While we were down in Florida I received an email from a mama who has been following along with our days here on the blog. She shared with me that they have been considering homeschooling for years now and have decided that they will most likely take the plunge next fall. She asked if I would be willing to share a little bit about the rhythm of our days. I was so honored to receive her very sweet email and now that I am done with all the Florida posts it seems like a good time to finally fulfill this request. So, without further adieu a bit about the rhythm of our days....
For those who are wondering how we came to live this amazing lifestyle you can read about that here (or you can find it in the tab above that says "Why We Homeschool"). When they were little little we just lived. Then, as we do now, we simply flowed through each day and went wherever it took us. There was (and still is) always cooking, baking, reading, playing, creating, helping and lots of laughing and love. As they have gotten older they started to look for a little more. Grace wanted to learn to read and Emma wanted to learn her letters. We would do things that would support that, of course, but even with that it seemed that they were still looking for a little something more. Collectively we decided that we'd spend a wee bit of time each day gathered at the table working on laying a strong foundation for these two.
Each day begins whenever we've all woken up. Lately that means we're all downstairs around 7:30am but some days that could be as late as 9:00am. No matter when we wake the rhythm is always the same. The girls watch a wee bit of TV and then we head to the kitchen to eat. After breakfast it's upstairs for bed making, dressing and throwing in a load of laundry. Whoever's ready first heads down and gets out the items we need for our morning gathering. At our gathering we talk about the day (what we have planned and what people want to do), say some verses/poems, sing, read, spell (new this "year") and count. The girls love this time and it actually all came to be when they discovered the calendar and some other stuff from my teaching days!
Once our gathering is done we head into the dinning room which seems to double as our school room. It's here that lessons and projects are done and words are added to The Word Wall Door (it's nice to finally have a purpose for this door that's usually just open). The Word Wall Door is another thing that's "new this year." Melisa Neilsen over at Waldorf Essentials suggested a word wall when I asked about reading and a second grader stumbling over words she previously knew. It was an idea that I had considered before it was suggested, but as we don't have a dedicated school room I dismissed it as there really wasn't a great spot in this lovely old farmhouse of ours to dedicate to a word wall (or so I thought). Hearing this same idea from another mama (and a veteran like Melisa to boot) brought it back to the forefront, and once I figured out using the door for this project it all just fell right into place. Grace is loving this and she is looking forward to seeing the door covered with words (and it really is helping her to improve her reading)!
For us, our days are not about following a schedule. Our days are about going with the natural ebb and flow- the rhythm of our lives if you will. So with that in mind I cannot tell you how long we are at the table as no two days are the same. Generally, it seems to be about an hour. However if the project they are working on is really great (a la the Matryoshka dolls from last winter) then we can be there for a good long while (in the case of that project about three hours)!
Once it's been decided we're done off they go to play. Play is central to all we do! They spend hours playing. Inside. Outside. Doesn't matter to them!
In addition to playing there may be baking or knitting or crafting or cooking or cleaning or canning or gardening. The list is long and varied.
Lunch and quiet time are the middle part of our day. It's divine, dear friends, for all of us to have some time to ourselves in the afternoon.
Usually we go on an adventure each day. Some days it's as simple as a trip to the library, others days it may be more elaborate like the Butterfly Place or Old Sturbridge Village.
And some times our adventures are even bigger still. Like our recent trip to Florida!
The afternoons the girls attend dance,
or Girl Scouts.
And in the winter there's skiing, of course.
The evenings bring with it more playing and dinner and jammies and a wee bit of time snuggled on the couch watching TV. If it's Friday that means a movie and pizza in the living room. Before bedtime stories are read and the roses and thorns (the best and not best parts) of our day are shared. We tuck the girls in and they fall asleep listening to Sparkle Stories (we just love that Martin and Sylvia live very much like we do)!
And that my friends is how we roll. It's a simple life this life of ours. The days are full of goodness and are also very mellow. It's such an amazing life that we get to live, and we are so completely grateful to get to spend each and every day together. We wouldn't have it any other way. xo