Home educators are always on the hunt for proper standards based, homeschool elementary lessons, and frankly, so are we! We’ve found some amazing lessons and printables throughout our journey and decided to compile them and place them into organized strands for you. Each entry will be broken down by subject area, and all are constructed based upon the appropriate standards.
One the ugliest myths about home educators is that we just wing it. As if we wake up, drink out coffee, and take our children into the dining room and hope for the best. That’s so far from the truth, that the hubble would struggle to see it. Instead, we carefully plan, organize, and implement lessons based upon a curriculum outline that is structured for our twelve month school year. Not to worry, if you follow the standard ten month year, these plans will work just fine.
Both of us (Jonathan and Jenivieve) have real experience in the classroom. Jenivieve has a degree in Elementary Education, and Jonathan taught as a certified classroom teacher for 8 school years. We’ve both faced formal evaluations (eek!) and scrutiny from both parents and administrators alike. You can’t just throw things together, show up in your PJs and expect to keep the keys to the door on your key ring. It just doesn’t happen like that.
We’ve applied our experience to these lessons and ideas, but added accommodations and modifications where needed. Just like in the brick and mortar schools, you must adapt lessons to fit the needs of your pupils. We have a special needs student (brave Lucas) and a five year old kindergartener who is a nutty as they come. If it weren’t for our experience, we would have jumped the shark by now, and thrown in a tear soaked towel.
You may want to check out our video of a “day in the life” as homeschooling parents. It includes some real lesson time, our warm-up and calendar math routine, and of course, a little OCD cleaning.
As you will see, we pack in a lot of learning, and take it very seriously:
Standards Based Homeschool Elementary Math Lessons
We have worked hard to find ways to make math palatable for our little cuties. Sure, we may have learned by sitting in a desk back in the 80s and 90s, with the fear of God struck into us by our teachers. Between spit balls and fart jokes, we still learned somehow. Today’s children are different. They need a little extra scaffolding and support to get through it, and the most vexing part is the way it’s presented. Common Core has really thrown a monkey wrench into things, and in our humble opinion (and that of thousands of teachers) it has over complicated things. There are ways to unpack those methods, and we’ve found lessons that are extremely helpful.
How to Make Pool Noodle Shooters: Estimation Lesson Plan & FREE Printable
This lesson is a super hands-on method for teaching and practicing ESTIMATION. See the video for more, and follow the link for the materials and detailed explaination.
What kid doesn’t like playing with those BINGO marker things?! Ours certainly do, and for this lesson they get to be meticulous and organized in their choices. Follow the link for a great lesson, and a very attractive FREE printable.
This lesson introduces how to create arrays using a dry erase market on a laminated worksheet. Students roll dice, fill in the blanks, then make arrays to help find the answer. The lesson also teachers the commutative property, and can be used for addition for younger students!
Standards Based Homeschool Elementary Science Lessons
Science is a lot more naturally interesting to our boys. We have found plenty of ideas that appeal to them. Field trips that we pair with lessons are the most effective. Luckily, the subject hasn’t been completely polluted by the new standards. We usually just download the standards curriculum outline from our county or state education websites. Then we find great ideas online and tweak them. Keeping track of which standards you have hit is critical, so print them out and make checklists. Go back and review the ones that aren’t crystal clear, because they build on each other.
Gravity Lesson Plan With Blocks: Kindergarten Gravity Lesson
This lesson is perfect for parents with multi-aged children. There are standards referenced for both Kindergarten and Second Grade, which suits our two boys. There are critical thinking elements and a wonderful template that you can print to get started. It’s a perfect example of play and learn activities that we always embrace.
DIY Minecraft Creeper Head: TinkerCAD 3D Printing
This lesson had my son’s eyes twinkling like we’ve never seen! He loves Minecraft and jumped at the chance to create a take-home item from our local library. Fortunately for us, our County Library system’s main branch has a great program for kids that allows them to use TinkerCAD (which is a kid’s version of AutoCAD). It’s a 3D interface for creating things using precise measurements. They even allow you to use TinkerCAD from home, and send 3D print jobs to the library’s 3D printer, then come to pick them up later. You have to use your resources wisely as a homeschooler!
Check out the video of the action taking place:
DIY Pumpkin Slime Tutorial: No Borax Slime Recipe
Most kids love Halloween (free candy!), and this lesson is suited for that crazy time of year. It gives kids a chance to get messy, learn basic chemistry, and mostly importantly, make great memories. Check out the video we made of our kids taking part:
Standards Based Homeschool Holiday Lessons
Okay so let’s take all the seriousness and throw it into a toy chest for a minute. There’s plenty of time for those. But the holidays are something we take to a whole different level in this house. There is a colorful, candy coated pile of fun to be had during the multiple holidays during the school year. Heck, the only one that doesn’t is the 4th of July. So we turn these easygoing times into teachable moments. Why not? Jenivieve is the guru of all things holiday related. She has sworn to make each one memorable, and seems to be one-upping herself every year. There are many more in the holiday category, so check it out and don’t forget to come back for updates!
How to Make A Gratitude Turkey & FREE THANK YOU MINI CARD PRINTABLE
So the kids get through the candy and the mayhem, and it’s time to settle in for some family time, right? One thing we try to instill is that they should always be grateful for what they have, and never jealous or envious of others. Thanksgiving is really a teachable moment. This lesson capitalizes on that concept, and offers plenty of deep-thinking opportunities for our lovelies. It really is special, and allows time for some important reflection. It’s secular, and it’s amazing. The children list the people, places, and things that they are grateful for, and we make them into huge Thanksgiving wall decorations. The turkey literally stares down our children, as if to say “I dare you to act ungrateful, lest I peck your head!”
Standards Based Homeschool Elementary Language Arts Lessons
These lessons are probably the easiest to adapt to homeschooling. Most of us have a strong grip on the language and a decent ability to write. But the real crux of providing a quality language arts education is about teaching them to synthesize material. It is the most important skill they can acquire because it transcends ALL subject areas. If you successfully teach them to gather information, process it, and synthesize it they will be unstoppable. They will need this skill to properly unpack word problems in math, science problems, and of course, to interpret reading passages in social studies. Despite all of this, writing has been a real sore spot for many teachers. With electronics taking over our daily lives, children have words literally written for them. We have to fight this paradigm shift, and take things back to pen and paper. YES, I said it. Make them write with pencils and pens, create drafts, and if needed, type out the final copy. We have many more entries coming in this area, so don’t forget to check back!
Best Early Reader Books for Boys
This lesson literally makes us cry. Where did the years go? Our handsome, smart, talented little guys are growing so fast, and one day, they won’t want to snuggle up for a good book. Seize the moment, and make it count. This link will provide titles for some of the most beloved books we’ve found, along with brief summaries to help you decide which will be best for you.
We also created FREE Spiderman Alphabet Cards which work well for hand on learners. These cards can be used in a Montessori Sand box (or sensory box) to play Go Fish and many more fun activities!
Feel free to bookmark and save this page, because each category will be fleshed out as time goes on. Every time we find a useful lesson, we will adapt it and post it into one of the subcategories above. This should become a valuable resource for you and your littles as you traverse the homeschool journey.