Olivia painting a pot at the 4-H meeting in April.
I miss the days that had open space on the calendar...time to relax and enjoy the moments with Sophia and Olivia rather than watching them rush by. If anything, this year has taught me that there is value in being underscheduled rather than overscheduled.
Sophia enjoying doing spelling surrounded by the pets.
She has four of the five cats and both dogs
sitting by her.
As I'm looking towards the upcoming homeschool year, I am revisiting some of the beginning stages of education and scheduling. In the preschool, Kindergarten, and early-elementary school years, I followed a Waldorf approach.
We used to take nature walks regularly when
Sophia and Olivia were younger.
I would like to begin doing this on a regular basis again.
This is a turkey vulture that we spotted sitting on a fence
at the end of the road we live on.
Sophia took this picture of it.
Rhythm - or a predictable schedule - provides a series of fixed anchors for children to work around in their day and week. Meal times, bed times, play times, work times - all are gently scheduled to provide a nurturing home and homeschooling environment.
So, generally, what does that look like? From a food perspective, there is a type of food that is eaten on a particular day of the week, according to the Table of Correspondences. For example:
Sunday - Wheat
Monday - Rice
Tuesday - Oats
Wednesday - Millet
Thursday - Rye
Friday - Barley
Saturday - Corn
For our family, it would something that's a key part of a meal - whether it be breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack. Perhaps for ease and consistency, having it be the focus of a snack rather than at each and/or every meal would be sufficient. For lunches, we could have a different bread that uses each grain of the day to accompany a salad.
Sophia hopes to be a baker or chef someday, so the grain of the day was something of particular interest to her.
Sophia making a cheeseburger casserole.
Another thing that I like about having a predictable schedule is that children (and adults) can look forward to activities that create a pleasant home environment and/or are mentally or spiritually enriching. These are once-a-week activities above and beyond the normal curriculum. For example:
Sunday - Cooking
Monday - Gardening (outdoor and/or indoor - depending on the season)
Tuesday - Painting
Wednesday - Bread Making
Thursday - Doing Handwork
Friday - Adventuring
Saturday - Doing Housework
Olivia used her binoculars on a walk we took on April 16th
when we spotted tundra swans in a small pond
in a neighbor's cornfield.
Sunday - White
Monday - Purple
Tuesday - Red
Wednesday - Yellow
Thursday - Orange
Friday - Green
Saturday - Blue
Taking it a step further - there could be a candle(s) on the table and/or a centerpiece that ties into the color. Some families and Waldorf schools incorporate food that is the color of the day into some of the meals.
Olivia liked the color of the day idea a lot. She's a very visual and artistic child, so this resonated with her in particular.
I'd like to begin doing this in June when we transition to our summer homeschooling schedule. Our schedule is lighter from June-August than it is from September-May, so it will be a good time to make modifications to our schedule and try some new simple ideas to make life more peaceful, predictable, and relaxed...a place to nourish all of our souls.