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    Planning 1st Grade & Morning Time

    How do you think through long-term planning while utilizing all MP offers? The Lesson Plans are wonderful and work so well with my train of thought, that I'm wondering if I shouldn't do much on the front end as far as a "big picture" plan for the year goes. Do you find it too difficult to begin at the beginning and go on day by day without committing to completing precisely these 4 weeks of lessons during a specific calendar month? We've been more flexible over the past two years (which covered most of the Kindergarten curricula), so I hope to allow for life while also starting with realistic goals. We're also hoping to start in July, allowing time off to welcome a new baby in late September or October. I don't want to set myself up for disappointments, but I also don't want to be disorganized and aimless either. I'd love to know what works for you!

    Does anyone pull out certain MP components and arrange them first in your day as a sort of Charlotte Mason-inspired "Morning Time"? I think Bible, poetry, recitation, art, and music would all fit well into that arrangement. Do you include a bit of each in your time together or do you complete one "topic" during a term more thoroughly before going on to the next. I've heard arguments for both approaches.

    #2
    Re: Planning 1st Grade & Morning Time

    Welcome, LauraP!

    Can you tell us a little more about your family--you have the first grader and a new baby on the way, anyone else in the mix?

    In my experience, the K-2 program is fantastically rhythmic and delightful to teach. Each day you have some sit-together at the table time and work down through your lessons. Depending on your daily schedule, you can also plop down with the read aloud(s) for the week, listen to music, read poetry, look at the art cards, etc. every day if you like. It is important, especially while you can cater to the oldest a little, to capitalize on the most effective work-time for the student. Morning time is lovely right after breakfast, but you might find that it's harder to get over to the table and to "real work" (by that I mean the part of the day where the student is the one doing the work--penmanship, math, reading, etc.) after starting with a listening time. Other kids are opposite--gauge your student and see. The best thing we found was to get the K-2 student's table work done first, then be "rewarded" with morning time and extra read-alouds. Your list was great--the "Enrichment section" is a great place to start. Know that if all you do for school is what's listed in your First Grade Curriculum Manual you're going to have a great year. Add gravy when you can and don't sweat it after baby comes and you have to slack back a bit. It will be enough and it will be lovely.

    A bit of the long view: I can tell you Morning Time is a moving target since kids change so much year to year. We used to read aloud for hours, even before the Read-Aloud Revival existed--haha!, and over time that became less feasible with the number of students in cores and my voice's ability to keep up. We still have a very vibrant read-aloud and story-focused culture in our home, it's just led mostly by professional narrators on audio and not me anymore. Susan Wise Bauer talked about this some in her interview there if you've heard it, perchance.

    My advice for this fall is to jump in and follow the plans, generally planning to work either four or five days every week. You'll know the rhythm really well by the time littlest one arrives and you'll know what you can take a break on and what needs to move ahead. Reading and Math probably can't be dropped for long without some regression. Because you're working from plans, a grandparent or dad can pick right up and take the next day's work wherever you leave off. If your only homeschool student is a first grader and you work after breakfast each day, you should be able to be done by lunch daily and have the rest of your day open! I think you are going to love the flexibility!

    Hopefully this is a start to answering your questions--let us know if it raises more, or if I missed parts. Welcome to the forum community here!
    Festina lentē,
    Jessica P

    '22-'23 • 13th year HSing • 11th year MP
    DS Hillsdale College freshman
    DD 11th • HLN & Latin online
    DD 8th • HLN & Home
    DS 5th • HLN & Home
    Me • Memoria College, MPOA Fourth Form for Adults

    Teaching Third Form Latin and co-directing @
    Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School, est. 2016

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Planning 1st Grade & Morning Time

      Originally posted by LauraP View Post
      How do you think through long-term planning while utilizing all MP offers? The Lesson Plans are wonderful and work so well with my train of thought, that I'm wondering if I shouldn't do much on the front end as far as a "big picture" plan for the year goes. Do you find it too difficult to begin at the beginning and go on day by day without committing to completing precisely these 4 weeks of lessons during a specific calendar month? We've been more flexible over the past two years (which covered most of the Kindergarten curricula), so I hope to allow for life while also starting with realistic goals. We're also hoping to start in July, allowing time off to welcome a new baby in late September or October. I don't want to set myself up for disappointments, but I also don't want to be disorganized and aimless either. I'd love to know what works for you!

      Does anyone pull out certain MP components and arrange them first in your day as a sort of Charlotte Mason-inspired "Morning Time"?
      I think Bible, poetry, recitation, art, and music would all fit well into that arrangement. Do you include a bit of each in your time together or do you complete one "topic" during a term more thoroughly before going on to the next. I've heard arguments for both approaches.
      YES ---- My children are 10, 8, 8, 4, and 2. (well, and a 21 year old as well, but she's not at home anymore)

      We do enrichment during morning time. We hit just what you mention --- prayers, Bible, poetry, art, reading aloud, music together. Since I have kids in different cores, we decided to put enrichment on a 3 year cycle, beginning with K. (there are enrichment plans for K, 1st and 2nd grade) We don't do a lot in the way of recitation -- I tend to ask those questions around the table when appropriate, if that makes sense.

      Starting in July is completely doable. You could look ahead and see what seasonal books are coming and set those aside for now. Or, if you're like Anita, just study them whenever it comes up. It would make me a little nuts to talk about icicles in October (when it isn't unusual to still be 70 or 80 degrees), but I know some moms just move right through.

