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Waldorf Homeschoolers Thread - Page 11

post #201 of 397
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by scheelimama View Post
Okay, what I'm asking is about "reality". You mean that you guys don't do any sports or activities outside of the house, such as coop, playdates, etc? You don't ever have to run errands during the week? I mean, your chart looks awesome, but in reality, that doesn't work for most people.
Our 'reality' is pretty similar to that.

No, we don't have any sports or activities outside the house. No co-ops, no playdates (Monday-Thursday anyway) and any errands that need to be run will be taken care of after lunch. Our rhythm encompasses that.

Here's ours:

- mama up (ideally an hour before the babes)
- getting up, taking care of morning hygiene, eating breakfast
- everyone dressed
- out the door for the nature walk/hike
- back home everyone gets water and snack (apple slices, etc.)
- morning story/book time (relates to kindergartener's schoolwork)
- 2 younger ones off to play while eldest starts his work
- once eldest is self-focused on work, return to middle child and begin story/book related project
- check in with eldest as he works, assist as needed
- while they work, unload clean dishes and load dirty ones, begin work on lunch
- check in with youngest regularly, redirect when she becomes intrusive (though typically she joins in with whatever middle child is doing.)
- review work with eldest, if more is needed, chat about that, if he's done
- have lunch, clean up
- if there's more to be done, we do it once the table is cleared from lunch.
- once work is done for the day, the boys have freeplay time, inside if the weather is yucky, outside if it's not.
- if errands need to be run that afternoon, we get organized and get going.
- dinner is typically on the later side, as husband gets home at about 6:45
- children freeplay while I prepare for dinner
- after dinner typically everyone heads to the living room for cuddle up and read or building time (legos, wood blocks, etc.)
- bedtime routine starts
- bedtime target for all children: 8:30 (usually we make that)

Friday is our 'flex' day. That is for field trips, longer errands, playdates and longer music lesson. (We integrate pennywhistle playing into the days but learn new things on Friday.)

Along the way there's always lots of creativity, building, coloring and laughter. Even though its not specified, there's also artwork going on all the time. Middle child's activity of the day frequently involves drawing, painting or clay modeling. I tend to have these things going on after lunch, so that eldest child can participate after his work is done.

And our whole day is jumpstarted by the awesome nature walk/hike. We talk about things, they review things that they are curious about. They do experiments (like learning about the different ways that seeds disburse) and learn all about the nature forces of gravity and such.

Plus it helps everyone get the physical activity needed to be ready to sit and listen when we get home.

Today we are off on our nature walk in a little while, wee one isn't up yet, with a big purpose. Our autumnal equinox/mabon commemoration activity is to take bags along with us and care for Mother Earth by picking up all the litter we see.

And I totally agree with PP comment that rhythm is different for every family. This is our rhythm for right now. It will change when the days get cooler and then turn cold. We will still do nature walks as much as we can, but maybe they will shift to afternoon. It will change, also, when middle child is a 1st grader next year...as he'll begin more academic work.

But for this moment in time, this is our rhythm and its only 'job' is to serve the needs of this family right now. We will make necessary changes to make it flex to our needs as those needs arise.

post #202 of 397
Mary, thank you for that. We are really struggling with rhythm right now. I am waiting for Heaven On Earth to get here in the mail and it's definitely something we really need to work on! I have been on the computer way too much, and we have all been grumpy and frazzled so our routine is really messed up!
post #203 of 397
Thread Starter 
I think it is easier when I try to remember what RHYTHM is supposed to be about (IMHO anyway):

-- a tool to help everyone know, roughly, what to expect when

Seriously, a rhythm is not about rules that you must do certain things at certain times. If it were I'd suck at it. I'm not very good at following 'arbitrary' rules -- even if I'm the one that created them.

I spent the summer, while I was doing my waldorf-prep reading, watching our natural rhythms. Everyone has them, or at least the beginnings of them. Look to see what you do when or what your children do when. Write it down and then see the patterns. There can be dysfunctional rhythms too. Writing all of it down can help you identify trends and patterns and rid yourself of the dysfunctional ones.

As much as I don't like routines (I tend to be rather spontaneous) I do understand that young children really need them to feel balanced and calm and well within themselves. They like those expectations. They like knowing what's next and maybe that's because they work so hard at figuring out life and adults all the time.

And I know this is working for us because all three of my children (absolutely famous for going in 3 different directions any time you need them to work together) are fed, dressed and at the door for our 'walking circle time' nature walk each morning. It's a constant wonder to me.

