Cedar Ring Mama

Taking My Cues From Mother Earth

Waldorf Grade One Homeschool Planning

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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?

11 thoughts on “Waldorf Grade One Homeschool Planning

  1. Great post! So much great info.

    I am in the thick of it- planning wise. I love it!

    Becca

  2. Thank you for writing about how you plan your schedule! I’ve read how other people do it, and it looks like most are similar to what you do. But, for some reason, this time it looks easy! Maybe I read it so many times in so many ways, or the words you used….but, what I think really helped is the detail. Again, Thank You!!!! And Thank you for creating the Co-op!!! Marina.

  3. I am always so glad when I take the time to read through your posts. I just did a little catching up, and I’ve really enjoyed the last few (especially your anniversary story–we need to hear of more people trusting themselves and their intuition!).
    This one was very timely for me, as I’ve been at a stand still in terms of our rhythm and especially fall planning. My daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the end of June, and it’s been a struggle to get back on track and really look ahead to what our school year will look like. With all the meal planning, sugar checks, shots and snacks, being organized is now of even greater necessity. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to make it all happen for the fall, but reading your schedule helps it seem doable. At the very least, it’s helped me see how I can organize our day a little differently to do the things we really want to do in our kindergarten. Thank you!

    • Well your daughter is in good hands, Aubrey! I bet you can use this situation to create strong foundations in your daily rhythm, I often find the things I *have* to do are a blessing because they keep me on track, and everything else flows around them (like getting myself dressed & ready because I have to let the chickens out first thing in the morning, for example).

  4. Concretes (like this) are SO great! Since my oldest is only in “kindergarten,” planning for the year was such fun! In fact, I wondered if something was wrong , because is planning REALLY supposed to be FUN?! 🙂 Glad to know the fun can continue up through the grades.

  5. I just discovered your blog through the waldorf/earthschooling yahoo group, and I wanted to say thank you so much for this post!! 🙂 Our family is getting ready to move to New York state in 2 short weeks and I was feeling quite overwhelmed by the homeschooling laws (my oldest will be in 3rd grade this year, but we currently live in a state with no reporting requirements). It was so comforting to see how to fit our Waldorf inspired learning into their rather strict requirements.

  6. thank you! It motivating and inspiring. I’m up for the changing my schedule now. 🙂 Thanks

  7. I found your blog through becoming a co-op member, and I’m wishing I would have found you sooner! You have heaps of good information on here. I sure do love this post where you lay out your rhythms. At the risk of sounding really clueless, I wanted to ask — how/where do your weekly rhythms fit into your daily ones? I’m thinking about things like your baking day — where does the actual baking fit in on Thursdays? I’m sure this is something that is probably quite simple, yet joining the weekly and the daily is something I have struggled with for years! I can’t quite figure out where in each day I’m supposed to smoothly integrate a weekly activity. Does that make sense? Anyway, I would love to hear your thoughts on this. And in the meantime, I’m going to read some more of your wonderful planning posts! Thank you!

    • Hi Tracie, I think the important thing is to keep it rhythmic, so pick a time and stick with it. Not necessarily a “time” associated with the clock, but a time which follows another event, after morning circle or after morning snack. Since I have a 4 month old now, I will probably do our kindergarten baking, watercolor, modeling, and drawing times during the baby’s morning nap. This way I have my hands free to do these very sensory hands on activities with them. Baking is really all we do for kindergarten on baking day except for maybe 20 minutes of circle time, so it kills two birds with one stone by providing our bread for the week and serving as kindy time.

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