Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Testing the Waters on a Waldorf Rhythm

I have been playing with the idea of homeschooling my sons for quite some time now.  I haven't entirely made up my mind yet.  This is a huge decision, obviously, and it's not one I am entirely ready to make.  However, I am trying out some things to help me determine what is going to work best for our family.  I have decided to try creating a rhythm similar to what I have seen done in other Waldorf inspired homeschooling homes.  I don't exactly know any of these families personally so I mostly just followed Ariella's example, as always, from CHILDHOOD MAGIC.  Here is how my first day went.

Cypress and I got up at 7 am, made coffee, prepared for the day.  I got some mango ready for breakfast but Cy could barely wait, clearly!

Once mangoes were peeled and oatmeal was prepared I crept into Free's room, and woke the sleeping dragon at 8 am...

We had our breakfast and I got the kitchen ready for our daily project.  We have decided to make Monday into cooking day.  He was very excited to hear that!  Freedom loves to spend time in the kitchen.

He took a bit of time to himself after breakfast since project started at 9.  He decided to take this time to exercise.  Starting with running around the living room...

Followed by jumping jacks, what an odd but healthy choice of ways to spend your morning.

Then he decided to make something to help me fly, or direct a marching band, whichever I prefer.  How thoughtful   : )

And then completely out of nowhere a big giant hug.  It was the most fun I have had before breakfast in a long time

Cypress and I got ready.  This is the only way I could get something like this done, and the reason you will not see Cypress for a bit.  (this is wrap I made the other day similar to the Mayan wrap or the sleepy baby wrap, super easy!!)

And 9 am we started our baking project: sourdough bread

Mixing and kneading was fun..

But not half as fun as the mess he got to make with the flour!

We had to let the dough rise for and hour so I gave Free a break to do whatever his little heart desired.  He was so excited about our new rhythm he wanted to draw it himself.  It really touched my heart to see how much he loved what I was doing.

Cypress had fallen asleep thanks to the wrap, I love it!

So I got the chance to help Free with the puzzle he chose for this break.

Then Cypress woke up just in time to help us break it down

We had a snack next.  Freedom asked for celery and peanut butter.

A few pokes at the dough

And waiting for another 45 minutes.  Freedom asked me to show him how I finger knit...

This is a VERY new skill for me as I just started yesterday but here's my first attempt at double finger knitting...

This is where it all came together.  Freedom plays the wii.  I know I know, just hear me out.  I give him 4 tokens on Monday and they are each good for 30 minutes.  He can't use more than one a day and it has to be an active, non-violent game.  No sitting on his butt, beating up bad guys.  He loved this new way of approaching our day so much he handed me a token...

My immediate response was "no way Free we are busy, sorry, not today".  He says "wait mom I know but these aren't for video games any more, they are for CRAFTS!!!!!!"

 Mission accomplished!  We started to make some felt crowns to sew onto the strip of double finger knitting I did.  I cut out a white crown shaped piece.  I let Free cut out some shapes to glue on.  He cut out a little green piece and informed me that it was a crown for the mouse king in case he came and forgot his own.

I was so impressed to see the way his imagination took off.  He has always been a creative boy but today was just so magical.    Our crown was mostly finished today but we will have to put it together tomorrow.

We threw the bread in the oven for a little bit.  Freedom was dying to show me how he could write his name...

And then for the first finished project.  Doesn't this look great?

By this time it was 11:30 time to get ready for lunch.  This was where we had our first melt down.  Free was hungry, Cy was tired and I was dying for a shower after having the oven running all day.  No pictures of this but we had lunch at noon and then quite time till about 1:30.  I really was surprised at the turnout of quite time.  Cy fell asleep and Free was actually pretty quiet for an hour! 

Anyway, when Cy woke up we decided to go to the park down the road and walk around the pond and play.  I tied Cy on and away we went.

I am not exactly sure about the significance of the colors in Waldorf education, but I believe Monday is red.  So we decided to see how many red things we could find on our walk...

Once around the pond and then for a snack under a shady tree.

Telling stories

And enjoying a chance to refuel

Free even had a roll down the hill..

This was the perfect time to relax in the grass and reflect on what we had been through during our first rhythmic day...