HTH,
post #204 of 397
Quote:
Originally Posted by mary3mama View Post
I think it is easier when I try to remember what RHYTHM is supposed to be about (IMHO anyway):

-- a tool to help everyone know, roughly, what to expect when

Seriously, a rhythm is not about rules that you must do certain things at certain times. If it were I'd suck at it. I'm not very good at following 'arbitrary' rules -- even if I'm the one that created them.

I spent the summer, while I was doing my waldorf-prep reading, watching our natural rhythms. Everyone has them, or at least the beginnings of them. Look to see what you do when or what your children do when. Write it down and then see the patterns. There can be dysfunctional rhythms too. Writing all of it down can help you identify trends and patterns and rid yourself of the dysfunctional ones.

As much as I don't like routines (I tend to be rather spontaneous) I do understand that young children really need them to feel balanced and calm and well within themselves. They like those expectations. They like knowing what's next and maybe that's because they work so hard at figuring out life and adults all the time.

And I know this is working for us because all three of my children (absolutely famous for going in 3 different directions any time you need them to work together) are fed, dressed and at the door for our 'walking circle time' nature walk each morning. It's a constant wonder to me.

HTH,

I really love this post.

The only thing I would add is that rhythm gives balance. I remember when I first came across the concept of inbreathing and outbreathing it was a real "A ha!" moment. To be whole, we need activity and quiet, work and play, the bombastic and the relaxed.

I've said this before, too. Once you find a rhythm, it will click. I'm still using bits of routine that first came into play for us 10 years ago when my first was just a baby!

It's not meant to stress you out, but to bring balance and peace into your life.
post #205 of 397
Oh, and a question.

I loved the wheels for multiplication. As we start to delve into division, are there are beautiful visual representations for that as well?

Also, we tend to do our blocks by the month. I usually spend 3-4 weeks on the more heady stuff, and then a week on heart/hands type work. We're wrapping up our first main lesson blocks: fractions for my fifth grader and review of the 4 function with an emphasis on multiplication for my third grader. I'm excited for next month-- Native American stories for my third grader and Tall Tales for my fifth grader.
post #206 of 397
ITA, routine being rhythm and not schedule is key for us here too. I do have time goals for starting our day though, because otherwise I spend too much time on housechores in the am. Yesterday I was feeling crummy again and slept in. I knew if I didn't do something different for hs, it probably wouldn't happen, so I decided we'd go to the park. We got our stuff together, went and got doughnuts ( oh my, they were so hot and fresh and yummy!) and arrived at the park. There we really followed our regular rhythm of play, lessons, play, lessons. And there were 4 cows nearby for the girls to sketch. We're learning about mammals right now- how wonderful an example of a mammal is a cow!
I'm really glad that yesterday turned out so well. I feel really guilty when lessons get skipped.
post #207 of 397
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
I really love this post.

The only thing I would add is that rhythm gives balance. I remember when I first came across the concept of inbreathing and outbreathing it was a real "A ha!" moment.
Thanks!

Yes, balance. I love the concept inbreathing and outbreathing. I think about that often. Our rhythm is loosely based on the idea that we should alternate 'coming together' times with 'solitary' times. So we come together to do our walking circle time and then we go in various directions and then we come together again for lunch and then go in various directions during cleanup and then come together again for afternoon activity...and on and on. It makes sense to me as coming-together-times are inbreathing...literally taking in. And then going in various directions to follow one's interests are out-breathing -- which is an extension of processing.

We are not all in one another's faces/spaces all the time and it helps keep the rhythm...and goodwill...flowing.

It will indeed CLICK when you are feeling a good rhythm. And I totally think that not clicking is the 'early warning system' that the path is too chaotic.

As Melisa (Nielson, author of the Little Garden Flower books) always says in her posts: YOU CAN DO THIS!

I feel great sympathy for mamas who stress over every little detail and worrying about 'getting it all right.' I try so hard not to get caught up in the details and just know that we are all best served by a path (and curriculum) that allows for the basic flow of the day to be good, harmonious, loving and interesting. The rest takes care of itself. Or it doesn't. But the point is, work on only the rhythm and then the rest can work within that structure. Before the rhythm, it's all too chaotic to get good stuff going.
post #208 of 397
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaofthree View Post
it seems to me that that is her reality. some people can actually live that way. i mean isn't that sort of what we are trying to get at? some sort of rhythm that we can stick to for the most part. your rhythm may not work for me, but if it works for you then it is perfect. my rhythm may not work for the next person, but it isn't suppose to it is suppose to work for my family.
I think the key is to look at how your days progress and then work from there. What works? What doesn't? What are some easy areas that you can make changes in? I'd start small - don't revamp your entire family rhythm all at once. Try a small change and see if it works. Is it something you can stick with? Then a few weeks later if all is going well consider making another change and evaluate after awhile. Lather, rinse, repeat.

