Many of us have an Early Grades child (ie, Grades One – Two-Three) child we are providing Main Lessons for in Waldorf homeschooling, but also have a Kindergarten-aged child to consider as well. The number one complaint I hear is that “my (three to six year old) child is just tormenting us during our attempt to do a Main Lesson for the older child”. I understand!
Here are some things to kick around and see if any of it helps:
1. Consider doing your Kindergarten work first – ie, Kindergarten Circle, Kindergarten Story, a response to the story if needed.
2. Consider where you are putting practical work in – is that happening or has your routine of Tuesday as Baking Day, Wednesday as Crafts Day, etc, that you had with your older one completely flown out the window now? Sometimes using the earlier part of the morning to do that and then coming to the Main Lesson for the older child does the trick.
3. Are you starting your day with physical activity? I know sometimes it is hard, because once you get out and walk and ride bikes and such and come back in and regroup it seems the whole morning is gone, but perhaps some variation of this will work for you and your family.
4. Can your older child be flexible? Can you do something at naptime? Can you take a day and go hiking during the week and make up that Main Lesson on the weekend at all when Dad is around to help with the Kindergarten-aged child? The weekend idea may not work well with a three-day rhythm, but might work well for something such as Form Drawing once a week or wet on wet watercolor painting where you need a more meditative quality.
5. Can you home school outside?
6. What sensory experiences can you set up inside? Can you have an indoor sandbox, can you build a fort for the little one to play in, can you have a sensory table inside, can your little one play in the sink, etc?
7. Could anyone be a mother’s helper for two days a week so you can get more concentrated work done? Is there an elderly neighbor who would love to garden with your child during the week at one point or bake? Is your spouse’s job flexible enough at all to portion out part of homeschooling your Kindergarten-aged child to him or her?
For those of you who have been there and done that, what has worked for you?
I think the most important thing to remember is that homeschooling is about family first, it is also about flexibility and enjoying some of the advantages of homeschooling has to offer – like being outside during nice fall weather!
Most of all, remember that even the Early Grades are still little (First and Second), Third should be a lot of hands-on work perhaps even more than Main Lesson Book and perhaps we should take a hint from our friends Raymond and Dorothy Moore that late is better than early. Oral storytelling can assist the whole family, plays and puppet shows and the academic pieces will come..
Looking forward to hearing YOUR ideas on this one,