First Grader wants more choices

I have a 6 year old girl who will be starting 1st grade in the fall. Also have 4 year old and 2 year old girls. My 1st grader said she would like more choices with her school. I havent quite adopted a curriculum for 1st grade; we were just working on reading and some math on kindergarten and adding other things here and there. She is a girl who needs a lot of structure but also wants some flexibility and choices which makes it overwhelming for me. Any suggestions or ideas? She wants to be home with her sisters but something is just not working.

How about Apologia Elementary Science? And an art class such as Home Art Studio? Those are choices I use now.
I’d add in some Health & Manners book by ABeka and even their History. Also their readers. Most of these can be done independently, or you can just read to her and her younger siblings once or twice per week.
When I started homeschooling, I purchased everything from ABeka. It was all there, all subjects I needed. I did not get to read all of the pages of every book but my daughter ended up doing so on her own. It really felt like “school” though, because we had all of those subjects we could cover, and that was exciting for her. I do wish I had been better organized then, but with other little ones it does get hard at times. But even still, she started to do a lot on her own, like the readers, history, science, health.
Other things I started to do as time went by was to add in some file folder games that were math or LA related, some creative writing with a lapbook full of promots and things like that named My Writing Folder, she loves this. Look up Melissa Forney’s website if you’re interested in this. I discovered her online printables through a book of hers called Razzle Dazzle Writing. It’s a good resource. Also, some nature walks and other things like baking and cooking together can all be considered school. Tell her that it is. She’ll love it. Look up Keepers of the Faith for Little girls, the book is so sweet and you can work on it for school too.
I believe children like having structure, and they need structure, even if it does not go perfectly, which honestly does not happen in a school building either.
Anyways, I think the key would be to add in some things that will spark her interest in learning, as the subjects mentioned above should do.
I hope this is somewhat helpful.

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Perhaps you could give her some choice in the order the subjects are completed. That way you are making sure that you accomplish what you want each day, but she feels that she has some say in how it is done.

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I’d ask for more feedback. What kind of choices would she like–about curriculum, how she does school, where she does it, when she does it…if she could change one thing about her school, what would she change? Let her know you don’t promise to change everything she might like, but if the changes are workable, you will certainly consider them.

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Hi there @Urmiu82! When my daughter was in 1st grade, my younger two were 4 and 1, so we also had the quandry of what to do with keeping the 1st grader interested/learning while the younger two were occupied. I am the more structured one of the family, myself, so we were also looking for some structure too :slight_smile: We started using Elemental Science (we started with Biology for the Grammar Stages) and while not all of their Grammar Stages options would work like this, the Biology level could–you could let her pick which animal she wanted to study in what order. The first 20 weeks are on animals (10 on mammals, 4 on birds, etc.). There are several options for how to reinforce the learning (lapbooks, notebook pages, coloring pages, etc.) and she could choose which she wanted to learn about from week to week. That’s one option I thought of.

Also, my daughter (now finishing 2nd grade this year) really enjoys when I tell her what subjects we have for the day and she gets to choose what to do next. This works a little better later in the day. We have a few we have to knock down earlier in the day when everyone is fresh and we can accomplish a bit more. But when we have two or three left to do, she sometimes gets to choose in what order. I also find she is more alert and cooperative when she picks the subject order, which is a big plus later in the day when normally it is harder to keep her attention and her energy up! :slight_smile:

The third idea is one we just implemented for next year, and that is electives. We let her choose an elective that she will do one day per week next year. She chose sewing/baking with mom. So one afternoon a week (after other subjects are done) she will either have a sewing lesson or learn to bake something with me. She is so excited!! She will probably even be given choices between a few recipes each week that I give her to choose from. And I bought her a simple age-appropriate sewing book with projects she can choose from there too.

I hope these ideas are a little helpful! At this age, they are so young and need so much guidance, but the beauty of this homeschool journey is that they do get to let their interest in learning blossom! :slight_smile: I am trying to remember that as I go, but as structured as I am, it is a learning process for me too! Good luck as you find what works best for you and your daughter!! :slight_smile:


Thanks for all the advice! I am such a structured person that flexibility is a challenge. I know this what is needed with my oldest who just wants more of a say. I looked at Home Art Studio and I think it will be great for her! Are there any other secular curriculums that I can use that are flexible?

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