I think gradual changes will be less jarring to the younger members of your family while at the same time making it much more likely that you can stick with them. Of course, as others have mentioned, sometimes you make changes to your daily rhythm - if you've had a particularly busy weekend or been traveling a lot you may choose not to do some things you would normally do.
post #209 of 397
I have a rhythm question-when do you all eat meals? My dh is diabetic, so I have to keep them at particular times which IMO is waaaay too early for my kids-they are never hungry when he is. But we want to have family meals like we have since the beginning. But now dh is teaching night classes so I have to have dinner ready by like 4:30 pm most nights (and we don't eat lunch until 1pm usually!). It leaves me no time to do anything after nap as I cook everything from scratch and we end up needing another meal before bed at 7-8pm. I just don't know what to do about this. We were going to try to ease into a later dinner, but now we have to do the reverse.
post #210 of 397
Quote:
Originally Posted by kittywitty View Post
I have a rhythm question-when do you all eat meals? My dh is diabetic, so I have to keep them at particular times which IMO is waaaay too early for my kids-they are never hungry when he is. But we want to have family meals like we have since the beginning. But now dh is teaching night classes so I have to have dinner ready by like 4:30 pm most nights (and we don't eat lunch until 1pm usually!). It leaves me no time to do anything after nap as I cook everything from scratch and we end up needing another meal before bed at 7-8pm. I just don't know what to do about this. We were going to try to ease into a later dinner, but now we have to do the reverse.
I know some families will serve children a little "tea" of their own and then Mom and Dad eat on their later. This actually used to be the custom for everyone not too long ago.
post #211 of 397

Rhythm Questions and Experiences

I can't figure out how to do a multi-quote reply, so I'll just go by subjects - all rhythm.

Routine vs. Rhythm vs. Schedule:
I've struggled with this. I've went back and forth from having a written list with times in which to get things done, and days set in stone, to just flying by the seat of my pants. I have to equate Rhythm more with Routine than Schedule, though I am seeing that I do need something written to keep me on track - just maybe not with all times set. I've set my mealtimes, nap, and bedtimes. The other things will fall between. I'm going to have the things that will need to be consistent everyday, and then the days for us to be out of our holler and in the "real" world. We'll see how that goes. I'm still learning this rhythm thing, and it is kind of difficult when you are used to be a solitary person who did what you wanted when you wanted, to thinking about the needs of those you nurture and care for. It's a hard transition, things can be overlooked so easily. I'll have to post what I come up with when I get it down.

