Am I the only one wondering how the f*@k it’s already OCTOBER?!
Maybe it’s because I’m the stereotypical “hot mess” mom. Maybe it’s because we decided to homeschool at the absolute last second so I did zero lesson planning ahead of time. More than likely it’s some combination of the two.
Either way, I finally sat down this week and spent an entire day creating our October homeschool lesson plan. Very last minute, but better late than never I guess.
Today I’m going to fill you in on everything we’re covering in our October homeschool lesson plan. From themes to crafts and everything in between, this post is going to be an excellent resource if you’re a homeschool mom (or dad) who needs a little inspiration.
Let’s dive in!
Themes For October
This month I made the adventurous decision to try out weekly themes. I’m not gonna lie, the lesson planning for this month alone made me second guess that decision so time will tell if I stick to this plan.
The goal for using weekly themes is to have a healthy balance between science, history, and geography. Knowing me, I will favor science (or just forget everything all together) if I don’t plan ahead so I have to stay organized.
My October homeschool lesson plan is mostly based around the holidays and educational events we previously signed up for. The weeks that were left over, I filled in with subjects from our science textbook.
Since there are 5 weeks in October, we will be exploring 5 different topics. Going in order from the first week, our themes are Stars and Constellations, Bees, Christopher Columbus, Earth, and my personal favorite, Halloween.
Thematic Written Activities
The biggest perk of homeschooling is having the freedom to learn when and where you want. Each week, I try to get us out of the house at least two times to switch up our learning environment.
On the days we leave the house, I have a composition notebook for each child that contains Language Arts and Mathematics activities tailored to fit our themes. This month I made every activity completely original by hand writing them in these notebooks.
Please feel free to laugh at me. How much energy would I have saved by using printables (or just typing them out and gluing them in)?! Y’all it took me FOR FREAKING EVER to handwrite these things out.
Anyway, each of the activities directly relate to the stories we will read throughout the week. The plan is to encourage my kids to reflect on the things they have learned and use critical thinking skills to answer questions.
Some activities included are fill in the blanks, color by addition/subtraction, categorizing words, and telling time. For now I will post sample photos of our notebook.
Let me know in the comments below if you would like me to make printable PDF files so you can save yourself the time (and energy) if you plan on following along or have similar themes coming up.
Weekly Crafts And STEAM Activities
Each week we are going to try out two projects to complement our themes. These crafts and STEAM projects are suitable for all age ranges so feel free to borrow the ideas even if you have older homeschoolers.
I’m gonna be honest, I lost all of my creative juices by this point in the lesson planning game (no wonder, right?). As much as I want to be the creative mom who thinks up original ideas every week, I’m cool with being the hot mess mom for this portion.
One hundred percent of the crafts I’m going to mention are from Pinterest. I will include links to each craft, but if you are looking for extra ideas my Pinterest page is an excellent resource for everything craft and homeschool.
Our craft for Stars and Constellations week will be making stars using painted toothpicks. The STEAM portion will be making constellation projectors using paper cups.
Both of the projects I chose for Bee week fall more under the STEAM category. We will be assembling bee accordions for our first project. The second project is assembling honeycombs out of toilet paper rolls.
For Christopher Columbus week our craft portion will be making telescopes out of paper cups and toilet paper rolls. Our STEAM project will be learning how to make an origami sailboat.
I kind of took the easy route on Earth week because our local library will be having story time this week. These story times include a craft so I counted that as one craft (even though it won’t go exactly with our theme). The other project is making Earth’s using coffee filters and markers.
For the last week of the month, we are going to be crafting up a storm. Halloween is my favorite time of year so we are doing different things every day. We will be making spider hats, flying witch popsicle sticks, and carving out our pumpkins.
Books To Complement Our October Lesson Plan
Finally, and most importantly, is our book selection. I picked out two books for each weekly theme from our local library to read aloud in circle time.
Don’t fret, we read way more than two books a week, but I could not be asked to dig through the library for 25 perfect books to complement our lesson plan.
Some of the books I reference are slightly above the first grade level and I will point them out. I like to push the boundaries every once in a while just to see what sticks with my kids. The goal for reading these books is to introduce topics in a fun manner not to create fact-memorizing robots of children.
Starting with week 1, I found two excellent First Grade friendly science books about stars. The first is titled “Stars” by Lynn M. Stone and the second is “What Are Stars?” by Carmen Bredeson. Both of these books are packed full of excellent information, but they aren’t too dense for first grade.
The books I chose to complement Bee week are “Look Inside A Bee Hive” by Megan Cooley Peterson and “The Honey Makers” by Gail Gibbons. The latter is one of the more advanced reads so we’ll probably break that one up into two reading sections.
Moving onto Columbus week, we have “Christopher Columbus” by Lisa Wade McCormick and “A Picture Book of Christopher Columbus” by David A. Adler. The first book is more factual vs. story, but it is brief enough that it should be perfect for first and even second graders.
Second to last, we have Earth week. The books we’ll be reading are “Looking At Earth: How Does It Change?” by Jackie Gaff and “On Earth” by G. Brian Karas. This is another week where the first book is factual while the second is a story.
The factual book is a bit more advanced, but again, I’m not forcing my kids to memorize anything. We are just visiting the topics so each time we visit them again we can add on to what we already know. The storybook this week is actually pretty educational as well so I would highly recommend reading it for an Earth study.
Saving the best for last, we have Halloween week! As I mentioned in my previous post, we do things a little weird in our family. We aren’t “pagan”, but I do honor pagan traditions around the holidays.
With that being said, we are going to learn about Samhain and the history of Halloween in the book “Celebrate Halloween” by Wendy Mass. The other books for the week are just fun storybooks because we will have family in town and I don’t want the week to be too intense for the kids.
That’s All, Folks!
Thirteen hundred words later…
That wraps up our October homeschool lesson plan. Feel free to either follow along with us or just snag some ideas for your own homeschool lesson planning.
Let me know in the comments below what you have on your homeschooling agenda the month of October. I’d love to hear about your favorite themes and crafts for the month.
Now, time to do some self care because this wiped me out. Until next time, happy homeschooling!