Of course it is too early to say what I have decided.  As it stands I am going to give Kindergarten a shot, but I have already explained to Free it's not a guarantee.  If I don't feel that they are meeting his needs, that they are soulful and mindful with him, I am pulling him out.  Period. 

I felt so good at the end of today.   Freedom LOVED it.  Cypress went with it pretty well.  All and all it just kind of fit in.  There are a few areas that need some tweaking, but all in all it was fabulous.   I can't overhaul my whole life in a day, but we can turn over a new leaf.  I cannot wait for tomorrow.  Tuesday is dad's day to do something special with Freedom.  They are going to fishing as the 9 o'clock project of the day.  Orange is the color, wonder how we can work that in? 

Well here's to luck with day two.  I will keep you guys posted.  If any of you have any suggestions, I am all ears.  I'm sure it will be great.  I cannot wait!

Wish me luck,

By the way, there is a giveaway of some toys and a dream catcher  made by Karen over at Bare Feet and a Free Spirit
Check her out and enter the giveaway, they are super cute!


  1. Looks like a fun day :)

    Sometimes I feel the need for a bit more structure in our day-to-day but the kids seem to function better the way things are. I guess we have a loose daily rhythm which, for the most part, works well but I don't much (if any!) time to myself.

    How long until Free starts school?

  2. This whole post just made me smile! I am so glad you are giving the "rhythm" a try, it has worked wonders at our house. Kids will always be kids, with meltdowns and whining (of course adults have meltdowns and whining too, lets not forget), but overall, having rhythm in our home has really brought a sense of peace and our days are really pretty wonderful! (most days are wonderful, some are not.)
    I'll be curious to see how it all goes for you,
    sending you love,

  3. Kat!
    Loveing the post. I have recently been dipping in to Waldorf and am currently looking in to Homeschooling Brendan through secondry school. I know he is only 8 and i have 3 years but i need to choose a secondry school in 2 and i'm not sure a big school is the way to go. if he wasn't in the village school (less than 18 kids) then i would have whipped him out and Home edd him long ago!
    Really happy you had such a possitive day. i too would be interested in the significance of the colours..... not read about that yet....

  4. Sounds so nice... we seem to have more routines - and i need to get on a better rhythm though and not let things fall through, and be a bit more structured, children really do need it.
    Your day looks amazing!
    Warm wishes,

  5. so far day two is going OK. It was dad's day to have a fun project and he's not such an early riser as I am. Set us behind at least an hour, but he's trying! We will certainly be more on schedule tomorrow.


  6. hey, i wrote a comment on this post the other day but it looks like it didnt work. Good luck with your new rhythum for the kids, looks like you all had fun. Love frees mo hawk! very cute:) oh and id made bread that morning also but it didnt turn out beautifully like yours did. Mine more resembled a rock lol, any bread making tips for me?

  7. just wanted to add another perspective for homeschooling. we started out in a public waldorf school but the rigidity of the schedule didn't work for my oldest. we started homeschooling and have gradually moved onto radical unschooling, which is all about child-led learning and respecting children as human beings and just loving life and learning. :)having them home is really wonderful, regardless of my joking around. ;) and remember, if homeschooling didn't work for you, you can always go back to a traditional school as well. good luck in what you do!

  8. I was smiling all the way through this beautiful post. What a fantstic day you all had together.
    I love Frees hair!
    Yes, the meltdowns are going to happen. But the opportunities to explore are a much greater pull for a child usually than fussing over this or that. I usually find my kids fuss mostly when they are bored or I am not being fully present with them, or noticing their need for rest, food etc...
    Starting the day early means I feel that something has been accomplished even if things unravel later on :)
    The children are more content to enjoy a quiet time after lunch if the morning has been full and stimulating too.
    You are such a lovely Mama! I am enjoying learning, living and journeying along this mama road with you.
    Enjoy your weekend!

  9. Hi Kat,

    Thank You so much for your lovely comments on my blog and the award....:)

    Wow what a busy day. Its looks so sunny and warm over there its so cold and rainy up here in the mountians for the last week or so. Ive been busy with my 3 haven't had much time on the computer. Time flys between blog post some weeks...:)


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