So, our first month of homeschooling looked a little… messy. We had some hiccups. If anyone ever tells you that homeschooling is perfect, they are lying. We are all human, and we all make mistakes, and we all get tired and bored and cranky. But we made due with the time we could spend on our Main Lesson for August – Form Drawing.
I tried so hard to bring the softness and gentleness that is a staple of Waldorf Education to the table, but living in a two family household makes it difficult. Not impossible, but difficult. One of the things that we did not end up doing well with integrating was Nature Study – I have this strange aversion to sunlight and heat (which makes Desert living difficult), which meant no walks outside – not to mention, Monsoon has been in full swing and there is always a threat of an afternoon (or mid-morning) storm… I know, I know, excuses.
As most homeschoolers regret to admit, we always have this ideal way of schooling, this vision of what we want our days and our lives to look like – specifically, we want things to run smoothly. However, from my experience thus far, life has its own plan and ideas and we gotta just roll with it. Each day presents lessons to us, as parents, and we need to take a few hours of reflection to look back over the day – what worked, what didn’t, how did the day flow? These are the three most common questions I find myself considering in the evening, once the kids are in bed. Heck, I even jot down notes as we go through the day, trying to figure out the best way to bring the material to my two ASD children. No, their diagnoses do not define them as people, but ASD does define the way their minds work and how they retain and process information. They are both incredibly creative and curious children, which is why a Waldorf inspired curriculum seemed to fit them best. They love stories and drawing, and fairies and gnomes and they love some of the soft bits I have introduced (lighting a candle for morning circle). They are also very active children and enjoy exploring the natural world on their own terms.
No, their diagnoses do not define them as people, but ASD does define the way their minds work and how they retain and process information. They are both incredibly creative and curious children, which is why a Waldorf inspired curriculum seemed to fit them best. They love stories and drawing, and fairies and gnomes and they love some of the soft bits I have introduced (lighting a candle for morning circle). They are also very active children and enjoy exploring the natural world on their own terms.
So, in August, I attempted to create a container story that would follow the kids through their lessons – Form Drawing, Language Arts, and Math… Yeah, no. I do not have the time, patience, or creative energy to write a container story, especially not when there are so many resources for amazing stories out there. So, now that Bran and Bryn have retired for the time being (until such a time that I have the perseverance to continue writing it), I only hope that the new resources will hold their attention and bring the material in such a way that benefits them.
I also went against Waldorf philosophy and started my daughter on First Grade materials, mostly because I feel like if I don’t I will get in trouble. BUT, after a month of fighting with her and her missing lessons, I have come to the conclusion that perhaps she really is not ready for the academics as much as we all think she is. She is so smart and has a serious connection with Letters and Numbers, knows how to add and subtract with little assistance, and is teaching herself to spell – she taught herself to write and do math within the last two years. She will be 6 years old on the 14th of this month. So, I found a free Kindergarten Lesson Plan blog and will be following that to the best of my ability for my Moon (and my Sun will join in as a Circle Time/Anchoring for him).
Here are the highlights from our first month of Waldorf Inspired Homeschool, here in the Desert: