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
|What will child #2 be doing here?||What will child #3 be doing here?|
|Main Lesson #2
|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|
M T W Th (circle the day and write the lesson in the child’s box) 1/2 hour
T – Crafts/festival preparation
( 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.