I talk to so many mothers who have children of multiple ages and who are very concerned as to how to fit in multiple main lessons, or what to do with their children when their ages are spread out between the Early Years and the grades. It can be daunting, and many veteran Waldorf homeschoolers say that you cannot schedule that many main lessons without going insane….but then how to do it?
Let’s start at the beginning. If you have a first or second grader, and the rest of your children are under the age of 7, then life should be relatively easy. You can often think in terms of outside time together, a circle for all, a story geared to the kindergartener, perhaps the main lesson for the first or second grader, nap and quiet time (and perhaps do something else for fifteen to twenty minutes with the first or second grader during quiet time), the work of the day geared toward the kindergartener but including all, and finish with playing outside. My friend Sheila has a lovely post about her rhythm with her fourth grader and her Early Years child here: http://sureastheworld.com/2012/03/18/brass-tacks-my-homeschooling-day/
With two children involved in main lesson work, I think it is still possible to either put them “together” if they are close in age…ie, a first grader and a second grader could both hear folk tales, but work on slightly different academic levels. If the two children needing main lessons are further apart in age, then you may want to have separate main lesson times. Then for other lessons, such as foreign language or handwork, you could combine the children but have them work at their own levels. I think all of that is possible with only two children needing main lessons, even with younger children in tow. I think this is the sort of thing you must jump in and try and switch around as needed. It is daunting when I go to the homes of my homeschooling friends who are not using Waldorf methods and their homeschooling is a lot of workbooks, worksheets, independent reading textbooks, and videos. Waldorf homeschooling is different, and sometimes only by doing it can we wrap our heads around how it will work for our family and what that will look like!
I will have a fifth grader, a second grader, and a two year old turning three in the fall. I am planning my essential rhythm to look like this: Continue reading
I was going through some papers this weekend and came across an article by Michael Howard that I had printed out called, “Educating the Feeling-will in the Kindergarten” and this quote just popped out at me:
“The defining characteristic of feeling will is the capacity to live deeply into the inner quality of something outside us, knowing and feeling it as if we are within it or it is within us. In the early childhood years a healthy child is naturally inclined to drink in the inner mood and qualities of places and persons. It is one of the tragedies of our times that the ways of the world, including the life of the family and school, can dull rather than foster this natural soul attachment. Tragically, many young children come to kindergarten with a sense-nerve disposition already strongly developed. Their thinking has become prematurely intellectual and abstract, and their feeling life inclines toward strong personal like or dislike.”
I have been seeing so many tiny children yet with so many big opinions. Have you been seeing this as well? Continue reading
I wanted to thank all of you who participated and left comments in regards to the post Donna Simmons of Christopherus Homeschool Resources on Catherine’s blog. You can see the original post here (and do be sure to read the comments, because that is where the discussion really is, including an interesting side thread on forming the space between two siblings who are very close in age): Continue reading
…. ( A reader alerted me on 11/7/2012 that this link didn’t work and she couldn’t find the original post. On quick search I couldn’t either, but this post is similar: http://www.elizabethfoss.com/reallearning/2012/08/lets-talk-about-learning-with-little-ones.html Enjoy!)
,,,,of all the things Elizabeth Foss has written. Go and check it out!
How is that for lovely heading into the weekend?
I would love to hear your favorite stories that you tell to six year olds during the six year old Kindergarten year; leave your picks in the comment boxes.
I love those repetitive stories such as The Gingerbread Man, Chicken Licken, etc, but not to reach the heart and soul of the six year old. I truly think that for most six year olds, these tales are enjoyable (just as they are for we the adults!) but I am not certain these will meet the child’s needs if for he or she really is in the throes of real and distinct developmental change. If he or she is changing, really what is needed are stories with a little more “meat”, a little more good versus evil where good wins.
I hear about children who cannot handle fairy tales well; this does happen. I wrote about that here in 2009: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2009/08/16/what-do-i-do-my-child-cant-handle-fairy-tales/ You really CANNOT bring a tale to your child that does not resonate with you or that makes you uncomfortable, so do NOT pick that one. However, you can read a tale for two or three days, and really sleep on it and see what comes to you before you just dismiss it as well. I personally love nearly all the Grimms Tales, and am very comfortable with them, and I think that completely comes out in my storytelling.
So, without further ado, here are some stories we have enjoyed in my family in the past, or I have known families whose children enjoyed these tales; this list has my detailed notes as to each story: Continue reading
(7/16/2011 – Comments on this post are now closed! Thank you for all your comments and questions!)
Our guest post today comes from Donna Simmons of Christopherus Homeschool Resources (http://www.christopherushomeschool.org/home.html). This is a very comprehensive look at the topic of first grade readiness. This article includes her perspective as a Waldorf educator, but also as a parent and homeschooler, and includes a deep understanding of the foundation of Waldorf Education, but also includes more mainstream resources for those of you seeking those.
This article is long, but I encourage you to read all of it. Donna will be answering your questions left in the comment box in regards to this post, and we both look forward to hearing your thoughts.
Here is Donna….. Continue reading
Have you ever heard of a deconstructed salad? It is a salad that has all the components separately instead of mixed all together. For those “When Harry Met Sally” fans, it is kind of all “on the side.”
I think the six-year-old kindergarten year is a bit like that; sometimes we have to really analyze the separate components and tailor those components.
This last year of kindergarten need not be intense, but I think six- year -olds do need something “more”. And we are fortunate that in the home environment we able to meet our child where they are. Continue reading