriculum looks great - I am sure Robbie will enjoy it. Not schooling officially in summer here, but we'll stay sharp. I plan to do daily math, logic and writing. Nothing on reading really, since daughter spends pretty much all her free time reading anyway.

    1. I wish Robbie would read in his spare time. He is constantly learning, but he doesn't care to read. I have to schedule reading time for him to make sure he does. I think it's great that you will still be doing some things to keep sharp through the summer. I know many parents who don't and I don't think I could ignore math and such, even if Robbie went to public school.

      Thanks for stopping by!! It's great to hear from you, again!

  2. WOW It all looks so neat and fun! Great learning space!

  3. We school all summer. We school in such a relaxed way that it takes all year to get a real 180 in!

    1. LOL! I think that's another reason we need the full year. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. We school year round because we're so relaxed that it takes us the full year to get the whole 180 in!

  5. Oh, where did you buy the Prismacolor kit? Looks wonderful! I should get 2 for next year! LOL

    Your school room looks so organized and ready to go!

    I always think it's amazing that families in other parts of the US get such warm temperatures that staying INSIDE is a must. Here in Maine it just doesn't get that warm, but maybe it's like us staying inside during our snowy, frigid winters! LOL

    Now we're not year-round schoolers so I can't unite. :wink: But we still do some learning through summer reading programs and activities, field trips, educational TV, and gardening. Does the learning ever really stop?

    1. We bought a set of Prismacolor Scholar pencils (24 ct) at Rainbow Resource for around $10. The sketch pencils and such are an old set of mine, I think they were from Michael's. The roll case was around $6 on Amazon. Sorry it wasn't a true "kit". I didn't mean to make it sound that way.

      Yeah, winter is pretty tolerable here. We didn't need more than hoodies or light jackets this past one. :)

      No, the learning never really stops (hopefully, right?). I've just been getting the "mean mommy" talk from many people I know. :)

      Thanks for stopping by!!

  6. We school year round and are in week three (four?) of our first grade year (and pre-k). I just can't get past the flexibility that it provides for us to include what I don't feel should be "extra" and because, well, you know, I'm a big fan of spontaneous time off! We're chugging along this summer with extra intention because we'll be welcoming home a newborn in October and this gives me plenty of time to adjust without worrying about school in those first few days/weeks.


  7. We are continuing our curriculum through the summer, though in a relaxed manner. I didn't want to lose momentum or have my son forget some stuff. Hes only 4 so its not like he knows kids are supposed to be off in the summer. ;)

    1. LOL, I'm not sure if my son knows about summer break, or not. He just turned six, but since he's never been to traditional school, I'm not sure what he knows (or thinks he knows).

      Thanks for stopping by!

  8. We're doing school this summer too! I'm just not sweating it if we miss days for whatever reason. I recently started a Well Trained Mind bookclub at Living and Learning at Home. I don't know if you've stopped by yet, but I'd love for you to share you thoughts whenever you can! Thanks for linking up to Trivium Tuesdays! I look forward to browsing your blog more.


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