When I started, I had one in first grade and a 5 and 3 year old. Here was the schedule we *aspired* to follow. It gave me a guideline/goal.
6:00 Mom's workout 7:00 Mom gets ready; kids get dressed and make beds; chore list 8:00 Breakfast, Scripture study w/ memorization 8:30 play time, mom gets organized 9:00 Play Stations/Art (time to work with older kid on math first) 9:30 Hands-on & Written Math 10:00 Snack & Mom Reads Aloud--history, science, or leisure 10:30 Free Play (older kid can work 1-1 w/Mom on spelling, language lessons, writing, and handwriting) 11:30 Reading books together, memorizing short poems, handwriting, letters, journals 12:00 Lunch/Play 1:00 History, Science, Music, Art, PE, Games, Outings (library, playgroup, playdates, service, park, swimming) *can switch morning to afternoon 2:30 Quiet Time/Show/Snack/Play while Mom works
My Favorite Curriculum & Ideas
Give kids time to play, to think, to dream, to daydream, to explore, to find their purpose.
Scripture Study Ideas:
Choose anything short that they can repeat after you or do with pictures to memorize.
Read a scripture story together.
Watch a scripture related video.
Listen to the scriptures in the background.
Find a scripture related picture book and offer it to them. Lift the flap books are awesome!
Language Arts (handwriting, letter recognition, reading, narration/writing)
Letter Recognition: Letter of the week with poems (google it) and activities, tracing pages (see idea in math section), making letters out of beans, sticks, playdough, flashcards, etc. Have fun with this!
Writing: Primary Journal (see note in Science--they draw and orally narrate, you write)--if they write, I don't feel spelling is important at this point, just get them writing.
Reading: Just read a lot of books together--whatever they love. Bob Books are great! (Find them used)
Reading (If they showing signs of reading readiness):
Option 1: Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Lessons bySiegfried Engelmann Save up your patience for this time with them--I definitely lost it a few times. They will be able to start reading other things by about lesson 75. Side note: This did not work at all with my dyslexic child--who I didn't really know had dyslexia at this age...I eventually used Really Great Reading for her in 3rd grade which was amazing and a fantastic approach, but the curriculum is designed for classrooms and is expensive. We were blessed to have a tutor that helped us get the materials for free. My second choice for dyslexic children would be the All About Reading series of curriculum.--they have a pre-reading curriculum I'd try now if I knew of it then!)
Option 2: All About Reading series which I didn't know about this at the time, but it would probably be my first choice now and partners well with All About Spelling which would start in 1st Grade and is a fantastic program.
Favorite Handwriting: Handwriting without Tears series
Learn other things like colors and names for everything they see (so many great books out there!)--just always be thinking of engaging them and using any teachable moment that comes your way. Rhyme a lot--nursery rhymes are amazing.
Play Station Ideas: Kids learn through play, and they learn lots of things without us trying. I highly recommend rotating toys in and out to keep them fresher. Use what you have to make what you need--no need to buy a bunch of stuff; just look around. Kids like to play with anything they don't usually play with.
house w/ little people
legos or megablocks
huge drawing paper
puppets--socks work great
Set up a "maker" space or box for art stuff that they can use without you and is safe--safety scissors, construction paper, glue sticks, markers or crayons, fuzzy balls, eyes, pipe cleaner, old newspaper, whatever.
Look on pinterest for easy art ideas with kids. It doesn't take much to impress kids at this age!
Do something artsy related to history or science or something they love.
Math: This was all about number recognition and counting. Start with a focus number each week. Some kids are ready for more and some aren't.
Make small flash cards with numbers on them. I had paperclips on each card (like half an index card) and then attached a magnet to a string on the end of a stick. "Fishing math" was very popular. When they catch a fish they can say the number, write the word for the number, make the number out of beans, trace the number in sand, or fish for two numbers and add/subtract if they are ready for it. Or find something around the house that there is that number of, or count to that number. (At first 0-9 only).
Take a piece of paper and lay it on the floor or do it with chalk outside. Skip counting is fun and easy if you play it this way--they throw a penny or rock or bean bag onto the number and then hop to the number skip-counting (start with 10s and then 5s then 2s, etc.)
Bundles and piles: straws, beans, craft sticks, cotton balls, chairs, whatever--use for counting practice and eventually grouping (by tens, 5s, 2s, etc.)
Simple dot-to dot & Tracing (print one copy and put it in a page protector inside a binder with a thin dry erase marker for reuse--or use overhead markers that stay on but you can wash off with a napkin later)
Abacus fun, leap pad app or toy, money/coins, PBS has some awesome online kids games, go fish, etc.
Matching/Sorting/Shapes--markers of the same colors, crayons, take sets of two craft sticks and draw a picture with them next to each other and then separate them and have them match up, find a board game you have that has pieces they can match
Pattern Blocks--one thing I wish I had bought earlier!! Really cool.
Actual Curriculum--I started with Horizons Math which is a workbook series. The teacher edition walks you through it all. (Horizons starts with Kindergarten). They also have a manipulatives kit which they say is K-3 but we used that type of stuff for years. I never bought the kit but slowly put my own together. Here is what is in it. Other companies like Scholastic have Pre-K Math stuff. Read Amazon reviews. Homeschool parents are very candid about what works and what doesn't.
History Ideas: I only started because my older one needed the challenge and my husband is a history buff. Definitely don't need to dig deep so young.
Pick a time period to study, go to the library and get some free books, explore together. (Pirates, Knights, Ancient Egypt, etc.)
We did early civilization to the fall of Rome to start off with ideas from Usborne Encyclopedia of World History
National Geographic Kids Atlases are amazing--ask for this type of thing from grandparents if they want to help out!
Science Ideas: I didn't do anything for science "officially" that first year. Like history, you could pick some topics and go to the library. Grab some books. Have fun with it and "explore" what you can. Nature time is fantastic. You can get a primary journal with drawing and writing space on the same page. They draw and then they tell you what to write. This will be something you treasure forever!