Mealtimes:
The girls and DH seem to need to eat more often than I do. We eat breakfast around 8am, lunch is noon, afternoon snack sometime around 2-3pm, dinner is 6pm, and we have a bedtime snack around 7:30pm. I've toyed with the thought of a morning snack. I'm having to tweak my cooking routine. I cook from scratch mostly, and we are a Traditional Foods family, with the exception of some of the things I allow the girls to eat that are quick and easy. I'm going to have to cut some of those out as I know they aren't the best choice of food. I think with the more frequent eating, and if I have pre-made healthy foods, I won't have to worry about quantity eaten at each meal because another opportunity will come to them soon. Other than breakfast and supper, I don't eat when they eat.
post #212 of 397
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama-aya View Post
Hey, scheelimama, I don't quite know what you're looking for, I guess. Maybe if you share your schedule you can get some more helpful or precise feedback?
That chart is pretty much our standard one, all year long. Right now it reflects a quiet sort of time- summer swimming lessons and play dates are over, fall sports and activities haven't started yet, and we're focusing on getting into the groove school-work wise.
Play dates are in the afternoon, in the section labeled "walk/play", after naps and afternoon chores. That is also when I schedule dr. appointments, music lessons, and do any errands (though there aren't that many during the week days), for the most part.
We don't do co-op, because it takes up too much time for what we get out of it. The kids have lots of playdates, though, two or three a week, and one or two a day in the summer and holidays, and I have a homeschool Mom's get together once a month in the evening.
We do all of our food shopping once a week, on Sunday, where it says "Focus Area: Groceries" which includes going to Costco, the grocery store, the orchard down the street, the fruit stand. It's very rare that I have to go shopping any other time. Meal planning and keeping a tight budget help with that in a huge way. Other errands I mostly take care of on the weekends as well. I did forget to put church on there! Oops!
Sports fit in where they need to- gymnastics is right during nap time once a week, starting next month, swimming lessons are in the evening sometimes, and the kids change from swimsuits into pjs and hop right into bed once they get home! Homeschool swim time is also during nap time. Tennis is sometimes on Saturdays and sometimes after nap time; in the summer it's in the morning. Skiing will happen on Saturdays this winter. 4-H and audobon, kickball, and whatever else we may do fit in, one place or another.
I don't see why a similar sort of schedule planning wouldn't work for others- maybe it looks rigid or something, but it really isn't. I've worked really consistently on our family rhythm and schedule for a long time. It's fluid, adaptable, and I do tweak a little here and there. But it's always there, in the background, and when we're making a choice about accepting a playdate or running an unscheduled errand, I can easily think about how it affects the rhythm. It's not just that I'm out of butter, but whether running to the store to get more will push supper back, which pushes baths and bedtime back, which makes it harder to start the next day on time. Maybe coconut oil will work fine. That play date would be fun, but the little kids are already missing nap twice this week, and need sleep more than another playdate. That picnic sounds really cool, and the family room will survive without it's good cleaning this week. We'll go, and have fun, and make sure next week we get the family room really well.
If maintaining the family rhythm is important, than anything that changes the rhythm needs to be weighed against it. Obviously, sometimes you can't help an appointment at an inconvenient time, or an adventure that just needs to be taken, but that is the way life works. I don't turn down good opportunities very often, and I feel strong and good about turning down mediocre ones.
I used to feel really hectic, trying to get everything in, and I'd find myself doing chores after the boys were in bed, and not getting any personal time. Now I'm really careful about consistent bedtimes, and I hardly ever do housework after they're in bed. That's my time! (I do make exceptions for special occasions and canning season.)

This is actually exactly what I meant, how all the "extra" things are fit into the routine. Thank you for sharing how that works for you.

We have a pretty set routine when we are home as far as when breakfast, school time, snack, lunch, nap, dinner, bedtime are and how they are accomplished. I would love to be able to do more of our errands in the afternoon, but my 22 month old takes very long naps and those cannot be cut short/missed more than once a week at most. So, most of our errands end up in the morning, which just really throws off our rhythm. I really don't like going anywhere in the morning. I feel like it throws the rest of the day off. But I guess that's my reality for now. DH didn't like me doing grocery shopping on the weekends, so I've been doing it during the week - on morning a week, but I told him that HAS to shift back to weekends. It's just too much to juggle during the week. So, I'm working on that. We have a wonderful ballet studio that has a class just for homeschoolers here at a very discounted price, that is one morning a week. Not something I'm willing to give up for my girls, but it means we're out one morning a week. Our coop does park days on Friday mornings, but so far, I have not gone. I have no desire to be out of the house by the time Friday morning rolls around. So, the only day we have to be out in the morning is Wednesday for ballet, but most field trips are scheduled in the morning and dr's appt's have to be scheduled in the morning because of my youngest's long naps. So, we often end up being out of the house 2 or 3 mornings a week. Anyway, I guess it's just something I have to figure out for our family...it's just making me nutty. I'm very blessed to have a good napper...but it can make scheduling activities/errands difficult.
post #213 of 397
subbing...
I'm planning to pull my 3rd grader from public school by the end of the year and I am thinking Waldorf homeschooling...I need to get my hubs on board that i can do this.

Hi Alisha
post #214 of 397
Hi Gina!
post #215 of 397
Subbing...

I'm a veteran hser who used a very small bilingual private school for the last 3 years. My oldest graduated from there last year and is now home again I still have 2 of my 4 there, though neither of them seem to want to be there anymore. It's a great place but I think the season of needing to go that way is over for them, my dp AND me. Right now I plan to commence hsing again with the boys when we make our cross country move to Oregon in February.

We are currently using some of my old go to curriculum odds and ends I have left. We are purchasing Oak Meadow on Friday though and I can't WAIT!!! It seems to be exactly what my dd will need. I love that it's Waldorf inspired and I believe she is going to continue to thrive. She had a great 3 years to experience small classroom ed, took what she needed from it and now she is happy to continue on at home. She is turning 13 soon and is in the 8th grade.

