Over the weekend I was finally able to feel like I was putting all of the parts of our curriculum into perspective.
In all of my reading, as preparation for these Waldorf Home-Ed year, a theme has been to start from the whole…and that will lead you to understanding the parts.
So I knew that I didn’t want to cobble together a plan from many parts. I knew that I needed to continue reading and ruminating and collecting and thinking and, well, waiting, until a sense of the whole came through to me.
Friday night, whilst the rest of the family slept and I couldn’t, I sat down at my work table and started at it anew. I decided to just make a list, by week, of what materials I might need. This included books I’d need to get/reserve from the library, ingredients for specific curriculum-based recipes, and stories or tales that I might find in a book or online. Once I did this for all of kindergarten, it inspired me so that I did the same for 4th grade.
And the ‘whole’ started coming in to view.
Next I got a large sheet of paper and folded in so that there were 6 large squares on each side (anyone who’s read any of Melisa’s Little Garden Flower books will recognize this.) Each square represented a month and then I could start writing, in short notes, what each boy would be doing/reading/covering that week…and this was awesome, as I could finally see Nic’s work and Theo’s work as a package-deal.
Sunday I went looking for an electric pencil sharpener (we do have a lot of pencil sharpening to do and the little hand held ones seem to break the pencils more than sharpen them…) and ended up getting a great calendar.
Because I had spent time on Friday and Saturday really immersing myself in the curriculum and literature, I had a clearer idea of what I wanted to use. This works far better than molding curriculum around the restraints of the calendar pages.
My calendar has both monthly and weekly views. The monthly section allows me a place to list those supplies/ingredients or field trips that relate to that weeks’ work. This is also the place where I can list all the festivals of the year and see where I can integrate those festivities within our plans.
The weekly views, which offer a full column per day, will be where I write out what we’ll be doing on those days/weeks.
I’ve filled in the festivals and all the supplies/ingredients lists for September through February. But decided that before beginning the process of filling in the details on the days, I needed to immerse myself again in the materials.
So over the time available to me yesterday and this morning, I’ve reread the entire books for kindergarten and 4th grades. Melisa’s books are wonderful; so much is included in such small packages. And I could swear there are whole sections in each book that weren’t there before 😉
I feel that taking the time to do these steps has helped me to see the materials we’re using from the inside-out. This has helped me to become excited and eager to begin. I trust that this will help the days move more smoothly and help me to avoid the problem of the work becoming dry or boring.
As time allows, I’ll be working on that more today…as well as a mountain of laundry. We had a very rainy weekend that didn’t give me a chance to do any air drying.