Usually one of three things happens during the homeschooling year:
Life intervenes and the entire year is rather chaotic. Yep, that happens.
The school year starts off strong, and then life intervenes and is rather chaotic. Yep, that happens too.
Everything goes as perfectly planned. Nope, that really doesn’t happen too often.
Homeschooling calls for flexibility, an ability to work with life throws at you, often an ability to juggle different roles of being a parent/spouse/homemaker and to juggle children of a wide spread of ages and stages and temperaments. All of this really requires an ability to get organized and work with planning as a tool. This is important especially for Waldorf homeschooling. Planning is everything in Waldorf homeschooling, and it really can help save you when life intervenes.
So, how is it coming with planning? The last posts in this series were in February and March (you can see March’s post here: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2014/03/27/march-time-to-plan/)
This is where I am so far in planning a five year old kindergarten year, fourth grade and seventh grade:
I planned my start and finish dates and vacation dates based off of the two counties where my children have friends on different school schedules. I didn’t do that this year and ended up regretting it.
I marked out “teacher time”. Plans made over the summer often need adjustment, and at any rate, one needs to look things over and live into the material before the block begins.
I went through all the months of this past year and wrote down any details I wanted to remember – which months did life hit us hardest, how I felt inside, how the children seemed to feel, seasonal details about each month or details related to feasts of the church.
I thought very seriously about extra-curricular activities and how many days we can really be out of the home each week – and what time we will finish school each day and really can realistically make it out to something. The out of the house rhythm I have discussed with my husband, because whereas I am a “yes” kind of girl, “yes, let’s do that!” he is much more practical in terms of looking at how much time we can sustain outside our home.
I made out a sample daily rhythm for all three children. That, to me, is the hardest part, as I often don’t feel as if there are enough hours in the day to meet everyone’s needs with three separate ages of children – early years, mid grades and late grades.
I created my “wheel” of the year – you can see details about that in the March back post. I go mainly around the calendar of the Anglican Communion and have to plan in our feast and fast dates and dates where we will be out of the home due to church. Remember, the cycle of the year is what holds all of your different ages and stages together for your homeschooling adventure!
I sketched out what blocks I think will go where in the year and how long those blocks most likely will be. Subject to change!
I ordered most of my resources and started gathering various titles to get at the library.
I put together notes for two blocks for my seventh grader by day (but have not done any of the artistic work for those blocks ahead of time yet, which is often that part that takes me the longest after I read the resources and get an idea for the order of what to present when in the flow of a block).
I put together some general ideas about work each day of the week for my kindergartner, and ideas about stories for each month, crafts and handwork for festivals.
That is a start, but there is certainly a lot, a lot more to do! I have to start now to really plan it all and fit it all in. Most of this work is being created by me from scratch using different resources, as I am certain it is for you as well.
What are you planning? I would love to hear!