I read through probably 3-4 pages but can't get to the rest right now so I'm not sure if this question has been posed yet or not. Is anyone on this thread hsing teens?
post #216 of 397
I'm going to remain subbed here with hopes of doing Waldorf infusion stuff now and then more actual curriculum in the future. But we decided this morning to enroll in K12 as a compromise with the hubster and as a way to ease into homeschooling for the first time. I'm definitely going to be running Waldorf side activities for my lil guy though.
post #217 of 397

help me w/ Waldorf discipline

I know kind but firm... redirection... circumventing problems...
I'm just not the best at implementing these things though I'm getting so so much better. Here is a situation I'm dealing with now. It could be a rhythm problem... not sure. I know this is long, but if you could read and help me out with ideas or how to approach similar problems I'd so appreciate it. Quiet Time/ Nap Time is at 1pm after lunch and clean up at noon. Our "school" day is over by then too, and we've usually had outdoor play time or a nature walk as well.

I need help with how to remedy this situation without becoming too reactive. For about a year now, during DD2's nap, DD1 has had quiet time in her room while I exercise (yoga). It's worked well mostly. The last two days, I'm having real issues with DD1. With all needs met, as we are on a rhythm and my girls know what to expect next, we've went into quiet time. Last week, DD1 asked to do yoga with me. I said sure if you are quiet. She agreed that she could do that. It worked out well until yesterday. Yesterday, she barked like a dog loudly, and then cried and whined. I tried to help her out to no avail, and she couldn't tell me what was wrong. Today was worse. DH was home and tried to help. She cried hard this time. When DH tried to engage her in conversation and/or direct her to another activity, she screamed along with the crying. Finally, DH got her to play in her room quietly, and left for work. As soon as he was gone, DD1 crept into the room where DD2 was sleeping and woke her from her nap. She knows she shouldn't do that and that DD2 really needs her nap. I really need this hour for yoga. It hasn't been a problem in the past.

Here is what I did. I took DD1 to her room, told her she had made me angry, and that what she did was bad. She sat on her bed for about 2 minutes. While I was talking to her she snickered and laughed. Normally, I would become irate at that kind of behavior, but I felt I did well as I kept my cool. I'm just not sure how to handle these types of situations for her age and understanding. She needs to know that those actions are not helpful and that they hurt my feelings, and interrupt the nap DD2 needs.
DD1 doesn't nap for the most part anymore. If she does take one, she wakes even grumpier than she would be if she doesn't nap, so I don't push it. She does need quiet time though... Any ideas on how to remedy this issue and still allow the 3 of us the separate quiet time we need?

Thanks.
post #218 of 397
I was wondering if any of you could look at my Alphabet Gifts thread and give some input?
http://www.mothering.com/discussions....php?t=1140310

eastkygal, one thing that sticks out is telling her "she made you angry." IME, that gives a child an awful lot of power. Wow! They can make a grown up angry! I don't think she necessarily does need to understand that her actions hurt your feelings; she just needs to know that it isn't acceptable.

I'm not sure what advice to give about the yoga. I personally finally got a gym membership because it was impossible for me to exercise without the kids climbing on me/interrupting. Before that, I would try to get up before them. So maybe I failed because I just took the wimpy way out, LOL!

I'm probably no help because I gave into the 1/2 hour of screen time for Quiet Time a long time ago. It was just the only way to assure that all 5 of us got what we needed.
post #219 of 397
I second what annettemarie said about not telling her "you made me mad". I think "I'm angry about ___" still tells the emotion without giving her the power.

As far as quiet time- I'd keep trying- that time is important to you, to her, to the littler one. I'd insist on it, and just keep consistently, calmly insisting on it.
Maybe you can make a fabric bag or decorate a bin with her, or even just find a basket or something, and put some "quiet time only" activities for her to choose from if she's having good behaviour. Lacing cards, picture books, window crayons, old buttons to string, paper dolls, whatever works.
post #220 of 397
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama-aya View Post
I second what annettemarie said about not telling her "you made me mad". I think "I'm angry about ___" still tells the emotion without giving her the power.

As far as quiet time- I'd keep trying- that time is important to you, to her, to the littler one. I'd insist on it, and just keep consistently, calmly insisting on it.
Maybe you can make a fabric bag or decorate a bin with her, or even just find a basket or something, and put some "quiet time only" activities for her to choose from if she's having good behaviour. Lacing cards, picture books, window crayons, old buttons to string, paper dolls, whatever works.
to both.
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