Many people ask me about our schedule. We are out and about a good bit (however, that amount extremely less than last year!). I remember at one conference, Andrew Pudewa of IEW said that his kids were more like car schoolers than homeschoolers. I felt this way last year. In fact, if we were in the car-then the kids were working.
Waldorf schooling focuses quite a bit on rhythm. Montessori focuses on allowing the kids to have an extended period of uninterrupted time in order to complete their research and work. Well formally, we don’t fall into either of these of these. However, we do use aspects of these.
As far as Montessori, the kids get daily periods of uninterrupted time to research and complete their work. They get to chose what work they want to do and when they want to do the work. They each have four to five basic items to complete daily (math, grammar, journal, reading and lessons). Beyond the basics, I give general ideas and the kids can run with them. An example is Sims’ most recent month. In his curriculum by Waldorf Essentials, he is to research his state. We went to the library to look up NC and to decide what to research. He chose the history of NC, NC geography and the Native American tribe of the Cherokee.
As far as Waldorf goes, we do not follow a specific daily rhythm. However, we do have a weekly rhythm. Mondays are PE; Tuesdays are dance and gymnastics; Wednesdays are art; Thursdays are Latta Plantation, music and gymnastics (a way overscheduled day, obviously); and Fridays are horses. This is how my kids know what comes next. They know what happens on each day so they are able to prepare.
On a daily basis. the schedule hasn’t changed much since I wrote earlier. The kids wake up between 6:45 and 7:45. They eat breakfast and feed the animals. Then they play for a little while before we “start school.” We do not have anything that starts before 11 so they can work uninterrupted from 830 to 1030. This gives them time to be artisitc, research, and follow their interests. Then they have throughout the day to work on their daily work.
As far as the other things that have to get done in a house, yes, we are still figuring that stuff out two years later! I am getting the dishes and the laundry done finally. Everyone has a laundry day. Parks puts his laundry in the washer on Sunday (his day). The clothes are washed and dried on Sunday. Then when I awake on Monday, I fold his clothes and put them in a basket for him to put away. So far this system works well. If the kids don’t bring their clothes down on their specified day, then it is up to them to do everything (wash, dry, fold and put away). This also is the case if I find clothes that I know are clean in the laundry (or those that are still folded). I also empty the dishwasher before the kids wake up also. If someone wakes up early, they are typically very willing to help with these chores. Cleaning is still a tough one. I try to get it done on the weekends but that doesn’t always happen. Then we try to get it done piece by piece throughout the week.
The nice part about our method is that it works for our family. I have read many people’s rhythms and methods to get everything done in the week. What I have learned from the many, many blogs and articles that I have read is that you must find your own rhythm. You must work within your own family-homeschooling or not. We all have a schedule that we must adjust to and we have to find what works for us.
Have you found a good rhythm for your days and weeks?