Summer Planning for the Five and Six Year Old Kindergarten Years

We have been talking about summer planning on this blog for a few posts now and today I wanted to talk specifically about the five and six year old years and how planning might look.

One thing to immediately consider is if your state has reporting requirements for a certain age (in my state you have to start reporting for age 6).  How many days of attendance a year is required?  Take out a calendar and think about when you would like to generally start and end your school year (because in Waldorf we do REST over the summer!), when your vacations will be, and how many days you can plot out to meet those state requirements.  Get involved with your homeschooling organization in your state so you know what laws affect you, what is coming up – you are now part of a community of ALL homeschoolers, whether the other homeschoolers use Waldorf or not!

Think about the goals you have for your child.  What do they need to work on in the realms of gross motor, fine motor, in language, in social settings, from a spiritual/religious perspective, in creative play, in ordering of thoughts (the basis of pre-mathematical thinking)?

Secondly, look at what festivals you would like to celebrate and start making monthly headings with the festivals you will be celebrating each month.  For example, perhaps you will celebrate Michaelmas, Martinmas, Advent, St. Nicholas Day, Candlemas, etc.  Mark those down under each month and make sure you give yourself a couple of weeks to plan baking, cooking, arts and crafts and other things around these festivals.

Now turn to your daily rhythm and  think about how you will call and start school each day.  Will you have a song you sing, a chime, a drum? Will you light a candle? Will you always sing the same song or use songs that change monthly in accordance with the season, month or festival?  Will you do circle or finger plays or some sort of movement to warm up the body and will these always be the same or will they change monthly?

Will you do your practical work next or will you do a story first?  Your story can be the same for a whole month, although depending on what festival is during the month you may want to do a fairy tale for two weeks and then a festival story in the weeks leading up to the festival. Verses are a great way to bring in counting, mathematical ordering, the rhythm of language and rich vocabulary.   

Your practical work will follow the same rhythm each week, but the activities will change in accordance with the seasons or festival coming up.  So you may have baking, gardening, arts and crafts, handwork, painting – but each week will be something different.  It takes time to plan these things and make supply lists to make sure you have the things you need on hand. 

Lastly, make sure you have a way to end your school day, whether that is again with singing or a verse or a chime.

Look at each day of your week and plan outside time, and what afternoon you may be out of the house.  Remember, the five and six year old needs rhythm, repetition, warmth! 

The six-year-old can probably start to handle some field trips to orchards for apple picking, or the nature center, but always keep in mind what you are trying to accomplish!  It is still not the time for explanation, but for doing.  Make a fishtank or pond.  Feed the birds and make bird treats.  Take care of animals, hike and be in nature, look at the stars and planets with the naked eye, have your child do chores, grow a garden.  Look for those longer and more involved fairy tales to tell and longer and more complex projects for the six-year-old. 

Happy Planning!


7 thoughts on “Summer Planning for the Five and Six Year Old Kindergarten Years

  1. Please keep these going – I need summer ideas for an 8 year old!!! Thanks for all that you do on you wonderful blog.

  2. Oh yes, I have a 5 year old that will be turning 6 in October. She’s already champing on the bit to get involved in ‘bigger things’.

    I’ve been having a huge clear out, sorting through cupboards and files and pulled out a beading loom (lying hidden away at the back). IMHO she won’t be ready to use it for some time yet (in fact I smiled, remembering that I had originally bought it for a 3rd grade project – I made beaded bands with my boys) and assured her that in a few more years we would make some things together.

    I currently use a glockenspiel for various times in the day, although I’ve slipped on this the past few difficult weeks and have really noticed the difference *sigh*. I’m looking forward to summer planning, although the coming year will be a challenging one with a 13 year old, 6 and 4 year old at home.

  3. Pingback: More Planning for Fall 101 « The Parenting Passageway

  4. Hi Carrie! I have a question for you. I have been told by other home school Waldorf resources that kindergarten and the earlier years are about the home, rhythm and routine, doing the tasks at hand, but ultimately being-at-home. How does that work with “starting the school day”? How might one resolve what feels like the contradiction–or perhaps the self-conscious interruption–of morning rhythm with a signal (a verse, a song) that the school day is now “starting”? Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    • I think this depends on the age of your child a bit….If your child is below 5 or 6, some of the rituals folks use may or may not feel contrived in the home setting. If you have a circle time or time for fingerplays, many mothers sing a song to gather everyone, some do light a candle. Other mothers are just comfortable snuggling in a big chair and telling a story snuggling up together…If you build circle and story time into your day, then it eventually won’t feel like an interruptios Sometimes it is also where you put things – some mothers put fingerplays with a story after lunch and before quiet time to wind down and out the practical focus activity of the day in the morning…I think you have to think about what would work best for you and your family. Many blessings, Carrie

  5. Pingback: Planning 101: Planning for Fall « The Parenting Passageway

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