The excitement is building for our Grade One year! So far, I have started by outlining our Yearly Rhythm, then our Weekly Rhythm, then our Daily Rhythm… Next, I have begun to assign which verses, songs, stories, and counting exercises we will enjoy during circle time; what crafts and baking projects we will do, how we will celebrate the festivals, and which songs we will learn during music time. Finally, I have a slew of books to orchestrate into our read-aloud time, a couple of field trips to organize, and a weekly homeschool co-op to coordinate! I love it all, so it is fun.
The yearly rhythm considers natural and community life- the seasonal activities (i.e., Naples Grape Festival) and which holy days we plan to observe which help us fully experience the cosmos and our humanity. Most months dedicate about a week to whichever celebration or holy day occurs; the entire month of December, for us, revolves around festivals (the learning does not end, of course- it is woven right in!).
The weekly rhythm considers family life and responsibilities.
Sunday: Family Day– I would like to incorporate spirituality, although I haven’t been able to find a place to worship yet where my spirit feels safe and nourished; but we set this day aside to enjoy our family and home.)
Monday: Cleaning Day– I do my most intensive cleaning during chore time on Monday.
Tuesday: Go To Town Day- Get raw milk from our farmer, groceries, bank, post office, and library as needed- we skip the nature walk and leave around 3, with dinner ending up being more around 7pm; but our raw dairy is only open Tuesdays and Fridays, and Fridays we go to co-op in the opposite direction.
Wednesday: Laundry Day- I do one or two loads each day, but this is the day for mending and ironing.
Thursday: Baking Day- A day for more intensive forays in the kitchen.
Friday: Planning and Co-op- I use a few hours in the morning to organize office, bills, and and any household or homeschooling items that need attending to (grocery lists, ordering library books); our 3 family Waldorf co-op starts at 11 am. We are tentatively going to try a date night, too!
Saturday: Household Projects– If the weather is cold or wet, we might have a family movie night (otherwise we are often outside).
The daily rhythm– or what I like to call my “dayscape”- serves the individual’s needs.
6:00 am- I am up and dressed. I rise early because life is so full and exciting, I don’t want to miss anything! I check email, read something inspirational, get the fire stoked during cold weather, and begin on breakfast.
7:00 am- My littles awake and get dressed. Help them and toss in a load of laundry.
7:30 am- Breakfast. Menu plans to follow in another post; I am LOST without meal plans! We end up eating hot dog buns with peanut butter or something if I have not planned it out ahead of time.
8:00 am- Morning Chores (Breakfast dishes done, sweep and vacuum main areas, ten minute tidying, make beds, feed animals including chickens).
9:00 am- Circle Time (Opening Verse, Yoga (Angel Bear Yoga), Song, Fingerplay, Story, Foreign Language Song, Counting Exercise, Closing Song)
9:45 am- Snack (Menu plan to follow), stoke woodstove, diaper change… all those miscellaneous little things 😉
10:15 am- Main Lesson
11:00 am- Time with Preschoolers (a little craft, sensory activity, or story just for them so they feel special too!)
11:30 am- Lunch Prep (Menu plan to follow)
12:00 pm- Lunch & Cleanup
12:30 pm- Freeplay, Check Email/Make phone calls/Stoke Woodstove/Change Diaper/Put baby down for nap
1:00 pm- Music/Handwork
1:30 pm- Read-Aloud Time
2:00 pm- Crafting (Art) or Baking
3:00 pm- Nature Walk (when baby wakes up)
3:45 pm- Snack
4:00 pm- Dinner Prep, Household Chores, then Freeplay for kids while I check email/return phone calls and attend to the rest of my housework.
6:00 pm- Dinner, Dinner Cleanup, Fold and Put Away Laundry, Family Time
7:30 pm- Bath, Story, Bedtime
8:30 pm- Finish up stray chores, look over tomorrow’s lessons, manage Cedar Ring Circle emails/details, blog
9:45 til elevenish pm- Spend time with husband when he’s available or craft or read.
Three days of the month this all goes to the wind- it takes one full weekday to put in co-op orders, and two full weekdays to send members’ packages out, but homeschool lessons can be made up on those Saturdays.
Here in NY State, home educators are required to submit an Individualized Home Instruction Plan to the school district. Here is mine, for those who could use ideas on putting together their own (it’s also just nice to have an outline of what is covered for the year! It may satisfy other family member’s curiosity, not that we are required to do that 😉
You’ll see here we added to the regular Waldorf curriculum the study of Native Americans, maps and atlases, and specific health/civic lessons- these satisfy our state’s particular requirements. I know it comes out kind of small, if other New Yorkers want me to email the file for a template I’d be happy too… why reinvent the wheel, right? I didn’t mention it in here, either, but we are using Earthschooling and Christopherus for many of our projects, stories, and other inspirations. I am also adding in Betty Lukens Through the Bible in Felt once a week to tell stories dear to me (I think I will focus on the life and miracles of Jesus).
How is your planning going?