Get Your Planning On: A Daily Homeschool Form You Can Use

I want to point out here something really, really important.  You are not trying to re-create a Waldorf School in your home.  Life is the curriculum.  The liturgical year, the birthdays, the appointments, the car breaking down, cooking, feeding the animals – that is all the curriculum for home learners.

There has been bigish (LOL) debate or discussion in the past about unschooling versus Waldorf homeschooling.  This is sort of moot in a way because by homeschooling I think there is automatically going to be “what comes up” as learning.  People have asked me how to reconcile “what Waldorf brings in when” with “what comes up” or “what my child wants to learn”.  I wrote a little about that in this post:  To me, if you are familiar with the development of the child, it is not hard to bring things in a developmentally appropriate way that still fits your family.

So, I am saying all this to say:  you don’t, you won’t, you don’t want to be perfect.  Take a daily rhythm that fits your family and now make your daily planning form.  And know that because you are running your home and your life, and not a school classroom with 30 children, there is room to wiggle.

Maybe on one block you combine all your children together into one main lesson period and rotate around between them.  Maybe you normally combine everyone and on some lesson blocks you try to work with some of the children individually.  Maybe most mornings you start with a gathering time, and today you decide you everyone needs a walk.  Don’t feel like your rhythm is a noose around your neck, and stop abandoning Waldorf because you don’t think you can do it perfectly.

So, since I don’t know what your rhythm looks like, I can only really share with you my daily planning form.  I essentially do plan two main lessons that are not too long, and they may be done outside so my toddler can roam free.  Or I might combine everyone at the same time.  It depends upon my mood.  I try to shoot for one time slot after lunch where I might be able to work on a little “extra lesson” – ie, a different subject.  My second grader will have an extra lesson of math each week on Thursdays, and my fifth grader will have extra lessons scheduled M,T, W to do either grammar, math or whatever it is that we need to get to.  In the past I have done mainly the main  lesson and worked in other things at the end as I needed to, but with a fifth grader this year I wanted to try it this way. That is the joy of homeschooling:  you try things, you tweak things, you go looser, you go tighter.

So my main idea of a rhythm looks like this right now, totally subject to change:

Day of the Week  M T W Th Child #1 Child #2 Child #3
Gathering Time (see weekly form)
Main Lesson #1
Movement
Art
What will child #2 be doing here? What will child #3 be doing here?
Tea/Read Aloud
Main Lesson #2
Movement
Art
What will Child #1 be doing? What will Child #3 be doing?
Outside Play/Walk to Park/Lunch(Quiet time)   we may be walking and taking lunch to the park most days
Extra Lesson
M T W Th (circle the day and write the lesson in the child’s box)  1/2 hour
Nap
M- Handwork
T – Crafts/festival preparation
W- religion
Chores
( you could write your household work for each day here or have a separate idea of what you will all do to nurture your home each day.  Or you may want to work it in your rhythm in a more formal way.   I tend to do things around meals, and have my older ones help my toddler with some work each day)

How many days do you want to run school?

Do you have to go forever each day or could you end early some days?

What could you do at the beginning and end of a main lesson to make things economical in the home environment?

If you are religious or spiritual, when does that practice come in for your family?  We tend to use gathering times, meal times and quiet times for that, along with just life and when “it comes up”….your spiritual view is who you are and that comes across every day and every time when you answer questions or talk about things.  This is a daily rhythm, so remember too that your yearly and monthly rhythm should take into account your religious community.

For some families, time can be a constraining factor for “formal” lessons – so make the best use of your time, know that life is the curriculum and just have fun!  If homeschooling is a big drag and everything is stressful, then you won’t be homeschooling for long!

Keep it simple, keep it fun, your children will learn and be ahead and be great human beings too!

Many blessings, have fun, stay loose.

Carrie

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7 thoughts on “Get Your Planning On: A Daily Homeschool Form You Can Use

  1. This is really great Carrie. I think it is helpful for other mama’s to see what their day could look like especially when there are more than one main lesson involved. This fall, I will have 3 in the grades-1st, 2nd, and 5th. I am going to try and combine 1st and 2nd where I can (probably math and science) and then plan to end the year with all 3 doing an age appropriate botany block. I also will be switching up my 5th grader and having him do his Main Lesson after lunch. He has always been more receptive to writing, drawing, etc. after lunch and so I am hoping this works and will help keep the morning from feeling rushed/stressed, especially when there is also their 3 year old sister to consider!

  2. Hi Carrie! I really appreciate the way you often emphasize the need to be flexible and to not worry about being perfect. I had the great fortune this year to be able to send my son to a Waldorf kindergarten three days a week. We both LOVED his teacher and I learned so much — maybe as much as he did — LOL! Next year, we will be moving to a very small town with no Waldorf schools and I’m not extremely hopeful that there will be any other Waldorf moms there either. My son is only 4 now, so I know that most of our homeschooling is just establishing Rhythm and teaching him about home life and nature. I’ve been reading so many Waldorf books lately and I am very excited to be homeschooling next year, but I’m already finding it hard to balance my time educating myself and planning with time for my family. I also have a 4 month old, and I feel constantly sleep-deprived, but I still need to READ! :) I’m laughing at myself now, but I wonder if you have any advice on life/homeschooling with little ones. Also, how many days a week? I find it hard to keep the “breathing in, breathing out” rhythm while I do things that I need to do sometimes — there are days I need to shop AND do laundry and I feel guilty. Thank you! With Peace, Jessica

    • Jessica,
      Check under the Homeschooling tab in the header, and from the drop down menu hit Kindergarten. Many, many posts will come up. Waldorf homeschooling is about the home- whereas a circle time is the heart of the Waldorf Kindergarten, at home work is the heart and the sweet and simple stories. Take a whole morning and make it the day to shop at the co-op. Make one morning’s work laundry and have some to hang on the line. Demechanize, slow down, take time to take nurturing care of your home and leave your afternoons free. Don’t read too much; start doing! :)
      Many mothers would think about doing a little song/fingerplay/story three days a week, one day out, one day home with gardening or other real work that might be a bit longer stretch, lots of time to play and be in nature. It is teaching by modeling and doing.
      Try this back post for help: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2010/01/13/waldorf-in-the-home-with-the-three-and-four-year-old/
      Here is one about Early Years books: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2010/02/09/which-early-years-book-should-i-buy/

      Many blessings,
      Carrie

  3. Hi Carrie I love your schedule here. It’s real,simple, and smooth.
    It’s a real home schedule(not bothered down with 20 trillion things to accomplish before lunch)- not a waldorf school room schedule.Thankyou for your reminders and guidance!!

  4. Oh Carrie, thank you. We fell back into the sludge and the drudge and nothing has been happening. We’re just coming out of a period of illness and the inspiration has struck again but I was feeling doubtful about my abilities to create anew a rhythm that suits our family. Your blog post has reassured me and given me some tools that were needed. I very much appreciate the timing indeed.

  5. I always try to make a schedule but everytime I do…I feel like God laughs at me :( I really do try though! I mean we have to get certain things done to finish the curriculums.
    I keep up with a lot of folks on my homeschool blog if anyone would like to check it out. Occasionally I will post my “extras” books on there too! Stop by and hit “like” Trying to get to 100 by the end of the week!!
    https://www.facebook.com/OneHomeschoolMom

  6. Pingback: Last Minute Homeschool Planning | The Parenting Passageway

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