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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Finding our rhythm with Waldorf and Montessori Inspired Learning.

Over the course of the last yr I have slowly been adding to our collection of Waldorf and Montessori material. Recently I bought the lifetime membership to Earthschooling which is a Waldorf inspired curriculum. Both of these educational paths offer so much that is can be a bit of a challenge to figure out what works best for each child and when. After a few weeks of stressing myself out attempting to fit it all in for both the kids I decided I need some kind of schedule or organization to our days. At first I did what most of us tend to do and right at a hour by hour schedule knowing full well I would slowly find myself not sticking to it because it wasn't relaxed enough. I found my self a bit lost as to what to do at that point. I need to cover two different levels kinder and 5th, I need to find a way to both fit everything I wanted into our lives but still remain relaxed. So after a day of moving this subject here and that skill there I think I have come up with something I feel will work for all three of us.

What I decided is three days a week I would but the main focus on Alyssa's 5th grade work with Maverick doing only math, phonics, sight words, reading, and art. Most of this he can do with very little help from me. Those days are also on days that we do not usually have field trips or park days. I did this because at the kinder level much of the learning takes place through play so having our field trips and park days on Maverick' days will not take away from his learning it will only add to it. Where as Alyssa is at the age of learning through reading more. Alyssa's days will be Tues. , Thurs., and Sat. while Maverick's days will be Mon., Wed., Fri.

Then I went a step further and decided to plan out six weeks at a time. Not so much the day to day planning but the general topic for each subject area for each child. I also filled in days I know we will have field trips or park days into the schedule. Then I broke up the subject areas into morning and afternoon with most of the work being covered in the morning and the more crafts, art, and nature studies being covered in the afternoon. Not having it planned out by actual time allows us to move subjects to the morning if we finish early or move to the afternoon if we go over in a subject in the morning. I feel this way of planning feels less like a schedule and more like a layout of the rhythm of our week.

Below is an ex. of our layout.

Monday- Maverick Day
Morning block- Morning verse/yoga, circle time/finger plays, Phonics/sight words, Math, art/form drawing, life skills
* Alyssa will be working on individual reading book usually one that goes along with her history or science, a handcraft that she is working on, Math. Plus she will join in with Maverick for yoga, art, and life skills lessons
Afternoon block- Nature studies/ Story/ outdoor play for both children.

Tuesday- Alyssa Day
Morning block- Math, language arts, history/geography, music, Spanish,life skills
* Maverick will be working with Montessori math manipultives, phonics/sight words, blocks,life skills ect
Afternoon block- Science, handcraft/woodworking , art/form drawing, outside play for both kids

Wednesday - Maverick Day
Morning Block-Morning verse/yoga, circle time/ finger plays, phonics/sight words, math, art/form drawing, life skills
* Alyssa will join in with yoga, art/form drawing, do individual reading, and work with Montessori Manipultives for math
Afternoon block- Nature studies/ Story/ outdoor play for both kids

Thursday - Alyssa Day
Morning Block- Math, Language Arts, History/ Geography, music, Spanish, life skills
* Maverick will be working with Montessori manipultives, phonics/sight words, life skills
Afternoon Block- Science/ Handcraft/woodworking, art, outside play for both kids

Friday- Maverick Day
Morning Block- Morning verse/ yoga, circle time/finger plays, phonics/sight words, math, art/form drawing, life skills
* Alyssa will join in with yoga, art/form drawing, do individual reading, Montessori math, and finish up any craft for the week
Afternoon- Park day for both kids

Saturday- Alyssa Day
Morning Block- Math, Language Arts, History/ Geography, music, Spanish, life skills
* Maverick will work with Montessori materials, blocks, clay, phonics, sightwords, life skills
Afternoon Block- Science, handcraft/woodworking, art, outside play for both kids.

We will use the seasons and holidays to decide what topics will be covered in each subject area. Also there will be times where we will use reading and writing to cover the main topics. For. ex. the next 6-8 weeks are main topics will be Native Americans, Fall Holidays, Minerals, Nature, and American Geography. We will cover reading, story time, writing using these topics. Geography will be covered by using where different tribes lived and where different Holidays are observed in the world.

 I really do think this will not only allow us to have a natural rhythm to our week but allow for me to cover more areas in a more relaxed way with each child.

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