Hello, lovely planning parents! The first part of this series looked at planning the year and planning blocks. The last part of planning is to look at the week and the day. Looking at the week and daily rhythm is something that comes so automatically in planning Early Years, but in the grades we also have to consider this!
Planning the Week: You may have looked at a little of this when you planned out how many days a week you are going to homeschool each week, but now really look at activities. HINT: I don’t think children under 10 really need much in the way of outside activities but they will enjoy gathering with other homeschoolers and a ten year could certainly enjoy the right activity. It may only go “up” from there, depending upon your financial situation, the interests of the child, and what is available in the way of outside activities that is appropriate. Our oldest daughter is approaching fourteen, so I say to you with those under the age of 14, enjoy these ages of having time to just be home. Try to give your children this solid, unhurried foundation instead of having activities scheduled every day. Some mothers are okay having school in the morning and going out in the afternoon most days of the week, I see that a lot in my area, but some mothers find it difficult to switch gears like that and prefer have “home” days and days they go out after school is done. So, how many days will you be home, how many days out?
Planning the Day: You looked at this a little when figuring out what to do with the week, and with what you want to regarding such things as handwork or foreign languages or even gardening and such. A pressing question for the homeschooler is always LIFE. When will LIFE happen?
This comes down to the daily rhythm. In Waldorf homeschooling families, children have to help. Chores are where it is at, baby. Life skills such as cooking, gardening, cleaning, baking, washing, folding, ironing ARE the curriculum, even (and especially!) for children in the grades! Leave some time in your days for these activities. And don’t forget cooking and gardening can be part of main lesson blocks at home. Cooking especially lends itself well to geography!
Be wary of trying to stuff too much into your day. You are not a Waldorf School and your time is going to be structured differently than trying to follow the schedule of a certain grade at a Waldorf School. Look at and capitalize on the things that make your home and homeschooling wonderful. Homeschooling is a different environment and over the years, as I am nearing the end of our first eighth grades with our oldest and half way through the eight years with our middle child, I can see over and over how in homeschooling we ARE different than the school.. The school curriculum has given us a remarkable foundation, but I think as homeschoolers we are really building upon that foundation.
A Note About Play: Play is the most important basis and foundation for everything. Being outside in nature and in a like-minded community if you can find that is so important for children of all ages, even (and especially) for teenagers. Work hard to put this in your rhythm every day. Teenagers still like to play. Their play may look different, but they still play! There can be a crisis of play around the ages of nine and twelve in many cases, which is probably a whole different post, but be mindful of helping children not shut off their play lives too soon.
Many blessings in planning!