I have thought ahead to what our rhythm will look like in the fall with a six year old kindergartener, an eighth grader who needs not only block lessons but “track” lessons, and a fifth grader. I think this rhythm would work well for those whose third child is in grades 1 –3 as well. For those with three children or more in the upper grades, there would need to be more tweaking I think – please be sure to go back to this post about homeschooling Waldorf with large families: https://theparentingpassageway.com/2015/02/23/peaceful-times-in-homeschooling-a-big-family/
This is just what worked for us last year when we were really “on task” and what I have had to add to it for eighth grade. It takes most of the day – 8:30 to about 2:30 or 3.
Here is our sequential order, but no particular times attached:
- Daily Walk with six year old kindergartener twice a week, fifth grader will work on any independent math work or reading associated with school, math with eighth grader twice a week (like the math that should be in a math block but we don’t have time in the year for three math blocks) and once a week “life skills” with eighth grader ( I did that in seventh grade too, where we read books related to our faith or related to emotional intelligence, or the more “traditional” life skills such as personal finance, etc) . The times we are walking either the older children will go or will be finishing main lesson book work, especially the eighth grader if we are in intense blocks. It would be nice to have enough time for all of us to take a long, long walk but quite frankly I would rather get school done earlier and have more time in the afternoon.
- Main Lesson with fifth grader – Eighth grader has piano practice, independent work such as writing rough drafts of summaries, finishing drawings or painting, independent math practice and also will be doing some crafts and play with our kindergartener.
- Circle, story and work of the day with kindergartener; fifth grader and eighth grader will relax or do whatever chores need to happen. I normally do our kindergartener first, but I think moving his things to the more mid-morning could work better for us at this point.
- Main Lesson with Eighth Grader – Fifth grader has music practice and playing with our little kindergartner.
- After lunch, some days each week I will work with our fifth grader on different track activities such as movement and math games and some days I will work with our eighth grader on world geography or American civics. Our little kindergartener can play then.
- A few days a week we will have handwork and woodworking or other practical arts and our little kindergartener can join in.
- Closing verse and done!
It sounds like a lot on paper, but it really is fairly casual in terms of the fact that I don’t mind being flexible and letting things go depending upon our sanity level and what we feel up to. I used to always try to end by lunch when my older two are younger ( and many times, most of the time have not felt successful in getting everything back together after lunch, but last year with a seventh grader by necessity things went longer) but with an eighth grader I feel like she needs a bit more as you just cannot fit everything into blocks…and with a lack of outside classes, I feel we really should get to our practical arts (outside of the kitchen, which we always manage to get to!)
Things change every year as they grow, so we will see if this is successful or not. I am always willing to be flexible in trying out rhythms.
Would love to hear your daily rhythm, especially those of you with seventh graders and up!