Tuesday, September 19, 2006


When I began thinking about homeschooling the number one question I asked everyone was: What does your day look like? What do you do? I had a strange visions of neat little rows of desks in my living room mixed up with relaxed scenes of sleeping in late and following our dreams.

Now that we're officially homeschooling - parents know, friends know, you could say we're quite out about it - I've been considering this question a lot. For the record our days and weeks look something like this:

Main Lesson
Naptime for the Bearcub, Quiet reading time for Nightowl, feet up for me.
Crafts - or - Foreign Language - or - Watercolor Painting - or - Seasonal Festivities

Everyother Thursday we attend a two-hour session of "The Learning Club" through our local homeschool cooperative. On Fridays Nightowl joins a group for a three-hour-Waldorf-inspired class on World Folktales, while the Bearcub and I have a mom and baby music class followed by some good one-on-one time.

We usually begin this routine about 9 and end around 3:30. We spend as much of our time as possible outdoors. Within all that is time for household chores - laundry, the making of dinner, etc. etc. - wild out door play, and baby dance party. After dinner we have the extra-curricular activities: soccer and violin.

Our Main Lessons are grouped into three or four week blocks - where we work within one subject intensively. At the end of the block we switch. Our block schedule for this fall is as follows:
Form Drawing
Natural Science
Language Arts

But that's only 12-16 weeks? Ah, we have also scheduled our week long autumn vacation and several weeks to prepare for holidays/festivals (Equinox, Samhain/Day of the Dead, Thanksgiving, Solstice) not to mention the occassional day off.

I did not create this schedule - it evolved. Waldorf and Waldorf inspired pedagogy suggest following natural rhythms. Lesson blocks follow the rhythm of the seasons, daily schedules follow the natural in-flow and out-flow of energy, similar to breathing. Now, I cannot speak or teach Waldorf philosophy (you'll have to google to find those answers) but I did quite a bit of study and finally got quiet and the schedule evolved. Our days follow a basic Waldorf pattern of top-to-bottom noted as Head (Main Lesson), Heart (Music or Art), Hands (Craft). Of course we deviate somewhat and sometimes skip everthing entirely - that's the beauty of the homeschool. We can also sleep in when we need to....which happens...alot.

It's still evolving - just last night Nightowl and I discussed playing violin together in the evenings instead of during the day. Bearcub is usually in bed, it's twilight, and the music is lovely. It could work. Or not. We'll just keep with the flow and bend with the rhythm.

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