The older my children get, the harder it is to write about homeschooling. The Waldorf curriculum is a constant for us, but every child reacts so differently to it in the homeschool environment and it is hard for me to know if any of our experiences will translate. Homeschoolers tend to paint this picture of things being lovely on blogs and Instagram. Our days can be lovely too, but some days are not, and I find with older children they look much different than when I had children all in 5th or 6th grade and younger. It is not as beautiful as the early grades when all the children were more on the same page as far as the curriculum; it is more academic; it is more juggling for me because the children are so spread out in ages (if you are a first time reader, my children are 9th grade, 6th grade, 1st grade) and it is more focusing on areas that are difficult and time-consuming.
Today started with the usual – breakfast. My children really want hot meals at most meal times. My fifteen year old and twelve year old absolutely can cook and do, but I find if I do breakfast it is speedier and gets us off to a better start. So today I threw oatmeal and flaxseeds in the crockpot with some cinnamon and cut up pears and sauteed some apples in cinnamon, butter, and a little coconut sugar.
We started with our littlest guy. After his opening verses, he is doing a lovely circle regarding Pelle’s Suit from the book, “Movement Journeys and Circle Adventures” but I added in a number of Spring Wynstone verses about daffodils, violets, gnomes and the Spring Queen. In this way, we wake up our voices, our fingers and toes. We woke up our minds with some movement math. Then we reviewed. We started with a little song he knows well. It was written on the board – (“Spring is coming, Spring is coming, birdies build their nest, Weave together straw and feather, Doing each their best) and we hunted for all the S’s, all the c’s, found the letter that makes the “W” sound, etc. We also practiced saying the words and clapping on the S’s and stomping on the b’s. He still mixes up some of the letters and their sounds, so we played some games of putting little alphabet cards that he wrote in order and then I pick a sound and he finds the letter or vice versa (and then he quizzes me!). We also took turns writing the capital letter on the board and writing the little letter friend that matches – big A, little a, for example. He re-told the story of Snow White and Rose Red to me in exquisite detail, and we modeled a bear. Then we painted not so much a bear, but the gesture of a bear in red, with yellow around it for the gold, and then a shy blue hiding in the corners. The painting looks like the painting of any other first grade with a play of abstract color, but to us it represents the strong bear who could defeat a dwarf and the inner gold we all carry. I put a sentence on the board from the story and we looked at it carefully, finding all the letters. Tomorrow we will re-tell the story again, and draw and write from the story and have a new story.
During this, my sixth grader was bringing me her report on Attila the Hun. She is using the book “Attila the Hun” from the Villians of History series and going through the chapters and writing down three things from each chapter that she learned. On Friday, we will take all her notes and make it into a little report that will bridge our Rome History Block and our Medieval Block. And my ninth grader was wandering in and out, muttering about writing up a lab and how the graph was weird (which I later figured out it was because I was having her plot the wrong thing. Oops! We did fix it).
Next I worked with our ninth grader. We started with biology. We have been doing ecology and lately succession and biomes in particular (and catching up on labs since we switched programs in the fall semester and are still catching up). We looked at the lab she was having trouble with, and fixed that. Then we forged ahead with using a microscope. Oak Meadow Biology doesn’t require a microscope, but I wanted our ninth grader to have this experience, so today we were using the microscope to review mitosis and using some labs I pulled off the Internet. We also looked back through our main lesson book at mitosis since this was something we did earlier this year. Then we moved into our more current topic and went through the biology chapter and I have had several main lesson book activities for this topic. Lastly, we went through the book Kidnapped our ninth grader is reading for literature and went through comprehension questions and vocabulary. During this, our first grader was playing, our sixth grader was practicing violin and reading the fiction book, “The Dancing Bear” for bridging our history blocks.
We had lunch, which I hurried along and brought a smoothie for myself to the school room. It was time for our sixth grader to get to work. We worked on spelling, math written and with movement and some grammar exercises regarding possessive pronouns. This all sounds simple, but it took over an hour and we didn’t have lots of time left. We reviewed her information about Attila the Hun and made plans for moving forward. She has a few things to finish up in her Rome Main lesson book, and we hope to finish this week. We are also working on business math. We have gone through the history of math, and we are going over fractions, percentages, and decimals. During this time, our ninth grader was re-writing her lab, and working on some questions surrounding her literature assignment. Our first grader was playing in the school room and throughout all three lessons, our little puppy was being entertained by whatever child was available and sitting on my feet with toys. After school, it was time to get ready to go to the barn and have a horseback riding lesson. The fresh air was welcome! We came home for a later dinner and made dinner and everyone was ready to relax.
We had a slow start to this year and even in January, but things are finally falling into place (at least for now until it changes, LOL). Hope you all are having some catch-up days to your school if you need it or settling into the groove of a new semester!
If you post a day in the life of your homeschool, please do link it here in the comment box! I would love to hear from you!