I read a quote on Facebook last week that said something to the effect that we were leaving the long, lazy days of summer behind and beginning the busy season of school and activities. Not for me! Our summer was busy, and hectic, and far from lazy. I am so content to have moved into our predictable, wonderful, fall school schedule. Because this summer was busy, I didn’t get nearly as much school planning done as I have in the past. I was able to create a block layout I was pleased with, I ordered all curricula helps I wanted, and I prepared our daily rhythm. I planned everything necessary for our first blocks and off we went. The truth is, I’m not nearly as stressed about it as I thought I would be! Yes, I will have to read and plan as part of my daily and weekly schedule, but now that I have almost four (4!) years of homeschooling under my belt I feel like I can handle it.
Our blocks look like this:
Garden/ 7 Grains
Hebrew Studies: Creation
Measurement: Dry & Liquid
Language Arts: Basic Parts of Speech
Math: Long Division and Multiplication
Language Arts: Four Sentence Types
I used Eugene Schwartz’s lectures for the first time in planning sixth grade. I found them quite useful. I bought the “budget” lectures, but perhaps for seventh grade I will buy the “Online Conference.”
Our daily rhythm underwent some major tweaking this year, too. For a long while, I was caught up in doing our work in the Head, Heart, Hands structure (i.e. academics first, then foreign language or music, then handwork) because that’s what is done in a Waldorf school. I was trying to cram both main lessons into our morning and it wasn’t working for me! Our new rhythm seems so much more open and I feel like we have more time in the day to get everyone’s work done! Plus there is time for me to meet the needs of my toddler.
Here is our new daily rhythm:
Rise, Chores & Piano, Breakfast, Morning Devotional & Scripture Study
Walk & Snack
Main Lesson 1 (each grades age child gets their main lesson in the AM twice a week)
Lunch & Rest
Main Lesson 2 (each grades age child gets their main lesson in the PM twice a week)
One day a week is different and includes piano lessons, a trip to the library, spanish, and handwork.
There is no formal circle this year! The grades children get all their movement, poetry, and songs as part of their own main lesson. For my toddler, I sing seasonal songs on our walk and do verses and finger plays throughout the day. I got this idea from the Waldorf Community Exchange, in which a teacher wrote about the fact that her circle was just part of being outside. She would do songs and verses and poems with the children as they played and they didn’t even realize it they were doing a “circle.” Speaking of my toddler, there is one more thing I would like to add to each day. I think it would be beneficial to structure the days more like a Waldorf Kindergarten and make sure there is a daily activity she can weave in and out of while I’m working with the older children. (e.g. Monday, play dough; Tuesday, painting; etc.)
Are you glad to be back into a fall rhythm?