Curriculum planning is one of my favourite teaching practices to do!
When I am beginning the planning process I like to start with a view of the next 12 months and planning for our home school activities is no different.
My favourite 12 month planner to use is a two page January to December monthly view. The Australian school year runs January to December, however, I am aware that northern hemisphere school years can run from September – July. Use whatever works for your family. This one is my favourite and comes from Mama Miss, specifically her blog planner (love her planners!). Here’s the link to her 2015-2016 Homeschool Planner.
As we are a Waldorf-inspired family the seasons and festivals associated with each season are important considerations for our Waldorf inspired yearly rhythm. As many of the resources I use in my planning have a Northern Hemisphere focus I have considered the beliefs, elements and essential focus behind each festival and translated it for the Southern Hemisphere.
February 2nd – Lammas; 9th – Shrove Tuesday; 10th – Ash Wednesday; 14th – Valentine’s Day
March 17th – St Patrick’s Day; 20th – Michaelmas; 27th – Easter Sunday
April 22nd – Earth Day; 25th – ANZAC Day
May 1st – Samhain
June 21st – Yule/Winter Solstice
August 1st – Imbolc
September 22nd – Ostara/Spring Equinox
October 31st – Halloween
November 1st – Beltane; 29th – Advent starts
December 21st – Summer Solstice; 25th – Christmas
I then make a plan for which weeks we will Afterschool. Being Afterschoolers it probably won’t surprise you to hear that we do not follow the school term! Remember it’s about what works for your family.
I also follow the Waldorf educational philosophy of the ‘block’ model but this is where our Afterschooling is more Waldorf-inspired as I am doing block scheduling with two four year olds and a five year old this year, which is not prescribed in Waldorf Education. With my work schedule it is the best way I know to get the most out of our time together. Again, it is what works for you.
I have five blocks scheduled per week. One block per week is devoted to project based learning, we call this our Nature Adventurer block and is devoted to the children’s interest in the natural environment. Four blocks rotate monthly around language arts or literacy, Mathematics or Numeracy and project based learning.
In my next post we’ll look deeper into the rhythm of the month.