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The Grand Plans

Plans for the second grade year and kindergarten are firming up.  There are times, especially this week, that I would really like to just start now, but I know it will do well for us to wait.  We have some last minute things to attend to and other things that are taking our energy, and we really want to give it our all.  Some things have become more clear to me this week, so that has helped me to feel these last days are not a waste.

Our daily rhythm has needed shaping up for awhile.  Roan may be napping today, but that is no longer the norm for him.  He and I have colds--it's been a hard day, all around.  Quiet time is hard for him to settle into and there are times that Laurel has a little trouble.  Willow acts like she was born for it and she has important practice work to do each afternoon.  With that in mind, I've decided to shift it an hour later and add a walk after lunch to get out any last bits of rowdiness.  My goal is to have outside time and finish up any yard work by 3:00.  We used to run errands in the mornings, but that will shift to the time after lunch, as well.

Second Grade PlansOur weekly rhythm gets a little change, too.  With a baby and young toddler around, it's been easy to say "no" to some activities like painting and modeling.  Now, things have changed and it seems reasonable to include everyone, if possible.  Laurel's had a couple tries at painting and she seems to do okay.  Modeling may be more of a challenge, but I think her own play dough could be the answer.  So, painting on Mondays, breadmaking on Wednesdays, and modeling or crafts on Fridays.  That will give time each week to things that we think are important.

Tuesdays and Thursdays are days that Roan has no kindergarten story time.  We'll still have our movement circle and Willow will have her artistic digestion and work with manipulatives on those days.  For kindergarten time, we'll have Tuesdays be Work Days.  I mentioned this in another post, the idea of long-term meaningful work, and we'll give an hour to yard work at the Roland Estate until we run out of jobs.  I don't expect that to happen any time soon.  We had our first work day yesterday and made a small dent in the berry patch.  Thursdays will continue as Nature School days.  While this was great for the Summer, I think it will be especially nice in the cooler months.  We make a great effort to keep clothes for all occasions, and we need some purposeful effort to be out in them.

I mentioned walks above and I will say that they have changed in nature since the days when we took them every day.  We really got out of the habit of taking them every day after last Fall.  It was too cold and dark, of course, and I gained a lot of confidence with the circle movements.  They didn't seem necessary, though the habit really was quite important.  Roan has since developed a strong dog phobia, so we've had to shift our route and it took a long time for us to work one out.  We walk through part of our regular neighborhood and then along Main Street for a bit.  This certainly is different from our quiet residential walks, but I think we'll be able to move beyond it in time.  I'd really like to make our Martinmas walk a different route, but it may be quite interesting to take our lanterns past speeding hurried cars.

These are all simple logistical things that sound great on paper and I am hoping they are just as good in application.  I've certainly spent a lot more time considering all this than I have for previous years.  There is a lot to fit in with a holistic education method, though I have learned what to leave out.  I've made some shifts to the Enki materials, like making the story pace a little slower and swapping out sage stories with more traditional Waldorf saint stories.  I've added some things, like a morning verse for each student, but I think that will add a mood of reverence to our school time and help each student feel met.  I've got plans for a healing basket, as well, in order to help us learn kinder ways.  More on that later!


( 1 tree — Plant a Forest )
Aug. 27th, 2016 05:14 am (UTC)
You have made such thoughtful plans - I know your children will really benefit! I love to have a good template to work from, too - and to be able to tweak or adjust it as needed. One thing I find so valuable about homeschooling is this opportunity to adjust to meet the children's needs as they grow and need "more" in certain areas or find new interests.

We absolutely did homemade playdough rather than beeswax modeling when all my children were smaller. They have all *loved* their playdough. I never colored it or anything, but provided them with tiny rolling pins and cookie cutters, and, later, not-too-sharp rounded knives to slice up the dough they had rolled. They still like it. I need to make a new batch, come to think of it.

I like what you say about making time for things you think are important such as painting, crafts, and modeling. I feel the same. I have found it a very disturbing trend in public schools that in many places arts & crafts and music have been pushed out in favor of "more academics." I believe in solid academics, but I think these other things are such a good balance for that - I know you do, too. ;)

I've said it before, but I really love your meaningful work plan. We're getting more of that outdoors now, which has been wonderful. - Stacey
( 1 tree — Plant a Forest )

A Blessed Wilderness

It was just like being in heaven, being in there. In those days there was no road. The park was all a blessed wilderness. I have often thought what a wonderful people we would have been if we had wanted to keep it that way.

~Adolph Murie, biologist, on Denali


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