      When the new baby comes, I'd encourage you to keep reading aloud. Cuddling on the couch with a great pile of books has always been one of our family's favorite activities.
      Plans for 2022-23

      Year 12 of homeschooling with MP

      DD1 - 27 - college grad, bakery owner
      DD2 - 16 - 11th grade - HLS Cottage School - online classes, looking at dual credit - equestrian and theatre
      DS3 - 14 -7A Cottage School - soccer/tennis -dyslexia and dysgraphia
      DS4 -14 - 7A Cottage School -soccer/tennis -auditory processing disorder
      DD5 - 10- 5A, Cottage School - inattentive ADHD - equestrian and tumbling
      DS6 - 9 - MP 1 - home with momma

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Planning 1st Grade & Morning Time

        [QUOTE=pickandgrin;44383]Welcome, LauraP!

        Can you tell us a little more about your family--you have the first grader and a new baby on the way, anyone else in the mix?

        Thanks so much for your thoughtful reply! There is another younger sibling in the mix. Along with my soon-to-be 1st grade daughter, I have a 2 year old son awaiting the arrival of our baby this fall.

        With our Memoria Kindergarten work, we usually completed phonics first while my son was still occupied with my husband's help early in the day before he left for work. Then we were all able to move on together to read alouds and "Morning Time" activities. Math came next. It's a tough decision to schedule the day, but I think you're right about testing to see how my daughter works best with table work first, then the enrichment extras, or the other way around. I have also enjoyed the Read Aloud Revival and remember a bit of the Susan Wise Bauer interview, I can imagine that reading everything aloud for so many grade levels would become difficult! For now I'm glad we all enjoy reading aloud together as much as possible.

        One other more logistical question, if you reuse your MP curricula with younger siblings do you make notes on the Lesson Plan pages for planning purposes? Or do you rewrite what you're planning or what you've completed for state record keeping requirements? In the past I made notes on my Lesson Plans, but I've realized that could seem confusing in years to come! I also would rather not re-write every day's plans, a big perk of MP is having that work done for me. Perhaps, I'll work to photo-copy plans at the library for record keeping purposes, leaving a clean original.

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Planning 1st Grade & Morning Time

          Just buy a new guide each year. That's the cost of a good planner anyways in my opinion. Photocopying the whole she-bang wouldn't save you very much at 10 cents a page
          DS12- Simply Classical mash-up of SC Spelling 1, intensive reading remediation, and MPOA 4th grade math.
          DD10- Classic Core 4th Grade w/ 5th grade literature
          DD8- Classic Core 2nd Grade

          We've completed:
          Classic Core Jr. kindergarten, kindergarten, first grade, second grade, third grade
          Simply Classical levels B, C, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5/6

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Planning 1st Grade & Morning Time

            This past year with my 1st and 3rd grader, we did all (well, the activities I opted to do) the 1st grader's enrichment activities together as a family. And all the recitation (although at the mid point of the year we started recitation "over" because it was just getting too long, and I added one week from the previous semester as review). To do this required a lot of discipline on my part to start school on time, otherwise it didn't happen. So we had to be done with breakfast and chores and ready to begin at 8:30.

            I only have two of my four doing formal lessons, though, so I imagine this will change as morning time gets too unwieldy and too focused on the younger kids to be appropriate for my oldest guy. I see that happening in a couple years.
            Jodi
            ~~~~~~~
            2019-20 School Year:
            Ethan (7A)
            Matthew (5A)
            Silas (1st)
            Eleanor (4yo dabbling in PK as time allows)
            Andrew (brand new as of Oct 2019)

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Planning 1st Grade & Morning Time

              Originally posted by Colomama View Post
              Just buy a new guide each year. That's the cost of a good planner anyways in my opinion. Photocopying the whole she-bang wouldn't save you very much at 10 cents a page
              Completely agree. Lesson plans are consumable in my house. If I want to take notes in there, I do so. I stash then with the other work to be kept at the end of the year. If I want to review then later, I can pull them of the shelf. This almost never happens though. As your students get older, the place to make notes is in the teacher's manual for each course. They are not consumable and pull them down to use with siblings. My Latin TMs are marked up beyond belief!

              ETA: yes, the curriculum plans become my records for the year.
              Last edited by pickandgrin; 06-16-2016, 09:41 AM.
              Festina lentē,
              Jessica P

              '22-'23 • 13th year HSing • 11th year MP
              DS Hillsdale College freshman
              DD 11th • HLN & Latin online
              DD 8th • HLN & Home
              DS 5th • HLN & Home
              Me • Memoria College, MPOA Fourth Form for Adults

              Teaching Third Form Latin and co-directing @
              Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School, est. 2016

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Planning 1st Grade & Morning Time

                Thank you all! Sometimes the most obvious ideas are the ones I overlook, haha. Buying new Lesson Plans is an excellent idea so that they can be notated and double as "proof" for record keeping. I appreciate your insight!

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Planning 1st Grade & Morning Time

                  Not sure what your state requirements are, but in addition to notes I always write the date for each days lesson that it was completed and use this as my proof of attendance. It can get a bit messy when we maybe get behind or ahead in one subject, but not so much that it doesn't still work.
                  Jen H
                  DD 7 years old, 2nd grade
                  DS 5 yrs old, Jr K

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: Planning 1st Grade & Morning Time

                    We try do do a brief morning time also. I think next year I will likely split it up into two morning times/enrichment sections a day. The first being prayers, recitation, bible, catechism, saint stories, etc. Basically religion and recitation. I've found if I don't cover religion first thing then I tend to leave it out. Then after the hard work is done, I hope do enrichment with the MP enrichment. I really want to add a few extra things -- really basic, like a poem a day, some reading from My Bookhouse and Childcraft books, but I'm not sure where to put them. I'm trying to keep all non MP enrichment things very brief.
                    Susan

                    2021-2022
                    A (13) - Simply Classical 7/8
                    C (12) - Simply Classical 7/8
                    G (8) - Simply Classical 1

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